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Rarest of whales washes up in NZ

Updated: 2012-11-07 07:54
By Nick Perry in Wellington, New Zealand ( China Daily)

The spade-toothed beaked whale is so rare that nobody has seen one alive, but scientists have proof the species still exists.

Two skeletons were identified as belonging to the species after a 5.2-meter whale and her calf beached themselves in New Zealand in 2010. Scientists hope the discovery will provide insights into both the species and ocean ecosystems.

It was almost a missed opportunity, however, since conservationists misidentified the carcasses as a much more common type of whale and buried them.

Rarest of whales washes up in NZ