A research team from the institute of deep oceanology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing has published a paper in the journal Integrative Zoology.
The paper “First live sighting of Deraniyagala's beaked whale (Mesoplodon hotaula Deraniyagala, 1963) or ginkgo-toothed beaked whale (Mesoplodon gingkodens Nishiwaki & Kamiya, 1958) in the western Pacific (South China Sea) with preliminary data on coloration, natural markings and surfacing patterns” for the first time describes the body color patterns, scar patterns and surface behavior of mysterious beaked whales.
From April to May 2019, the research team carried out a deep-diving research mission in the northern waters of South China Sea and witnessed three mysterious beaked whales. They were preliminarily believed to be ginkgo-toothed beaked whales or Deraniyagala’s beaked whales.
Neither the ginkgo-toothed beaked whale nor the Deraniyagala’s beaked whale has ever been seen alive at sea before. The understanding of these animals came from knowledge of a few stranded and dead individuals. The team’s discovery is the world’s first clear sighting of a living individual of the ginkgo-toothed beaked whales or the Deraniyagala’s beaked whales at sea.
(Compiled by Liu Kechen)