Large Sea Creatures Spotted at Northeast Canyons and Seamounts

BOSTON- During a recent trip to the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Marine Monument, biologists were greeted with an abundance of diverse, large, unusual, and even endangered marine life.

Scientists with the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life at the New England Aquarium observed dozens of dolphins mixing with schools of pilot whales plus more than a dozen of the very rarely seen and mysterious Sowerby’s beaked whales.

The researchers, aboard a twin engine airplane, also spotted endangered, Moby Dick-like sperm whales as well as the second largest species of sharks in the world and the bizarre-looking giant ocean sunfish or mola mola, about 150 miles southeast of Cape Cod.

The Northeast Canyons marine monument serves as a critical hotspot of biodiversity located on the edge of the continental shelf, where the shallow seas off of New England drop sharply into the deep waters of the northwestern Atlantic.

These aerial sightings help researchers understand how the species are using the richly bio-diverse monument waters and deep coral canyons at different times of year and for different purposes.

By JOHN BONDAREK, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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