Scientists are trying to figure out what killed a minke whale whose carcass washed up on Crane Beach in Ipswich.
The New England Aquarium says the dark grey whale shows evidence of possible entanglement in marine gear and had some unusual wounds in its mouth.
Experts said Saturday that the nearly 24-foot whale had probably been dead three to four days.
It washed up ashore Friday with significant impression lacerations on its body and ulcerations in its mouth. A full necropsy is scheduled for Saturday to determine a specific cause of death.
Minkes grow up to 30 feet long and are smaller of the three species seen most often by New England whale watchers, along with humpbacks and finbacks.
Minkes are protected under the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act.
This program aired on March 17, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.