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Rarely seen type of whale washes up on NC coast

A rarely seen 18-foot long Cuvier’s beaked whale washed ashore at Fort Macon State Park on Monday.
A rarely seen 18-foot long Cuvier’s beaked whale washed ashore at Fort Macon State Park on Monday. N.C. State Parks and Recreation

A mysterious whale washed up on a North Carolina beach on Monday and officials are working to learn more about it.

A rarely seen 18-foot-long Cuvier’s beaked whale washed ashore at Fort Macon State Park on Monday, according to N.C. State Parks and Recreation.

Fort Macon State Park is in Carteret County, a little less than three hours from Raleigh.

The N.C. Marine Stranding Network is working to learn more about the whale. It was unclear how the whale became stranded.

Also known as the goosebeak whale, it’s one of 20 named species of beaked whales. But the Cuvier’s beaked whale is so rarely seen that almost everything known about it has come from studying stranded whales, according to the American Cetacean Society.

Cuvier’s beaked whales have a tendency to strand more often than other species of beaked whales. Stranded specimen have been seen in all oceans of the world except both polar regions, indicating an extremely wide distribution.

To learn more about Cuvier’s beaked whales, go to acsonline.org/fact-sheets/cuviers-beaked-whale.

Abbie Bennett: 919-836-5768; @AbbieRBennett

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