A team of scientists from New England Aquarium, led by Dr. Salvatore Cerchio, has published a new study, which brings the mysterious ocean whale called Omura for the first time under the limelight.
Pursuing the species since 2011, the team reveals that the study was carried out off the coast near Madagascar. They have also released the captured images and videos of the whale, which makes them the first confirmed footages of the Omura whale.
Over the period, the team has dealt with around 44 species of Omura whales, of which they have collected the biopsy samples from whales. The assessment of those samples eventually led to the confirmed identity of Om
The team has also managed to snap images of around 25 distinct Omura whales. The video footage also captured the eating and swimming patterns of the whale, along with a footage that involves young calves from the species.
Cerchio explains that the initial assumption about its habitat led them to believe about its non-existence in the Indian Ocean. The first time it was spotted in Indian Ocean was during 2011, and the marine biologists had mistook them as another species – Bryde’s whale.
This very misconception is also one of the factors that have kept the species disguised to the biological world for long. The first uniqueness with Omura was spotted only during this century.
The discovery then, and the ones that followed, however came from dead samples along the Japanese shores. That makes the new study the first ever field observation with this unfamiliar species.
With this new experience, Cerchio and his team believe that they can have more of the species’ nature studied, including their feeding habits. The study has been published in the journal Royal Society Open Science.