MAR 16, 2016 2:04 PM PDT

Scientists Find Population of Rare Whales Off Coast of Madagascar

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

New research around the Madagascar oceanic regions conducted in November of last year suggests that a rare species of whale known as Omura’s whales, may be mostly native to the area.
 

An Omura's whale and her calf in the ocean.


Dr. Salvatore Cerchio, a marine mammal biologist of the New England Aquarium who has been studying whales for over 30 years, and his colleagues reportedly discovered at least 80 of these whales in the region. This number more than doubles the record of Omura’s whales ever discovered in our oceans in the history of whale research.
 
Because of the amount of Omura’s whales in the region, Cerchio and his colleagues collected about 14 days of video and audio samples of the rare species to learn more about them. With over 80 individual whales around at the particular time, there were plenty of test subjects to choose from.

You can watch some of the wonderous video below:
 

 
During the expedition, the team even collected samples of what was believed to be the Omura’s whales’ primary prey – some plankton – as well as some stool samples located nearby. This information will help biologists understand what these animals like to eat.
 
Omura’s whales aren’t particularly known for large blows or for being large themselves and don’t show much of themselves at the surface of the ocean, so locating them and tracking them can be difficult. Underwater tracking equipment is the best resort to locating them.
 
On the New England Aquarium’s blog, Cerchio notes that he never really knows what to expect in Madagascar’s surrounding waters. One year, the whales may be present, and another year, they might not be. Regardless, this is a very important finding that will require additional attention in the future in order for scientists to learn more about the hard-to-come-by species.

Source: New England Acquarium via BBC

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
NOV 10, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
The Symmetry of Sea Stars Reveals More About Development
NOV 10, 2021
The Symmetry of Sea Stars Reveals More About Development
With time lapse photography, scientists have now learned more about the symmetry of sea stars. This work could tell us m ...
NOV 17, 2021
Health & Medicine
Apes and humans communicate similarly when completing tasks
NOV 17, 2021
Apes and humans communicate similarly when completing tasks
Whether apes can communicate with each other has been a debate for decades. They cannot speak because they do not have t ...
NOV 29, 2021
Health & Medicine
HEX and Human Aggression: Sniffing Chemicals Emitted from Babies' Heads Leads to Different Responses in Men and Women
NOV 29, 2021
HEX and Human Aggression: Sniffing Chemicals Emitted from Babies' Heads Leads to Different Responses in Men and Women
A new study published in Science Advances proposes hexadecenal as the first pheromone scientifically linked to aggr ...
JAN 10, 2022
Plants & Animals
Bleached Coral Reef Ecosystems May Still Support Nutrient-Rich Life
JAN 10, 2022
Bleached Coral Reef Ecosystems May Still Support Nutrient-Rich Life
Coral bleaching refers to the process by which coral lose their bright, vibrant colors and turn white. This happens when ...
JAN 11, 2022
Chemistry & Physics
Fire Retardant Coating Inspired by Molten Lava
JAN 11, 2022
Fire Retardant Coating Inspired by Molten Lava
While residential fires have declined over the recent decades, the uncontrollable blazes can still wreak havoc, as the r ...
JAN 13, 2022
Microbiology
Dengue Virus Makes Mosquitoes Bite More Frequently
JAN 13, 2022
Dengue Virus Makes Mosquitoes Bite More Frequently
There are parasites that can change the behavior of their hosts to make a more beneficial outcome for the parasite. Rese ...
Loading Comments...