World's Rarest Whale Is Seen for the First Time

Spade-toothed beaked whales are almost unknown to science

This November, the journal Current Biology witnessed the publication of a new study describing the spade-toothed beaked whale, a species of marine mammals which is considered to be the rarest in the world and pretty much unknown to science.

Apparently, the spade-toothed beaked whale got to step under the spotlight after a mother and a calf somehow got stranded on a beach in New Zealand and died shortly after.

Thus, scientists no longer had to resort to simply studying bones belonging to this species in order to make head and tail of their characteristics, Eurek Alert reports.

“This is the first time this species—a whale over five meters in length—has ever been seen as a complete specimen, and we were lucky enough to find two of them,” explains Rochelle Constantine from the University of Auckland.

Furthermore, “Up until now, all we have known about the spade-toothed beaked whale was from three partial skulls collected from New Zealand and Chile over a 140-year period.”

These two whales were discovered back in December 2010, yet up until now researchers have been quite busy performing DNA tests.

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