New whale species surfaces


Beaked whales are least known groups of mammals in the world as they mostly prefer deep sea and spend large part of their time thousands of metres below the waves. There is great news with the scientists tracing a new species of beaked whale near San Benito Islands off Mexico’s Pacific coast.

The researchers on board a Sea Shepherd vessel claimed that the species that they came across differed visually and acoustically from other beaked whale species. They took pictures and video graphed, did environmental genetic mapping and recorded the sound of the whales to prove that that the species was different from others. It was on November 17 that the team spotted three beaked whales.

Jay Barlow, a marine mammal researcher with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization, said that it was a real new species. The researcher said that the species that they found was totally different in seeing and in the sounds that they produced.

Barlow said that all his team are much excited to have come across the new beaked whale species.

Some researchers told the media that the beaked whales came so close to the ship. They even dropped an acoustic recorder to trace the sounds. The scientists said that the beaked whales communicated through echolocation clicks that were above the frequency of human hearing. When analysing the sound, they found that   it was different from the earlier known beaked whales.  Moreover, the physical features were also different.

Earlier the scientists believed that there were only two species of beaked whales. However, they have found about 23 species over the years.


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