Researchers find New Whale Species buried in Smithsonian
A newly identified species of whale has been named after Herman Melville's Moby-Dick. The sperm whale got a revision, but its discovery is about 90-year-old old. Researchers speculate that the whale was actually a beast. They were big, but there family tree was small as only three living species are known today.
Researchers examined the whale’s fossil history and found that the family was once filled with variety of whales of various sizes and shapes. Now, the researchers have added a new sperm whale species to array Albicetus oxymycterus.
A new study published in the journal PLOS ONE examined history of a whale whose remains were found near Santa Barbara, California in 1925. That time, researchers designated the fossil as a walrus and put its white-gray rostrum, jaws, and teeth in storage at the Smithsonian Institution in Washinton, DC.
Nicholas Pyenson, Smithsonian marine mammal curator and an author of the study, said when the remains were uncovered, researchers didn’t know they unearthed a new species of sperm whale. After about nine decades, other researchers found that the fossil has conical teeth, which means it is not a walrus as the animal’s tusks are more flattened, Pyenson explained.
“They’d mention it in footnotes in papers, but no one did the job of studying it taxonomically and giving it a new name”, Pyenson added. To know about the new species, the researchers reexamined the remains and created a 3 D model. They found that the fossil was of a new species.
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