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Subject: Dolphin FAQ (2/3)

This article was archived around: 21 May 2006 04:23:17 GMT

All FAQs in Directory: animals/dolphin-faq
All FAQs posted in: alt.animals.dolphins
Source: Usenet Version


Archive-name: animals/dolphin-faq/part02 Posting-Frequency: monthly Last-modified: 2002/09/24 Maintainer: Jaap van der Toorn <jaap@rosmarus.com>
* This is part 2 of the FAQ for alt.animals dolphins. * This document is maintained by Jaap van der Toorn * (jaap@rosmarus.com). The intention is to post the latest * version of the FAQ on the newsgroup once a month. * * Please direct any remarks, suggestions, corrections and * additions to the above e-mail address. * * Last update: September 24, 2002 * 3.0 - DOLPHIN RESOURCES 3.1 - Where can you find out more about books, videos etc. about dolphins? There is an excellent list of books, videos and CDs on dolphins, which is put together by Trisha Lamb-Feuerstein. This list is updated on a regular basis. You can find that on the Web at the following URL: http://www.physics.helsinki.fi/whale/literature/biblio.html There is a searchable database at the site of the Dolphin Study Group of the National University of Singapore at: http://dsg.sbs.nus.edu.sg/combib.html. They also have a picture database at: http://dsg.sbs.nus.edu.sg/pictures/ 3.2 - Are there any fictional books starring dolphins? Yes, there are quite a few. You can find them at the Web site mentioned above. 3.3 - How can I find dolphin related Web sites? Most marine mammal Web sites are listed on the Marine Mammal Links page: http://whale.wheelock.edu/whalenet-stuff/interwhale.html Similar information (grouped by category) can be found at Wesley Elsberry's site: http://www.rtis.com/nat/user/elsberry/marspec.html. Another good starting point is the Aquatic Resources section at the New England Aquarium site at: http://www.neaq.org/. 3.4 - Are there dolphin-related mailing lists? Yes, there are a few e-mail discussion lists, some dealing with marine mammals in general, others with dolphins only. The following are discussion lists. You can participate in the discussions, if you play by the rules set for the group (you will receive instructions once you join). MARMAM - scientific marine mammal discussion list To join send an e-mail To: listserv@uvvm.uvic.ca Subj: Body: subscribe marmam Yourfirstname Yourlastnamename You can also follow the discussion on the eScribe mailing list archive at: http://www.escribe.com/science/marmam/ ECS-ALL - scientific cetacean discussion list To join send an e-mail To: Mailbase@jiscmail.ac.uk Subj: Body: join ecs-all firstname (firstname ...) lastname stop There are also e-mail newsletters and mailing lists you can join. Subscription information can be found on the associated web sites. Some examples: Dolphin Society - http://www.dolphinsoc.org/ Ocean Futures - http://www.oceanfutures.org/ Ear on the Sea - http://www.dolphinear.com/ 4.0 - DOLPHIN TAXONOMY 4.1 - How many species of dolphins are there? The taxonomy of whales and dolphins is still subject to change. But in the most common view, the family of dolphins (Delphinidae) consists of 32 different species. Closely related families (the white whales (Monodontidae) and river dolphins (Platanistidae) have 2 resp. 5 species). 4.2a - What is the dolphin species seen in most oceanaria? 4.2b - What species was the dolphin in the Flipper series? The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) 4.3 - What is the largest dolphin? The killer whale (Orcinus orca). Male killer whales can grow up to 9.6 m (31.5 ft). 