Australia Welcomes New Dolphin Species

Up until recently, it was thought that only two species of bottlenose dolphins existed—the Indo-Pacific and the common bottlenose. But recent DNA tests performed by researchers at Australia’s Macquarie and Monash Universities have revealed a new species. 

Resembling the common dolphin in appearance, but not genetic makeup, the newly discovered coastal dolphin is thought to have a very limited range, and therefore deserves special protection. 

DNA tests also enabled the discovery of another mammal in Australia, the snubfin dolphin. In July, researchers at James Cook University announced the new species, initially thought to be members of the Irrawaddy species. These discoveries highlight how much more we have left to learn about marine biodiversity, particularly as so many species are threatened with extinction.