Researchers working off the coast of Madagascar have captured the first-ever footage of the elusive Omura’s whales, a species so rare that scientists have no idea how many there are in the world.
The Omura’s whale is so rare and little-known that there hasn’t been a single confirmed sighting in the wild by scientists… until now:
There have been a handful of possible sightings of Omura’s whales in recent years, but nothing that was able to be confirmed.
Until now, the only Omura’s whales that have been found were dead , and those were initially mistaken for the larger Bryde’s whales until DNA tests revealed them to be a different species.
Along with the video footage, the researchers used photographs to catalog about 25 individual whales, including four mothers with young calves. They were also able to record whale vocalizations they believe might indicate reproductive behavior.
Details about the discovery were recently published in the journal Royal Society Open Science.