A 79-foot blue whale washed up on Agate Beach in Bolinas on Friday morning. The cause of death remains unknown. Scientists from the Marin Mammal Center and California Academy of Sciences identified the whale as a sub-adult female. The scientists will return Saturday to perform a full necropsy, having taken preliminary skin tissue and blubber samples Friday morning.

The Marine Mammal Center first received reports of a floating whale carcass off Bolinas late Thursday evening. “We rarely have the opportunity to examine blue whales due to their endangered status,” said Barbie Halaska, research assistant at The Marine Mammal Center, in a press release. “The opportunity to perform a necropsy on a carcass in this good of condition will help contribute to our baseline data on the species.”  READ MORE