Never-Seen-Before Whale Washes Up on New Zealand Shore http://b4in.org/c35y
A species of beaked whale known previously only from bone fragments has been seen for the first time after a mother and calf recently washed up on a New Zealand shoreline. Called the spade-toothed beaked whale, the species has understandably been hailed as the world's rarest whale.
While it's unfortunate that the first sighting of the animal comes with such a tragic scene, scientists are thrilled at the chance to learn more about this mysterious species. Until this stranding, it was unclear that the species even still existed.
“This is the first time a spade-toothed beaked whale has been seen as a complete specimen, and we were lucky enough to find two of them. It's incredible to think that, until recently, such a large animal was concealed in the South Pacific Ocean and shows how little we know about ocean biodiversity,” said lead scientist Dr. Rochelle Constantine.
Beaked whales as a group are among the least understood mammals in the world because of their elusive deep-sea, open ocean lifestyle.
None of the 21 recognized species are well known to the public; In fact, only a few of them are well known to biologists. They are characterized by their elongated beaks and their tusks, and are capable of diving to extreme depths: to over 1,000 fathoms.