Source material courtesy of grindtv.com.
– This is the stuff I love reading. New species of animals are found all the time but rarely does anyone notice. Believe it or not, thousands of new species are found each year.
It’s the first find of its kind in almost 100 years. However, they only estimate about 1,000 left in a relatively small area of water declaring it already endangered. Biologist Tomas Hrbek, the lead author of the study posted here emphasizes it’s significance.
“River dolphins are among the rarest and most endangered of all vertebrates, so discovering a new species is something that is very rare and exciting.”
Named the Araguaian Dolphin, it has been separated from other river dolphins for 2 million years. On the surface it looks like just another Amazon river dolphin species currently known. Its very common for new species to be mistaken for another. Without DNA testing or looking extremely closely at minute features, differentiating between two animals can be near impossible unless you are looking for it.
Another example of mistaken identity comes from just last year when the discovery of a new species of mammal was announced called the Olinguito. It was discovered by Kristofer Helgen, curator of mammals at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. In 2003, he was conducting research about Olingos at the Chicago Field Museum in preparation of a study. He found some very peculiar looking skin and skull specimens, different from what he has ever seen before. The records on where they came from was enough to spark an investigation. In 2006, his research group in Ecuador went looking and quickly found his hunch of a new species was confirmed their first night.
One which Helgen’s group studied through documentation was hiding right under everyone’s nose for a time. The cute little critter named Ringerl, who was thought to be it’s sister species the Olingo, was shipped from zoo to zoo from 1967 to 1976 in order to try to get it to breed with other Olingos. It never did and it’s now obvious why.
I’d like to add it’s these reasons why the possibility of Sasquatch, Yetis or Loch Ness Monster (to only name a small few) could exist. People quickly dismiss the notion thinking how these countless creatures of legend could ever exist if we still have yet to confirm it. There is a vast wilderness hiding who knows what. Why is it so hard to believe their existence too? But that’s for another post.