The 58-foot male finback whale was discovered around 8 a.m. at Smith County Park in Shirley, and Newsday reports that Kim Durham of the Riverhead Foundation said that the whale had bite marks on it, "indicating that large sea animals, possibly a shark, had fed on the carcass post-mortem." She added that "most of the skin is missing from the animal." In fact, the bite marks were described as being "bigger than a Chihuahua."
Finback whales are not uncommon to the waters off New York. They are the second largest whales (after the blue whale), growing to about 75 feet in the Northern Hemisphere. NOAA says that there have been instances when finbacks have mated with blue whales, creating hybrids; also, "Fin whales are large, fast swimmers and the killer whale (Orcinus orca) is their only non-human predator."
Regarding the leatherback sea turtle that also washed up, it's believed the two incidents are unrelated, since the turtle actually washed up on Tuesday. Durham said, "We had a spike in sea turtle deaths. Some people will say it’s because our water is bad but we had an amazing whale season this summer, which means the food supply is here and the water quality is good."
Marine biologists will perform a necropsy.