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One Of the World's Rarest Whales Captured On Film For The First Time (Video)

First Posted: Mar 08, 2017 03:56 AM EST
First Underwater Video Of True´s Beaked Whales
True's beaked whales with torpedo shape are considered one of the world's rarest whales.
(Photo : PeerJ/YouTube screenshot)

One of the world's rarest whales known as the True's beaked whales has been filmed by the researchers for the first time. The study published in the journal PeerJ gathered sightings in the Azores and Canary Islands.

The researchers led by Aguilar de Soto, a marine biologist at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and the University of La Laguna in the Canary Islands, could not believe that they saw True's beaked whales. They said that beaked whales are vulnerable to human impacts. This is because of the mass stranding that was linked to naval exercises using intense sonar signals to identify submarines. The whales also washed up on the beach with plastic in their stomach, entangled in fishing gear or suffering cuts from boat propellers, according to Science Alert.

The film was released last Tuesday and this was the first ever film capturing the True's beaked whales in the wild. This could aid in understanding how to protect the species and to know more of their behaviors and appearance. Experts are having difficulties in identifying them because they are rarely seen and their population is unclear, too.

De Soto said that they do not know how large the populations of True's beaked whales or any other species are. She further said that the populations could decline and they would never know.

Meanwhile, True's beaked whales' bodies are torpedo-shaped and they have pockets on their sides, wherein they can tuck their flippers. These make them more hydrodynamic. The researchers do not know how deep they can swim because they have never been tagged. On the other hand, it is reported that True's beaked whales are champion divers. They can spend hours underwater in a single breath of air, according to The Washington Post.

De Soto said that beaked whales are an incredible example of the adaptations of mammals to the ocean. She further said that they overcome incredible physiological challenges to dive. This means they are very sensitive to anything that changes or challenges the physiological balance.

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