Marine Mammal Parasite of the Month – Case January 2012

Around 100 of these specimens were found in the blow hole and stomach of a Pygmy Sperm Whale (Kogia breviceps) that stranded on Cape Cod, MA.  The whale died but the worms were still alive at necropsy.

Take a look at the pictures and answer the following questions.

What are they ?

Is there any risk in handling them ?

What is the best way to handle them ?

anterior (or front part) of the wormbunch of wiggling wormsposterior (end part) of the worm

chime in with your comments, I’ll post the answer next month.