According to a statement recently released by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a new killer whale species might have been found by an international team of scientists in southern Chile.
The whales, which are called Type D, are different from other orcas in terms of body shape and color patterns. The existence of these wales was only in tourist photographs and fishermen’s stories, so scientists could not take it for granted without seeing them with their own eyes.
In need for genetic samples, tiny bits of skin from the new killer whale species have been collected by scientists so that they could prove whether or not the science has never seen this animal.
Scientists confirmed a 1955 finding regarding a new killer whale species
According to a researcher from NOAA Fisheries’ Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, California, Bob Pitman, “we are very excited about the genetic analyses to come,” as he said in a statement. “Type D new killer whale species could be the largest undescribed animal left on the planet and a clear indication of how little we know about life in our oceans.”
In 1955, as NOAA reported, the new killer whale species was seen for the first time. Back then, 17 animals were observed stranded off the coast of New Zealand. The heads of this type of whales were more rounded compared to other killer whales, and their dorsal fin was narrower and more pointed while having a tiny white eyepatch.
The mysterious new killer whale species have been the subject of an expedition which set sail in January from Argentina and which is made out of a group of whale experts from Canada, Argentina, Australia, and the United States. Unfortunately, we do not have the results from the DNA samples the team brought back, but they will be released soon. Hopefully, this type of whales is new to science.