'Ugliest dolphin' off Austrlian coast

August 1, 2008 9:04:30 PM PDT
Could they be the world's ugliest dolphins?The first pictures of what has been dubbed the world's ugliest dolphin were shown on Australian television on Thursday.

The snub fin dolphin with its distinctive bulbous head was first identified three years ago off Western Australia's remote Kimberley coast.

It is the first new dolphin species to be discovered in fifty years.

Unlike some dolphins, the snub fins aren't used to humans and are easily scared away.

On Thursday researchers used a dart gun to retrieve a DNA sample from the dolphins for genetic examination.

"The last couple of days we've had fantastic weather and feeding activity and the right tides so some of the best sightings we've had so far," one of the researchers told Australian broadcaster Channel 10.

The dart only leaves a small scratch on the animal but provides a mountain of information.

Conservationists say despite the dolphin's odd appearance it is a magnificent creature.