SANYA, June 4/.TASS/. Chinese scientists found in the Hainan waters kinds of several rare species of whales and dolphins. According to Xinhua, the discovery was made during a 14-day scientific expedition in the South China Sea in May.
The scientists studied the 40 km long and 200 km wide waters off the coast of Hainan. The expedition participants, in particular, managed to observe several females of the sperm whale with a calf, a beaked whale, as well as rare striped dolphinins in the natural conditions. An unexpected encounter with these mammals, as the Chinese scientists assume, may indicate that this area is indeed their natural habitat.
In total, according to Li Songhai, a scientist from the Institute of Deep Sea Science and Engineering, 27 groups of whales were discovered during the expedition. Seven species of whales and dolphins were identified; yet the researchers could not identify two more. According to Li, the expedition showed the presence of a wide variety of whales in the South China Sea, which is important for future studies and prevervation of the species.