Scientists from Brazil have announced the discovery of a new species of dolphin.
As discoveries go, identifying a new species of any animal is welcomed and praised, and it may be more so in this case as the last time a new species of river dolphin was discovered was at the end of the First World War in 1918.
The scientists that discovered it named the species after the river it was found in, Araguaia, and estimate that there are approximately 1,000 dolphins in the area. They have deduced that this species is over two million years old, and it has taken them this long to discover them as they were commonly confused with a similar river dolphin indigenous to the Araguaia River.
The lead scientist, Dr Timas Hrbek, a professor that the Federal University of Amazons, noted, “It was something that was very unexpected, it is an area where people see them all the time, they are a large mammal, the thing is nobody really looked. It is very exciting.”
However, they do have a number of notable differences. The first of which are the teeth of the two mammals, the Araguaia dolphin has a larger number of teeth, and some would argue, are sharper. In addition, it is believed that it is slightly smaller in size.
The DNA of the two species show that they do not share lineages, which is what led them to the conclusion that they are two separate categories of dolphins.
The researchers have proposed that the final name for this new discovery should be Araguaian Boto. In addition, they have suggested that this animal be added to the Red List, a list of endangered species, seeing as how there are only 1,000 in existence.
Other Discoveries of 2013
A number of other notable species were found all over the world this past year, some more disturbing than others.
- The Walking-bamboo Shark was found close to the coast of Indonesia and although the name suggests a terrifying creature, its name is only indicative of the way this species swim. The walking-bamboo shark swims across the bottom of the ocean using its fins to push off of the ground to move.
- The Terisococcus phoenicis is a bacteria that was recent discovery that was found in the Kennedy Space Center. Some may worry that this bacteria was found in outerspace, and found its way on to earth, but that is definitely not the case. The bacteria was found in a clean room, which is used to keep dust and earthly organisms off of an outbound spacecraft so as to not contaminate other planets. The berry-shaped microbe requires very little to eat and therefore could survive in such a space void of all food.