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from WIRED

Odd-Looking Orcas May Be a Distinct Species

A strange-looking and mysterious killer whale living in the heaving seas ringing Antarctica might be a distinct species. Known as Type D orcas, the whales are so seldom seen that scientists relied on a museum specimen to unravel their ancestral story.

A butterfly lands on the nose of Hugo the killer whale. Seaquarium, Miami, Florida - June 1970 Photo: Alan Band/Fox Photos/Getty

Like other types of whales and dolphins, killer whales (orcas) have a dorsal fin on their back. The dorsal fin is distinctive in that it is larger than most species relative to their body size. In fact, it is one of the characteristics used to identify individuals.

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