A Whale of a Find in Brewster!

Nicole Morelli

Tuesday, the staff of the Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club in Brewster noticed six inches of stone peeking out of the ground. Not wanting guests to trip and get hurt they hurried to exhume the stone and permanently remove it

Soon into the project of removing the stone they realized it was not a stone but a bone, and a large one at that. As they carefully dug the bone from the dirt they realized it wasn’t just any bone; it was a whale bone.

Upon discovery of the bone the staff called in the International Fund of Animal Welfare, who controls the actions taken for beached mammals in that area. Mammal biologists estimated that the whale was at least 37 years old. Upon removal of the bone, using shape and size, they determined that the whale must have between 400 and 500 pounds that came from a beached right whale.

Brian Sharp, the standing coordinator for the animal welfare group’s marine mammal rescue and research team, says that the bone was probably under the sand for several years and erosion caused its exposure.

Further into digging they discovered the bone had been sitting in wet sand for years. Sitting in the water for all those years would cause the bone to be crumbly and difficult to remove. “In some respects, the bone was so old and so brittle, it was basically falling apart under its own weight,” Sharp said in an interview for the Boston Globe.

Wednesday morning, the staff of the public works department brought in a backhoe to help with removal. They successfully removed the bone from the sand with minimal flaking and no severe damage.

The bone now resides in the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s warehouse inYarmouth, where researchers must wait almost two months for the bone to dry completely so they can begin testing its DNA.