Monday, 27 January 2014

New river dolphin Discovered in Brazil

New river dolphin species discovered in Brazil...Scientists hope rare finding will provide impetus for conservation of endangered species; new species has estimated population of 1,000 in 1,630 miles of rive.A new river dolphin species has been discovered in Brazil—the first such discovery in nearly 100 years.Scientists made the rare finding in the waters of the Araguaia River Basin and officially made its
existence known in a study posted by the PLOS ONE scientific journal.

“It was an unexpected discovery that shows just how incipient our knowledge is of the region’s biodiversity,” biologist Tomas Hrbek, the study’s lead author of the Federal University of Amazonas in Manaus, Brazil, told Phys.Org. “River dolphins are among the rarest and most endangered of all vertebrates, so discovering a new species is something that is very rare and exciting.”

Hrbek told Phys.Org that scientists concluded the large dolphin was a new species by analyzing and comparing DNA samples of several types of dolphins from the Amazon and Araguaia river basins.

“The Araguaia dolphin is very similar to its Amazon river cousin, although somewhat smaller and with fewer teeth,” Hrbek told Phys.Org, adding that National Geographic reported that the new species in central Brazil was isolated from other river dolphins (Inia geoffrensis and Inia boliviensis) in the adjacent Amazon Basin to the west by a series of rapids and a small canal. According to the study, they’ve been separated for more than 2 million years.

The new species was named Araguaian boto (boto means river dolphin) or Inia araguaiaensis. Hrbek said there were only

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