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Images: Mass Strandings Keep New Marine Mammal Facility Busy

Researchers from several institutions converged at the new Marine Research Facility at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to perform necropsies on common and white-sided dolphins that stranded on Cape Cod in January 2006. Necropsies help scientists investigate the causes of marine mammal strandings. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

The stranding of a 12-foot Cuviers beaked whale on a beach south of Boston in early April 2006 was a rare event in New England, although strandings of pilot whales and other marine mammals are not unusual. The New England Aquarium collaborated with WHOI to bring the beaked whale to the new necropsy/CT scanning facility at WHOI for forensic studies to try to determine whay may have caused it to strand and die. A monorail system moves large mammals through the faciltiy, where WHOI biologists Michael Moore (also a licensed veterinarian) and Darlene Ketten and others performed the necropsy. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

In the fall of 2005, researchers moved into a new CT scan facilty (viewed from the control room window) in the new Marine Research Facility building at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The CT scan provides scientists with views of animals' internal anatomy, traumas, and pathologies. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

A computer screen in the WHOI CT scan facility shows a scan of the head of a beluga whale. The CT scan is used forensically to investigate why animals died and/or stranded themselves on beaches. It is also used to examine ear anatomy of marine mammals and other animals to examine how animals hear. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)