Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Spade-Toothed Beaked Whale - Who Knew?

ap new zealand rare whale jt 121106 wblog Worlds Rarest Whale Found on New Zealand Beach
(Photo: New Zealand Department of Conservation via AP)

Who knew in 2010 when a whale and her calf beached themselves in New Zealand that a new species would be discovered?  Thought to be another species, the whales were buried in the sand.  Only recently, DNA samples were done to show that this was a new species.

Previously, this species was only speculated from two skull fragments and a mandible until DNA tests were done on the beached whales.  In the latest issue of Current Biology, it was revealed that the Spade-Toothed Beaked Whale is indeed the rarest whale, and one of the most rare living mammals, in the world.  The whales will be dug out of the sand for further testing.

The Spade-Toothed Beaked Whale species is thought to dive deep, feeding mainly on squid, however it is difficult to know for sure since there has never been a sighting in the wild.

It makes you wonder what else is out there that has yet to be discovered.

Taiji Update
For those of you who are new followers, every year in a small, hidden cove in Taiji Japan, bottle-nosed and Risso dolphins as well as pilot whales are driven in by fisherman using large metal poles banging on the sides of their boats.

Once in the coves, they are netted and await their fate for sometimes days at a time.  A chosen few are taken for a life of captivity in various waterparks while the others are brutally slaughtered, left to bleed to death, for their meat.

This hunt goes on from September through May.

On Halloween, a pod of approximately 100 pilot whales were driven into the cove.  After being netted overnight in close quarters after a stressful drive, 15 of the whales were killed.  The others waited again, some watching their own family members being murdered in front of their eyes swimming in their blood.  Later they were released.

By this time, the pod was stressed, injured, confused and hungry.  A calf had been drowned in the net and another was found floating outside the cove.  They were clearly not able to handle this type of abuse.

This morning, another pod of Risso dolphins have been driven into the Cove.  Two were quickly taken for a life of captivity, a newborn calf was released with no mother, and the rest were slaughtered.

It's time for this to end!

Please consider signing the petition below:


  1. The 'cove slaughter' of these precious mammals breaks my heart.

  2. Hi Heather
    I'll sign the petition and share your new blog on mine. I love these animals and I hope that those that still hunt them will stop.