Two spade-toothed beaked whales have been found dead on a New Zealand beach. The whale is so rare that an intact specimen has never been seen until now. It was discovered in 1872, when bone fragments were found on a remote Pacific island. Since then, the only sign that their existence has been two partial skulls found in New Zealand in the 1950s and Chile in 1986. The mother and her male calf were stranded and died on Opape Beach at the northern tip of New Zealand, but were initially thought to be the common Gray’s beaked whale. Experts realised their true identity only after DNA analysis. Now scientists have reported a complete description of the whales, thought to spend most of their lives in the deep waters of the Pacific. Dr Rochelle Constantine of the University of Auckland said: “This is the first time this species has ever been seen as a complete specimen, and we were lucky enough to find two of them.” Full story here.