In a new article published in Marine Mammal Science , two scientists propose a revision of the taxonomy of humpback dolphins and a description of a new Australian species through historical records, physical descriptions and data DNA on humpback dolphins. Thomas Jefferson, principal author of the article, "we finally managed to resolve many long-standing questions about humpback dolphins - in particular how many species actually exist - using a huge amount of data collected during two centuries and analyzed using the latest scientific tools " .
As this map shows, is Sahul continental platform including a now submerged part, between New Guinea and Australia.
Two separate species by the Wallace line
The new species described by authors living in the waters of northern Australia, southern New Guinea , at the Sahul continental shelf to which it owes its name. The hallmarks of Sousa sahulensis are its length, number of teeth and vertebrae, its lowest dorsal fin and wider at the base than those of teuszii Sousa and Sousa plumbea , its color is dark gray denotes the white coloring Sousa chinensis .
Another interesting result is that the dolphin has an Australian distribution following the biogeographical barrier described by Alfred Russell Wallace: Wallace line. adults coloring pages To the west of it, the land animal species are mainly of Asian origin while in the east, they would come from Australian ancestors. It probably also tie humpback dolphins Indo-Pacific their Australian cousins.
Howard Rosenbaum, also author of the article believes that this should help to protect these endangered animals by fishermen, the impacts of vessels and changing their coastal habitats .