Seeking the loneliest whale

By Sid Perkins, 13:57 PM September 23, 2013

An enigmatic whale roams the North Pacific, and next year Bruce Mate will lead a monthlong expedition to find it. Mate, director of Oregon State University’s Marine Mammal Institute in Newport, is no revenge-obsessed Captain Ahab. And the object of the quest is no ferocious leviathan: It is probably one of the generally meek baleen whales that prey on creatures close to the base of the food chain.

No one has ever seen this particular whale (“that they know of,” says Mate), but researchers know...

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