Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resource 2016

Victoria's dolphins recognised as unique breed

by Monash University/Sail-World Cruising on 16 Sep 2011
Next time you see dolphins off the bow, you may be looking at a new species .. .
If you are a sailor in Victoria, next time you see a pod of dolphins playing off the bow you just may be watching a unique breed of dolphin which, genetically, split from the other world's dolphins a very long time ago.

Following an amazing discovery by a Monash University researcher, Victoria’s dolphins have been formally recognised as a new species


According to Monash University, Kate Charlton-Robb, a PhD researcher in the School of Biological Sciences unearthed the remarkable findings, which have been published in the latest PLoS ONE Journal, showing that coastal dolphins in southern Australia greatly differed from any other dolphin worldwide.

The dolphins were originally thought to be one of the two recognised bottlenose dolphin species, however by using multiple lines of scientific evidence these dolphins were found to be unique. The discovery was made by comparing skulls, external characteristics and a number of DNA regions from the current day population as well as specimens dating back to the early 1900s.

Ms Charlton-Robb has formally named the new dolphin Tursiops australis with the common name, the Burrunan dolphin, being an Australian aboriginal name given to dolphins in the Boonwurrung, Woiwurrung and Taungurung languages, meaning ‘large sea fish of the porpoise kind’.

'This is an incredibly fascinating discovery as there have only been three new dolphin species formally described and recognised since the late 1800s.

'What makes this even more exciting is this dolphin species has been living right under our noses, with only two known resident populations living in Port Phillip Bay and the Gippsland Lakes in Victoria,' said Ms Charlton-Robb.

This research relied in large part on the analysis of dolphin skulls collected and maintained by museums over the last century including the extraordinary holdings at Museum Victoria.

'Ms Charlton-Robb’s discovery is an exciting example of a recent trend in biodiversity research across Victoria and Australia. Through the careful application of emerging technologies to museum specimens, researchers are revealing that our biological heritage is far more diverse than we realise.' said Dr Rowe, Museum Victoria’s Senior Curator of Mammals.

Ms Charlton-Robb said it is important this study continues in order to conserve and protect the Burrunan dolphin for future generations. More research is required to determine if there are other resident populations of this species in Australia.

'We know these unique dolphins are restricted to a very small region of the world, in addition the resident populations are very small with only approximately 100 dolphins in Port Phillip Bay and 50 in the Gippsland Lakes.

'This study highlights the importance of taking a more holistic approach of using multiple analyses, rather than looking in isolation of one scientific methodology. Even though we have progressed a long way in science, this study shows there are still new and exciting discoveries to be made,' said Ms Charlton-Robb.

We are privileged to have a new dolphin species in our waters and people are encouraged to enjoy the marine wildlife, but to make sure they keep their distance. Marine mammals are a protected species.

To read the complete research article in PLoS-ONE journal, http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0024047?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+plosone%2FPLoSONE+%28PLoS+ONE+Alerts%3A+New+Articles%29!click_right_here.

InSunSport - NZBarz Optics - Melanin LensesWildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Alternative energy - being embraced by the sailing world
Within the cruising world of sailing alternative power is old news, now the racing world is catching up fast. Renewable energy is a hot and sometimes controversial topic on land, but within the sailing world wind generators are old news, and being 'independent of the grid' is taken for granted.
Posted on 27 May 2013
Royal Yacht Squadron leads the armada against windfarm plan
Royal Yacht Squadron is orchestrating a campaign against the world's largest wind farm off the south coast of England Britain's most prestigious sailing club, the Royal Yacht Squadron, is orchestrating a campaign against the largest wind farm ever planned in the world, off the south coast of England. It fears the Navitus Bay wind farm could impact on the main sailing route from the Isle of Wight to the south west, including the Fastnet Race, which starts in Cowes and finishes in Plymouth.
Posted on 9 Apr 2012
Dogs join Ocean Environment Action Group
Is your dog passionate about the ocean environment? No longer does he have to bark in vain, he can be a 'Salty Dog'. Is your dog passionate about the ocean environment? If so, no longer does he have to bark in vain - Sailors for the Sea have a new category of membership - 'The Salty Dog' Membership
Posted on 18 Mar 2011
New Alliance to save whales AND sailors
Campaign group and sailors to work together for better environmental practice at sea for whales London-based campaigning organisation the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and the organisation running the Global Ocean Race 2011-2012 (GOR) announce a unique partnership to seek ways to prevent collisions between whales and yachts. The partnership between a race organisation and an environmental organisation will benefit all cruising sailors, not only those who race
Posted on 15 Mar 2011
60ft Plastiki sets sail from San Francisco
The voyage of the Plastiki began in earnest yesterday as the 60’ man made plastic catamaran was towed unceremoniously ou The voyage of the Plastiki began in earnest yesterday as the 60’ man made plastic catamaran was towed unceremoniously out to sea of the San Francisco coast and released in calm condition and a gentle swell. The mission, the brain child of David de Rothschild , heir of the de Rothschild European banking dynasty began in 2006 and has seen its share of delays and setbacks, and a lack of cooperating w
Posted on 22 Mar 2010
Global Ocean Race on the World Yacht Racing Forum
Josh Hall, Race Director of the Global Ocean Race shared in a debate on methods of cutting overall costs in yacht racing Knut Frostad, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race, was one of the keynote speakers on the second day of the WYRF and supplied invaluable insight into the mechanics behind this highly successful event and shared the stage with Josh Hall, Race Director of the Global Ocean Race, in a debate on methods of cutting overall costs in yacht racing
Posted on 11 Dec 2009
World Yacht Racing Forum- the Business of Yacht Racing, Final Day
Highlight of the day was the America’s Cup session - with Russell Coutts, Paul Cayard and Brad Butterworth Among the highlights of the day were the America’s Cup session - with the exceptional presence of both Russell Coutts, Paul Cayard and Brad Butterworth - as well as the contributions by double Vendée Globe winner Michel Desjoyeaux and Brown GP F1 team CEO Nick Fry
Posted on 11 Dec 2009
Velux 5 Oceans launches 'Taking On The Elements'
Concept brings together all the key stakeholders in the race under the umbrella of the shared value of sustainability The Velux 5 Oceans today launched its sustainability agenda under the banner of ‘'Taking On The Elements'. The concept brings together all the key stakeholders in the race under the umbrella of the shared value of sustainability, providing a basis of understanding and a platform for activities and communications in 2010 and 2011
Posted on 9 Dec 2009
Study finds surprising new pathway for North Atlantic circulation
Oceanographers have long known that the 20-year-old paradigm for describing the global ocean circulation Oceanographers have long known that the 20-year-old paradigm for describing the global ocean circulation – called the Great Ocean Conveyor – was an oversimplification. But while the conveyor belt paradigm establishes the melody, the subtleties and intricacies of the symphony of global ocean circulation largely remain a puzzle.
Posted on 27 May 2009