Which beaked whale is the most studied because whalers gave the dead to researchers?


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While marine biology enthusiasts will never praise a predatory industry like whaling, one unexpected positive result of their slaughters was the advancement in knowledge scientists gained of one species in particular due to their killing. The Northern Bottlenose Whale is a very curious animal that grows to approximately 32 feet (9.8 m) and 17,000 pounds (7,500 kg). Unfortunately, the old saying “curiosity killed the cat” is applicable to the northern bottlenose whale, who appear to be fascinated with boats. In the wild, the northern bottlenose whale was infamous for approaching whaling boats in order to satisfy their need to investigate only to lose their life. Whalers hunted the northern bottlenose whale for their spermaceti (waxy substance found in the head used for cosmetics). However, once they had slaughtered the animals, whalers provided the remaining carcasses to scientists, giving the researchers a nearly (unfortunately) unlimited number of specimens to examine. The result was that the northern bottlenose whale is considered one of the most researched animals in the ocean.