Talk:Baleen whale

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I've nominated the Baleen whales as a featured topic, but this main article is a bit lacking. Could someone who knows more abouit them expand this overview a bit? --Arctic Gnome 07:54, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

More details please?[edit]

Aren't they the largest whales? What are their measurements? Xiner 02:35, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

WTF is a Shteiven?[edit]

Oh, so it hunted Shteiven-like cetaceans? That's fascinating. WTF are Shteiven-like cetaceans? The word isn't used anywhere else in Wiki, and Google gives no hints as to what it might mean. Totally mystifying.Ethel Aardvark 03:53, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

I think it was vandalism in this revision. I've reverted. --Cherry blossom tree 09:57, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

How to remove the vandalism in Taxonomic Classification?[edit]

Someone who needs to be put to work in a quarry somewhere has been having a lot of fun vandalizing this page. In the middle of the "Taxonomic Classification" section is the statement "grace smells." It's been there for many months, through many vandalisms and reverts. I tried, but I can't figure out how to remove it. (talk) 21:38, 31 December 2008 (UTC)Stephen Kosciesza

I too have tried to remove it, I can't figure out how it got in there or how to get it out. --Typetive (talk) 03:13, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

What about the hind limbs?[edit] (talk) 03:40, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

Only whales from the late Eocene/Early Oligocene had hind legs Dunkleosteus77 (talk) 00:02, 17 April 2015 (UTC)


The term "mysticeti" seems worthy of some sort of note as to it's pronunciation.

From various books that mention the term, and from various internet sources, none seem to mention how to actually pronounce it. I've heard it pronounced as miss - tiss - ety, but given the origin of the word, I can't help but think this is incorrect.

Can someone clarify this at all? (talk) 14:58, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

Incertae sedis[edit]

Amphitera is actually a misspelling of Amphiptera, a genus of alleged two-finned baleen whale whose existence remains contentious (see's_Whale). If Amphiptera pacifica exists, then it would reveal a new dimension in the diversity of extant rorquals, but its possible relations to other rorquals remains equivocal if the generic classification scheme for rorquals proposed by Hassanin et. al. (2012) on the basis of mitochondrial DNA analysis is accepted by the taxonomic community.

Regarding the composition of Cetotheriidae, it should be noted that the assignment of Plesiocetus to Diorocetidae by Steeman (2007) was based on the designation of Plesiocetus hupschi (type species of Plesiocetopsis Brandt, 1873) as the type species of Plesiocetus by Winge (1909). However, Steeman (2010) changed his mind about the type species designation for Plesiocetus and has followed Kellogg (1931) in treating Plesiocetus garopii as the type species of Plesiocetus (based on van Beneden 1872) (largely to avoid nomenclatorial complications and in accordance with current usage of Plesiocetus), which means that Plesiocetus is a balaenopterid (as pointed out by Demere et. al. 2005) and Plesiocetopsis is a diorocetid. Since Winge's (1909) action has been largely overlooked, there may be a petition to have the ICZN suppress Winge's type species designation in favor of Kellogg's type designation for Plesiocetus.

Steeman, M.E. 2010. "The extinct baleen whale fauna from the Miocene-Pliocene of Belgium and the diagnostic cetacean ear bones". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 8 (1): 63–80.

Kellogg, R. 1931. Pelagic mammals of the Temblor Formation of the Kern River region, California. Proceedings of the California Academy of Science, 19(12): 217–397.

Winge, H. 1909. Om Plesiocetus og Squalodon fra Danmark. Videnskabelige Meddelelser Dansk Naturhistorisk Forening Copenhagen, Series 7, 1: 1–38.

Van Beneden, P.-J. 1872. Les baleines fossiles d’Anvers. Bulletin de l’Academie Royale des Sciences, des Lettres et des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Series 2, 40: 736–758.

Steeman, M. E. 2007. Cladistic analysis and a revised classification of fossil and recent mysticetes. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 150: 875–894.

