The Gulf of Mexico is home to another newly-discovered species of whale

We recently shared how a new species of blue whale was discovered in the Indian Ocean. In fact, there have been over 500 new animal discovered in the past year alone. Another whale species is joining this list after researchers discovered a previously unknown species of whale in the Gulf of Mexico.

Named the Rice’s whale, researchers initially thought the observed species was a Bryde’s whale, but upon further investigation, it was determined to be its own species. Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) were able to collect a genetic sample to confirm the classification. 

The whale is named after American biologist Dale Rice who was the first scientist to recognize that Bryde’s whales lived in the Gulf of Mexico. 

Unfortunately, researchers have classified the newly-discovered species as critically endangered as less than 100 still exist in the wild. Hopefully the official classification of the whale will encourage more conservation efforts to protect these creatures. 

Image source: NOAA

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