4.4 - What is the smallest dolphin species? There is not really one smallest species. The smallest species include: True dolphins (Delphinidae): Tucuxi (Sotalia fluviatilis) - 1.3 to 1.8 m Hector's dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori) - 1.2 to 1.5 m Black dolphin (Cephalorhynchus eutropia) - 1.2 to 1.7 m Commerson's dolphin (Cephalorhynchus commersonii) - 1.3 to 1.7 m River dolphins (Platanistidae): Franciscana (Pontoporia blainvillei) - 1.3 to 1.7 m Porpoises (Phocoenidae): Vaquita (Phocoena sinus) - 1.2 to 1.5 m Finless porpoise (Neophocaena phocaenoides) - 1.2 to 1.9 m 4.5 - What is the difference between dolphins and porpoises? Dolphins and porpoises belong to different whale families. The most obvious differences are: - dolphins have a falcate (hook-shaped) dorsal fin, whereas porpoises have a triangular dorsal fin. - dolphins have conical teeth; the teeth of of porpoises are spatula shaped. - most dolphin species have a distinct beak. Porpoises don't, giving their head a more rounded, blunt shape. 4.6 - What is a dolphin fish? Dolphins are marine mammals, but there is also a fish species that's often called "dolphin" or "dolphin fish". Its scientific name is Coryphaena hippurus. To avoid confusion with the mammal species its Spanish name "dorado" or its Hawaiian name "mahi mahi" is often used. Because of the confusion between the mammal and the fish species dolphins have in the past erroneously been called porpoises, especially in some US regions, where the fish species is common. In older books you can encounter the name "bottlenose porpoise" for the bottlenose dolphin, for instance. Dolphins and porpoises are however members of different whale families (see 4.5). You can find more information about the dolphin fish, including its common name in other languages, in the FishBase database, online at http://www.fishbase.org/ 4.7 - What are cetaceans? Cetaceans is a collective term for whales, dolphins and porpoises. The name is derived from the scientific (Latin) name of these animals: Cetacea. 4.8 - Are whales and dolphins endangered? For most species, the answer is probably "No", although it is very difficult to get a good estimate of the size of populations on these water living creatures. A number of species are endangered: the Indus river dolphin, the baiji (there are only about 100 left), the vaquita, the northern right whale and the blue whale. Another group of species is listed as "vulnerable" (which means that they are not in immediate danger of extinction, but also far from safe). These are: the Ganges river dolphin, the boto, the bowhead, the southern right whale, the sei whale, the fin whale and the humpback whale. source: M. Klinowksa (1991) Dolphins, Porpoises and Whales of the World The IUCN Red Data Book IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, U.K. 4.9 An overview of the species of whales and dolphins (the order Cetacea) order CETACEA (WHALES AND DOLPHINS) suborder MYSTICETI (BALEEN WHALES) family BALAENIDAE (RIGHT WHALES) Eubalaena glacialis northern right whale Eubalaena australis southern right whale Balaena mysticetus bowhead whale Caperea marginata pygmy right whale family BALAENOPTERIDAE (FIN WHALES or RORQUAL WHALES) Balaenoptera musculus blue whale Balaenoptera physalus fin whale Balaenoptera borealis sei whale Balaenoptera edeni Bryde's whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata minke whale Megaptera novaeangliae humpback whale family ESCHRICHTIIDAE (GRAY WHALES) Eschrichtius robustus gray whale suborder ODONTOCETI (TOOTHED WHALES) family PHYSETERIDAE (SPERM WHALES) Physeter macrocephalus sperm whale Kogia breviceps pygmy sperm whale Kogia simus dwarf sperm whale family ZIPHIIDAE (BEAKED WHALES) Berardius bairdii Baird's beaked whale Berardius arnuxii Arnoux' beaked whale Tasmacetus shepherdi Shepherd's beaked whale Ziphius cavirostris Cuvier's beaked whale Hyperoodon ampullatus northern bottlenose whale Hyperoodon planifrons southern bottlenose whale Mesoplodon pacificus Longman's beaked whale Mesoplodon hectori Hector's beaked whale Mesoplodon mirus True's beaked whale Mesoplodon europaeus Gervais' beaked whale Mesoplodon ginkgodens ginkgo-toothed beaked whale Mesoplodon grayi Gray's beaked whale Mesoplodon carlhubbsi