Published: Thu, August 02, 2018
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

New species of hybrid dolphin discovered in Hawaii

New species of hybrid dolphin discovered in Hawaii

Scientists have declared the first sighting of a hybrid between a melon-headed whale and a rough-toothed dolphin in the ocean off Hawaii.

Despite it being a hybrid of a melon-headed whale and a rough-toothed dolphin, scientists have said not to call it a "wholphin".

In August 2017, scientists conducted a wide survey of the waters of Kauai in which they observed the whale and dolphin species residing in the area with the help of boat-based efforts and passive acoustic monitoring. Despite the name "whale", which constitutes one of nine families of true whales, several species of dolphin carry the word whale in their names.

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

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 many reports have called the wholphin a brand new species, in reality, this isn't the first time a whale/dolphin hybrid has been found.

The parent whales and the hybrid are pictured in this undated photo.

News of the hybrid animal hit headlines across the globe when a paper describing the find was published in July 2018.

Two of the ocean's most beloved sea creatures morph into one wonderful animal, as a team of researchers discovered in the past year.

The team was able to obtain a biopsy, using a crossbow equipped with a special dart that prevents deep penetration and returns a skin sample.

We all know the Tiger Lion hybrid the Liger, or the Zebra Horse hybrid: the Zorse and of course the ill-fated Human Chimpanzee hybrid; the humanzee.

The team also suggested this little guy's mother was a whale who mated with a dolphin.

Which is a technical way of saying this odd fellow didn't have look exactly like the other whales, but it also didn't look exactly like the other dolphins.

Hybrids generally occur when there is a decline in the population in one of the parental species, so scientists will be looking out for such a decline.

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.

"To know she has cousins out there in the ocean is an unbelievable thing to know", said Sea Life park curator Jeff Pawloski in response to the new discovery, which he said was proof of the "genetic diversity of the ocean".

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