After a storm in New Jersey, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection called in to examine a skull that was huge. Not sure, what it was, they asked for help from the internet, which was less than helpful, although people were technically correct that it was “some Donnie Darko-ish nightmare out there.” Thankfully, it is not the skull of a large bird, nor is it the genus Cthulu. Whale scientist and comparative anatomist marine mammal expert Reidenberg has confirmed to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection that it is the head of a min whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), adding that he would be happy to give it a home.
Although the smallest in the “Great Whale” family, they are incredibly large, reaching 10.7 meters (35 feet) long and weighing up to 9,072 kilograms (20,000 pounds). Whales are filter feeders and they can open their large lower jaws at about 90 degrees. They force small prey in their mouths before the pressure stops. Their huge tongues – a favorite food of killer whales – then blown out, releasing water through rows of hair-like material that can pass through the water while holding the whale’s food.
We have no way of knowing every animal that lives in the ocean. So the theories were multiple with it when someone washed a huge forehead on a New Jersey beach. Now the mystery of that giant skull has solved. New Jersey zoologists have identified the giant skull found on Ocean County Beach. In addition, it is not from any dinosaurs, dragons or giant birds. Skulls washed ashore on Island Beach State Park on Monday. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection took to twitter to ask people what they thought.
Estimates range from different types of whales, pterodactyls, octopuses or even some kind of unknown monster. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection says the skull, like a large bird, was a mink whale, a species protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Experts say that despite their large heads, Minkes are actually the smallest members of the “Great Whale” family. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the whale that lost its head in New Jersey was probably 35 feet long and weighed 20,000 pounds.