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In the spring of 2010, a lone grey whale was spotted off the Mediterranean coast of Israel, an event that sparked international interest for an important reason: It was the first North Atlantic sighting of a grey whale, a species nowadays restricted to the Pacific Ocean, in about 200 years.  The case is just one example in a recent spate of animals turning up in places they don’t belong – generally, either Pacific species showing up in the Atlantic, or vice versa. Northern gannets, a North Atlantic species, have been spotted off the coast of California several times in recent years, for instance, while several Pacific species of auks, a type of diving bird, have recently been observed in the Atlantic.

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