Supposed Risso's Grampus in the Mersey


    THE importance that authorities in tidal districts be acquainted with the fact that, under an arrangement made some few years ago, all large cetaceans stranded on the shores of Great Britain should be offered to the British Museum before any decision is made to dispose of them, is well borne out by the unfortunate destruction of a rare cetacean recently stranded in the Mersey. The flood tide of December 10, stranded a large cetacean in the Mersey at Widnes, and various unofficial reports circulated suggested it to be a porpoise, dolphin, or killer whale. Immediately upon discovering that no local museum or university had been informed of the rarity, the Merseyside Naturalists1 Association went to considerable trouble to collect all available evidence and photographs and to interview all people who had handled the specimen. Through some misunderstanding, it appears that although the customs authorities had told the transporter company who recovered the whale that any scientifically interested body could have it, the Upper Mersey Conservators took possession of the carcass the day following its stranding, cut it up into pieees and returned it to the river from one of their vessels.

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    Supposed Risso's Grampus in the Mersey. Nature 145, 64 (1940).

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