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Thread: A Rare Baleen Whale Omura's Whale sighted

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    Lightbulb A Rare Baleen Whale Omura's Whale sighted

    Extraordinarily Rare Whale Sighting – Omura’s Whale


    While MERS Director Heidi Krajewsky and her husband Stephen Anstee were travelling on board SV Narama in New Caledonia in the Southwest Pacific earlier this year, they encountered an extraordinarily rare and exciting whale.
    At the time we took this for a Bryde’s Whale but the field characters just didn’t fit; this animal does not have three rostral ridges, which a Bryde’s does.

    After studying the photos and sending them to other taxonomists for confirmation we can say that this was indeed an Omura’s Whale (Balaenoptera omurai). Note the white lower jaw similar to a Fin Whale; the somewhat erect and hooked dorsal fin which does not occur in Fin Whales.

    Very little is known about this species which was only first described in 2003 (Wada et al. 2003).
    The genetic identity was determined from nine specimens. Of the nine whales, one was a whale stranded in the southern Sea of Japan near Oyama in 1998; and eight were obtained under “scientific permit” for Bryde’ Whales. Of these eight, six whales were taken in the Solomon Sea in 1976 (Ohsumi 1978) and two from near the Cocos (Keeling) Islands in 1978 (Ohsumi 1980) . Source: ICUN Red List of Threatened Species.

    The largest female of these nine whales was 11.5 m and the largest male was 9.6 m. Like Fin Whales, Omura’s jaws are asymmetrically coloured, the lower right is white while the left jaw is grey.
    Our sighting was inside the extensive barrier reef system in southern New Caledonia and is the first recorded sighting for an Omura’s Whale in this area. Exact coordinates of the sighting are 22 30.0 S 166 59.6 E.


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  2. #2
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod
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    that is so amazing!
    "Silence is beautiful, not awkward. The human tendency to be afraid of something beautiful is awkward."

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