Orcinus citoniensis

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Orcinus citoniensis
Temporal range: Pliocene
Orcinus citoniensis.JPG
Fossil of Orcinus citoniensis in the Museo Capellini di Bologna
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Infraorder: Cetacea
Family: Delphinidae
Genus: Orcinus
Species: O. citoniensis
Binomial name
Orcinus citoniensis
Capellini, 1883

Orcinus citoniensis is an extinct species of dolphin belonging to the family Delphinidae that lived from 2 to 5 million years ago in the Pliocene.[1]

The now-extinct species is related to the modern killer whale. It was described based on an incomplete skull found in Italy, which lacks the rear and left side, but had the back side. It had 28 teeth in each jaw, unlike the current orca which has on average 24 teeth in each jaw.[2] This specimen could be 4 metres long and had the appearance of a small killer whale, so it could be a transitional species between early dolphins and the modern killer whale.[3]


  1. ^ "Orcinus citoniensis". The Paleobiology Database. June 2005. Retrieved 6 August 2011. 
  2. ^ Capellini, G. (1883). "Di Un'Orca fossile scoperta a cetona in Toscana". Memorie dell'Accademia delle Scienze dell'Instituto di Bologna (in Italian). 4: 665–687. 
  3. ^ Heyning, John E.; Dahlheim, Marilyn E. (15 January 1988). "Orcinus orca" (PDF). Mammalian Species. The American Society of Mammalogists (304): 1–9. doi:10.2307/3504225. Retrieved 6 August 2011.