BAR HARBOR (AP) — A male sperm whale has been towed to an offshore dock near the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor.

The seaside college says the whale, which is more than 40 feet long and 20 to 30 years old, was found dead and floating off of Schoodic Point by a local fisherman. Scientists believe the whale has been dead for about two weeks and drifted inshore with the currents.

A necropsy is being planned to see what killed the whale. Arrangements are being made to have the whale, which may weigh as much as 50 tons, brought to land to preserve the skeleton for study and eventual display at the college.

The sperm whale is the largest living toothed animal. Sightings of sperm whales in coastal waters are extremely rare.

filed under: