Dead dolphin washes ashore far north of normal range

Dead dolphin washes ashore far north of normal range
A dead 7-foot male striped dolphin washed ashore Monday night near Long Beach, Wash. (Photo courtesy Seaside Aquarium)

LONG BEACH, Wash. - A dead 7-foot male striped dolphin washed ashore Monday night a few miles north of Long Beach, the Seaside Aquarium said.

Keith Chandler and Jason Hussa from the aquarium retrieved the dead dolphin from the surf for Dr. Debbie Duffield with the Oregon/Washington Marine Mammal Stranding Network.

Duffield planned to perform a necropsy on the dolphin in an attempt to determine the cause of death.

This is at least the third striped dolphin to wash ashore along the Northwest coast in the last decade. In January 2006, a striped dolphin washed ashore at Fort Stevens State Park.

The dolphins are uncommon in the area. Striped dolphins prefer warmer waters and are typically found in the offshore waters off of California and Baja, the aquarium said.

In June, a semi-comatosesea turtle - also a creature that prefers warm water - washed up on the Oregon coast.

The dolphin's death provides an opportunity to learn more about the animals.

The animal's sharp teeth are used for snatching up small fish such as herring or cod. Squid make up a large part of their diet.
 
Striped dolphins live alone or in small schools.