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Photos: Baby killer whale gets high-tech exam

A baby killer whale, also known as an orca, was found dead Tuesday on St. Paul island. Its small size and intact condition offered a rare opportunity to study these marine mammals, and it was flown to Anchorage, where it got a CT scan, MRI, and necropsy. September 6, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Dr. Stephen Raverty, a veterinary pathologist from the British Columbia ministry of Agriculture, and Gloria Hernandez, CT Nuclear Medicine Technologist at the Alaska Spine Institute, consult during a CT scan of a baby killer whale. The baby whale, also known as an orca, was found on Tuesday in St. Paul. Its small size and intact condition offered a rare opportunity to study these marine mammals. September 6, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Dr. Raverty, right, and Dr. Russ Andrews from the Sealife Center in Seward position a baby killer whale on a CT scan machine at the Alaska Spine Institute. The baby whale, also known as an orca, was found on Tuesday in St. Paul. Its small size and intact condition offered a rare opportunity to study these marine mammals. September 6, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
A baby killer whale, also known as an orca, was found dead Tuesday on St. Paul island. Its small size and intact condition offered a rare opportunity to study these marine mammals, and it was flown to Anchorage, where it got a CT scan, MRI, and necropsy. September 6, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Gloria Hernandez, CT Nuclear Medicine Technologist at the Alaska Spine Institute, positions a baby killer whale in a CT scan machine. The baby whale, also known as an orca, was found on Tuesday in St. Paul. Its small size and intact condition offered a rare opportunity to study these marine mammals. September 6, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Dr. Russ Andrews, a marine biologist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the Sealife Center in Seward, aligns a baby killer whale in a CT scan machine at the Alaska Spine Institute in Anchorage. The whale, also known as an orca, was found on Tuesday in St. Paul. Its small size and intact condition offered a rare opportunity to study these marine mammals. September 6, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Dr. Stephen Raverty, a veterinary pathologist from the British Columbia ministry of Agriculture, and Gloria Hernandez, CT Nuclear Medicine Technologist at the Alaska Spine Institute, consult during a CT scan of a baby killer whale. The whale, also known as an orca, was found on Tuesday in St. Paul. Its small size and intact condition offered a rare opportunity to study these marine mammals. September 6, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Found dead Tuesday on St. Paul Island, the newborn orca's small size and intact condition offers a rare opportunity to study these marine mammals. September 6, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Sean Doogan

Workers at the Alaska Spine Institute are adept at operating their medical scanning machines. But one patient on Friday was, let’s just say, a whale of a challenge for the imaging technicians there, who assisted biologists in gathering information about an unusual specimen.

This orca calf, 7 feet long and weighing about 250 pounds, is tiny by killer whale standards, but it is a huge opportunity for researchers from the National Marine Fisheries Service and SeaWorld.

Read more: Nuclear medicine helps researchers study pint-sized orca calf