The world’s rarest whale, previously known only from skeletal remains, has been seen for the first time after a cow and its calf washed up on a New Zealand beach.
In the 140 years since they were first discovered, the only sign that the creatures’ continued existence lay in two partial skulls found in New Zealand in the 1950s and Chile in 1986.
Now scientists have reported a complete description of the whales, which are thought to spend most of their lives in the deep waters of the Pacific Ocean, only rarely coming to the surface.
The cow and male calf were stranded on Opape Beach at the northern tip of New Zealand in December 2010 but were initially thought to be of a much more common species known as Gray’s beaked whales.
It was only after routine DNA analysis that experts realized their true identity.
Source: The Telegraph