A pair of conjoined gray whales found in a Mexican lagoon astonished researchers who were able to get a glimpse at the rare occurrence.
The calves were discovered in Laguna Ojo de Liebre on the coast of Baja California on Sunday, according to a YouTube video posted by Krystian Abundez. Unfortunately, the whales did not survive, as noted by this post from local environmental group Guerrero Negro Verde:
(Warning: Some readers may find the following photo disturbing)
Researchers said the calves found in Laguna Ojo de Liebre appeared smaller than normal and may have been miscarried, Grind TV reports. Alisa Schulman-Janiger, an American Cetacean Society researcher, speculated that due to signs of severe underdevelopment, it's possible their birth may have also killed the mom, the report notes.
The calves are believed to be gray whales, a species that every year swims many thousands of miles down the west coast of North America to give birth in the sheltered, warm lagoons of Mexico. Subtropical lagoons along Baja California's Pacific coast are particularly popular with gray whale mothers, which typically give birth to a single calf the winter after they mate, according to the University of San Diego's Birch Aquarium.