A recent DNA discovery has yield the surprising origins of the Clymene Dolphin Species. The Clymene dolphin, also known as the “short-snouted spinner dolphin” grows to a length of 7 feet and lives in the deep tropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean. These dolphins primarily hunt at night and feed on squid and fish found towards the top of the water.
Initially thought to be a sub species of the spinner dolphin, research of the Clymene dolphin’s DNA has revealed that this dolphin was that of a hybrid species of both the spinner and striped dolphin. This naturally occurs in the wild when one species splits into two or more isolated populations that diverge as they amass differences over time due to lack of interbreeding. These hybrid species are often infertile as well. This is known as speciation.
Scientists will continue to study dolphins in an effort to better understand this rare form of speciation, and how it occurs in the wild.
photo credit: NOAA