Incredible dolphin with thumbs spotted in the Ionian Sea (video)

Researchers from the Pelagos Cetacean Research Institute have spotted a strange dolphin with "thumbs" on its flippers. According to Alexandros Frantzis, president and scientific coordinator of the institute, the animal was "swimming, leaping, bow-riding, playing" with the other dolphins in its pod.

The incredibly unique striped dolphin was swimming in the Gulf of Corinth, a deep inlet in the Ionian Sea separating the the continental mainland of Greece from the Peloponnese peninsula.

"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," Frantzis told Live Science. The thumbs are likely "the expression of some rare and 'irregular' genes" resulting from the dolphins inbreeding.