Below you will see a data form and checklists for necropsy of killer whales. Note that you will need to download the CHECKLIST for it to properly print the specific tab(s) that correspond to the anticipated decomposition code(s) of your whale. Print documents 1-5 on Rite in the Rain paper if possible. For the checklist, print the two most likely options for decomposition code. If you anticipate being cut short and plan to take sections for later subsectioning at the lab, use the ‘Quick and Dirty field form’ at the bottom of this list. If you think you may have a pregnant whale, or find you do, please refer to the “Fetal Form” for further instructions.

Also note that if it is not possible to collect samples in formalin and the case is very fresh, another option is to make a bag of “formalin fixed” tissues which are the correct size (1/5 to 1 cm thick), freeze that and send with the rest of the tissues. Fresh frozen tissue in formalin can be quite informative.