Here is something you’ve probably never thought about, but whales and dolphins hook up. Actually maybe you have thought about that, because like, weed exists. Either way, they do. And sometimes they have babies. And now scientists have spotted one in the waters off Hawaii.
At this stage the wholphin is thought to be the first product of a union between a rough-toothed dolphin and a melon-headed whale. So far, that doesn’t sound like the recipe for an attractive animal. Although speaking to CBS, biologist Robin Baird added: “I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more hybrids between the two species―they do associate quite regularly.”
Researchers first spotted the guy, oh yeah it’s a boy, while doing field work near Kauai. They saw a pod of whales and dolphins swimming together, and noticed one of the animals had “pigmentation and morphological characteristics suggesting it may be a hybrid”. In their report, published this month, they continued: “The head shape appears intermediate between the two species, with a gently-sloping rostrum rather than the rounded-head of a melon-headed whales but which is truncated compared to rough-toothed dolphins.” Cute!
Their suspicions were later confirmed after they were able to get a skin and blubber sample from the animal. Speaking to Khon2, Robin Baird from the Cascadia Research Collective theorised that the coupling probably came about when a female whale was separated from her pod and joined up with a bunch of dolphins. So congrats to the happy couple!