Below you will see data forms and checklists for necropsy of porpoises (dall’s or harbor) or beaked 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 the two most likely options for decomposition code, as well as the data form and both photo tags (items 1-4). Print on Rite in the Rain paper if possible. Use of the ‘Prep kit’ files are optional. They are the minimum bags and tags for a necropsy for trying to determine cause of death (COD) by carcass code and can be prepared before going to the field. 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.
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.