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Learn more about Cetaceans from the


  1. exclusively aquatic
  2. fusiform body with shortened neck and elongate tail [Figs. 19-4 - 19.5]
  3. tail modified into horizontal flukes (supported only by connective tissue)
  4. pelvic girdle reduced to vestigial
  5. paddle shaped anterior limbs [Fig. 19-6]
  6. highly modified, telescoped skull [Fig. 19-7]
  7. external nares dorsally located [Fig. 19-3, 19-7]
  8. nares connects directly to lungs
  9. diving adaptations from whales online
  10. diving adaptations Gerald L. Kooyman and Paul J Ponganis
Whale evolution: Fig. 19-1
Whale phylogeny: Fig. 19-9

Suborder Mysticeti--baleen whales

  1. Balaenidae (2, 3) Bowhead and right whales
    1. skimmers [fig 19-14]
    2. Southern Right Whale (Eubalaena australis), Puerto Pir�mides, Peninsula Valdes, Argentina
    3.  Punta Delgada

Balaenopteridae (2, 6) Rorquals: the fin backed and humpback whales
  1. gulpers [fig 19-12]
    1. Balaenoptera acutorostrata [minke] ;8-10 m, up to 9000 kg.  Minke whales are the most numerous of the baleen whales.[fig 19-125
    2. Balaenoptera musculus [blue whale]: up to 30 m, 200,000 kg


  1. Megaptera novaeangliae [humpback whale] [Fig. 19-13, 19-16]
  1. Listen to the songs of the humpback whale.


Photograph by Gerald and Buff Corsi � California Academy of Sciences

Eschrichtiidae (1, 1) Gray whale
  1. bottom scooper
  2. thermoregulation in the tongues of gray whales

Eschrichtius robustus,
Gray Whale.  Photograph by Gerald and Buff Corsi � California Academy of Sciences

Neobalaenidae (1, 1) Pigmy right whale  

Suborder Odontoceti [Table 16.1]

 Delphinidae (17, 32) 

Dolphins, Photograph by Susan Middleton � California Academy of Sciences. 

Globicephala sp.
Pilot Whale, Blackfish.  Photograph by John H. Tashjian � California Academy of Sciences.

Monodontidae (2, 2) Narwhal, beluga [fig 19-19]  
Phocoenidae (4, 6) Porpoises  

Physeteridae (2, 3) Sperm whales [fig 19-17]

  1. Physeter: 18 m long, 53,000 kg.
Platanistidae (4, 5) River dolphins [fig 19-20]
Ziphiidae (6, 19) Beaked whales [fig 19-21]
  • A rare, complete Hubbs' Beaked Whale (Mesoplodon carlhubbsi) skeleton is on display at Humboldt State University.  According to the website article, "[b]eaked whales are among the least known of all living whales. This toothed whale lives offshore above deep ocean canyons in the Pacific Ocean between North America and Japan."
  • Thanks to Drs. Brian Arbogast and Steven Smith (pictured, third from left) of Humbolt State University for supplying this photograph.

Information on whaling from Wikipedia
  1. Picture Wreck of the Essex. Detail of "Whaling Voyage Round the World," ca.1848, a panorama by Benjamin Russell (1804-1885) and Caleb P. Purrington; New Bedford Whaling Museum



Information on whaling from Wikipedia



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