First Live Sightings of Shepherd’s Ziphiid

Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 7th, 2007

Shepherd's beaked whale

Shepherd’s beaked whale, Tasmacetus shepherdi.

The oceans hold many natural history treasures and wonders. New animals are being discovered at a faster rate from the seas than in freshwater or on land. But these finds from the marine environment often get little attention from Homo sapiens versus, say, a new giant peccary or a new monkey.

Overnight, famed marine biologist Bob Pitman shared with me breaking news about several new marine mammal species. The news will not get as much of a read as a fuzzy picture of a land mammal from the woods of Pennsylvania or of a rapid moving otter-like animal videotaped in Loch Ness. That’s a darn shame.

The media, in general, will ignore the new marine species news because its importance is not fully realized, as compared to the more land-linked and freshwater-based news of, for example, a new manatee, a new monitor, or a new antelope. Humans are biased in favor of terrestrial and freshwater species.

Nevertheless, it is downright remarkable that Pitman’s findings have pointed to a new Dwarf Killer Whale being discovered in Antarctica, and his colleagues have detailed the evidence for a likely new species of Mesoplodon, a new beaked whale (ziphiid) in the tropical Pacific.

Give me a new species of a Dwarf Killer Whale any day over some newly uploaded YouTube insider analysis of images from a trailcam of a mangy bear or whatever. Real species, real analysis, real findings.

Tasmacetus shepherdi

Pitman also shared with me a paper that has been generally overlooked from last year. In his 2006 paper, he details the first confirmed live sightings of Shepherd’s beaked whale (Tasmacetus shepherdi), a cryptic ziphiid species finally fully documented. I appreciate being able to pass along this entire paper to you today.

Tasmacetus shepherdi

Take a break from foggy bottom blobsquatch pictures and read a bit about some incredible scientific work being done to establish new marine species.

Tasmacetus shepherdi

The time has come to pay attention to these remarkable new marine species discoveries.

You may download the complete paper here: Shepherd’s Beaked Whale

Tasmacetus shepherdi

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.


9 Responses to “First Live Sightings of Shepherd’s Ziphiid”

  1. DWA responds:

    [yawn] big deal.

    Hey, as I’ve said here, if you don’t exhibit characters diagnostic of species, it’s just another blobsquatch. 😀

    Cool. I’m starting to think that stuff like this might eventually get the hard biological sciences off the dime on animals like [bias][species diagnostic] the sasquatch. See enough of these, and even a “mainstream” scientist might start thinking: OK, what really is so farfetched about [another] bipedal ape?

  2. mystery_man responds:

    It’s funny how these new marine species get short shrift by the media and people in general but I think I have an idea why. It might be because the ocean is so vast and offers so many opportunities for new discoveries that when one is made, I think people just kind of expect it. It isn’t so Earth shattering to them because for them it’s like “hey, the ocean is HUGE! Of COURSE we are going to find new things there”. This maybe detracts a little from the unexpected appeal of finding a new type of monkey or deer. I think people are more attracted to the new discoveries in places where they would never have expected to find anything truly new, like in a landlocked lake or a forest. Despite the fact that the Pacific Northwest wilderness is in itself vast and I don’t think we have catalogued all of its species (Bigfoot maybe?), it still probably seems more accessible and less likely to harbor surprises to most people.

    Another thought concerning new discoveries in general, while I think the discovery of a new whale is very exciting, to the common layperson it is sometimes just a new type of creature that we already know exists. It perhaps doesn’t seem like a very big deal. It just doesn’t have the same romance and mystery as finding something truly shocking and different (like sasquatch or a surviving dinosaur, etc), or finding the occasional “Lost World” of new species. But I am sure if they were to dredge up a new type of tentacled, bioluminescent thing from the depths rather than a new whale, we’d see more media coverage because of its shock appeal. Anyway, I get really excited about any new species discovery in this world of shrinking habitats. It is kind of sad to me that the media typically does not cover them enough to my liking. When some sensationalized blobsquatch photos get more media response (albeit usually negative) than an actual new discovery, it just makes me realize how much people crave the drama and mystery over the tangible discoveries being made.

  3. DavidFullam responds:

    As a lover of cetaceans, I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to wake up to all the whale news posted here.

  4. Loren Coleman responds:

    Wunderbar! I want all the ziphiids above to leap off the page into everyone’s cup of morning tea!

    It is great to share good cetacean news.

  5. DavidFredSneakers responds:

    Thanks for the heads up!

  6. red_pill_junkie responds:

    This new findings certainly confirm the predictions you made in the Yahoo! interview Loren 🙂

  7. planettom responds:

    Wonderful! This is a great writeup and thanks for posting links to the scholarly publications. Tremendous!

  8. dabode responds:

    Frankly I get more excited over discoveries in our oceans and seas than I do with land based or fresh-water based discoveries.
    When I stumbled onto this site it was an interest in bigfoot, loch ness or since I’m in Manitoba, Canada…manipogo but I’ve soon tired of all the stuff I found on you-tube and the like.
    But this site has sparked a interest in cryptozoology and I really get excited about discoveries in our oceans.
    It is the most unexplored place on earth, the final frontier if you will.
    Not only is there thousands of miles of surface area, there is thousands of feet of depth harboring many secrets and wonders.
    Thanks Loren and the others for the opportunity to find out what cryptozoology is all about…

  9. corrick responds:

    Shepherd’s beaked whale, imho, aka Gambo.




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