MAR 16, 2016 02:04 PM PDT

Scientists Find Population of Rare Whales Off Coast of Madagascar

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
AUG 21, 2018
Plants & Animals
AUG 21, 2018
2018: An Unlucky Year for Manatees?
Concerned animal conservationists have taken the stage to warn about some somewhat unsettling news in the marine mammal world. As it would seem, there&rsqu...
AUG 24, 2018
Earth & The Environment
AUG 24, 2018
What's the deal with Florida's red tide?
Have you ever seen a red tide? If you live in Florida near the coast, it’s unlikely that you’ve been able to avoid them. But do you really unde...
SEP 19, 2018
Genetics & Genomics
SEP 19, 2018
Forensic Efforts To Combat Ivory Poaching
Scientists are using DNA testing to identify poaching hotspots, and criminal networks....
OCT 23, 2018
Plants & Animals
OCT 23, 2018
Will This Technology Prevent Future Shark Attacks?
  The frequency of great white shark attacks is thought to be over-estimated by a magnitude of 10 to 100 times, but despite what any shark expert want...
OCT 24, 2018
Videos
OCT 24, 2018
What are the Oilbirds?
The Oilbird (Steatornis caripensis) are practically bats except the fact that they are actually birds. More specifcially, they are a nocturnal frugivore in...
NOV 07, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 07, 2018
Why Are Fruit Flies Attracted to Rotting Fruit Smell?
Fruit flies are the staple pests in the kitchen during summer. As much as these unwelcomed guests enjoy sucking up sugary juice, they are actually more att...
Loading Comments...