New Whale

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A 30-foot whale seems hard to miss, but scientists say they've discovered a new species that's been on Earth all along.

Researchers in Japan say they've identified the animal as a type of baleen.

That's the family of whales that strain tiny plankton and other food from seawater. Most baleens grow to enormous proportions, like the blue whale, which at 75 feet in length and more than 100 tons is believed to be the largest animal that's ever lived.

New species of creatures like insects, birds and amphibians are discovered every year. But it's unusual for scientists to identify a new mammal, particularly one so large.

The discovery was made through DNA analysis of nine adult whale carcasses. The study appears in this week's issue of the journal Nature.


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