40 foot sperm whale washes ashore in Connemara

40 foot sperm whale washes ashore in Connemara

One of the world’s largest predators, the sperm whale, washed ashore at in Connemara on Sunday.

The 40ft sperm whale was reportedly already dead when it beached at Mace Head, Moyrus near Carna.

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group have said that it is most likely the same one that was spotted floating by commercial fisherman out of Ballyconneelly and filmed by Brendan Conneely.

The stranding at Mace Head was reported to the IWDG by Seamus MacDonnacha of Cill Chiaráin, and Rónán Ó Conghaile.

This is the third sperm whale to wash ashore so far this year, which a spokesperson for the IWDG said is “unusual but nothing sinister”.

This one was spotted floating off the coast of Galway on March 26, the same day another whale was washed up at Magheroarty in County Donegal.

It was measured at 43m in length and

Whale stranded at Magheroarty, Co Donegal. Photo: Gareth Doherty.

Sperm whales are widespread and relatively abundant in the deep waters to the west of Ireland, however they are deep diving creature rarely seen closer to the surface than 300m.

A recent study by the IWDG and GMIT estimated a population spread of 3.2 whales per 1000km2 based on deep sea acoustic surveys.

The largest predators of all time, the sperm whale hunts thousands of feet below the surface of the ocean and is known for tucking into giant squid.

 

Photo: Neasa ní Chualáin 

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