Tag Archives: Species

Scientists discover new 'beaked' whale species off Japanese coast

Scientists discover new 'beaked' whale species off Japanese coastA small black whale found in Pacific Ocean waters off the northern coastline of Japan has been identified by scientists as a new species. Whalers based in Japan’s northernmost island Hokkaido are thought to have long been aware of the existence of the beaked whales, referring to them by a local name karasu, meaning “crow”. Scientists from the National Museum of Nature and Science at Hokkaido University have confirmed that the rare whales are a species that has never been formally identified. Their findings were based on the examination of several deceased specimens, including DNA testing, which led to the cetaceans being officially named the Black Baird’s beaked whale, or Berardius minimus (B. minimus). Professor Takashi Matsuishi, from the Fisheries Sciences faculty at Hokkaido University, told Science Daily: “There are still many things we don't know about B. minimus. We still don't know what adult females look like, and there are still many questions related to species distribution, for example. We hope to continue expanding what we know about B. minimus.” The animals were known to whalers but had never been formally identified Beaked whales are known to be low profile, with a capacity to dive for long periods and a preference for deep waters, which means their behaviour has not been as well documented as many other cetaceans. Researchers reportedly tapped into the Marine Mammal Stranding networks, which shares information among scientists about stranded or deceased marine mammals. They subsequently collected six stranded beaked whales along the Japan’s northern coast off the Okhost Sea before conducting in-depth analysis of their make-up. “Just by looking at them, we could tell that they have a remarkably smaller body size, more spindle-shaped body, a shorter beak, and darker color compared to known Berardius species," added Tadasu Yamada, a member of the research team and curator of the National Museum of Nature and Science. The discovery of the new whale species, suspected to be the same as the “karasu” type long spotted by local whalers, comes shortly after Japan resumed its controversial whaling practices after a 33 year hiatus. Hokkaido has long been known as one of Japan’s whaling hubs, with many whalers based in Kushiro port.



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Japanese scientists find new dinosaur species

Japanese scientists find new dinosaur speciesJapanese scientists have identified a new species of dinosaur from a nearly complete skeleton that was the largest ever discovered in the country, measuring eight metres (26 feet) long. After analysing hundreds of bones dating back 72 million years, the team led by Hokkaido University concluded the skeleton once belonged to a new species of hadrosaurid dinosaur, a herbivorous beast that roamed the Earth in the late Cretaceous period. A partial tail was first found in northern Japan in 2013 and later excavations revealed the entire skeleton.



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Rare new shark species squirts glow-in-the-dark liquid from its pockets

Rare new shark species squirts glow-in-the-dark liquid from its pocketsScientists from various universities and research groups identified the 5½-inch shark as the American Pocket Shark, or Mollisquama mississippiensis.



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'Your Species Isn't Known for Moving Quickly.' Jon Stewart Roasts Mitch McConnell Over 9/11 Bill on The Late Show

'Your Species Isn't Known for Moving Quickly.' Jon Stewart Roasts Mitch McConnell Over 9/11 Bill on The Late ShowStewart went on The Late Show to support the people he calls “the first heroes.“



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Brett Kavanaugh's Record Sets A Dangerous Precedent On Endangered Species

Brett Kavanaugh's Record Sets A Dangerous Precedent On Endangered SpeciesIf Judge Brett Kavanaugh becomes Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh, activists



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Bones of Love Child From Two Different Hominin Species Discovered in Cave

Bones of Love Child From Two Different Hominin Species Discovered in Cave"That was completely unexpected."



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An Ancient Chinese Tomb Reveals an Extinct Species of Gibbon, and a Warning

An Ancient Chinese Tomb Reveals an Extinct Species of Gibbon, and a WarningHuman activity may have contributed to their extinction



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Interior Department Aims to Slice Section From Endangered Species Act

Interior Department Aims to Slice Section From Endangered Species ActThe Trump administration is proposing rolling back protections for close to



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Scientists: Future of oldest tree species on Earth in peril

Scientists: Future of oldest tree species on Earth in perilFRESNO, Calif. (AP) — The bristlecone pine tree, famous for its wind-beaten, gnarly limbs and having the longest lifespan on Earth, is losing a race to the top of mountains throughout the Western United States, putting future generations in peril, researchers said Wednesday.



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New species of sunfish discovered by scientist in New Zealand

New species of sunfish discovered by scientist in New ZealandOf all things, Marianne Nyegaard didn't expect to find a new species of sunfish — the heaviest of all bony fishes. The PhD student from Murdoch University in Western Australia made the discovery while researching the population genetics of ocean sunfish off the coast of Bali in Indonesia. SEE ALSO: This video of a fish 'walking' along the ocean floor is making scientists scratch their heads Previously undescribed, it's called the Hoodwinker Sunfish (
Mola tecta). The fish has long eluded recognition from researchers, despite the species weighing in excess of two tonnes, and growing to three metres in length.  "A Japanese research group first found genetic evidence of an unknown sunfish species in Australian waters 10 years ago, but the fish kept eluding the scientific community because we didn't know what it looked like," Ms Nyegaard said in a statement. Image: César Villarroel, ExploraSubNyegaard spent four years searching for the fish, after genetic sequencing of 150 specimens in her research turned up with four different species:
Masturus lanceolatus, Mola mola, Mola ramsayi, and a fourth which wasn't known about, she explained in her article on
The Conversation. So in her quest to find the missing species, she'd travel thousand of miles to get data, or have kind strangers send samples of sunfish stranded on beaches.  In 2014, Nyegaard was a step closer, when she was sent a photo of a tiny sunfish, with a structure on its back she had never seen before. Then a breakthrough came.  Nyegaard was tipped off to four sunfish stranded on the same beach in New Zealand. She flew down to see it herself, where she spotted her first Hoodwinker Sunfish. "The new species managed to evade discovery for nearly three centuries by ‘hiding’ in a messy history of sunfish taxonomy, partially because they are so difficult to preserve and study, even for natural history museums," Nyegaard said. "That is why we named it
Mola tecta (the Hoodwinker Sunfish), derived from the Latin tectus, meaning disguised or hidden." The Hoodwinker Sunfish is the first addition to the Mola genus in 130 years, and differs from other sunfish in that it remains sleek and slender even when large, and it doesn't develop a protruding snout, or huge lumps and bumps. "We retraced the steps of early naturalists and taxonomists to understand how such a large fish could have evaded discovery all this time. Overall we felt science had been repeatedly tricked by this cheeky species, which is why we named it the Hoodwinker," she explained. WATCH: Sam Tarly is the real MVP of 'Stormborn' on 'Game of Thrones'  



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