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Portal:Cetaceans

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A Sperm Whale fluke
The order Cetacea includes the whales, dolphins and porpoises and comprise the mammals most fully adapted to aquatic life. It contains 81 known species organized in two suborders: Mysticeti (baleen whales) and Odontoceti (toothed whales, which includes dolphins and porpoises). The order contains several record breaking species, with the Blue Whale being the largest animal known, and the Orca being the most widely distributed animal.

Cetaceans evolved from land mammals that adapted to marine life about 50 million years ago. Over a period of a few millions of years during the Eocene, the cetaceans returned to the sea. Their body is fusiform (spindle-shaped), the forelimbs are modified into flippers, the tiny hindlimbs are vestigial and the tail has horizontal flukes. Cetaceans are nearly hairless, and are insulated by a thick layer of blubber.

Cetaceans inhabit all of the world's oceans, as well as some rivers in South America and Asia. Some species can be found across the globe.

Cetology is the branch of marine science associated with the study of cetaceans.

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Right whales are baleen whales belonging to the genus Eubalaena. Three right whale species are recognised in this genus. Sometimes the family Balaenidae is considered to be the family of right whales. Bowhead Whale, which has its own genus, Balaena also belongs to the Balaenidae family, and so is sometimes considered a right whale.

Right whales can grow up to 18 m (60 ft) long and weigh up to 100 tonnes. Their rotund bodies are mostly black, with distinctive callosities (roughened patches of skin) on their heads. They are called "right whales" because whalers thought the whales were the "right" ones to hunt, as they float when killed and often swim within sight of the shore. Populations were vastly reduced by intensive harvesting during the active years of the whaling industry. Today, instead of hunting them, people often watch these acrobatic whales for pleasure.

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2014

January

The clymene dolphin (Stenella clymene) became the first confirmed naturally occurring hybrid marine mammal species when DNA analysis showed it to be descended from the spinner dolphin and the striped dolphin. [1]

2009

February

  • 10 February - Filipino fishermen have rescued around 200 melon-headed whales which were stranded in shallow waters off the coast of Bataan. Only three dolphins were reported to have died. more

January

2008

September

August

  • 26 August - Findings from the controversial Japanese whaling research program suggest that a loss of Antarctic sea ice due to increased temperatures has lowered whales' food supply, causing an overall decline in blubber. Read more...
  • 12 August - IUCN changes the conservation status of the Humpback Whale and Southern Right Whale to "least concern" due to the species' recovery. Read more...
  • 1 August - Snubfin Dolphins are recorded on camera for the first time along the Australian coastline. Read more...
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A Common Dolphin with its calf
  • ...common dolphins, which are often seen off South Africa’s east coast, can occur in schools of several thousand. The biggest school on record was estimated to consist of about 15,000 dolphins!
  • ...because whales and dolphins are streamlined to swim in water, they do not have external organs. This makes it almost impossible to tell the sex of a whale or dolphin when watching them on the sea surface.
  • ...there are probably types of cetaceans that are as yet unknown. For example, the Longman's beaked whale is only known from skulls washed ashore in Somalia and Australia. It has never been seen alive!
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A Fin Whale from above.
Photo credit: Protected Resources Division, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, La Jolla, California

The Fin Whale, at 27 metres long, is the second largest whale and animal after the Blue Whale. It is found in all the world's major oceans, and in waters ranging from the polar to the tropical. It is absent only from waters close to the ice pack at both the north and south poles and relatively small areas of water away from the large oceans.

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The content you are reading was created by Wikipedia volunteers. See the WikiProject Cetaceans for more.

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See also Wikispecies, a Wikimedia project dedicated to the classification of species.

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Whale species

Andrews' Beaked WhaleBalaenoptera omuraiBelugaBlainville's Beaked WhaleBlue Whale Cscr-featured.svgBottlenose WhaleBowhead WhaleBryde's WhaleCuvier's Beaked WhaleDwarf Sperm WhaleFin Whale Cscr-featured.svgGervais' Beaked WhaleGiant beaked whaleGinkgo-toothed Beaked WhaleGray WhaleGray's Beaked WhaleHector's Beaked WhaleHubbs' Beaked WhaleHumpback Whale Cscr-featured.svgLayard's Beaked WhaleLongman's Beaked WhaleMelon-headed WhaleMinke WhaleNarwhalPerrin's Beaked WhalePygmy Beaked WhalePygmy Killer WhalePygmy Right WhalePygmy Sperm WhaleRight Whale Cscr-featured.svgSei Whale Cscr-featured.svgShepherd's Beaked WhaleSowerby's Beaked WhaleSpade Toothed WhaleSperm Whale Symbol support vote.svgStejneger's Beaked WhaleTrue's Beaked Whale

Dolphin species

Atlantic Spotted DolphinAtlantic White-sided DolphinAustralian Snubfin DolphinBaijiBotoChilean DolphinClymene DolphinCommerson's DolphinCommon Bottlenose DolphinDusky Dolphin Symbol support vote.svgFalse Killer WhaleFraser's DolphinGanges and Indus River DolphinHeaviside's DolphinHector's DolphinHourglass DolphinHumpback dolphinIndo-Pacific Bottlenose DolphinIrrawaddy DolphinKiller Whale Cscr-featured.svgLa Plata DolphinLong-beaked Common DolphinLong-finned pilot whalePacific White-sided DolphinPantropical Spotted DolphinPeale's DolphinPygmy Killer WhaleRight whale dolphinRisso's DolphinRough-toothed DolphinShort-beaked Common DolphinShort-finned pilot whaleSpinner DolphinStriped DolphinTucuxiWhite-beaked Dolphin

Porpoise species

Burmeister's PorpoiseDall's PorpoiseFinless PorpoiseHarbour PorpoiseSpectacled PorpoiseVaquita

Other articles

Aboriginal whalingAmbergrisAnimal echolocationArchaeocetiBaleenBaleen whaleBeached whaleBeaked WhaleBlowhole (biology)BlubberBottlenose dolphin Symbol support vote.svgCallosityCephalorhynchusCetaceaCetacean intelligenceCetologyCetology of Moby-DickCommon dolphinCumberland Sound BelugaDolphinDolphinarium Symbol support vote.svgDolphin drive hunting Symbol support vote.svgEvolution of cetaceansExploding whaleHarpoonHistory of whalingHuman–animal communicationInstitute of Cetacean ResearchInternational Whaling CommissionLagenorhynchusMelon (whale)Mesoplodont WhaleMilitary dolphinMoby-DickMocha DickMonodontidaeOceanic dolphinOrcaellaPilot Whale Symbol support vote.svgPorpoiseRiver dolphinRiver Thames WhaleRorqualsSperm whale familySperm whalingSpermacetiStenellaTay WhaleThe Marine Mammal CenterToothed WhaleU.S. Navy Marine Mammal ProgramWhale Symbol support vote.svgWhalingWhale and Dolphin Conservation SocietyWhale surfacing behaviourWhale oilWhale louseWhale songWhale watchingWolphin

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Cetacea on Wikinews     Cetacea on Wikiquote     Cetacea on Wikibooks     Cetacea on Wikisource     Cetacea on Wikicommons Cetacea on Wiktionary
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  1. ^ http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/01/140111-hybrid-dolphin-species-ocean-animal-science/
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