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|A whale that is almost unknown to science has been seen for the first time after two individuals -- a mother and her male calf -- were stranded and died on a New Zealand beach. A report in the November 6th issue of Current Biology offers the first complete description of the spade-toothed beaked whale (Mesoplodon traversii), a species previously known only from a few bones.
The discovery is the first evidence that this whale is still with us and serves as a reminder of just how little we still know about life in the ocean, the researchers say. The findings also highlight the importance of DNA typing and reference collections for the identification of rare species.