(NEWSER) - A species of dolphin that lives off the coast of northern Australia is so new to science that it doesn't have a name yet.
Scientists knew about the dolphin populations, but they were thought to be part of another humpback dolphin species until genetic testing revealed that they were a distinct species, National Geographic finds.
There are now believed to be at least four separate species of humpback dolphin, all of which prefer coastal waters and have a tell-tale bump on their backs, notes the Los Angeles Times.
It's rare to find a new species of mammal, but genetic testing has thrown up surprises before, one of the researchers says. "One of the reasons we're finding new species is because we're finding new tools," he explains. "Genetics opens a new window into these kinds of questions."
Like others of its kind, the Aussie humpback species is threatened by environmental pressures and the team that discovered it hopes its status as a distinct species will give protection efforts a boost.
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