New Whale Species Spotted in North Iceland?

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New Whale Species Spotted in North Iceland?

A whale which may be the offspring of a blue whale and fin whale has been sighted in Skjálfandaflói bay in North Iceland in recent days. Whale watchers in Húsavík also believe to have seen the whale in the area two years ago.

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Archive photo: Páll Stefánsson/Iceland Review.

The whale’s size and color indicates that it is a blue whale but its back fin resembles that of a fin whale, ruv.is reports.

Gísli Víkingsson, whale specialist at the Icelandic Marine Research Institute, said this could be either animal but given its appearance, it’s tempting to conclude it’s a hybrid.

“The reason for our suspicion is that we already have four confirmed examples of crossbreeds of blue and fin whales in Icelandic waters, and we were in fact the first to demonstrate that such creatures existed in 1986,” stated Gísli.

To confirm that the whale in Skjálfandaflói is such a hybrid, it’s necessary to obtain a skin sample, which is done with a special harpoon.

Gísli said the Marine Research Institute is about to embark on an expedition to tag blue whales with GPS monitors and that they will try to obtain a skin sample from the curious whale on Skjálfandaflói at the same time.

ESA