Marine authorities have reported a dead humpback whale spotted on Sunday, Aug. 2 at around 6:30 a.m. along the 400 block of Esplanade Drive, at the Pacific Manor Beach, south of Mussel Rock Park.

The dead whale sighting was not the first time that such case was reported along the Pacifica shore, adding to what seems like a mysterious summer pattern for the marine creatures.

"Personnel from California Academy of Sciences and the Marine Mammal Center will keep an eye on the carcass and the tides to determine whether they can safely perform a necropsy," stated Laura Sherr, a spokesperson from the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito.

In April, a sperm whale was found already rotting on a beach near Mori Point. Shortly after, a humpback whale was washed up on Sharp Park, also in Pacifica in May. Experts performed dissections but failed to conclude an official reason of death.

Ship strikes in the busy shipping lanes of San Francisco Bay are being considered as a possible cause of death. In the meantime, the series of perplexing whale deaths in the same area continues, with scientists still in the process of figuring out the exact cause.

The humpback whale (Megaptera Novaeangliae) belongs to the family of Balaenopteridae. The adult male measures approximately 40 to 48 feet in length, and the adult female about 45 to 50 feet. A humpback whale weighs between 25 to 40 tons.

The head of a humpback whale is extensive and rounded but still fairly slim. According to the American Cetacean Society, the whales feed on small fish and a shrimp-like crustacean called krill.

Humpback whales are found in oceans all across the world. During the summer, most of the whales head north, where there are abundant polar waters for feeding. In the winter season, the whales stay in tropical areas to mate and calve. In the Arabian Sea, however, such pattern of migration is not always followed by the humpback whales.

Photo: Gregory "Slobirdr" Smith | Flickr

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