Researchers working off the remote western coast of Mexico's Baja California say they have discovered a previously unknown whale species.
Three beaked whales were originally spotted last month by a team of scientists working for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. These individuals were observed diving near the San Benito Islands, roughly 300 miles south of the US border. Several days later, a press release confirmed the sighting.
For scientists, the next step is to collect a genetic sample. This process will help determine whether the whales are, in fact, a new species. It will also help the team decide whether this is the animal that was recently recorded making a previously unidentified acoustic signal nearby. Beaked whale experts currently working alongside Sea Shepherd's scientific team were able to capture photographs as well as audio and video recordings of the three whales.
While further evidence is still required to confirm the news officially, researchers say that they are highly confident that these animals constitute a new species! And, that's great news, not only for Mexico's coast - but for whales all around the world. It also proves how much mystery there is left to discover in our planet's oceans - and it's this natural beauty that Sea Shepherd's captains, crews, and research partners fight so hard to defend.