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East Coast Estuarine Dolphins Are Separate Species

Published on: 09/08/2023
Research Area(s): Social Media


two dolphins swim in a river with horses on the shore in the background

Two dolphins swimming along Taylor Creek near Beaufort, North Carolina. Credit: Annie Gorgone, NOAA Fisheries (Permit # 779-1633)

A collaborative study found that East Coast estuarine dolphins are a separate species, distinct from the offshore form of common bottlenose dolphins.

The scientists collected DNA and morphological data from tissue samples, skulls, and vertebral columns from dolphins that stranded along the East Coast between 1966 and 2011. 


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