Featured Image Credit: Roland Edler, PeerJ
Have you ever heard of a True’s beaked whale? Unless you’re a serious cetacean enthusiast, the answer is probably a “no”.
But don’t feel bad!
Until recently, they hadn’t been caught on film. At all.
A whole species, eluding scientists like Natacha Aguilar de Soto, a marine biologist with the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and the University of La Laguna in the Canary Islands, who has spent 15 years studying the 22 species of beaked whales. And more often than not, she doesn’t come out of her days of searching with very much at all.
“Imagine, these are animals the size of elephants that we just can’t find. They’re a mystery.” Dr Aguilar de Soto shared with the Washington Post.
In 2013, students visiting Azores in Portugal took a video that was very recently released alongside a paper by Dr Natacha Aguilar de Soto and other researchers concerning the True’s beaked whale (mesoplodon mirus), a species of the beaked whale so rare that very few people have seen them alive.
The paper and the video are bringing new attention and information about the True’s beaked whale, since most of what has been gathered so far has been due to strandings and other sightings. The researchers behind the paper used that as well as the video to compile the information into one piece.
There’s more to be learned about the True’s beaked whales, such as population size, more about their behavior, and their migration habits, which can be learned from footage and information like these. The study may offer researchers and scientists a new way to locate and track these cetaceans in the future, and we’re certainly looking forward to it!