The ocean is a deep, dark and unknown body of water that humans still don't know a lot about. Multiple different kinds of underwater species have yet to be discovered. Although, another ocean discovery has been made by a B.C. researcher who is part of a team that has found a new species of orca whales.
Jared Towers, a scientist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, is part of a research team who started searching for this new species of whale in January. The research project was led by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, also known as NOAA.
The expedition to discover this new species of whale was based on old fishing tales that date back decades. Multiple tourist photographs and fishermen stories were passed down about sightings of a different kind of orca whale, yet none of these sightings were officially documented.
After eight days of being anchored out in the waters of Chile, Canadian researcher Jared Towers and his team were finally able to spot the whales that had been talked about in multiple fishermen stories and tourist tales. Not only did they spot them, but the team had a three-hour encounter with about 30 of these whales.
This new whale species is being called the Type D whale and is considered to be part of the orca family. However, it does differ from the killer whales that we are used to seeing here in Canada, especially in British Columbia.
These Type D whales are much smaller than their BC family members. They have rounded and blunt heads and the white eyepatches that orca whales are known for are much smaller on the Type D whale.
While interacting with this pod of Type D whales, the researches also grabbed some genetic samples to officially determine if this is a new species.
Bob Pitman of NOAA shares his excitement with CTV News, stating, "Type D killer whales could be the largest undescribed animal on the planet and a clear indication of how little we know about life in our oceans,".
Fisheries and Oceans Canada also released a video of the Type D sighting on their Twitter.
A whale of a tale come true? Our scientist Jared Towers was part of an international research team led by @NOAAFisheries that may have just discovered an entirely new species of #KillerWhales off the coast of Chile! https://t.co/900RlnDNO3 pic.twitter.com/dnqfv9iKDp— Fisheries and Oceans (@FishOceansCAN) March 7, 2019
The ocean is such an amazing place!
Source: CTV News