Unprecedented Footage Surfaces Of One Of The World’s Most Elusive Whales

The first ever underwater footage of the elusive True’s beaked whales in their natural habitat has been captured by researchers from the Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling at the University of St. Andrew’s in Scotland.

The footage documents two adult True’s beaked whales, difficult to distinguish from other species until now, swimming with a calf near the Azores Islands in the North Atlantic.

A new color pattern for these deep-water whales was also discovered on the whales, according to a paper published in PeerJ, along with the video featured above, offering significant new information about this rare sub-species that will help “marine biologists to better monitor the status of individuals and work to conserve the species.”

A noticeable white mark extends from the top of the whale’s head back to its blowhole above its eyes.

“This coloration contrasts with previous descriptions for the species may be rare,” note researchers in their study, “but it exemplifies the variability of the colouration of True’s beaked whales in the North Atlantic, further confirmed here by live sightings data.”

Other distinguishing traits of this elusive species include the facts that they live far offshore in extremely deep waters and spend 92 percent of their time underwater; sometimes for up to two hours at a time.

There are currently only 22 known beaked whale species in the world.

Source: Gizmado

Photo Credit: whaleman.org

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