Gray whale

Gray whale
A roughly 20-foot-long gray whale washed up on Gray Whale Cove State Beach in Montara over the weekend.

On Sunday, a team from the Marine Mammal Center went out to collect skin samples and found the mammal's back tail — or fluke — was missing, said Giancarlo Rulli, spokesman for the Sausalito-based center.

The team also found evidence of shark bites, which were likely incurred after death, Rulli noted.

Rulli said the whale was so far decomposed that the team couldn't determine the sex of the animal or perform a necropsy to determine the cause of death.

"(It) was likely tumbling in the surf for a couple weeks," he said.

Based on the size, the center has determined that whale was a young calf.

Due to the state of decomposition, Rulli said the whale will most likely be left on the beach to continue to decompose.