New species (a hybrid of a whale and a dolphin) discovered off Hawaii

By Kimi Andrew
HNN Summer Intern

Last August, scientists thought they might have spotted a new species off Kauai.

Turns out, they did.

Researchers say this is the first-ever documented hybrid between a melon-headed whale and a rough-toothed dolphin.

The unusual new species has been named "Steno Bredanensis." It was found by scientists from Cascadia Research Collective during a two-week project.

"We had the photos and suspected it was a hybrid from morphological characteristics intermediate between species," Robin Baird, head of the research project told The Garden Island Newspaper, in an interview. "We were able to get a biopsy sample of the animal."

Baird, along with his research team, will be back in Kauai waters next month for more studies.

During that time, they hope to get more photos of the new hybrid species, water samples, and do testing on other species in the area.

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