Who? What? That’s what I thought while looking through various sources trying to find out exactly how many species of cetaceans exist in our global ocean. Being a fan of etymology and nomenclature, I clicked on a name I hadn’t seen before, Balaenoptera omurai, figuring it was another subspecies of one of the baleen whales. Uh-uh, it’s a completely separate species, first described in 2003. As you can read in the link, there have been nine individuals studied. Previously they had been mistaken for Bryde’s whales or fin whales.
In the time that has passed since the IUCN listing was published, this animal has been added to the International Whaling Commission list of recognized whale species. As you might expect, we don’t have any images of this creature in our vast collections.
According the Society of Marine Mammalogy, there are 86 living species of whale, dolphin and porpoise.