A species of whale that was only identified for the first time in 2003, has now been discovered living in the waters around Sri Lanka.
Omura’s whale was originally found in Japan, but sightings have since been recorded across the northeastern and south Atlantic, western Pacific and Indian Ocean. They are sometimes confused with Bryde’s whale but are smaller and like fin whales, have assymetrical markings on the jaw – white on the right-hand side, darker on the left.
Sri Lankan scientist, Dr. Asha de Vos, has published a paper on her discovery of a group of whales off the southern part of the country. It is of particular interest because while there have been previous sightings in the western and eastern parts of the Indian Ocean, this is the first time they have been seen in the central part, suggesting they may be some connection between the different populations.
One of whales had an entanglement scar on its jaw, highlighting a potential threat to this little-known whale about which we still have much to learn.