According to “Marine Mammal Science”, the results of the research confirmed a new species of whale. It measures 15 meters and weighs 30 tons. It was named after the biologist Dale Rice, who spent 60 years studying marine mammals. The whale was formerly known as Bryde’s Whale and nicknamed “the Mexican Gulf Whale”. The process of formally describing a new species requires research, time, collaboration, and review by many scientists.
The most noticeable difference in the appearance of the new species compared to its closest relatives is the skull of the animal. Researcher Dr. Patricia Rosel of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was able to examine the skull of Rice’s whale in 2020. It was an individual found on a Florida beach near the Everglades National Park in January 2019.
The results of morphological studies already indicated a new species, but to confirm this, scientists also performed an analysis of genetic characteristics. Morphological and genetic data confirmed their original assumptions.