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Right whale necropsy photo, showing blubber

A necropsy (animal autopsy) of a right whale in Florida. Note the extremely thick blubber layer just under the whale's skin.

© Dianna Schulte, Blue Ocean Society

A necropsy is a dissection of the dead body of an animal to determine the cause of death. In essence, it is an autopsy performed on an animal, such as a whale or shark. Necropsies can help us learn more about the biology of an animal, how it is affected by disease or how human interactions may impact animals.

The necropsy performed on the whale indicated that it had died of natural causes.

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