Scientists working off of the western coast of Mexico said that they have discovered a previously unknown species of whale
Three beaked whales were spotted last month by a team of scientists who were working within the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society near the San Benito Islands at the time, which is located around 300 miles from the US border, according to a press release that was published Tuesday.
Genetic sampling will be implemented in order to confirm whether these whales are indeed a new species. The team had originally set out to try to find out what kind of whales had been making an unidentified acoustic signal that was previously recorded within the area.
This comes after Beavers have built their first dam in Exmoor in more than 400 years. The semi-aquatic rodents, which had created the dam at the Holnicote Estate near Minehead after restoration work by the National Trust, are the first to have been released into the wild by the trust in its 125-year long history.
Experts in the field of Beaked whales, who were working alongside Sea Shepherd’s scientific department, had managed to take photographs, as well as video recordings of the three sighted whales, and they also recorded their acoustic signals using underwater microphones.
Whales, and all cetaceans, have distinct and unique acoustic signals that they use for communication and echolocation. The water is a much different medium than air, so these tools allow the species to thrive in their harsh environment.
The scientific researchers Gustavo Cárdenas Hinojosa, Jay Barlow and Elizabeth Henderson are “highly confident” that these sighted animals are a new species of whale, according to the press statement. Genetic sampling will be used in order to confirm whether they are correct.
Dr Jay Barlow said:
“We saw something new. Something that was not expected in this area, something that doesn’t match, either visually or acoustically, anything that is known to exist,”
“It just sends chills up and down my spine when I think that we might have accomplished what most people would say was truly impossible — finding a large mammal that exists on this earth that is totally unknown to science.”
This comes after Coca-Cola has been branded the world’s worst plastic polluter for the third year in a row, in a damning report that further reveals the scale of the global plastic crisis. In its annual audit of plastic waste found on beaches, rivers, parks and communities across the globe, Break Free From Plastic found Coca-Cola bottles were by far the worst offender.
Each whale species emits a unique acoustic signal underwater and this sound has never been recorded before, plus initial analysis of the whales’ physical characteristics suggests this is a new species, according to the team.
“The discovery of a new species of beaked whale proves how much mystery there is left to discover in the oceans that our captains, crews, and research partners fight to defend,” said Peter Hammarstedt, Director of Campaigns for Sea Shepherd.