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 15, 2018
Plants & Animals
AUG 15, 2018
Even Newer Pesticides Threaten Bees, Study Finds
Bees and other vital pollinators have experienced significant population declines in the face of widespread pesticide usage, especially in the case of neon...
AUG 20, 2018
Plants & Animals
AUG 20, 2018
Worker Ants Intelligently Regulate Tunnel-Digging Efforts to Avoid Jams
At first glance, any burrows look just like tiny dirt mounds on the ground. But just beneath these inconspicuous little mounds are complex mazes comprised ...
SEP 10, 2018
Plants & Animals
SEP 10, 2018
Does the Weather Impact Your Likelihood of Being Bitten by a Rattlesnake?
Venomous snakes, especially rattlesnakes, sport a somewhat salty reputation for biting humans when threatened in their natural habitat. Another frequently-...
SEP 18, 2018
Plants & Animals
SEP 18, 2018
Study Investigates Why People Like Bees and Dislike Wasps
Bees and wasps share a lot in common; the clear majority of both sport the familiar black and yellow color scheme, retain unpleasant stingers for self-defe...
SEP 19, 2018
Plants & Animals
SEP 19, 2018
This African Bird is New to Science, and Conservationists Say It's Already in Trouble
Endemic to Africa’s mid-elevation forest space is the Willard’s Sooty Boubou, a bird species that, up until recently, wasn’t recognized b...
SEP 19, 2018
Plants & Animals
SEP 19, 2018
Here's How to Tell if Your Dog Actually Likes You
Good dog owners love their pet unconditionally, but how can you be sure that your dog loves you back? For some, the answer is obvious; but for those curiou...
Loading Comments...