Strange though it may sound, we know little about the largest mammals on the planet. What we know about the natural history of whales has mainly been opportunistic -- namely through the whaling industry or from the happenstance of strandings. It's only recently that we have had the technology to actually find out what goes on when whales aren't at the water's surface.
One group of whales, the beaked whales (or Ziphiidae) stand out in particular: they are among the most diverse group of whales (2nd in number of species next to the dolphin family), yet many ziphiid species are known from singular, beachcast specimens that have made their way into museum collections. It's as if we only knew about a blue whale from a single specimen.
Enter a new paper from New Zealand researchers, including my friend Anton van Helden as a co-author, reporting new specimens of the spade-toothed beaked whale (Mesoplodon traversii). The story of how these specimens were discovered, and how Anton and his colleagues solved the riddle they presented, is definitely worth reading in depth (excellent pieces here and here). Also, they snagged the cover of Current Biology -- dead whales rarely get such love.