12 December 20
From the Strange Sea Stories File, this was posted by the BBC on Friday: Three whales spotted off the coast off Mexico are thought to be a previously unknown species. Researchers found the mammals while tracking beaked whales near the San Benito Islands in late November.
Jay Barlow, a marine mammal biologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, said: “They surfaced close to the boat, and then they came to us. Over the next several days as we reviewed the data and photographs and acoustics we collected, it became clear we saw something new, something that doesn’t match either visually or acoustically anything that’s known to exist.”
The scientists are now awaiting the DNA analysis of water samples that could hold skin cells for possible DNA testing to confirm whether the whales are a new species. If confirmed, it would bring the number of known beaked whale species to 24.