Don't call dolphin hybrid spotted off Hawaii a 'wholphin'

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So, the bad news is, we don't have a new species of whale-or dolphin-on our hands.

Some news organisations have described the melon-headed whale and rough-toothed dolphin hybrid as a new species, but other things would still need to occur for this to be the case, including more widespread hybridisation, Mr Baird said.

In some cases, hybrids breeding with hybrids can ultimately lead to the formation of distinct new species, but there's no evidence that's happening here, according to Baird.

"We had the photos and suspected it was a hybrid from morphological characteristics intermediate between species".

Reports calling the hybrid animal a "wholphin" are false, scientists say.

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Robin Baird, head of the research project, told The Garden Island, a local Kauai newspaper, that it was the team's "most unusual finding". There's still limited information on the Hawaiian populations of the two species involved, so further studies are necessary to determine whether this played a role in the hybrid's birth.

A dolphin whale hybrid, recently discovered off the coast of Hawaii, has left scientists aghast.

Experts don't know how old it is but believe it's close to adult age. "I wouldn't be surprised if there are more hybrids between the two species ― they do associate quite regularly".

The cross-species hybridization may seem freaky, but is made possible by the fact that melon-headed whales aren't actually whales.

Scientists have spotted a hybrid whale-dolphin off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii. Scientists are touting the first sighting of the hybrid off Hawaii.

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Scientists who found the specimen tracked numerous species during a study off the island of Kauai previous year. "We were able to get a biopsy sample of the animal" as reported by express.co.uk.

We all know the Tiger Lion hybrid the Liger, or the Zebra Horse hybrid: the Zorse and of course the ill-fated Human Chimpanzee hybrid; the humanzee. "And to know she has cousins out there in the ocean is an wonderful thing to know".

Which is a technical way of saying this odd fellow didn't have look exactly like the other whales, but it also didn't look exactly like the other dolphins.

The hybrid was only traveling with one companion - a melon-headed whale.

This latest hybrid animal is not the first to be branded with the "wholfin" name. Other animals belonging to that category are killer whales and pilot whales.

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The hybrid, named Kekaimalu, still lives at the marine mammal park, where she helps teach children about genetics.

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