Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A New Mammal - the Dwarf Manatee

Loren Coleman has posted on the cryptozoology site Cryptomundo a version of the announcement of a formal description my Marc van Roosmalen, et. al., of a large new mammal van Roosmalen had been investigating for some time. This is the dwarf manatee, Trichechus bernardi. It's the second known freshwater-specializing manatee and, at 1.3m in length, by far the smallest. A holotype is in hand, and the species has also been filmed in the wild. DNA analysis confirms its long-term genetic isolation from other manatee species. Sizable new mammals are the rarest of new species, but they still come along more often than most people realize.

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