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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Members of the IWC (in blue).

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) was set up by the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW) on December 2, 1946 to promote and maintain whale fishery stocks. The structural design of the IWC rested on the hope that states in their long-term self-interest would adopt cooperative policies suggested by expert scientific management of a common resource.See Protocol to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, 19 November 1956, 10 UST 952, 338 UNTS 366; Circular Communication to All Contracting Governments, 30 June 1972, 23 UST 2820. Since the 1980s the IWC has become the primary mechanism for the protection of all species of whale.Patricia Birnie, International Regulation of Whaling: From Conservation of Whaling to Conservation of Whales and Regulation of Whale-watching (New York: Oceana Publications, 1985) The change in the IWC's institutional mission began in the early 1970s, and is often linked with the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment at Stockholm in 1972. The result of this shift is most evident in the IWC's adoption of a five-year moratorium on commercial whaling, which commenced in 1986 and has been extended to the present, and in the IWC's recent designation of an Antarctic sanctuary for whales.

The current IWC Commissioners meeting is taking place from 16-20 June 2006 in St. Kitts and Nevis where pro-whaling countries plan to challenge the 1982 moratorium.

More on the International Whaling Commission

EditCetaceans News

2014[edit]

January[edit]

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[edit]

February[edit]

  • 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[edit]

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EditDid you know...
A Harbour Porpoise.
  • ...that while the main predators of the Harbour Porpoise are Great white sharks and Orcas, Bottlenose Dolphins have been witnessed attacking and killing porpoises in response to a lessing food supply.
  • ...Aboriginal whalers are permitted to hunt cetaceans, despite the IWC's memorandum on commercial hunting.
  • ...the melon is an oval shaped oily, fatty lump of tissue found at the centre of the forehead of most dolphins and toothed whales, located between the blowhole and the end of the head.
  • ...the Spinner Dolphin is so called because of its acrobatic displays in which they will spin longitudinally along their axis as they leap through the air.
  • ...that the Tay Whale was a Humpback whale unlucky enough to be spotted near Dundee, Scotland, then the UK's premier whaling port, in early December, 1883.
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Photo credit: Adam Carr

Whaling in Norway is a centuries long tradition in Northern Norway. Only Minke whaling is permitted, from a population of 110,000 animals in the North east Atlantic and is argued by proponents and government officials to be sustainable.

More on Whaling in Norway

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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 whalingInstitute 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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  1. ^ http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/01/140111-hybrid-dolphin-species-ocean-animal-science/