Researchers believe that they have found a new species of beaked whale off Mexico’s western Pacific coast, a U.S. marine mammal biologist announced last week.
Jay Barlow, a retired adjunct professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, said his team spotted three unusual specimens on Nov. 17 near Mexico’s remote San Benito Islands, about 500 kilometers south of the U.S. border.
The beaked whales look and sound different from the approximately 23 other known species, according to the professor.
The team was sailing in the sea in mid-November, in hopes of identifying the source of an unidentified acoustic signal, when it came upon the new beaked whales, which actually swam up near their ship, Barlow said.
The researchers have taken samples in the waters to try to determine whether this is a new species.
Beaked whales, which are smaller than many other whales, have a sort of beaked, dolphin-like nose.
Their habits are little known since they dive to great depths.
…Dec. 15, 2020