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New dolphin species discovered in Australia

Posted on Thursday, 31 October, 2013 | Comment icon 7 comments

There are thought to be four humpback dolphin species. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Vince Smith
An international research team has identified a previously undiscovered species of humpback dolphin.
The humpback dolphins, so-named due to their conspicuous hump and dorsal fin, were once believed to be split between two species. Now however researchers believe that there are at least four individual species of humpback dolphin in the world's oceans.

The latest discovery follows over ten years of research and investigation involving the genetic mapping of hundreds of dolphin specimens. The new species is believed to swim in the waters to the north of Australia and has yet to receive a formal name.

It's not all good news however; whereas there was once thought to be a single large population of humpback dolphins spread across the oceans, now that they have been reclassified as multiple different species the risk to each individual population increases substantially.

"The reclassification means some of them may be at highly vulnerable, or even endangered levels," said report co-author Guido Parra. Efforts will now be focusing on mitigating habitat destruction and minimizing the damage caused to sea life by coastal development and mining operations.

Source: Telegraph | Comments (7)

Tags: Dolphin

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Sundew on 31 October, 2013, 16:30
Shouldn't this article have come out on Wednesday? But seriously, it does make one wonder what else may be hiding undetected in the world's oceans.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Emeraldgemheart on 31 October, 2013, 16:48
EXACTLY! I mean, people diss the idea of new species, then this happens!
Comment icon #3 Posted by moonshadow60 on 31 October, 2013, 16:48
They are beautiful! I hope people leave them alone.
Comment icon #4 Posted by squidboy on 31 October, 2013, 19:38
Really? People diss the idea of new species? I see news about "new" species several times every year here on UM, so i dont think anyone here have doubts, that there are more undiscovered species out there. Recently there was one about some new species discovered in australia.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Rolci on 1 November, 2013, 0:41
Hate to ruin anybody's joyous celebrations here, but there are no new species here. They didn't materialize from thin air, they've been around for quite a while, we've probably even seen them or even interacted with them. It's only that some individuals haven't yet stuck them in one of their categories yet, as they like to do. They feel they need to categorize everything and then stick labels on them. Not that the dolphins care, they still enjoy their free lives and their sexual acts, without feeling the need of creating systems of artificial mental constructs. Funny ho... [More]
Comment icon #6 Posted by highdesert50 on 1 November, 2013, 13:15
So, are we seeing parallels to humanity. Does the recognition of this new species and its potential demise reflect similar evolutionary parallels to that of Neanderthal and that of Modern Man where DNA differs by some 0.3%.
Comment icon #7 Posted by DKO on 1 November, 2013, 19:23
Yes, obviously. I don't think anyone here thought this new species, or any other, just appeared. How do you know dolphins don't feel the need of create a system?

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