It is the last species of baleen whale discovered in 2003. But until 2013, all studies had been carried out on stranded animals, and it was at Nosy Be, in 2013, that the 1er living individual could be identified, filmed and studied by the team of Dr. Salvator Cerchio. This small whale is resident in the North West of Madagascar. The Omura whale is relatively shy and you need an excellent knowledge of the animal and the area to be able to observe it in peace…. It is not uncommon, during certain months, to see it feeding on the surface, an extraordinary spectacle
Omura whales are resident on the west coast of Madagascar. They find there all the conditions to feed and reproduce, and therefore do not need to make large migrations (like most whales) between feeding areas and breeding areas.
They are therefore visible all year round at Nosy Be!
Discovered in 2003 by Japanese scientists, they named this whale in honor of one of their illustrious predecessor, Dr. Satochi Omura.
It has long been confused with the slightly larger Bryde's whale, and classified as a subspecies of it.
However, the Omura whale has very personal physical peculiarities: An asymmetrical coloration at the level of the gill furrows and baleen (light on the left side and dark on the right side) or a light coloration which starts from the eye, only present on the right side , with a black eye and stripes at the ears.
Genetics show an evolutionary origin dating from 10 to 17 million years ago for this species!
The Omura whale does not exceed 12 meters - between 10.3 and 11.5m for mature females, and between 9.6 and 10m for males - which classifies it in the “small whales” bracket.
Although the first living group was studied at Nosy Be from 2013, the highlighting of the characteristics specific to this species made it possible to reveal its presence in many places of the globe: Asia, West Africa, Brazil, …
They are therefore not endemic to the region, but Nosy Be remains the only place in the world where it is common to observe them during sea trips!