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Rare Orca Sighting Could Confirm New Species

A rare photo of Type D killer whales in 2011. (J.P. Sylvestre/NOAA)
A rare photo of Type D killer whales in 2011. (J.P. Sylvestre/NOAA)

Researchers recently got the first glimpse of what may be a new species of orca swimming off the southern tip of South America. The marine mammals, known as Type D killer whales, had been seen in old photographs take after a mass stranding in New Zealand in 1955, but until recently they had never been seen in their natural state.

Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd speaks with Robert Pitman, one of the scientists who made the discovery. He’s a marine ecologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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