‘Cape-Wearing’ Dolphin Turns Out to Be New Species

Cape-Wearing DolphinIt’s not every day that scientists identify a new mammal — especially one that can grow to be more than 8 feet (2.4 meters) long. But researchers recently named a new species of cetacean: the Australian humpback dolphin, Sousa sahulensis.

S. sahulensis hadn’t been hiding in a mysterious part of the ocean; rather, the species had been misclassified. Once lumped in with its three cousins, S. sahulensis was finally determined to be a distinct species based on its skeletal structure, genetics, habitat and capelike coloration pattern, according to a new study published in the journal Marine Mammal Science.

“It is pretty rare to have the opportunity to name a new cetacean species,” study co-author Howard Rosenbaum, of the Wildlife Conservation Society, wrote in an email to Live Science. “It is only [the] second species description of a new species of dolphin in the last 50 years.”

source : http://www.livescience.com/47230-new-cape-wearing-dolphin-species-named.html

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