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Nature & Environment

Whale-dolphin hybrid discovered off Hawaii

By T.K. Randall
July 29, 2018 · Comment icon 12 comments



Originally spotted last year, this unusual animal has since been confirmed to be a genuine cross-breed.
In a new report from Cascadia Research Collective, scientists have concluded that the whale-dolphin is the result of a melon-headed whale breeding with a rough-toothed dolphin.

"We had the photos and suspected it was a hybrid from morphological characteristics intermediate between species," said marine mammal expert Robin Baird.

"[It is a] most unusual finding."
Intriguingly, one of its parents - the melon-headed whale - is incredibly rare in the waters around Hawaii, which makes this unorthodox pairing even more of a mystery.

"Hybrids among different species of whales and dolphins have been previously recorded, but this is the first case of a hybrid between these two species, and only the third confirmed case (with genetics) of a wild-born hybrid between two species in the family Delphinidae," Baird told Fox News.

"If we find it again, we'd like to try to get a biopsy sample of the melon-headed whale it was associated with as well as get underwater footage [and] images to better assess morphology."

Source: CBS Local | Comments (12)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by tashagyrl21 4 years ago
http://seapics.com/feature-subject/dolphin-and-porpoise/wholphin-pictures.html There is one at Sea Life park in Hawaii on Oahu.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Grandpa Greenman 4 years ago
They aren't really that far apart, they are both of the family, delphinidae, so it could be fertile. That is one way evolution works. When you think about when we shared the planet with other Hominids we mixed with them.Help strengthen our genetic makeup, but we are the last. Aprobable evolutionary dead end.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Taun 4 years ago
Comment icon #6 Posted by Nnicolette 4 years ago
I don't think the whale being rare makes it odd, it makes more sense that it would cross the species line. And yes its silly people do so often forget that we are hybrids too.
Comment icon #7 Posted by openozy 4 years ago
I must be silly.What are we hybrids of?
Comment icon #8 Posted by oldrover 4 years ago
Depends on where your roots are, there are several other human groups that we interbred with. Neandertals, Denisovans, and the other one in the far south east. Making us hybrids.
Comment icon #9 Posted by oldrover 4 years ago
Dependsif it's a boy or a girl. Mammals are heterogametic, as in males have XY and females XX chromosomes, the male offspring of a hybridisation in mammals tends to be sterile if its the one with the differing sex chromosomes. The reason for this is known to people more knowledgeable than I, my knowledge ended at the last full stop.
Comment icon #10 Posted by paperdyer 4 years ago
I just hope we leave it alone and don't try to "study" the critter to death.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Hawken 4 years ago
Finn whales have been known to breed with Blue whales.
Comment icon #12 Posted by TripGun 4 years ago
Adaptation is not evolution.


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