Just a couple of days ago, the world became convinced that there are still many secrets in the depths of the ocean. Scientists from NOAA have confirmed that previously encountered unusual whales are not Bryde's whales. Research has shown that these are members of a new species named Balaenoptera ricei, after renowned cetologist Dale Rice. He was the first to spot these whales and began studying their taxonomy.
The published work is based on data collected during observations, as well as the dissection of a whale stranded in 2018. This made it possible to study the individual and carry out the necessary tests without killing or harming a representative of a rare species. At the moment, only 33-44 individuals are known in the US waters. These are the only baleen whales permanently living in the Gulf of Mexico, other species migrate through this region. The new species weighs 30 tons and is distinguished by three folds on the sides in the upper jaw region. So far, little is known about the lifespan of these animals, but their closest relatives live on average about 60 years.