Pygmy right whales, new discoveries


This video says about itself:

Walvis Bay, Namibia (14.2.2013) Very few people have ever seen a pygmy right whale. This kind of whale belongs to the smallest whales and can reach about 6 meters in length and 3,500 kg and lives only in the southern hemisphere.

This one was a young female of about 4 meters and 500 kg. Many people were involved in this rescue. Thanks to Antonie Potgieter and colleagues at the saltworks, who stood by until the rest of the rescue-team like Naude Dreyer & Nico Robberts, three tourists (Lionel Husser, Peter Poller and Marc Vogt) from France, Namibia and Switzerland and the Namibian Dolphin Project Team arrived and helped the poor fellow to bring it back to the sea. We will never forget this unbelievable moment in our life.

From Science News:

Ancient whale turns up on wrong side of the world

The rarely seen pygmy right whale may once have cruised northern waters

by Laurel Hamers

12:00pm, October 9, 2017

A new discovery is turning the hemispheric history of a mysterious whale species upside-down. Two fossils recently unearthed in Italy and Japan suggest that a southern whale was briefly a denizen of northern waters more than half a million years ago.

Until now, all available evidence suggested that the pygmy right whale, Caperea marginata, and its ancestors have been steadfast Southern Hemisphere residents for the past 10 million years.

Pygmy right whales are so rarely sighted that scientists know very little about their lifestyle, and the fossil record is sparse, too. The new Northern Hemisphere fossils both closely resemble other confirmed specimens of the whales, researchers report October 9 in Current Biology. The fossils include a fragmented skull with ear bones dating to 0.5 to 0.9 million years ago, and a bone containing parts of the middle and inner ear that’s 1.7 million to 1.9 million years old.

Glaciation near the South Pole during the Pleistocene Ice Age may have temporarily pushed Caperea further north, the researchers propose. Then, as the glaciers melted, the whale migrated south again. Because the new fossils are separated in age by about a million years, it’s hard to say whether the whales crossed the equator multiple times or briefly established a longer-term population in the Northern Hemisphere.

Researchers show that right whales, already an endangered species, may face a dim future: here.

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3 thoughts on “Pygmy right whales, new discoveries

  1. Pingback: Humpback whales’ breath, new research | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Dinosaur age lizard footprints discovery | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: African Triassic paleontology, new study | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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