New Whale Species Discovered

Scientist have confirmed the existence of a new species of beaked whale. The yet to be named species, is said to roam the northern Pacific Ocean according to a recent publication in the Journal of Marine Mammal Science.

The black colored whale with a bulbous head and beak like a dolphin is very rare, having only been seen alive by a handful of Japanese fishermen.

The  initial discovery of the whale was made in 2013 by Japanese researchers who sampled three black beaked whales that washed up on the north coast of Hokkaido. However at that time it could not be confirmed the whale was infact a new animal, due to insufficient specimens, the limited area for testing and a lack of matching genetic samples.

That being said, it is safe to say that the species is quite rare. Phillip Morin, a National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration research molecular biologist, explains  “the discovery reminds us how much we have to learn about the ocean and even some of its largest inhabitants.”

Morin and his team were responsible for the discovery of five other whales in Alaska, that matched the species found in Japan. In a paper published, Morin’s analysis of 178 beaked whale specimens from around the Pacific Rim matched those discovered by the Japanese researchers.