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Rates of whale decomposition

Steve O'Shea

TONMO Supporter
Nov 19, 2002
I am extremely interested in finding any literature (published or not) on the rates of decomposition of whales buried in beaches, or any type of substratum. There's information out there on their 'decomposition' in the deep sea, when carcasses have been submerged, scavenged and colonised by various communities, but I can find NOTHING on rates of decomposition when buried. I've searched long and hard for anything of this nature and have had to resort to publications on decomposition rates of human cadavers or those of pigs. Is anyone aware of anything at all? Anecdote is fine, given our state of knowledge.


Larval Mass
Apr 21, 2009
I know that there've been a couple whale beachings in the area around Humboldt State University - there may be someone at HSU who would have some info for you.

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