A dolphin was spotted on the coast of Greece stuck out of their pod, just like a sore thumb.

The dolphin had multiple stripes, with flippers resembling thumbs, and was seen more than once in the Gulf of Corinth during Summer, as per reports from Live Science.

The rare animal was seen and photographed by several researchers with PCRI (Pelagos Cetacean Research Institute), a technical, scientific, non-profit specially focused on the research as well as conservation of whales, porpoises, and dolphins.

At first, the PCRI spoke about the sighting in October while sharing their results from recent surveys on boats via a video on YouTube. At the time, the institute wrote, “We recorded a unique striped dolphin with thumbs on both its pectoral fins.”

As per PCR I’s president, Alexandros Frantzis, who took the photos of the rare animal, this wasn’t just some unique sighting – it was rather something rare that the institute had never come across before.

Frantzis mailed Live Science, “It was the very first time we saw this surprising flipper morphology in 30 years of surveys in the open sea and also in studies while monitoring all the stranded dolphins along the coasts of Greece for 30 years. Despite the creature’s rare, thumb-like flippers — which [do] not look like illness at all — it was able to keep up with the rest of their pod, swimming, leaping, bow-riding [and] playing with other dolphins.”

The Gulf of Corinth is home to around 1300 striped dolphins who are isolated from the whole Mediterranean population, as per the Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force.

Lisa Noelle Cooper, an associate professor of neurobiology and anatomy at NEOMED (Northeast Ohio Medical University), spoke about the outlet in detail, “I’ve never seen a flipper of a cetacean that had this shape. Given that the defect is in both the left and right flippers, it is probably the result of an altered genetic program that sculpts the flipper during development as a calf. Normally, dolphins develop their fingers within the flipper, and no cells between the fingers die off. It looks to me like the cells that normally would have formed the equivalent of our index, and middle fingers died off in a strange event when the flipper was forming while the calf was still in the womb. It is lovely to see that this animal is thriving.


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Barsha Bhattacharya
Barsha Bhattacharya is a senior content writing executive. As a marketing enthusiast and professional for the past 4 years, writing is new to Barsha. And she is loving every bit of it. Her niches are marketing, lifestyle, wellness, travel and entertainment. Apart from writing, Barsha loves to travel, binge-watch, research conspiracy theories, Instagram and overthink.

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