Publication on cryptic dolphin species

A fruitful collaboration with Martin Mendez and Howard Rosenbaum from the WCS resulted in the publication of a paper in Molecular Ecology on a previously unknown species of humpback dolphin (genus Sousa) living in the southern Pacific Ocean.

Photo by Guido Parra

Photo by Guido Parra

Humpback dolphin distribution map

Global distribution of humpback dolphins. Solid circles indicate sampling sites, with genetic sample sizes alongside and morphological sample sizes (in parentheses). Samples with unknown specific location within a region/country are indicated by open circles and plotted on the country/region of origin. Previously recognized taxonomic names are shown at the bottom and represent approximate locations of proposed species distribution limits. Specifically, we show the three-species taxonomy above the bottom line, with an approximate geographical split between S. teuszii and S. plumbea in western South Africa, and the approximate split between S. plumbea and S. chinensis as a split range east of India, given current uncertainty about proposals for that split. Below the bottom line, we show the two-species taxonomy including only S. teuszii and S. chinensis.

Molecular phylogenetic relationships and clustering according to morphological characters.

Media articles in Smithsonian MagazineWashington PostNew York TimesNational GeographicBBCReutersLA TimesCBSNBCScientific American

#Sightseeing #conservationgenetics #mammals #marine

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