Scientists Shocked As Extinct Whale Species Re-Emerges

Photo by Todd Cravens on Unsplash

( – On Friday, the New England Aquarium team, which is an aerial survey team, spotted a whale species that was believed to be extinct in the Atlantic Ocean. 

The group had been flying off the coast of Massachusetts when they spotted an unusual whale feeding, diving and occasionally resurfacing. After more closely examining the images of the whale they were able to confirm that the whale in question was a gray whale. Gray whales were previously believed to be extinct in the Atlantic Ocean for over 200 years. 

Kate Laemmle, the research technician, argued that her brain had been attempting to process what she had seen as this animal was not one that they should be able to spot in these waters. She added that they were laughing because of how wild and exciting this was, as this was an animal believed to be extinct for centuries. 

Gray whales still exist in the North Pacific Ocean, and they are easily identifiable because of their dorsal humps, no dorsal fins, and their gray and white skin. The species was believed to have disappeared from the Atlantic Ocean by the 18th century however over the last decade and a half there have been sightings of these whales in the Mediterranean and Atlantic. 

While it is not common for a gray whale to be present in the Atlantic Ocean, scientists appear to believe that due to climate change, the increase in temperatures is going to make such sightings more common. 

Crossing between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans is achieved through the Northwest Passage in the Arctic Ocean in Canada, which over the last few years has had no ice as a result of the increased temperatures. Previously ice was blocking the movement of whales and making it harder for them to move between the two oceans. This is not something that has been possible for the last 120 years.

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