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Sperm whale underwater

Man arrested on suspicion of selling whale teeth

A man has been arrested by police in Oxfordshire following the discovery of a large...

Hundreds of whales killed as Norwegian hunt season ends

The end of the whaling season in Norway has been announced with 580 minke whales killed...

Third orca death in 18 months at theme park

Loro Parque tourist attraction in Tenerife, Spain has announced the death of Kohana, a 20-year-old...

WDC’s Shorewatch work shortlisted for nature award

We are thrilled that our Shorewatch programme has been shortlisted in the Citizen Science category...

Fossil of river dolphin relative identified after 65 years

The skull of an ancestor of the river dolphins that live today in South Asia, has been identified over 60 years after being discovered in Alaska according to a new scientific paper. Over 25 millions years old, the fossil belongs to a group of dolphins that lived in a sub-arctic marine environment unlike their modern-day relatives, which inhabit the major rivers of Asia such as the Indus and Ganges.

Like other river dolphins, the South Asian river dolphin is under threat due to habitat loss and the impact of other human activities throughout much of its range.

The skull had been stored at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington DC before being re-examined. The scientists who wrote the report, Alexandra Boersma and Nicholas Pyenson, have identified the specimen as a new genus and species, which has been named Arktocara yakataga. It lived around the time that whales were evolving into the two groups we know today – baleen whales (mysticetes) such as blue and humpback whales, and toothed whales (odontocetes) such as sperm whale and dolphins.


About George Berry

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