Abstract: Natural hybridization occurs rarely in mammals, but it is thought to have the potential to produce viable hybrid offspring in cetaceans more easily than in other mammals. Among cases of cetacean hybridization, hybrids between bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and Risso's dolphins (Grampus griseus) have been documented in both the wild and in captivity. However, until now, no molecular evidence has been reported for these cases, and little molecular evidence is available for other cetacean species hybrids. Herein, we examined and documented a hybridization case between a female bottlenose dolphin and a male Risso's dolphin held in captivity at Fushun Royal Polar Ocean World in China. We used microsatellite DNA markers, which makes our study the first molecular evidence of hybridization between T. truncatus and G. griseus. Furthermore, we confirmed the usefulness of using microsatellite DNA markers to identify hybrids in other species of captive-born cetaceans.
Key Words: hybridization, bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, Risso's dolphin, Grampus griseus, microsatellite, captivity
Document Type: Research article
DOI: 10.1578/AM.40.1.2014.5
Page Numbers: 5-8

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