Scientists in Baja California have discovered what could be the first case of conjoined gray whale calves.
While conjoined or siamese whale calves have been reported in a number of other whale species, including fin, sei and minke whales, it is believed this is the first case for gray whales.
Unfortunately the twins did not survive and scientists think they were most likely miscarried.
The carcass, found in Laguna Ojo de Liebre, was only about 2m in length; newborn gray whales are usually between 3.6m and 5m.
This species reaches a length of 14.9m and can weigh up to 36 tonnes.
The twins were severely underdeveloped and scientists wonder whether the birth or stillbirth might also have killed the mother.
Images of the twins were posted Sunday to the Guerrero Negro Verde Facebook page, with the translated statement,
“Unfortunately, the specimen died. [Its] survival was very difficult.”
The remains of the whales will be examined for scientific purposes.
Conjoined twins have occurred in other whale species including fin, sei and minke whales but this is the first recorded case of gray whales.