Cetaceans of the World:
Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises


Last Updated November 6, 2003

There are over 80 cetacean species in the world, which are listed below by their common name under their Suborder and Family name. Click on the link of the cetacean that interests you and you will receive background information on that species including their abundance, behavior, description, and distribution. Please note that some species do not currently have a page and/or picture and that this website is always under construction.

Suborder Mysticeti: The Baleen Whales

Family Balaenidae: The Right Whales

Bowhead Whale - Balaena mysticetus
North Atlantic Right Whale - Eubalaena glacialis
North Pacific Right Whale - Eubalaena japonica
Southern Right Whale - Eubalaena australis

Family Neobalaenidae: The Pygmy Right Whale

Pygmy Right Whale - Caperea marginata

Family Eschrichtiidae: The Gray Whale

Gray Whale - Eschrichtius robustus

Family Balaenopteridae: The Rorqual Whales

Subfamily Megapterinae
Humpback Whale - Megaptera novaeangliae

Subfamily Balaenopterinae
Antarctic Minke Whale - Balaenoptera bonaerensis
Blue Whale - Balaenoptera musculus
Indian Ocean Blue Whale - Balaenoptera musculus indica
Northern Blue Whale - Balaenoptera musculus musculus
Pygmy Blue Whale - Balaenoptera musculus brevicauda
Southern Blue Whale - Balaenoptera musculus intermedia
Bryde's Whale (Eden's Whale) - Balaenoptera edeni
Bryde's Whale - Balaenoptera brydei
Fin Whale - Balaenoptera physalus
Northern Fin Whale - Balaenoptera physalus physalus
Southern Fin Whale - Balaenoptera physalus quoyi
Minke Whale - Balaenoptera acutorostrata
Atlantic Minke Whale - Balaenoptera acutorostrata acutorostrata
Dwarf Minke Whale - Balaenoptera acutorostrata subsp.
North Pacific Minke Whale - Balaenoptera acutorostrata scammoni
Sei Whale - Balaenoptera borealis
Northern Sei Whale - Balaenoptera borealis borealis
Southern Sei Whale - Balaenoptera borealis schlegllii


Suborder Odontoceti: The Toothed Whales,
Dolphins and Porpoises

Family Physeteridae: The Sperm Whale

Sperm Whale - Physeter macrocephalus

Family Kogiidae: The Pygmy and Dwarf Sperm Whales

Dwarf Sperm Whale - Kogia simus (sima)
Pygmy Sperm Whale - Kogia breviceps

Family Ziphiidae: The Beaked Whales

Arnoux's Beaked Whale - Berardius arnuxii
Baird's Beaked Whale (North Pacific Bottlenose Whale) - Berardius bairdii
Cuvier's Beaked Whale - Ziphius cavirostris
Shepherd's Beaked Whale (Tasman Beaked Whale) - Tasmacetus shepherdi

Subfamily Hyperodontidae
Andrew's Beaked Whale - Mesoplodon bowdoini
Bahamonde's Beaked Whale - Mesoplodon bahamondi
Blainville's Beaked Whale - Mesoplodon densirostris
Gervais' Beaked Whale - Mesoplodon europaeus
Ginkgo-toothed Beaked Whale - Mesoplodon ginkgodens
Gray's Beaked Whale - Mesoplodon grayi
Hector's Beaked Whale - Mesoplodon hectori
Hubbs' Beaked Whale - Mesoplodon carlhubbsi
Lesser Beaked Whale (Pygmy Beaked Whale) - Mesoplodon peruvianus
Longman's Beaked Whale (Indo-Pacific Beaked Whale) - Mesoplodon (Indopacetus) pacificus
Northern Bottlenose Whale - Hyperoodon ampullatus
Perrin's Beaked Whale - Mesoplodon perrini
Southern Bottlenose Whale - Hyperoodon planifrons
Sowerby's Beaked Whale - Mesoplodon bidens
Spade-toothed Whale - Mesoplodon traversii
Stejneger's Beaked Whale - Mesoplodon stejnegeri
Strap-toothed Whale (Layard.s Beaked Whale) - Mesoplodon layardii
True's Beaked Whale - Mesoplodon mirus
Unidentified Beaked Whale - Mesoplodon sp. 'A'

Family Platanistidae: The Indus and Ganges River Dolphins

Ganges River Dolphin - Platanista gangetica gangetica
Indus River Dolphin - Platanista gangetica minor

Family Iniidae: The Amazon River Dolphin

Amazon River Dolphin (Boto) - Inia geoffrensis geoffrensis
Orinoco River Dolphin - Inia geoffrensis humboldtiana
Rio Madeira River Dolphin - Inia geoffrensis boliviensis

Family Lipotidae: The Chinese River Dolphin

Yangtse River Dolphin (Baiji) - Lipotes vexillifer

Family Pontoporiidae: The Franciscana River Dolphins

Franciscana - Pontoporia blainvillei

Family Monodontidae: The Beluga and Narwhal

Beluga - Delphinapterus leucas
Narwhal - Monodon monoceros

Family Delphinidae: Blackfish

False Killer Whale - Pseudorca crassidens
Killer Whale - Orcinus orca
Long-finned Pilot Whale - Globicephala melas
Melon-headed Whale - Peponocephala electra
Pygmy Killer Whale - Feresa attenuata
Short-finned Pilot Whale - Globicephala macrorhynchus

