A new species of beaked whale has been identified in a unique collaboration between Indigenous knowledge and Western science. The new species, which was recently announced, is named Ramari’s beaked whale after Ramari Stewart, a female Matauranga Maori whale expert who was instrumental in the discovery. The discovery followed the stranding of a pregnant female whale on a New Zealand beach in 2011. A local tribe named the whale and Stewart made sure she was preserved at the Te Papa Tongarewa Museum. Initially scientists thought the whale was a True’s beaked whale, but eventually discovered it was a different species. This species lives more than 6,000 feet below the ocean’s surface and typically feeds at depths of 3,000 feet to avoid orcas, a major predator. This discovery is a reminder of how much we still have to learn about the deep ocean.

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