By Elizabeth Claire Alberts When a trio of beaked whales surfaced off Mexico’s Pacific coast, researchers thought they’d found the elusive Perrin’s beaked whale ( Mesoplodon perrini ), an endangered species that’s never been officially sighted alive. But upon closer inspection, the researchers realized they may have stumbled upon something even rarer — a new species of beaked whale altogether. On Nov. 17, the research team was sailing aboard the Martin Sheen , a vessel operated by conservation group Sea Shepherd, when they spotted the three beaked whales about 160 kilometers (100 miles) north of Mexico’s San Benito Islands. They managed to capture photos and video recordings of the animals, and also dropped a specialized microphone underwater to record the animals’ acoustic signals. Two beaked whales swimming by the Sea Shepherd vessel. Sea Shepherd / CONANP "The whales, amazingly, surfaced four or five times really close to the ship," Elizabeth Henderson, a bioacoustics scientist at the Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific’s (NIWC PAC) whale acoustics reconnaissance program and one of the researchers on the expedition, told Mongabay in an interview. "They actually seemed to be circling us. We put in one of our acoustic recorders, and they kind of […]

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.