Exciting news for cetacean lovers: DNA testing has revealed that what scientists had thought was a small population of bottlenose dolphins is actually a distinct species – one of only a few species of dolphin that have been discovered since the late 1800s.
The new species has been named the Burrunan dolphin— “Burrunan” is the Aboriginal word for a large porpoise-like fish. The Burrunan dolphin has a stubbier nose and a more curved dorsal fin than the bottlenose dolphin.
There are about 150 of the dolphins swimming off the coast of Melbourne. Because their small population and proximity to urban and agricultural centers, the dolphins may be threatened by runoff that ends up in their habitat, as well as commercial fishing and boat traffic.
Check out this video of the Burrunan dolphins from The Canberra Times:
- Will EU Member States Live Up To Their Common Fisheries Policy Commitments? Posted Thu, September 25, 2014
- Ocean Roundup: Sand Tiger Shark Embryos Found to Eat Each Other, Wind Turbines Could Weaken Hurricane Intensity, and More Posted Mon, September 29, 2014
- In Honor of Sea Otter Awareness Week, Ten Fun Facts about Sea Otters Posted Wed, September 24, 2014
- Ocean Roundup: Gulf Businesses Won’t Return BP Payouts, Whales May Have More than One Spleen, and More Posted Fri, September 26, 2014
- Ocean Roundup: Polar Bears Turning to Snow Geese for Food, Arctic Sea Ice Found to Absorb CO2, and More Posted Tue, September 23, 2014