Shepherd’s Beaked Whale: Photographed First By The Australian Antarctic Division Team (Photo)

By on Feb 24, 2012 in Animals, Science Comments
Shepherd's Beaked Whale

Shepherd’s Beaked Whale
Image Credit: The Australian Antarctic Division Team

A Shepherd’s beaked whale was spotted by the Australian Antarctic Division team while tracking blue whales off the coast of Australia‘s Victoria state, according to reports by several international news sites on Thursday, February 23, 2011. (Check out VIDEO of Shepherd’s beaked whale here)

Reports say that Shepherd’s beaked whales are reclusive mammals and are rarely seen. Due to its low visibility, the estimated population of these whales cannot be established by the Australian environment department.

Michael Double, leader of the Australian group of scientist, said that there were only two confirmed sightings of the Shepherd’s beaked whale, first seen in 1937. The Australian group were the first to take a photograph of the rare mammal.

In an statement, Double described the Shepherd’s beaked whales to be “entirely known from stranded dead whales, and there haven’t been many of them. They are an offshore animal, occupying deep water, and when they surface it is only for a very short period of time.”

The team of Double were able to belie earlier belief that Shepherd’s beaked whales travel alone. Researchers were able to see about a dozen Shepherd’s beaked whales traveling in a group.

Related blog post: Shepherd’s beaked whale video

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