Dolphin species found off Australia


Researchers have identified a new humpback dolphin species off northern Australia. A global team led by the U.S.-based Wildlife Conservation Society made the discovery after examining almost 200 dead dolphins and tissue specimens from live animals across the four Atlantic, Indian and Indo-Pacific ocean areas where humpbacks are known to live.

A study of the beak length and number of teeth in 180 skulls from beached and museum specimens, as well as live DNA samples from 235 dolphins, identified a new species in the humpback (sousa) genus, which frequents waters off northern Australia. Two of the three already-identified sousa species are in decline and considered at risk from habitat loss and fishing.