Whale-Dolphin Hybrid discovered in Hawaiian waters


In 2017 before future naval officers trained on submarines in the waters around Kauai the U.S. Navy hired marine researchers from the Cascadia Research Collective to study the native animals in these seas After encountering a large pod of melon-headed whales the researchers tagged two of them to see where they might go It was then that the researchers noticed something curious about one of the creatures It wasn’t quite a melon-headed whale Nor was it exactly a rough-toothed dolphin which are common to the area They collected some tissue from the animal and after returning to shore and performing genetic testing discovered it wasn’t either species but both The hybrid was very special because of its melon-headed genes The toothed-whales are rarely seen in these Hawaiian waters the researchers wrote Both species belong to the oceanic dolphin family but the report notes that cross-species unions between them are unusual It’s only the third recorded example in the Delphinidae family and the first between these two species The animal however strange certainly wasn’t treated as an outcast The marine scientists tagged the hybrid with satellite tracking GPS along with a companion to see where they might go And it appears they stayed together travelling some 475 miles over eight days and diving thousands of feet beneath the surface Last year was posted this photo of a possible hybrid between a melon-headed whale and a rough-toothed dolphin The report on that project is now available and includes the results of the genetic analyses of this individual If you want to find out whether it was a hybrid as well as learn more about the diving behavior of melon-headed whales, and movements of satellite-tagged spotted dolphins rough-toothed dolphins, and melon-headed whales the report can be downloaded at the link I’ll leave in the description

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