A large marine animal that looks like a mixed breed of whale and dolphin was washed ashore a beach in Australia. Experts said that the animal, which was unfortunately dead when it was seen, is called a beaked whale.

The three to four-meter-long whale is believed to have died at sea and was discovered by a worker for the Organization for the Rescue and Research of Cetaceans in Australia (ORRCA) lying on the sands of Redhead Beach, south of Newcastle Tuesday morning.

The discovery of the animal is considered of scientific value as marine experts said that this species lives in deep water and it is very rare to encounter this animal.

ORRCA, which posted photos of the animal on its Facebook page, said that this deep-sea creature is seldom seen at sea and is mainly known for strandings and wash-ups.

"We're yet to identify the exact species but what we can tell you about these animals is they are rare animals," said ORRCA President Ronny Ling. "You normally only find them when they wash up or when they strand and they are very, very seldom seen at sea, so it has great scientific value there."

To determine the species of the beaked whale, scientists are set to X-ray its jaws and examine its DNA.

"The males have different tooth counts, in different locations, so that is a way to work out the species," Ling said. "While, a lot of the females don't have teeth, so we will then need to take DNA."

It isn't known yet what caused the death of the animal because there were no apparent signs of injury. Elise Bailey, a marine biologist, said that it is still too early to know why the whale died but pointed out the possibility that the animal could be sick, old, or have had some trauma.

Ling noted that the discovery of the animal gives scientists opportunity to learn more about it. He said that samples and measurements of the whale have already been taken and the animal's head will be removed and sent to the Australian Museum.

The carcass will be buried by the Lake Macquarie Council in a hidden location to facilitate easy access to the bones should there be a need to exhume the remains of the animal for further research. Keeping the location a secret can also protect it from being looted by trophy hunters.

ⓒ 2021 TECHTIMES.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.