Friday 21 June 2019

First-Ever Beluga-Narwhal Hybrid Found in the Arctic

By Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor | June 20, 2019 09:24am ET

Thirty years ago, an Inuit man in west Greenland subsistence-hunting for whales shot a trio of strange cetaceans with front fins like belugas and tails like narwhals (the so-called "unicorns of the sea"). He was so flummoxed by the odd creatures that he saved one of the skulls, hanging it on the outside of his shed.

A few years later, a scientist visiting the area spotted the skull and ended up taking it to the Natural History Museum of Denmark. It was a strange specimen: larger than either a skull from a beluga or narwhal whale, but with teeth that looked somehow between the two. The hunter gave an interview through a translator, describing the animals' uniform gray bodies and odd teeth, visible even from his boat. Researchers thought the whale might have been the offspring of a beluga and a narwhal, but they couldn't prove it.

Now, they can. In a new paper published today (June 20) in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers confirmed that the skull does indeed belong to the only known specimen of a hybrid beluga-narwhal. [Real or Fake? 8 Bizarre Hybrid Animals]


No comments:

Post a Comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails