February 27, 2012
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Scientists have captured what is believed to be the world's first footage of the cryptic Shepherd's beaked whale (Tasmacetus shepherdi), one of a number of beaked whale species about which scientists know almost nothing.
The footage was taken in Bass Strait, lying between Australia and Tasmania. There have only been a few confirmed sightings of the animal since its description in 1937, although there have been over 40 recorded strandings of the species. The animal reaches lengths of 21 feet (7 meters).
Shepherd's beaked whale is listed as Data Deficient by the IUCN Red List given that there is so little known about the marine mammal.