This study employs a comprehensive set of morphological character

This study employs a comprehensive set of morphological characters to address aspects of balaenid phylogeny. A sister-group relationship between neobalaenids and balaenids is strongly supported, although this conflicts with molecular evidence, which may be an artifact Selleckchem EGFR inhibitor of long-branch attraction (LBA). Monophyly of Balaenidae is supported, and three major clades are recognized: (1) extinct genus Balaenula, (2) extant and extinct species of the genus Eubalaena, and (3) extant and extinct species of the genus Balaena plus the extinct

taxon, Balaenella. The relationships of these clades to one another, as well as to the early Miocene stem balaenid, Morenocetus parvus, remain unresolved. Pliocene taxa, Balaenula astensis and Balaenula balaenopsis, form a clade that is the sister group to the Japanese Pliocene Balaenula sp. Eubalaena glacialis and Pliocene Eubalaena belgica, are in an unresolved polytomy with a clade including E. japonica and E. australis. Extant and fossil species of Balaena form a monophyletic group that is sister group to the Dutch Pliocene Balaenella, although phylogenetic relationships within Balaena remain unresolved. “
“The taxonomy of the humpback dolphin genus Sousa has been controversial and unsettled for centuries, but recent work indicates that there

are several valid species. A review of multiple lines of evidence from skeletal morphology, external morphology, coloration, molecular Selleckchem RG7422 genetics, and biogeography, in combination provides strong support for the recognition of four species of Sousa. These include S. teuszii (Kükenthal, 1892), a species with uniform gray coloration and a prominent dorsal hump, which is found in the Atlantic Ocean off West Africa. The species S. plumbea (G. Cuvier, 1829) has similar external appearance to S. teuszii, but has a more pointed dorsal fin. It occurs in the Indian Ocean from South Africa to Myanmar (Burma). The original taxon, S. chinensis (Osbeck, 1765), is reserved for the species that

has a larger dorsal fin with no prominent click here hump, and largely white adult coloration. It ranges from eastern India to central China and throughout Southeast Asia. Finally, we describe a new species of Sousa, the Australian humpback dolphin, which occurs in the waters of the Sahul Shelf from northern Australia to southern New Guinea. It has a lower dorsal fin, more extensive dark color on the body, and a dorsal “cape.” It is separated from the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin by a wide distributional gap that coincides with Wallace’s Line. “
“During the breeding season northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) congregate on the Pribilof Islands in large numbers creating the potential for intraspecific competition.

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