Authorities found a small dead whale that had been tagged with graffiti on the beach in Atlantic City Thursday morning.
It is not known when the whale, discovered underneath the city’s Central Pier, washed ashore, according to various published reports.
Sheila Dean of the Brigantine-based Marine Mammal Stranding Center tells NewsWorks and Jersey Shore Hurricane News that the whale is a 20-foot minke, which can grow to between 29- and 33-feet in length.
Dean said that they were working toward determining a cause of death.
Minke whales have sleek body with a sharply pointed head, with the mouth containing 230-325 baleen plates, she said. Their diet consists of small fish such as herring, capelin, sand lance, and cod as well as squid and zooplankton.
Although not endangered, minke whales are protected by federal law under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972.