New prehistoric dolphin species discovered
August 18, 2016 | 7 comments
The new dolphin is a relative of the South Asian river dolphin. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Dennis Otten
The previously unidentified species would have thrived in sub-arctic marine waters 25 million years ago.
Believed to be a relative of today's South Asian river dolphin, the new species, which has been named Arktocara yakataga
, thrived during the late Oligocene epoch - a period in Earth's history during which ancient whales were known to have diversified in to two distinct groups.
The fossil of this new dolphin, which had been situated at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington DC, was actually found back in 1951 by geologist Donald J Miller.
It wasn't until scientists recently re-examined the find that the new species was finally identified.
"Itís a lovely skull, which is probably the first thing I noticed about it," said paleontologist Alexandra Boersma. "All the time, we find new things in the collections that answer old questions."
Source: BBC News
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