VIA – EARTH SKY
Rare whales filmed first time ever near Australia
By Deborah Byrd Feb 24, 2012
Big news from blue whale researchers in February 2012. The Agence France-Presse (AFP) news agency reported yesterday (February 23) that the researchers happened upon a group of Shepherd’s beaked whales aka Tasman beaked whales, which have been spotted only a handful of times in the past. The researchers glimpsed a dozen or so whales traveling in a pod off the coast of southern Australia. Michael Double of the Australian Antarctic Division team told the AFP:
These animals are practically entirely known from stranded dead whales, and there haven’t been many of them.
It surprised researchers to find the Shepherd’s beaked whales traveling in a pod, because they had believed that these whales were solitary creatures.
Shepherd’s beaked whales are so rarely seen that researchers do not have a population estimate.
Double told AFP:
To find them in a pod is very exciting and will change the guide books. Our two whale experts will now carefully study the footage to work out the whale sizes and so on and prepare a scientific paper.
The AFP notes that the Shepherd’s beaked whale was first discovered in 1937 but…
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