Photos: Incredible New Species Discovered in 2016 – Live Science

It took years, but scientists finally realized that a rarely seen whale isn’t merely a dwarf or a juvenile common Baird’s beaked whale (Berardius bairdii), but an entirely new species.

One of the clues that gave it away was its size. The elusive whale, which lives in the North Pacific, is 24 feet long (7 meters), smaller than the 40-foot (12 m) Baird’s beaked whale. What’s more, the Baird’s whale is slate gray, and the newfound whale is black, earning it the nickname “karasu,” the Japanese word for “raven.”

A genetic study confirmed that the karasu is a previously unknown species. However, it is related to the Baird’s whale, meaning that the two share a common ancestor, the researchers said. [Read the full story on the rare whale]


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