New Australian dolphin spits at food

Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com
April 13, 2009





Only recognized as a new species in 2005, the snubfin dolphin has been observed spitting jet streams of water at schools of fish. Spitting at the fish helps the dolphins round them up into groups where they are easier to catch.

The odd behavior described by Lydia Gibson of WWF, Australia, has only been seen in one other species of dolphin, the Irrawaddy dolphin, a close relation to the snubfin.

The snubfin dolphin inhabits rivers and coastlines in northern Australia. Considered near-threatened by the IUCN Redlist, the snubfin dolphin's greatest threat is being caught and drowned in fishermen's gill nets.

DNA tests and measurements of individual skulls led scientists to name the dolphin a new species in 2005—the first new dolphin described in 56 years. Prior to these studies, scientists had assumed they were Irrawaddy dolphins.







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CITATION:
Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (April 13, 2009).

New Australian dolphin spits at food.

http://news.mongabay.com/2009/0413-hance_snubfin.html