Scientists have video of an elusive, potentially new species of Orca

The Seattle Times reports, “After 14-year search scientists think they have found a new type of killer whale off coast of Chile

Scientists had believed that the so-called “Type D” whales — which appear to be distinct from other previously identified whale species — existed based on a stranding 60 years ago in New Zealand and from scattered tourists’ photographs and fishermen’s stories, the federal agency said in a news statement made public on Thursday. But researchers had “never actually seen it,” said Michael Milstein, public-affairs officer for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries.

Here’s video of the suspected Type D killer whales from the article:

See also First Footage Captured of Rare “Type D” Orcas (Scientific American:

Type A orcas feed on minke whales, and they have a medium-sized eyepatch that’s oriented parallel to its body axis.

Type B orcas feed on seals within the seasonal ice pack, and also have an eyepatch that’s oriented parallel to its body axis, but it’s at least twice as big as Type A’s eyepatch.

Type C orcas feed on Antarctic toothfish and other fish species, and is the smallest of the three. It also has the smallest eyepatch, which has a forwards slant to it.

And then there’s the elusive Type D orca. It looks so different from the other three – blunt, round head; tiny, tiny eyepatch

Posted by Jeff Reifman

Jeff is a technology consultant based in the Pacific Northwest.

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