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X-Ray Mag #62 - Sep 2014
X-Ray Mag #62 - Sep 2014
X-Ray Mag #62 - Sep 2014
X-Ray Mag #62 - Sep 2014
X-Ray Mag #62 - Sep 2014
X-Ray Mag #62 - Sep 2014
X-Ray Mag #62 - Sep 2014
X-Ray Mag #62 - Sep 2014
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New species of dolphin discovered near Australia

Scientists examining a taxonomically confused group of marine mammals have officially named a species new to science: the Australian humpback dolphin, Sousa sahulensis.
he Australian humpback dolphin (Sousa sahulensis) is a species of humpback dolphin and the fourth recognized humpback dolphin species chronologically.
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)  |  Scientists Name New Species of Cetacean: The Australian Humpback Dolphin    |   08-26-2014
A new species of dolphin, the Australian humpback, has been discovered in the waters near Australia, bringing the total number of humpback dolphin species to four.
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We’ve finally managed to settle many long-standing questions about humpback dolphins—particularly how many species actually exist—using a huge body of data collected over two centuries and analyzed with the latest scientific tools.

—Dr. Thomas A. Jefferson

The process of describing a species new to science requires a systematic analysis of all species most closely related to the animal in question.

The humpback dolphins in particular have vexed researchers and taxonomists for decades until researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society and a number of other institutions provided the most definitive results in late 2013.

The Australian humpback dolphin species joins the current assemblage of three other closely related species: the Atlantic humpback dolphin (Sousa teuszii), the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis), and the Indian Ocean humpback dolphin (Sousa plumbea).

Aside from slight differences in overall length, number of teeth and vertebrae, and geographic distribution, the Australian humpback dolphin differs in appearance from the other three humpback species. Its dorsal fin is lower and more wide-based than the dorsal fins of Sousa teuszii and S. plumbea, and its coloration is dark gray, as opposed to the distinctly white (often with a pink tinge) coloration of its closest humpback neighbor, Sousa chinensis. The Australian humpback dolphin also possesses a distinctive dark dorsal “cape.”

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