Conjoined whale calves in Scammon's Lagoon. Photo: Jesus Gomez via Pete Thomas Outdoors.
We've had a couple of posts already about this season's gray whale migration past our coast to Baja California. Now comes this from Scammon's Lagoon, the gray whale nursery on the Pacific side of Baja Sur also known as Laguna Ojo de Liebre. Scientists on Sunday discovered twin calves that were conjoined. They did not survive. "It might be the first documented case of Siamese twin gray whales," blogs the outdoors writer Pete Thomas. "Conjoined twins have occurred in other species, such as fin, sei and minke whales. A database search at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County did not reveal published instances of conjoined gray whale twins." The condition of the mother whale was not known.
The scientists collected the whales for study, according to Thomas.
The gray whales from the Arctic typically give birth on the way south or when they reach the warm waters off Mexico, before heading back north closer to spring. The migrants are the whales most commonly seen from shore in the Los Angeles area and on whale-watch boats in winter.