A whale that is almost unknown to science (the spade-toothed beaked whale, Mesoplodon traversii) has been seen for the first time after 2 individuals—a mother and her calf—were stranded and died on a New Zealand beach.
“This is the first time this species has ever been seen as a complete specimen, and we were lucky enough to find two of them,” says Rochelle Constantine of the University of Auckland. “Up until now, all we have known about the spade-toothed beaked whale was from 3 partial skulls collected from New Zealand and Chile over a 140-year period. It is remarkable that we know almost nothing about such a large mammal.”
Posts tagged new zealand.
Blue penguins are released on Mt Maunganui beach after they were cleaned up following an oil spill caused by cargo ship Rena. The cargo ship ran aground on New Zealand’s Astrolabe Reef on 5 October 2011, leaking oil into the Bay of Plenty and affecting the wildlife. Picture: EPA/GRAEME BROWN
An oil-coated penguin is given a bath by staff at the Tauranga Wastewater Treatment Wildlife Facility on Oct. 18 in Tauranga, New Zealand. Salvage crews continue to pump oil out of the wrecked container ship Rena in an effort to remove as much as possible before bad weather moves in, which may result in the release of even more oil into the sea. At least 300 tons of oil have leaked from Rena since the ship hit the reef on Oct. 5.
MNN’s photos of the week
Want to help the penguins? Make them jumpers! (Knitting skillz required)