Animals & Wildlife Magazine

New Zealand Claims First Sighting of Rare Whale

By Frontiergap @FrontierGap

The rare spade-toothed beaked whale (Mesoplodon traversii) has been seen for the first time on a New Zealand beach. The species was previously only known from bones from incomplete skulls that scientists had found over 140 year period, in 1872, 1950 and 1986. This new sighting occurred after a mother and her male calf were washed up and stranded on the beach.

First Sighting of Rare Whale

Image Courtesy of NOAA Photo Library

The whales were first identified as a common species – the Gray’s beaked whale. However after DNA from the animals were examined it was found that they were one of the rarest living mammals - the spade-toothed beaked whale.

Although this unknown species died on Opape Beach, the finding still allows scientists to find out more about the animal and to know that they are still present in our oceans. The whale is over five metres in length and can be identified by its black beak and dark-coloured eye patch; however all of the beaked whale families are similar in appearance and DNA plays an important role in the correct identification of each individual species.

There are 21 different species of beaked whales but little is known about any of them. A new species was even discovered in 2002.

Some scientists who wrote about the findings in the Current Biology journal believe one reason so little is known about this large species is because they tend to live deep in the ocean where marine research has not been carried out. The beaked whales live in the South Pacific Ocean which is 85 million square kilometres and makes up 14% of the earth’s surface.  New discoveries show how much more there still is to know about the world’s oceans.

First Sighting of Rare Whale


Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Influential Conservation Papers of 2015

    Influential Conservation Papers 2015

    As I did last year and the year before, here’s another arbitrary, retrospective list of the top 20 influential conservation papers of 2015 as assessed via... Read more

    By  Bradshaw
    ENVIRONMENT
  • In Defense of Finn/Poe

    Defense Finn/Poe

    [Star Wars spoilers ahead] Having now seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens four times in eight days, I’m thoroughly obsessed with the movie and have become... Read more

    By  Brute Reason
    SOCIETY, WOMEN'S ISSUES
  • Roatan Review: Barefoot Cay & Barefoot Divers

    Roatan Review: Barefoot Divers

    There's only one place I recommend to travelers looking for the absolute ultimate in luxury during their stay on Roatan, and that's Barefoot Cay Resort. A... Read more

    By  Cubiclethrowdown
    TRAVEL
  • Don't Be "The Isolator" Christian

    Don't "The Isolator" Christian

    Contrary to popular current sentiment, from those who condescend about "religion" and "the church" and its "hypocrites," and claim to be able to "do God" on... Read more

    By  Elizabethprata
    SOCIETY, SPIRITUALITY
  • From My Heart to Your Gag Reflex: Worst Christmas Album Covers…for Now

    Just when you thought that warm fuzzy feeling is from the holidays, think again… lostnchina Most Benevolent LReader: I’ve been negligent in blogging this year,... Read more

    By  Lostnchina
    HUMOR, LOVE & SEX
  • Social Saturdays Volume 12

    Social Saturdays Volume

    Have no fear, because in between seeing Star Wars and setting up Grinch traps, our staff this holiday week has not forsaken the vast frozen tundra of the world... Read more

    By  Christopher De Voss
    HUMOR
  • Kaabil Starring Hrithik Roshan And Yami Gautam

    Kaabil Starring Hrithik Roshan Yami Gautam

    Kaabil starring Hrithik and Yami officially Announced today Kaabil: Producer Rakesh Roshan and Director Sanjay Gupta Hrithik Roshan and Yami Gautam quite excite... Read more

    The 08 February 2016 by   Jaideep Khanduja
    BOOKS, CULTURE