The pygmy right whale, Caperea marginata, is the most enigmatic living whale. Little is known about its ecology and behaviour, but unusual specialisations of visual pigments , mitochondrial tRNAs , and postcranial anatomy  suggest a lifestyle different from that of other extant whales. Geographically, Caperea represents the only major baleen whale lineage entirely restricted to the Southern Ocean. Caperea-like fossils, the oldest of which date to the Late Miocene, are exceedingly rare and likewise limited to the Southern Hemisphere , despite a more substantial history of fossil sampling north of the equator. Two new Pleistocene fossils now provide unexpected evidence of a brief and relatively recent period in geological history when Caperea occurred in the Northern Hemisphere (Figure 1A,B).
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