The rare fish caught by a humpback whale in northern Australia is part of a wider collection of rare species, according to researchers.
The humpback, which is known for its remarkable ability to catch large fish, is the only known whale species to catch a variety of small fish including salmon and swordfish, as well as the rare species of cod, spearfish and bluefin tuna.
The rare fish was caught by the humpback’s sister, the long-finned rainbow, which has also been recorded.
Scientists are using the fish as part of the global effort to conserve the species and the Pacific’s largest land-based mammal.
“We have a collection of marine mammals that are endangered and this is a really good example of how important it is to be able to take a chance,” Dr Nick Houghton, from the University of Queensland, said.
“The whales are so hard to find and so hard-to-catch, and we can see this is one of the species that has had the chance to get a shot at this opportunity.”
The research was published in the journal Marine and Freshwater Research.