When two spade-toothed whales washed up on a New Zealand shore, they were mistaken for the more common Gray’s beaked whales (pictured here) because, superficially, the species are very similar. Credit: New Zealand Government

The World’s Rarest Whale Found and Seen in Beautiful New Zealand

Scientists have known about the two spaded-toothed beaked whale for sometime but it was an amazing sight to find both mother and baby on a New Zealand shore last December. These whales are known to scientists and the world as the rarest whale in all of the world.

Scientists know very little about this rare hard to locate species. Thus they were overjoyed to learn that this pair was found stranded on a sandy beach in New Zealand. Finding these whales will allow scientists for the very first time to see this whale as a complete speciman and learn all they can.

“Up until now, all we have known about the spade-toothed beaked whale was from three partial skulls collected from New Zealand and Chile over a 140-year period. It is remarkable that we know almost nothing about such a large mammal,” said Rochelle Constantine of the University of Auckland.

“This is the first time this species has ever been seen as a complete specimen, and we were lucky enough to find two of them.” They were a 17-foot-long mother and 11-foot-long calf, LiveScience reports. Initially, scientists had thought they were Gray’s beaked whales, a far more common species. “We ran the samples a few times to make sure before we told everyone,” adds the researcher. So why are they so hard to find? “It may be that they are simply an offshore species that lives and dies in the deep ocean waters and only rarely wash(es) ashore,” she says.

The whales were located in December of 2010 but it was only after a DNA alaysis that they were able to identify these rare whales. This was exciting news for scientists around the world and will give more insight into this amazing creature. This was the first time this whale was seen.