Don't call dolphin hybrid spotted off Hawaii a 'wholphin'

Don't call dolphin hybrid spotted off Hawaii a 'wholphin'

The male "wholphin", which is believed to be close to adult age, was spotted swimming with dolphins near the island of Kauai past year, according to Dr Robin Baird, the marine biologist who headed the expedition.

Labelling the newly discovered hybrid a "wholphin" may mean people wrongly assume it is a cross between two very different animals, scientists said.

Described as having the fins of a dolphin but the body and head of a whale.

The result of breeding between a a rough-toothed dolphin and a melon-headed whale has created an entirely new species.

They were able to take a sample for a biopsy, which confirmed their suspicions.

A new species of aquatic mammal, a hybrid of a whale and a dolphin, has been identified in waters near Hawaii. But there is something unmistakably charming about a dolphin and a whale hitting it off and producing dolphin-whale offspring, as has been sighted off the coast of Hawaii. Despite the name "whale", which constitutes one of nine families of true whales, several species of dolphin carry the word whale in their names.

From the Pacific Missile Range Facility range, the Navy were able to record acoustics of the animals in their habitat, which they were then able to pass over to Baird and his crew.

Scientists from the Cascadia Research Collective observed the pair off the Hawaiian Islands and confirmed that the existence of the hybrid in August 2017.

Cascadia has conducted field research in the Canadian Arctic, Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California, Hawai'i, Mexico, and the waters off Central America.




"This is the first hybrid between two particular species", said Robin Baird, principal investigator of the project.

And while this is a new find, it's not quite a "new species", as is being reported web-wide.

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.

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

The researchers also determined that the hybrid is a male and that he stayed particularly close to its melon-headed whale companion for the duration of the observation period.

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.

Killer whales (Orcas) are also Delphinidae or dolphins.

The hybrid named Keikaimalu still lives at the marine mammal park, where she helps teach children about genetics.

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