Surfing The Wierd

Friday, March 7, 2008

White Killer Whale

White Killer Whale Spotted Off Aleutian Islands

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2008/03/07/white-killer-whale.html

March 7, 2008 -- The white killer whale spotted in Alaska's Aleutian Islands sent researchers and the ship's crew scrambling for their cameras.

The nearly mythic creature was real after all.

"I had heard about this whale, but we had never been able to find it," said Holly Fearnbach, a research biologist with the National Marine Mammal Laboratory in Seattle who photographed the rarity. "It was quite neat to find it."

The whale was spotted last month while scientists aboard the Oscar Dyson, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research ship, were conducting an acoustic survey of pollock near sea lion haulout sites.

It had been spotted once in the Aleutians years ago but had eluded researchers since, even though they had seen many of the more classic black and white whales over the years.

Fearnbach said the white whale stood out.

"When you first looked at it, it was very white," she said Thursday.

Further observation showed that while the whale's saddle area was white, other parts of its body had a subtle yellowish or brownish color.

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