List of extinct cetaceans

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The list of extinct cetaceans features the extinct genera and species of the order Cetacea. The cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) are descendants of land-living mammals, the even-toed ungulates. The earliest cetaceans were still hoofed mammals. These early cetaceans became gradually better adapted for swimming than for walking on land, finally evolving into fully marine cetaceans.

This list currently includes only fossil genera and species. However, the Atlantic population of gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) became extinct in the 18th century, and the baiji (or Chinese river dolphin, Lipotes vexillifer) was declared "functionally extinct" after an expedition in late 2006 failed to find any in the Yangtze River.


Suborder Archaeoceti

Family Ambulocetidae


Family Basilosauridae

(Late Eocene)

Basilosaurus cetoides reconstruction

Family Kekenodontidae


Family Pakicetidae

(Early to Middle Eocene)

Ambulocetus skeleton in front and Pakicetus behind

Family Protocetidae


Rhodocetus kasrani reconstruction

Family Remingtonocetidae


Suborder Mysticeti

Family Aetiocetidae


Aetiocetus restoration

Family Llanocetidae

(Late Eocene-Early Oligocene)

Family Mammalodontidae

(jr synonym Janjucetidae)

(Late Oligocene)

Family incertae sedis

Clade Chaeomysticeti

Family incertae sedis

Superfamily Eomysticetoidea

Family Cetotheriopsidae

(Oligocene to Miocene)

Family Eomysticetidae

(Oligocene to early Miocene)

Family Aglaocetidae


Superfamily Balaenoidea

Family Balaenidae

(Oligocene to Recent)

Family incertae sedis

Clade Thalassotherii

Family Cetotheriidae

(Miocene - Pliocene)

Classification follows Steeman, 2007.[8]

Cetotherium restoration
Family Diorocetidae

(Miocene to Pliocene)

Family Neobalaenidae

(Miocene to Recent)

Family Pelocetidae


Family incertae sedis
Superfamily Balaenopteroidea
Eobalaenoptera skeleton
Family Balaenopteridae

(Miocene to Recent)

Family Eschrichtiidae

(Miocene to Recent)

Family Tranatocetidae

Family incertae sedis

Suborder Odontoceti

Basal forms

Family Agorophiidae

(Late Oligocene)

Family Ashleycetidae

(Early Oligocene)

Family Mirocetidae

(Early Oligocene)

Family Patriocetidae

(Oligocene to Early Miocene)

Family Simocetidae

(Late Oligocene)

Family Xenorophidae


Family Inticetidae

Family Microzeuglodontidae

Family incertae sedis

Superfamily Squalodontoidea

Family Dalpiazinidae

(Late Oligocene to Miocene)

Family Prosqualodontidae

(Oligocene to Miocene)

Family Squalodontidae

(Oligocene to Pliocene)

Superfamily Physeteroidea

Family Kogiidae

(Miocene to recent)

Family Physeteridae

Family incertae sedis

Superfamily "Eurhinodelphinoidea"

Family Argyrocetidae

(Late Oligocene to Early Miocene)

Family Eoplatanistidae


Family Eurhinodelphinidae

(Mid Miocene to Pliocene)

Superfamily Platanistoidea

Family Allodelphinidae

(Early to Middle Miocene)

Life reconstruction of Arktocara yakataga

Family Platanistidae

(Miocene to Recent)

Family Squalodelphinidae

(Early to Late Miocene)

Family Waipatiidae

Superfamily Ziphioidea

Family Squaloziphiidae

(Early Miocene)

Family Ziphiidae

(Miocene to Recent)

Clade Delphinida

Family Kentriodontidae

(Early-Middle Miocene)

Kentriodon reconstruction

Family incertae sedis

Superfamily Delphinoidea

Family Albireonidae

(Miocene to Pliocene)

Family Delphinidae
Etruridelphis giulii

(Oligocene to Recent)

Family Monodontidae

(Miocene to Pliocene)

Family Odobenocetopsidae


Odobenocetops reconstruction
Family Phocoenidae

(Miocene to Recent)

Superfamily Inioidea

Family Iniidae
Family Pontoporiidae

(Middle Miocene to Recent)

Superfamily Lipotoidea

Family Lipotidae

(Miocene to Recent)

