Scientists Solving Mystery Of World’s Rarest Whales Off The Coast Of Madagascar

Posted: Mar 4 2016, 4:30am CST | by , Updated: Mar 6 2016, 8:34pm CST, in News | Latest Science News

 
Scientists Solving Mystery of World’s Rarest Whales off the Coast of Madagascar
Omura's whale mother and calf
  • Researchers decode Enigma of Rare Species of Whale off the Coast of Madagascar

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About ten years ago, a researcher went to Madagascar to observe the dolphins that dwelt off its coastal regions. However, he began to notice an even more interesting thing.

A special species of whale thrived in the area and it caught the attention of the researcher. Termed the Omura Whale, it was spotted in the coastal waters of Madagascar in 2013. The researcher and his team of experts recorded 80 sightings of the enigmatic whale in 2015.

This whale was observed for a certain span of time since it was mistakenly thought to be another species. This was none other than the Bryde’s Whale.

Until a dozen years ago, it was confused with the Omura Whale. Omura Whales were thought to be Bryde’s Whales since they weren’t normally found in the region.

The traditional stomping ground of the Omura Whales was the Pacific Region and the Indian Ocean near Australia. It was only after a number of sightings that the differentiation was even possible.

Once the researchers came to know the reality of the situation they were amazed. The Omura Whale is very rare and it has never been studied in the wild. In particular, it has not been found anywhere near Madagascar before.

Last year, the researcher released the first video clip of the whale in the wild. The predation and reproduction strategies of this mammal were also noted down. The whales range in length from 33 to 38 feet.

They normally feed on tiny shrimp called euphasids. A ton of data about their eating behavior was collected and this is a treasurehouse of oceanographic knowledge.

These whales spend most of their lives close to the tropical regions. It comes as somewhat of a surprise since the tropics are an area that makes for difficult survival.

The waters are a virtual wasteland when it comes to providing food for the whales. It was a handful of mothers along with their baby calfs that were living off the coast of Madagascar.

Furthermore, acoustic information was gathered regarding their calls to each other. The whales almost seem to be singing to each other. This was an intriguing discovery for the researchers. Moreover, the whales have also been found to thrive off the coast of Mauritania.

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