Scientists have discovered a hitherto unknown species of whale in Mexico. Three whales, which acoustically or visually do not resemble the species previously known, were spotted last month, about 500 miles from the U.S. border, near the San Benito Islands.
The team was trying to figure out which species of whales were emitting an unknown acoustic signal that had been recorded in the area so far. Together with experts, the Sea Shepherd Science Department decided to capture a video of these whales. They also recorded acoustic signals with the help of an underwater microphone.
Researchers Gustavo Cardenas, Jay Barlow and Elizabeth Henderson are “deeply convinced” that the findings suggest a new species of whale. In addition, however, genetic research is planned to confirm this finding.
“We saw something new. Something we did not expect in this place, which is neither acoustically nor visually consistent with the existing species-related knowledge,” Barlow said. “A mammal of such size that nothing was known to science until now.”
It is noteworthy that each species of whale emits a unique acoustic signal underwater, while the newly discovered whale, which is likely to be a new species, displays a sound signal that was previously unknown to science.
The discovery of a new species of whale proves how little we know about organisms living deep in the ocean, and this knowledge does not seem to depend solely on their size.