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Saturday, February 1, 2014

A new species of dolphins was found

New species of river dolphins are found in Brazil. This finding is the first time since the last previous findings in 1918. Tomas Hrbek of the Federal University of Amazonas is the person who found the dolphin and publish it in the PLoS ONE journal.
The proposed new species of river dolphin, the Araguaian boto (Inia araguaiaensis). (Picture from: http://www.sci-news.com/)
New type of dolphins are found later to be named Inia araguaiaensis or Araguaian boto. The species name is taken from the name of the river where it was found, Araguaia River. The new species was previously thought to be the same species as Inia geoffrensis before mitochondrial genetic analysis reveals the difference.

Mitochondrial genetic analyzes reveal that I araguaiaensis separated from I geoffrensis since 2.08 million years ago. The period of separation of the two species was almost the same as when the Araguaia River began immediately end up in the Atlantic Ocean, not to join the Amazon. Besides that, I araguaiaensis different from I geoffrensis, because it has a smaller skull and number of teeth only 24 pieces, while I geoffrensis have 25-29 pieces.
The cranium and mandible of the new dolphin species, Inia araguaiaensis. (Picture from: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/)
As qouted from the Sci-News.com website, on Wednesday, January 23, 2014, with the current species discovered, there are five types of river dolphins on the face of the Earth. The first, Yangtze River dolphins since 2006 has been declared extinct. Three other species, including Mahakam dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris), was also threatened with extinction. The fate of a new species of dolphins, it is also not much different. Its existence is increasingly threatened by habitat destruction.

Some scientists are not convinced that I araguaensis is a new species. However, Hrbek defended his opinion, because mitochondrial genome did not mention the species as a subspecies of I geoffrensis.. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | SCI-NEWS.COM | NATIONAL GEOGRAPHICS]
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