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Clean-up has begun on the island of Wangerooge, off the northern coast of Germany, after two sperm whales were stranded on its beaches earlier this week.
The mammals have arrived in Wilhelmshaven on the mainland last night and are waiting in the port for dissection, so that scientists could uncover the cause of death.
It comes as a pod of 12 whales were discovered dead on or off the coast of the Dutch island of Texel and the German islands of Wangerooge and Helgoland this week.
The sperm whale is one of the largest of the toothed whales and need deep waters.
In shallow waters, its body weight could cause it to suffocate although at present it's not clear whether this was the cause of death.
After death, bacteria and gasses multiply inside the whale.