Story at a glance

  • A new species of beaked whale has been formally identified in a newly-published study.
  • Named “Ramari’s beaked whale” after Māori whale expert Ramari Stewart, the newly identified species lives over 6,000 feet below the water’s surface.
  • Ramari’s beaked whale was first discovered a decade ago by Māoris from the local Makaawhio tribe when the carcass of a pregnant female washed up on New Zealand’s South Island.

A new species of beaked whale has been formally identified in a newly-published study.

Named “Ramari’s beaked whale” after Māori whale expert Ramari Stewart, the newly identified species lives over 6,000 feet below the water’s surface.

Ramari’s beaked whales “are among the most visible inhabitants of the deep sea, due to their large size and worldwide distribution, and their taxonomic diversity and much about their natural history remain poorly understood,” according to the study, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Ramari’s beaked whale was first discovered a decade ago by Māoris from the local Makaawhio tribe when the carcass of a pregnant female washed up on New Zealand’s South Island. 

Research indicates that Ramari’s has evolved over the last 500,000 years, measuring 17 feet long and weighing over a ton. It’s recognizable by its sloped head and a large tusk that points from the lower jaw up past its upper jaw, helping it feed on its favorite food: squid.


America is changing faster than ever! Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news.


This species rarely emerges to the surface and feeds 3,000 feet deep in an attempt to avoid orcas, which would eat them.

While researchers have made strides learning about the species over the last decade, the study highlights that there is still much to be uncovered about life in the deep sea.

“The Earth’s deep ocean remains less understood than the surface of Mars,” study reads. “The deep sea has been described as the last major ecological frontier, as much of its biodiversity is yet to be discovered and described.”


READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA

MORE THAN 12 MILLION INVASIVE ASIAN FISH REMOVED FROM TWO US LAKES

CHEFS DECLARE WAR ON A TRENDY FRUIT BECAUSE OF ITS ENORMOUS CARBON FOOTPRINT

NEW EGYPTIAN MUMMY DISCOVERY COULD REWRITE HISTORY

SHARP-EYED DIVER FINDS 900-YEAR OLD CRUSADER SWORD

SCIENTISTS SAY MYSTERIOUS RADIO WAVES ARE COMING FROM THE CENTER OF THE MILKY WAY

Published on Nov 08, 2021