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Mystery orcas spotted in Scotland found in Norway Published1 day ago

2021-7-24 12:03| 发布者: hujian| 查看: 26| 评论: 0

摘要: A "mystery" pod of killer whales spotted off the coast of Scotland three years ago has finally been found - off the west coast of Norway.Six orcas were photographed on Norway's west coast earlier this ...


A "mystery" pod of killer whales spotted off the coast of Scotland three years ago has finally been found - off the west coast of Norway.

Six orcas were photographed on Norway's west coast earlier this year but had a colouration on their backs unlike other animals in the area.

After consulting Scottish records, the Norwegian Orca Survey matched three of them to a Vatersay sighting in 2018.

Experts have said that a three-year "enigma" had now been solved.

Photographs of the killer whales in Børøyfjorden were brought to the Norwegian Orca Survey by "citizen scientist" Asmund Aasheim.

Founder of the group, Dr Eve Jourdain, realised that the pod was not familiar from Norwegian records.

The back colouration - known as a saddle patch - pointed her to records further afield.

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image captionThe orcas were identified by a colouration on their backs - calls a saddle patch

On 10 July she found a match in the Scottish Killer Whale Catalogue - a key research document containing the best available images of all known living orcas seen in Scottish waters.

She said: "I had a strong feeling that I would find them there. It was incredible to find this first photographic match between Norway and Scotland.

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"From the moment I first took a look at Asmud's photos, I knew these killer whales were 'different' from our Norwegian killer whales."

Researchers at the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust subsequently confirmed that three of the killer whales in the Norwegian encounter were known from the Scottish Killer Whale Catalogue.

The only previous confirmed sighting of this killer whale pod had been made by the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust on 23 June 2018.

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The group said that identifying marine life by this method is"non-intrusive" and "vital" for informing conservation measures.

The trust's science officer Becky Dudley captured the photographs during an "amazing encounter" that made the Norwegian match possible.

She said "It was made even more exciting when - despite much investigation and collaboration with other organisations - the identity of this pod remained a mystery.

"I am thrilled that the group has been matched to the group seen in Norway over three years later. It highlights how much there is to learn about the marine life in our oceans."


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