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Alaska sea creature identified as decomposing whale

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – A sea creature that Alaskan fishermen believed to be a giant squid turned out to be the decaying carcass of a humpback whale.

The Juneau Empire reports the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration received reports Tuesday from fishermen near St. James Bay, saying there was a 30-foot (9-meter) squid floating in the water.

NOAA sent a biologist to investigate. NOAA spokesperson Julie Speegle says the biologist discovered it was a “badly-decomposed” whale, which was missing its head and tail. She says the fishermen may have mistaken protruding bones for an eye.

The carcass was possibly the same dead whale that washed ashore after it was likely killed in a collision with a large sea vessel last month. The Marine Mammal Stranding Network has conducted a necropsy on the animal.

Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, http://www.juneauempire.com

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