MDB 082: Pygmy sperm whale (Kogia breviceps)

Live pygmy sperm whale stranded in Buxton, NC

On April 24, 2010 a pymgy sperm whale was
necropsied in colloboration with National Park
Service and NC Wildlife Resource Commission.

On April 24, a live pygmy sperm whale stranded in Buxton, NC was reported to the National Park Service. Stranding team personnel responded immediately to the live animal. The carcass was transported to a walk in cooler to be necropsied the following day in colloboration with UNCW MMSP, National Park Service, and NC Wildlife Resource Commission.

The animal was a very robust, sub-adult, male Kogia sp. Most obvious gross findings were enlarged thymus and lymph nodes throughout the carcass, especially thoracic cavity and colonic lymph nodes. Upper digestive tract had a heavy load of live nematode worms. A small number of squid beaks were present in the main stomach. The distal intestine contained hard moisten black feces just cranial to fluid colonic ink sac. There was an abundant amount of froth within the pulmonary airways and pytergoid sinuses. Cerebrum had a focal area of deep reddening of the tissue. Awaiting histopathology report for further results.


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