Scientists make groundbreaking study on the world's most elusive whales

This Is One Of The World's Most Elusive Whales
For the first time, scientists have conducted a field study of an obscure species called Omura's whale.They have documented observations about the elusive mammal including feeding, vocalizations, and habitats in a recently published paper.

During the two years of research, the team determined that the animal's low profile is likely due to its smaller size, about 33 to 38 feet long, and more subtle blow. In fact, the animals were previously often confused with another species called Bryde's whale but were confirmed in 2003 as a distinct group based on genetic testing.

Omura's whales also have distinctive white and dark markings on the right and left sides of the lower jaw, respectively. Researchers first spotted one of the whales while conducting research in the waters off Madagascar in 2011 and saw more of them in an adjacent location in 2013. Of the studied population, four pairs were mothers with their calves which resulted in recordings that possibly link specific sounds with reproductive habits. Thus far, 25 members have been identified based on photographs.

Additional field study is expected to resume in November.

To see adorable images of other whales, scroll through the gallery below:
Whales breaching
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Scientists make groundbreaking study on the world's most elusive whales
AT SEA, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 26: A young adult Humpback Whale breaches into the air during a miratory frolic in Australia's Hervey Bay Marine Park off Fraser Island, north of Brisbane, 25 August 2001. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read DANIEL BAYER/AFP/Getty Images)
SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 23: A southern right whale breaches the water at Hermanus, east of Cape Town, South Africa, Friday, September 23, 2005. The whale-watching industry is helping fuel a boom in South African tourism, which accounted for 7.4 percent of the country's gross domestic product in 2004. A record 6.7 million visitors spent a total of 47.8 billion rand ($7.5 billion) on lodging, food and safaris, according to South African Tourism, the government's official promotion agency. (Photo by Dave Fish/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - 1989/01/01: USA, Washington, San Juan Islands, Haro Strait, Orca (killer Whale), Breaching. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Humpback breaching
Babe Whale in Berners Bay early morning.
Nosey showing off
Humpback Whale
Hervey Bay Whales 3944
Humpback Whale breaching right next to a pair of kayakers

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