Science, Wildlife

New river dolphin species discovered in Amazon for first time in 100 years

Scientists have discovered a new species of dolphin in the Amazon River system for the first time in almost 100 years – and say it should immediately be given endangered status.

Experts from the Federal University of Amazonas in Manaus, Brazil found that a small group of river dolphins, also known as botos, in the Araguaia basin were separated from other populations by only a narrow canal and series of rapids.

Upon closer inspection and after DNA testing, Tomas Hrbek and his team discovered that the group was in fact a distinct species, which they suggest naming the Araguaian boto.

Publishing their research in the journal Plos One, the scientists said the Araguaian boto was most likely separated from other dolphin species more than two million years ago, and that a series of morphological and genetic differences represent strong evidence that individuals from the Araguaia River represent a distinct biological group — via redwolf.newsvine.com

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