Superfamily incertae sedis

Family incertae sedis

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Gingerich, P.D. et al. 2001. Origin of Whales from Early Artiodactyls: Hands and Feet of Eocene Protocetidae from Pakistan. (19 September 2001). Science doi:10.1126/science.1063902.
  3. ^ a b Sunil Bajpai and J.G.M. Thewissen (2014). "Protocetid cetaceans (Mammalia) from the Eocene of India". Palaeontologia Electronica 17 (3): Article number 17.3.34A.
  4. ^ Philip D. Gingerich and Henri Cappetta (2014). "A New Archaeocete and Other Marine Mammals (Cetacea and Sirenia) from Lower Middle Eocene Phosphate Deposits of Togo". Journal of Paleontology. 88 (1): 109–129. doi:10.1666/13-040.
  5. ^ Ryan M. Bebej, Iyad S. Zalmout, Ahmed A. Abed El-Aziz, Mohammed Sameh M. Antar and Philip D. Gingerich (2016). "First remingtonocetid archaeocete (Mammalia, Cetacea) from the middle Eocene of Egypt with implications for biogeography and locomotion in early cetacean evolution". Journal of Paleontology. in press. doi:10.1017/jpa.2015.57.
  6. ^ Felix G. Marx, Cheng-Hsiu Tsai and R. Ewan Fordyce (2015). "A new Early Oligocene toothed ‘baleen’ whale (Mysticeti: Aetiocetidae) from western North America: one of the oldest and the smallest". Royal Society Open Science 2 (12): 150476. doi:10.1098/rsos.150476.
  7. ^ Jonathan H. Geisler; Robert W. Boessenecker; Mace Brown; Brian L. Beatty (2017). "The Origin of Filter Feeding in Whales". Current Biology. in press. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2017.06.003.
  8. ^ M. E. Steeman (2007). "Cladistic analysis and a revised classification of fossil and recent mysticetes". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 150 (4): 875–894. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.2007.00313.x.
  9. ^ Otsuka, H.; Ota, Y. (2008). "Cetotheres from the early Middle Miocene Bihoku Group in Shobara District, Hiroshima Prefecture, West Japan". Miscellaneous Reports of the Hiwa Museum for Natural History. 49 (2): 1–66.
  10. ^ Kimura, T.; Hasegawa, Y. (2010). "A new baleen whale (Mysticeti: Cetotheriidae) from the earliest late Miocene of Japan and a reconsideration of the phylogeny of cetotheres". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 30 (2): 577–591. doi:10.1080/02724631003621912.
  11. ^ Bouetel, V.; Muizon, C. de (2006). "The anatomy and relationships of Piscobalaena nana (Cetacea, Mysticeti), a Cetotheriidae s.s. from the early Pliocene of Peru" (PDF). Geodiversitas. 28 (2): 319–395. Archived from pdf the original Check |url= value (help) on 2007-10-30.
  12. ^ Bisconti, M. (2006). "Titanocetus, a new baleen whale from the middle Miocene of northern Italy (Mammalia, Cetacea, Mysticeti)". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 26 (2): 344–354. doi:10.1671/0272-4634(2006)26[344:tanbwf];2. JSTOR 4524574.
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  14. ^ Robert W. Boessenecker (2013). "A new marine vertebrate assemblage from the Late Neogene Purisima Formation in Central California, part II: Pinnipeds and Cetaceans". Geodiversitas. 35 (4): 815–940. doi:10.5252/g2013n4a5.
  15. ^ Bisconti, M. and Bosselaers, M. (2016), Fragilicetus velponi: a new mysticete genus and species and its implications for the origin of Balaenopteridae (Mammalia, Cetacea, Mysticeti). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 177: 450–474. doi: 10.1111/zoj.12370
  16. ^ Kellogg, R. (1934). "A new cetothere from the Modelo Formation at Los Angeles, California". Carnegie Institution of Washington. 447: 83–104.
  17. ^ Churchill, Morgan; Martinez-Caceres, Manuel; De Muizon, Christian; Mnieckowski, Jessica; Geisler, Jonathan H. (2016). "The Origin of High-Frequency Hearing in Whales". Current Biology. 26 (16): 2144–2149. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2016.06.004. PMID 27498568.
  18. ^ Fitzgerald, E.M.G. 2004. A review of the Tertiary fossil Cetacea (Mammalia) localities in Australia. Memoirs of Museum Victoria 61(2): 183-208.
  19. ^ Lambert, O., G. Bianucci, K. Post, C. de Muizon, R. Salas-Gismondi, M. Urbina & J. Reumer. (2010). The giant bite of a new raptorial sperm whale from the Miocene epoch of Peru. Nature 466: 105–108. doi:10.1038/nature09067
  20. ^ Yoshihiro Tanaka; R. Ewan Fordyce (2016). "Awamokoa tokarahi, a new basal dolphin in the Platanistoidea (late Oligocene, New Zealand)". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. Online edition. doi:10.1080/14772019.2016.1202339.
  21. ^ a b Kimura, T. and Barnes, L.G., 2016. New Miocene fossil Allodelphinidae(Cetacea, Odontoceti, Platanistoidea) from the North Pacific Ocean. Bulletin of the Gunma Museum of Natural History 20:1-58.
  22. ^ Olivier Lambert, Giovanni Bianucci, Mario Urbina, 2014. Huaridelphis raimondii, a new early Miocene Squalodelphinidae (Cetacea, Odontoceti) from the Chilcatay Formation, Peru. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 34 (5):987-1004.
  23. ^ Gabriel Aguirre-Fernández and R. Ewan Fordyce (2014). "Papahu taitapu, gen. et sp. nov., an early Miocene stem odontocete (Cetacea) from New Zealand". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 34 (1): 195–210. doi:10.1080/02724634.2013.799069.
  24. ^ Lambert, O., and S. Louwye. 2016. A new early Pliocene species of Mesoplodon: a calibration mark for the radiation of this species-rich beaked whale genus. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2015.1055754.
  25. ^ Klaas Post & Erwin J.O. Kompanje (2010). "A new dolphin (Cetacea, Delphinidae) from the Plio-Pleistocene of the North Sea". Deinsea 14: 1–13. ISSN 0923-9308.
  26. ^ Giovanni Bianucci (2013). "Septidelphis morii, n. gen. et sp., from the Pliocene of Italy: new evidence of the explosive radiation of true dolphins (Odontoceti, Delphinidae)". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 33 (3): 722–740. doi:10.1080/02724634.2013.744757.
  27. ^ Rachel A. Racicot, Thomas A. Deméré, Brian L. Beatty, Robert W. Boessenecker. Unique Feeding Morphology in a New Prognathous Extinct Porpoise from the Pliocene of California. Current Biology, 13 March 2014 DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.02.031

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