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Majestic fin whales

Icelandic whalers kill first fin whales in four years

As feared, whale hunters in Iceland have slaughtered at least two fin whales, the first...

Majority of Icelandic people think whaling harms their country’s reputation

With the very real prospect of Iceland's only fin whale hunter, Kristján Loftsson sending boats...
Humpback whale underwater

Humpback whale rescued from shark net in Australia

A humpback whale and her calf have managed to escape after becoming entangled in a...
Long-finned pilot whale

Fishermen in Norway eat pilot whale after entanglement in net

According to local reports, fishermen in Norway ate meat from a long-finned pilot whale after...

Rare hybrid dolphin strands on beach in Australia

ABC in Australia report that scientists have been able to gather vital DNA samples from a rare hybrid dolphin that stranded on Cable beach in Broome, Western Australia.

When the dolphin originally came ashore, efforts were made to rescue it but it could not be saved. The dolphin was found to be suffering from lung worm.

The DNA has revealed that the mother of the dolphin was an Australian snubfin dolphin but it is not known which species the father came from with three or four other species thought to be able to breed with this species. In 2014, a study was published of hybridisation between the Australian snubfin dolphin and Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin.

Crossbreeding in dolphins, while rare, has been observed elsewhere, such as in Scotland where WDC’s field team have come across a Risso’s dolphin/bottlenose dolphin hybrid (pictured below).

“Hybrids are known to exist between several different species of cetacean, however their occurence is still considered rare and to be able to undertake a full examination on a dead one is unfortunate for the individual animal but intriguing for science,” says WDC’s Head of science and research, Nicola Hodgins.


About George Berry

George is a member of WDC's Communications team and website coordinator.