The carcass of the whale that was found washed ashore at Edavanakkad on Thursday was buried at the beach on Friday.
Marine mammal experts identified the whale as Bryde’s whale (Balaenoptera edeni).
The species have a cosmopolitan distribution and occur in tropical and warm temperate oceans such as the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific. They are found in Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal at a depth from 50 metres. Some populations of the animals migrate seasonally. The carcass of the one that was washed ashore at Edavanakad was that of an adult whale, said Anoop Balan, a marine mammal expert.
Ship strike could be the case of death of the animal, said Mr. Balan, who has done research on the marine mammals of Indian waters.
The species feed mostly on fish such as mackerel, anchovies and shrimp, crabs, and lobsters. They also feed on octopus, squid, and cuttlefish. The whales are frequently found in areas of high fish abundance, along with seabirds, seals, sharks, and other cetaceans, Mr. Balan said. Very little research has been done on the species. It is included in the Data Deficient category of the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species, he said.