A new species of humpback dolphin has been identified off the northern coast of Australia, researchers have announced.
Humpback dolphins — named for the hump below their dorsal fin —swim within river deltas, estuaries and coastal waters throughout the Indian, Pacific and eastern Atlantic oceans. The charismatic mammals can grow to be 8 feet (2.4 meters) long, and sport different combinations of grey, pink and white colorations.
The animal’s wide geographic distribution has caused isolated populations to evolve into distinct species that have adapted to their own local habitat types, researchers say. For years, scientists had known of three different species. But now, an international team of researchers based at the American Museum of Natural History and the Wildlife Conservation Society has determined that a population of dolphins off the northern coast of Australia represents a fourth distinct species.
For more on this story, click here.