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Nature & Environment

'Extinct' whale species discovered alive

By T.K. Randall
December 23, 2012 · Comment icon 14 comments

Image Credit: Robert Pitman / NOAA
The pygmy whale is the last living relative of a group of whales that died out millions of years ago.
The whales are quite unlike any other whale species alive today with their unusual arched frown-like snout. Growing up to only 21ft in length, the species lives out in the open ocean and remains extremely rare. It is believed that they diverged from blue whales between 17 and 25 million years ago.

"The living pygmy right whale is, if you like, a remnant, almost like a living fossil," said paleontologist Felix Marx. "It's the last survivor of quite an ancient lineage that until now no one thought was around."
The pygmy right whale, a mysterious and elusive creature that rarely comes to shore, is the last living relative of an ancient group of whales long believed to be extinct, a new study suggests.


Source: MSNBC | Comments (14)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by King Fluffs 12 years ago
Is it odd that when I read this I immediately thought "What do they taste like?" OT: Interesting article. I'd like to hear about live Megalodons next.
Comment icon #6 Posted by NikkiAidyn 12 years ago
Amazing; there is still alot out there that we don't know. It fascinates me everytime.
Comment icon #7 Posted by DieChecker 12 years ago
I thought Megalodons were shallow water animals.
Comment icon #8 Posted by lightly 12 years ago
Awesome! Love it when that happens or when "new" species are discovered.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Eonwe 12 years ago
The sea is full of many secrets. I hope we discover more and more life; and not hunt it to extinction.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Zaphod222 12 years ago
Don´t tell the Japanese! Otherwise, we will intensive "research whaling" in order to investigate what pygmy whale sushi tastes like.
Comment icon #11 Posted by leupgaru 12 years ago
there should be an international law in regards of over fishing and endangered species must be watched. there are alot of undiscovered animals that are now surfacing and that is very healthy for our environment and to the newly discovered. these chinese and japanese trollers who don't respect the environment and others rights MUST be KILL on the spot. chiwa, bakero !
Comment icon #12 Posted by OverSword 12 years ago
They're still extinct, that one accidently came through the time portal I created while escaping from Atlantis.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Hilander 12 years ago
In one part of the article they say they didn't know they were around but the next paragraph they talk about people seeing them. The relatively diminutive pygmy right whale, which grows to just 21 feet (6.5 meters) long, lives out in the open ocean. The elusive marine mammals inhabit the Southern Hemisphere and have only been spotted at sea a few dozen times. As a result, scientists know almost nothing about the species' habits or social structure.
Comment icon #14 Posted by BaneSilvermoon 12 years ago
Did anyone read the article? They didn't find any new species here, the Pygmy Right Whale has been documented since the 1840s (Far longer than species like the Beaked Whale or Brydes Whale). Yes the title was very glamorous and misleading, typical of journalism these days. This is a potentially important discovery, but it had nothing to do with any new species. They're simply saying evidence points to the Pygmy Right Whale being related to an evolutionary chain that was thought to have no modern descendants.


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