So, you may want to pass on reading today's post.
No shame if you're a tad queasy. Just move along and I'll see you back here for my next, non-yucky post.
OK. Did they go ? And you decided to stay ? Good for you. It's not really that bad.
It all started yesterday when I took Wendy and Sooki for a foggy walk along the shore of the Hartlen Point Golf Course.
It was damp and drizzly, but above freezing.
We followed the "back rounds" created for the use of the grounds keepers, that lead to the holes closest to the ocean.
Nearing the shore I noticed something was drawing the dogs' attention. Can you see it ?
Sooki was very curious but I convinced her not to roll on the curious thing that she and Wendy had found.
What they had found -- I later learned -- was an Atlantic White-sided Dolphin. Needless to say, it was a DECEASED, Atlantic White-sided Dolphin.
Once back home I did some Googling to see who might me interested in my find, and came across this group.
Though they prefer to be involved in the rescue of live Cetaceans, they are interested in dead 'uns too.
And so that brings us to today.
Today I met Andrew from "M.A.R.S" at the gates to Hartlen Point, in order to take him to the body. It was an almost 2 km walk in a non-stop misty rain and driving wind, and I knew he'd never find it on his own, and besides, I was curious.
This is where we get to the "necropsy" bit. The lovely folk at M.A.R.S. are interested in learning as much as they can from these carcasses.
Once at the scene, Andrew took out a metal clipboard and I became his scribe as he called out various measurements to me.
He measured her flukes, her fins, her head, her nose and her girth -- we cheated and just did the half of her girth, knowing that we could double the figure to get the complete girth. We learned she was a "she". She was just over two metres (6 feet) long and probably close to being full-grown.
Because it was bitchin' cold on the ocean side where her body lay, Andrew could not check out her internal organs so we had to settle for just checking out the thickness of her blubber at various locations on her body, and pulling a couple of teeth for later examination.
|You can see the square places where Andrew excised sections of blubber?|
Andrew could tell right away that her fat layer was not as thick at it should have been, and that might have contributed to her death. He said he had seen that thickness in much younger dolphins. He also told me that one of her teeth would be sent to a researcher in the U.S. who specializes in the Atlantic White-sided Dolphin.
Part of me was sad to be seeing a dead dolphin, but part of me was happy that perhaps by contacting M.A.R.S. I had contributed in some small way to increasing our knowledge about these marvellous creatures.
We were both pretty sodden as we trekked back to our cars, but I felt grateful to have been involved, if only a teeny, tiny bit, in this fascinating work.