A group of Marine Biologists at Cascadia Research Collective, off the coast of Kauai in Hawaii, claim that a new cetacean species received immediate attraction as these ‘whale-dolphins’ are a hybrid of a melon-headed whale and a rough-toothed dolphin.
A hybrid male inherits the melon head and dark fin found on melon-headed whale and the blotchy colour patterns, which is found on rough-toothed dolphins.
It is known that these cetacean species can grow up to 12 to 22 inches/4 to 7 metres. The unique behaviours for these particular cetaceans are not yet known, however, judging by the behaviours of the parent species, the behaviours of the ‘whale-dolphin’ are expected to be as follows;
- Very social, perhaps travelling in groups/pods.
- Potentially fast and powerful swimmers, perhaps porpoising.
- Possibly, they will bow-ride when they’re not being harassed.
It is not yet known the generic distribution of these whale dolphin; however, the first set of hybrids were found in Kauai in Hawaii, with the melon-headed whale and the rough-toothed dolphin are distributed in regions of Tropics of Cancer, Tropics of Capricorn and the Equator. With regards to their diet, these creatures eat small fish and squid. If the ‘whale-dolphin’ inherits the life-span from its parent species, then we expect the life-span to be at least 20 years for a male and at least 30 years for a female.
By Naim Awal