Family Delphinidae: The Oceanic Dolphins with Prominent Beaks

Arabian Common Dolphin - Delphinus tropicalis
Atlantic Hump-backed Dolphin - Sousa teuszii
Atlantic Spotted Dolphin - Stenella frontalis
Bottlenose Dolphin - Tursiops truncatus
Clymene Dolphin - Stenella clymene
Indian Hump-backed Dolphin - /i> Sousa plumbea
Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin - Tursiops aduncus
Long-beaked Common Dolphin - Delphinus capensis
Long-snouted Spinner Dolphin - Stenella longirostris
Central American Spinner Dolphin - Stenella longirostris centroamericana
Cosmopolitan Spinner Dolphin - Stenella longirostris longirostris
Tropical Pacific Spinner Dolphin - Stenella longirostris orientalis
Northern Right Whale Dolphin - Lissodelphis borealis
Pacific Hump-backed Dolphin - Sousa chinensis
Pantropical Spotted Dolphin - Stenella attenuata
Eastern Pacific Coastal Spotted Dolphin - Stenella attenuata graffmani
Eastern Pacific Offshore Spotted Dolphin - Stenella attenuata subsp.
Hawaiian Spotted Dolphin - Stenella attenuata subsp.
Rough-toothed Dolphin - Steno bredanensis
Short-beaked Common Dolphin - Delphinus delphis
Southern Right Whale Dolphin - Lissodelphis peronii
Striped Dolphin - Stenella coeruleoalba
Tucuxi - Sotalia fluviatilis
Amazon River Tucuxi - Sotalia fluviatilis fluviatilis
Atlantic Coast Tucuxi - Sotalia fluviatilis guianensis

Family Delphinidae: The Oceanic Dolphins without Prominent Beaks

Atlantic White-sided Dolphin - Lagenorhynchus acutus
Chilean Dolphin (Black Dolphin) - Cephalorhynchus eutropria
Commerson's Dolphin - Cephalorhynchus commersonii
Dusky Dolphin - Lagenorhynchus obscurus
New Zealand Dusky Dolphin - Lagenorhynchus obscurus subsp.
South African Dusky Dolphin - Lagenorhynchus obscurus obscurus
South American Dusky Dolphin - Lagenorhynchus obscurus fitzroyi
Fraser's Dolphin - Lagenodelphis hosei
Heaviside's Dolphin - Cephalorhynchus heavisidii
Hector's Dolphin - Cephalorhynchus hectori
Hourglass Dolphin - Lagenorhynchus cruciger
Irrawaddy Dolphin - Orcaella brevirostris
Pacific White-sided Dolphin - Lagenorhynchus obliquidens
Peale's Dolphin - Lagenorhynchus australis
Risso's Dolphin - Grampus griseus
White-beaked Dolphin - Lagenorhynchus albirostris

Family Phocoenidae: The True Porpoises

Burmeister's Porpoise - Phocoena spinipinnis
Dall's Porpoise - Phocoenoides dalli
North Pacific Dall.s Porpoise - Phocoenoides dalli dalli
West Pacific Dall's Porpoise - Phocoenoides dalli truei
Finless Porpoise - Neophocaena phocaenoides
Chinese Finless Porpoise - Neophocaena phocaenoides sunameri
Indo-Pacific Finless Porpoise - Neophocaena phocaenoides phocaenoides
Yangtse Finless Porpoise - Neophocaena phocaenoides asiaorientalis
Harbour Porpoise - Phocoena phocoena
Eastern North Pacific Harbour Porpoise - Phocoena phocoena vomerina
North Atlantic Harbour Porpoise - Phocoena phocoena phocoena
Western North Pacific Harbour Porpoise - Phocoena phocoena subsp.
Spectacled Porpoise - Phocoena dioptrica
Vaquita - Phocoena sinus


Back to Top | Gulf of Mexico Species | TMMSN-CC Home | TMMSN-Galveston

Source of information: Carwardine, Mark. Eyewitness Handbook Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises.. 1995.
Leatherwood, Stephen and Randall R. Reeves. The Sierra Club Handbook of Whales and Dolphins. 1983.
Wynne, Kate and Malia Schwartz. A Guide To Marine Mammals & Turtles of the U.S. Atlantic & Gulf of Mexico. 1999.
International Whaling Commission. http://www.iwcoffice.org/Cetacea.htm 08/02.
Organisation Cetacea (ORCA). http://www.orcaweb.org.uk/taxonomy.htm 11/03.
Cetacean Research (& Rescue Unit). http://www.crru.org.uk/education/facfiles/taxonomy.htm 11/03.
Tethys Research Institute. http://www.tethys.org/index_e.htm 11/03.


e-mail suggestions or questions to
TMMSN-Webmaster