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Tilikum, the father of Nakai. © Paul Wigmore

Orca Nakai dies at SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld San Diego has announced the death of the orca Nakai. The 20-year-old male orca...
Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin © Mike Bossley/WDC

Last captive Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin to be freed in South Korea

Bibongi, the last Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin held in captivity in South Korea, is to be...
Common bottlenose dolphin

100 bottlenose dolphins hunted in Faroe Islands

This morning, (July 29th), 100 bottlenose dolphins were killed in Skálafjörður on the Faroe Islands. The...

Whales left to die in agony as grenade harpoons fail to explode

Evidence has emerged of grenade-tipped harpoons failing to explode when fired into fin whales by...

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.