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Rare whale found dead in Southern California

Rare saber-tooth whale found dead on Venice Beach in Southern California

This-image-provided-by-Heal-the-Bay-sh

This image provided by Heal the Bay shows Heather Doyle, director of the Heal the Bay's Santa Monica Pier Aquarium pointing out shark bites found on a beached Stejneger's Beaked Whale that washed ashore Tuesday in the Venice Beach area of Los Angeles, Wednesday Oct. 16, 2013. Heal the Bay plans to study the whale.

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LOS ANGELES — A rare whale that has a dolphin-shaped head and saber-like teeth has been found dead on Los Angeles’ Venice Beach, even though it prefers frigid subarctic waters.

The Los Angeles Times reports the roughly 15-foot-long female Stejneger’s beaked whale washed ashore Tuesday night.

A truck hauled away the mammal, which will be autopsied by scientists to learn more about it and how it died.

The Stejneger’s beaked whale is rarely seen in the wild. The species typically dive deep in subarctic waters to feed on squid and small fish. They’re believed to migrate as far south as Northern California.

Males are known for their saber teeth that stick up midway from each side of the lower jaw. However, the teeth of females and their offspring remain hidden beneath the gum tissue.

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