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False Killer Whales Reviewed For ESA Status

WASHINGTON (CN) - The National Marine Fisheries Service will review the status of the Hawaiian false killer whale (so called because though they resemble Orca whales they are actually in the dolphin family) to determine if it should be listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

A petition submitted by the Natural Resources Defense Council contains sufficient scientific information to warrant a full review of the false killer whale's status, according to the agency.

Although widespread as a species, the Hawaiian stock forms a distinct population segment, and the petition states that only between 70 and 120 of these dolphins remain.

Marine Biologists successfully crossed a false killer whale with a dolphin to produce a wolphin, believed to be the first mating between different species to produce fertile offspring.

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