Whale With No Tail: Fluke-Less, Tail-Less Gray Whale Adapts To Swimming

A tail-less cetacean (another fancy name for whale) missing its flukes has been seen off the coast of Southern California.

What others thought was some form of alien life was simply a fluke-less gray whale that adapted to its handicap and new swimming style. The amazing aquatic mammal gave whale watchers their money’s worth, according to a Daily Mail report.

It’s being called the “whale with no tail,” but for good reason. Saturday, reports surfaced of some “mysterious” creature of mammoth proportions lurking in the Pacific Ocean near San Diego. Some even quipped that it could be America’s version of Nessie aka the Loch Ness Monster. Instead, it was the “no tail whale.”

Sunday, passengers aboard the Dana Pride near Point Loma reported seeing what looked like a whale sans a tail. The large creature seen breaching the surface spewed a large amount of air from its blowhole. Still, there were no photos or video of the elusive creature — until the next day.

On Monday, the public got lucky. A large whale with no tail was seen with two others near Los Angeles at Point Vicente. Apparently, the trio was on a northward migration to warmer waters. Animal experts say it appears the animal had its tail and fluke amputated by snarls of fishing twine. Unlike other ocean-dwelling creatures, whales have lungs and must breathe. Most likely, the whale’s struggle to save its life brought on the forced amputation.

Based on the footage, the whale is thriving. Despite missing a tail and flukes used for propulsion and navigation, the whale appears to be doing fine. Captain Tom White of the “Pride,” agrees. He weighed in on the whale’s adaptation in the wake of losing its tail.

“It just goes to show how smart these mammals are, to be able to adapt so well without a limb,’ he said. ‘It was migrating along fine, although a little slower than what we usually see.”

And to prove how animals adapt to their environment, the whale managed to dive by using an area where it flukes would be to perform a corkscrew maneuver. Although there are concerns the unnatural move will bring about back troubles later on, experts believe it’s a necessity for survival.

Sadly, the negligence or intentional acts of fishermen and poachers cause the deaths of many sea creatures annually. Thousands of whales and dolphins fall victim.

The good news is that this whale with no tail will likely develop normally due to its inherent ability to adapt. Also, because whales are social creatures and typically travel in pods, it will be assisted with finding food and navigating migratory routes.

[Photo by: Wikimedia Commons]

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