Letter | Published:

Occurrence of the Rare Whale, Mesoplodon Layardi, on the Tasmanian Coast


SOME years ago, on July 30, 1918, my friend Mr. G. H. Smith of Leprena, Southern Tasmania, brought me word that a beaked whale, “without teeth,” had been cast up on the beach at Recherche Bay near his property, that he had already removed the blubber, and that the carcase still remained on the shore. Being occupied at the time with university teaching I was unable to visit Recherche Bay till some weeks later. High seas were then running, and the remains had been lifted by these and thrown farther up on the basaltic boulders which strew the beach at this spot. This resulted in some considerable damage to the skeleton. Nearly all the ribs were broken, some into three or four pieces, and many of the neural spines had been smashed from the vertebrae. The skull was also damaged, although some of the flesh and integument was still adhering.

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