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23 September 2019

New Species Of Whale Discovered In Pacific

A brand new species of beaked whale that lives in the North Pacific Ocean has been discovered in Japan.

The new whale has been given the scientific name Berardius minimus, and is thought to be closely related to Baird's beaked whale. This new whale can grow up to seven metres long and is smaller than Baird’s beaked whale, has a shorter beak and darker body colour.

It is amazing to think that this 7m-long whale has not been discovered before! Beaked whales live in deep waters and they do not stay at the surface for very long at all between dives. This means they are hard to spot and studying them is very difficult. Several new beaked whales have been found in recent years, some have only been identified from the bones of dead whales found stranded on beaches.

Baird's beaked whales are hunted in Japan and whalers talked about two types of Baird’s beaked whales, one of which was a darker, smaller version. The whale was known locally as “kuro-tsuchi”, meaning Black Baird's beaked whale. Now we know this whale is a brand new species.

Baird's beaked whale

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