In the morning hours of Sunday, scientists gathered around the body of a fin whale on the beach in Pass Christian.
They were performing a necropsy, which is an animal autopsy. It had to be done on the beach because of the sheer size of the whale.
The dead whale was seen offshore in Pass Christian on Saturday morning and was pulled out of the water by scientists with the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and local, state, and federal agencies. The IMMS reports that teams from all over the South region have come to Mississippi to participate in the necropsy.
The fin whale is the second-largest species of whale in the world behind the blue whale. This is the first time a fin whale has been reported stranded in Mississippi, and only the fourt time since 2002 that one has been recorded stranded in the Gulf of Mexico.
WLOX reports that a dead dolphin had washed up on the same beach just three days prior to the fin whale.