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HomeEnvironmentEnv NewsBeaked Whales Researchers Think They Spotted New Whale Species Off Mexico

Beaked Whales Researchers Think They Spotted New Whale Species Off Mexico

News Link: Beaked Whales Researchers Think They Spotted New Whale Species Off Mexico – By MK (Editor)

Researchers believe they have found a previously unknown species of beaked whale in waters off Mexico’s western coast. If confirmed, the new species would mark a significant discovery among giant mammals.

The team of researchers came upon three unusual specimens while tracking a different, rare species of typically shy beaked whales. Spotted near Mexico’s remote San Benito Islands, about 300 miles south (500 km) of the U.S. border.

“These animals popped to the surface right next to the boat.” said Jay Barlow, a marine mammal biologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego.

“It was just a phenomenal encounter. It’s rare to even see a beaked whale and to find a friendly group of beaked whales, it’s even rarer,”

Barlow and his colleagues on the trip, led by the non-profit Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. They did not realize they were seeing a potential new species until later when studying photos they took of the animals. The whales’ teeth were unusually placed, Barlow said.

Underwater recordings of the whales’ calls also suggested they were unique, he said.

The scientists are now awaiting the analysis of water samples that could hold skin cells for possible DNA testing. This will lead to confirm whether the whales are a new species, Barlow said.

Beaked whales named for their pointy, dolphin-like snouts. They are found mostly in remote waters, such as off the San Benito Islands.

Though up to 5 meters long. They can be hard for scientists to observe as they tend to swim and feed mostly at depths of around 914 meters. Surfacing only occasionally for air. At such depths, the animals have a better chance of avoiding their main predator, killer whales

Also, read More News at Environment Segment

News Link: Beaked Whales Researchers Think They Spotted New Whale Species Off Mexico – By MK (Editor)

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