Hubbs' beaked whale Mesoplodon stejnegeri Stejneger's beaked whale Mesoplodon bowdoini Andrew's beaked whale Mesoplodon bidens Sowerby's beaked whale Mesoplodon layardii strap-toothed whale Mesoplodon densirostris Blainville's beaked whale Mesoplodon peruvianus Pygmy beaked whale Mesoplodon traversii 1) spade-toothed whale = Mesoplodon bahamondi Bahamonde's beaked whale Mesoplodon perrini 2) Perrin's beaked whale family DELPHINIDAE (DOLPHINS) Steno bredanensis rough-toothed dolphin Sousa chinensis Indo-Pacific hump-backed dolphin Sousa teuszii Atlantic hump-backed dolphin Sotalia fluviatilis tucuxi Tursiops truncatus bottlenose dolphin Stenella longirostris spinner dolphin Stenella clymene clymene dolphin Stenella frontalis Atlantic spotted dolphin Stenella attenuata pantropical spotted dolphin Stenella coeruleoalba striped dolphin Delphinus delphis common dolphin Lagenodelphis hosei Fraser's dolphin Lagenorhynchus albirostris white-beaked dolphin Lagenorhynchus acutus Atlantic white-sided dolphin Lagenorhynchus obliquidens Pacific white-sided dolphin Lagenorhynchus obscurus dusky dolphin Lagenorhynchus australis Peale's dolphin Lagenorhynchus cruciger hourglass dolphin Cephalorhynchus commersonii Commerson's dolphin Cephalorhynchus heavisidii Heaviside's dolphin Cephalorhynchus eutropia black dolphin Cephalorhynchus hectori Hector's dolphin Lissodelphis borealis northern right whale dolphin Lissodelphis peronii southern right whale dolphin Grampus griseus Risso's dolphin Peponocephala electra melon-headed whale Feresa attenuata pygmy killer whale Pseudorca crassidens false killer whale Globicephala melaena long-finned pilot whale Globicephala macrorhynchus short-finned pilot whale Orcinus orca killer whale Orcaella brevirostris Irrawaddy dolphin family MONODONTIDAE (WHITE WHALES) Delphinapterus leucas beluga, white whale Monodon monoceros narwhal family PLATANISTIDAE (RIVER DOLPHINS) Platanista gangetica Ganges river dolphin Platanista minor Indus river dolphin Inia geoffrensis boto, Amazon river dolphin Lipotes vexillifer baiji, Yangtze river dolphin Pontoporia blainvillei franciscana, La Plata dolphin family PHOCOENIDAE (PORPOISES) Phocoena phocoena harbor porpoise Phocoena sinus vaquita Phocoena dioptrica spectacled porpoise Phocoena spinnipinnis Burmeister's porpoise Neophocaena phocaenoides finless porpoise Phocoenoides dalli Dall's porpoise main source: M. Klinowksa (1991) Dolphins, Porpoises and Whales of the World The IUCN Red Data Book IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, U.K. Note: the above list is a commonly used list of cetacean species, but some authors recognize more separate families and species (for instance 2 species of bottlenose dolphins: Tursiops truncatus (bottlenose dolphin) and Tursiops aduncus (Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphin) and 2 or 3 species of common dolphins: Delphinus delphis (shortbeaked common dolphin), Delphinus capensis (longbeaked common dolphin) and Delphinus tropicalis (Arabian common dolphin)). See for instance: Dale W. Rice (1999) Marine Mammals of the World - Systematics and Distribution Society for Marine Mammalogy Special Publication 4 Society for Marine Mammalogy, Lawrence, Kansas. 1) Mesoplodon traversii appears to be a senior synonym for M. bahamondi. See: A.L. van Helden, A.N. Baker, M.L. Dalebout, J.C. Reyes, K. van Waerebeek and C.S. Baker (2002) Resurrection of Mesoplodon traversii (Gray, 1874), senior synonym for M. bahamondi Reyes, van Waerebeek, Cárdenas and Yáñez, 1995 (Cetacea: Ziphiidae) Marine Mammal Science 18(3): 609-621 2) New species, recently discovered based on DNA analysis. See: M.L. Dalebout, J.G. Mead, C.S.Baker, A.N. Baker and A.L. van Helden (2002) A new species of beaked whale, Mesoplodon perrini sp. n. (Cetacea: Ziphiidae) discovered through phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial DNA sequences. Marine Mammal Science 18(3): 577-608