ibusinesslines.com August 20, 2018

Don't call dolphin hybrid spotted off Hawaii a 'wholphin'

01 August 2018, 11:14 | Justin Tyler

New Hybrid Whale-Dolphin Discovered Off Hawaii

Rare whale-dolphin hybrid discovered in Hawaii, scientists say

A dolphin whale hybrid, recently discovered off the coast of Hawaii, has left scientists aghast.

While surveying whales and dolphins off the Hawaiian Islands, scientists spotted a creature they've never seen before: a peculiar hybrid between a dolphin and a small whale.

The discovery, made a year ago, was confirmed this week in a report released by researchers with the Cascadia Research Collective, a nonprofit which in August 2017 conducted a two-week project to photograph, tag and record audio of marine mammals.

Despite the fact that earlier hybrids among different species of whales and dolphins have been recorded, the baby of these two species found for the first time.

So, the bad news is, we don't have a new species of whale-or dolphin-on our hands.

The marine mammal monitoring program, funded by the US Navy, first spotted the animal in August 2017.

Kimberly A Wood/Cascadia Research The hybrid is in the front, with the melon-headed whale that researchers suspect is the mother. Aww!

In some cases, hybrids breeding with hybrids can ultimately lead to the formation of distinct new species, but there's no evidence that's happening here, according to Baird. Although it had a typical melon-headed whale's dorsal fin shape and dorsal cape, it was also blotchy in pigmentation and had a sloping forehead, more reminiscent of a rough-toothed dolphin.

The so-called wolphin has been confirmed by scientists after it was spotted on a research trip near Kauai island.

But, it was a biopsy that confirmed their suspicions.

Many animal hybrids are possible, but few survive past the first generation.

'I always thought they were out there in the wild existing - it only makes sense, ' he said. There have been other cases of wholphins in the past, most notably at Hawaii's Sea Life Park aquarium in 1985, when a female bottlenose dolphin had a calf with a male false killer whale.

"To know she has cousins out there in the ocean is an awesome thing to know".

The hybrid named Keikaimalu still lives at the marine mammal park, where she helps teach children about genetics.

Some hybrid animals, such as the mule - a hybrid of a male donkey and female horse - are mostly sterile and therefore can not propagate easily.

A likely scenario for how the hybrid came to be a melon-headed whale getting separated from its group and ending up travelling with rough-toothed dolphins. For one thing, hybrids can occur when the paternal species goes through a population drop and "individuals have difficulty finding mates".

Scientists do not know how old the hybrid is, but believe it is close to adult age.

Other News

Trending Now

Trump Calls Out Mueller for 'Conflicts of Interest'
Legal experts said that working with a foreign national with the intent of influencing a USA election could violate multiple laws. In an interview on CNN , the former New York City mayor suggested that Trump would have had to pay Russian operatives to collude.

Thieves break into cathedral, make off with Swedish crown jewels
No arrests have been made following last night's theft from the Strängnäs Cathedral in southeastern Sweden . According to an eyewitness account in The Mirror , two men jumped aboard a boat outside the Cathedral .

Japan, Australia join USA in Indo-Pacific infrastructure projects
With the US initiative, competition with China will be introduced into this region, giving countries an alternative. Some China experts see this as a way to contain communist China's ambitions in this region.

How did OnePlus just beat Apple and Samsung?
Counterpoint Research attributes Huawei's success to its Honor sub-brand and the emphasis on strengthening offline presence. Even Samsung's arch rival, Apple , had a weak quarter with market share dropping to 14% - its lowest ever in the country.

Thieves Steal Swedish Crown Jewels In Troublingly Awesome Cathedral Heist
The stolen items were on display at an exhibition in the cathedral, and visitors were inside at the time. According to an eyewitness account in The Mirror , two men jumped aboard a boat outside the Cathedral.

ICC congratulates England on 1000th Test
Go to each individual and ask: "Why did you arrive in Leeds with more intensity"?" "You have to face people for yourself and work out your best plan individually to counteract what they do".

Whyte Wants Joshua Re-Match After Beating Parker
Whyte was in trouble, but he held on until the final bell, and both boxers looked as if they knew the result straight away. In the second round, the referee did not notice the headbutt and counted the new Zealander's first career knockdown.