November 02, 2021
Rare whale named for Ramari Stewart
A tohunga who has shared her knowledge of traditional practices concerning whales now has a tohorā named after her.
When what’s now known as Ramari’s beaked whale on the West Coast 10 years ago, Ramari Stewart pushed for it to be examined.
Auckland University scientist Emma Carrol says once it was identified as new, it was named to reflect its connections to indigenous peoples.
“We’re really pleased to be able to collaborate with indigenous groups around the southern hemisphere to name this new whale species,” Dr Carrol says.
The tohorā’s scientific name is mesoploden eueu, from the Kwhedam word for big fish, as most strandings are in areas connected to the indigenous Khoisan people of southern Africa.