Wednesday, February 05, 2014

A whale of a new species

When I was researching my book Shadows of Existence, Dr. Merel Dalebout told me she thought there were still new species of beaked whales to be discovered.

According to the paper she just co-wrote for Marine Mammal Science, she was right.

OK, the first specimen of this new whale was found in 1963 and misidentified as a known type. OK, it's a cryptic species: we didn't miss it because no one saw it: we missed it because it looked like another species (several other species, in fact).
BUT STILL: It's a new freaking WHALE.

Welcome to the genus, Mesoplodon hotaula!

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