World Teen - Main Article
 
Signup Teachers & Parents
New Killer Whale Off Chile
News Bytes 03/11/2019 32 Comments

Off the coast of Chile, fish tales have been big for decades. Stories from fishermen and tourists and lots of photos tell of a mysterious new killer whale. Now a team of researchers may have spotted a couple dozen markedly different orcas roaming the oceans.

Last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) began trumpeting the discovery of the long-rumored “new” killer whale. Some outside experts are more cautious. They agree these whales are different—but say they’re waiting for DNA test results to determine whether these specimens are indeed a distinct species.

“This is the most different looking killer whale I’ve ever seen,” says Robert Pitman, NOAA marine ecologist. He’s part of the team that recently spotted the orcas off Cape Horn at the tip of South America.

How are these “new” whales different? The orca’s signature large white eye patch is tiny on these new guys, and their heads are more rounded and less sleek than normal killer whales. Their dorsal fins are also narrower and more pointed. At 20-25 feet long, they’re slightly smaller than most killer whales.

Michael McGowen, marine mammal curator at the Smithsonian, says calling the whale a new species without genetic data may be premature. Still, he says, “I think it’s pretty remarkable that there are still many things out there in the ocean like a huge killer whale that we don’t know about.”

A new species is an amazing find. Of course, no discovery surprises the Creator. “God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm.” (Genesis 1:21) Just imagine how many more species He may have created for our enjoyment and benefit!

“For 14 years I was looking for these guys. I finally got to see them,” Pitman says.

(This undated photo provided by Paul Tixier in March 2019 shows a Type D killer whale. Scientists are waiting for test results from a tissue sample, which could give them the DNA evidence to prove the new type is a distinct species. Paul Tixier/CEBC CNRS/MNHN Paris via AP)

Sorry you are not allowed to publish comments. If this is the first time you are seeing this message please log out and back in. If you continue to see this message and believe this to be in error please reach out to member services.
Most recent comments

Wow cool! Honestly, I didn't

Wow cool! Honestly, I didn't notice that it was different until they mentioned it!

If anyone got the news byte

If anyone got the news byte by email, there is a picture of a common killer whale and this new one. The difference is huge! For one thing, this killer whale is more beautiful and elegant, in my opinion. That is so awesome that scientists are still discovering new species!

Cool!

Cool!

chile

I eat Chile on chilly chilly day
Cool this is so interesting

Killer Whales

Wow, a new killer. Don’t see that everyday.

Wow!

They are so pretty! I love Orca's!

COOL!!! I love whales!!

COOL!!! I love whales!! Alaina F., I didn't notice a difference either:)

wow!!

neat! I would't want to meat one of those! (even if sea world seas there freandly: ); )

ps.

I thought it looked a little diferent when I saw the picture. maby its beacaus my dad and brothers whatch blue planet a lot!

Really cool!

It looks like across between a killer whale and a beluga. It is nicer to look at then a regular killer whale.

to above

yes i agree

Elsie (Emelias sister)

Oh my gosh this is so cool! I like the old one better though.

to above

me too!

I found this pic helpful. :-)

Oh, sorry, it didn't leave a

Oh, sorry, it didn't leave a link to the picture. It's the fourth one on the top.

Killer Whales

Wow, so cool! I wonder what they will name it? (If it's really a different species) The link you gave was super helpful Alaina F!

Sarah H

Yo, there was a whale we didn't know about??? This is super cool!

ORCA

That is so awesome! I love it... it's so beautiful. Just a week or so ago I got back from a vacation in California. We went to Sea World and saw the killer whale show. It's so beautiful. What is that black thing in the background, though? Looks like a dress. ???

ALAINA F

I saw the pic

It's a pelican. :-)

It's a pelican. :-)

SO COOL!

I can't wait to see what else God has in store for us!

No kidding!

No kidding!

Elsie (Emelias sister)

Oh I love orcas! They are so majestic and beautiful!

BIG difference

BIG difference

it does look like a cross

it does look like a cross between a beluga and orca/killer whale

which is correct #1 Orca or

which is correct #1 Orca or #2 Killer Whale. Whats the difference?

Is it a trick question?

Is it a trick question?

IDK, Audra, do you know?

IDK, Audra, do you know?

@Audra H

They are both the same species there are just different names for it. Both ways are correct so you can say which ever one you like better. I like orca!

Question?

What does idk mean?

@Nadia A

Idk stands for "I don't know"

To above.

Oh thanks so much! ;)

Check out one of the interesting topics below
Explain IT!

Explain-IT trains you to understand the how’s and why’s of man-made inventions and ideas.

Learn More
Pop Smart

Pop! SMART provides tools that equip teenagers with the kinds of insights they need to wisely navigate today’s popular culture in a way that’s fun and engaging.

Learn More
Pie in the Sky

Everyone daydreams, and as it should be. Good dreams aside, our culture is a natural enemy of serenity and hope. God has equipped you for great things.

Learn More
People Mover

True stories are incredibly powerful. They bring meaning to our lives—communicating the truths we can’t afford to live without.

Learn More
Mud Room

Mud Room helps you relate to the news by exploring the details behind the stories in the headlines that relate to earth sciences.

Learn More
Globe Trek

Globe Trek will take you from the living room sofa to the mountains of Uzbekistan and from the screen of their smart phone to a Chilean plantation.

Learn More
Ka Ching!

ka-Ching! takes a look at important principles of money and economics through relatable examples from everyday life.

Learn More
Law 'N Order

Law ‘N Order captures your imagination through civics, focusing on the idea that everyone can make a difference in life.

Learn More

User login