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Australian dolphin is a separate species

A new humpback dolphin species has been identified in waters off the northern Australian coast.

Scientists working with the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society confirmed the discovery after analysing the cranial shapes of 180 skulls from museum specimens and beached dolphins. They also analysed 235 tissue samples to establish DNA variations from other humpback dolphin species. The findings have been published in the journal Molecular Ecology.

“Based on the findings of our combined morphological and genetic analyses, we can suggest that the humpback dolphin genus includes at least four member species,’’ biologist Martin Mendez said in a WCS statement announcing the discovery. 

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