New & Noteworthy: New Name for Monk Seals; An OIP Opinion; Pepe`ekeo Point Update

posted in: December 2014 | 0

A Seal by Any Other Name…: The endangered Hawaiian monk seal has a new name: Neomonachus schauinslandi, reflecting its genetic divergence from the Mediterranean monk seal.

The name change reflects recent genetic studies by researchers at the Smithsonian and colleagues in Germany and at Fordham University that indicate the common ancestor of both the Caribbean monk seal, last sighted in 1952, and the Hawaiian monk seal diverged from the Mediterranean monk seal some 6.3 million years ago. Analyses of DNA from skins of the Caribbean monk seal kept in museums as well as morphological examinations led the scientists to . . .

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