Hassanin A., Delsuc F., Ropiquet A., Hammer C., Janssen van Vuuren B., Matthee C., Ruiz-Garcia M., Catzeflis F., Areskoug V., Nguyen T.T. & Couloux A. (2012). Pattern and timing of diversification of Cetartiodactyla (Mammalia, Laurasiatheria), as revealed by a comprehensive analysis of mitochondrial genomes. Comptes Rendus Biologies 335: 32-50. (talk) 16:18, 5 December 2012 (UTC)Vahe Demirjian

New study of interest[edit]

I happened across this article this morning and thought I should pass it along: Not sure if you'll find it useful or valid (it's a bit outside of my field), but I figured I should pass it on. HCA (talk) 12:50, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

Definition of "great whales"?[edit]

Hi. Does anyone know the precise definition of "great whales"? A quick google search didn't really bring anything up. I was under the impression it included the sperm whale as well, but excluded smaller baleen whales such as pygmy right and the two species of minke. With that said, should "great whales" be included as an alternative common name in the lead? I'm welcome to others' interpretations on this subject. Thanks. SHFW70 (talk) 00:08, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

Couldn't find anything in the books on my shelf in a quick search, but John Bannister, in his book Great Whales (2008, p. 3), in speaking of Australian fauna, states that: "Strictly speaking the 'great whales' comprise the six baleen whales (blue, fin, sei, Bryde's, humpback, southern right) and the one toothed whale, the sperm whale." He also includes the minke in his book, but states that it is "not quite a 'great whale' in the traditional sense". Not sure if you would include Omura's (Balaenoptera omurai), which is closer to the Antarctic minke in size and was never (as far as we know) an important component of modern whaling -- there being little effort within its known Southeast Asian range. You would of course include the bowhead and two other species of right. Any other thoughts? SHFW70 (talk) 00:35, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
Well, this got ignored. Seeing as how sperm whales are considered "great whales" and at least three of the species of baleen whales aren't considered great whales, I removed the term from the lead. I don't really consider Omura's whale "great whales" either, as they don't get to 40 ft (arbitrary, yes) and weren't an important component of commercial whaling (the two species of minke, although important commercially, are too small, while one only became important after the larger species had become depleted). SHFW70 (talk) 22:11, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

Life history[edit]

Quote from Bannister 2008, Life History
V. Life History
Young baleen whales, particularly the fetus and the calf, grow at an extraordinary rate. In the largest species, the blue whale, fetal weight increases at a rate of some 100 kg/day towards the end of pregnancy. The calf’s weight increases at a rate of about 80 kg/day during suckling. During that 7-month period of dependence on the cow’s milk, the blue whale calf will have increased its weight by some 17 tonnes, and increased in length from around 7 to 17 m. Blue whales attain sexual maturity at between 5 and 10 years, at a length of around 22 m, and live for about 80–90 years. Adult female blue whales give birth every 2–3 years, pregnancy lasting some 10–11 months.
Other balaenopterids follow the same general pattern (Fig. 4). Mating takes place in warm waters in winter, birth following some 11 months later. A 7–11 month lactation period may be followed by a year “resting,” or almost immediately by another pregnancy. Most adults are able to reproduce from between 5 and 10 years of age, and reach maximum growth after 15 or more years. The smallest balaenopterid, the minke whale, is born after a pregnancy of some 10 months, at a length of just under 3 m. Weaning occurs at just under 6 m, after 3–6 months. The adult female can become pregnant again immediately following birth, but the resulting short calving interval is generally uncommon in baleen whales: 2–3 years is the norm, although humpbacks can achieve a similar birth rate, enabling their stocks to recover rapidly after depletion.
Right whales follow a similar general pattern, but there are some differences. In northern and southern right whales, gestation lasts about 11 months, weaning for about another year. Females are able to reproduce successfully from about 8 years (there are records of successful first pregnancies from 6 years), but the calving interval is usually a relatively regular 3 years. For bowheads, while growth is very rapid during the first year of life (from ~4.5 m), it may be followed by a period of several years with little or no growth. Sexual maturity occurs at 13–14 m: at the reduced growth rate that would not be reached until 17–20 years. Similarly, there is evidence of considerable longevity in this species: harpoon heads and an unexploded bomb-lance found in harvested whales and last known to be used off Alaska in the late nineteenth or early twentieth centuries indicate individual animals can be over 100-years old.

SHFW70: The information I added to the "life history" section is from the source quoted above. I assume you are right in your changes, but the article is now using my reference to claim something that is not in it. I don't have any problems with you editing the page (or correcting me), but please add your references. --Fama Clamosa (talk) 16:23, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

Refs in Life History section[edit]

Fin, sei, and Bryde's are all baleen whales. The cited sources mentioning those species give age at physical maturity (20-25 for Bryde's, 25 for seis, and 25-30 for fin whales, iirc). Evans gives age at sexual maturity, duration of lactation and gestation, etc. for various species of baleen whale. Rommel and Reynolds give the estimated length of minkes at weaning. Go find the pages yourself. SHFW70 (talk) 21:24, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for reverting my edit without posting here or providing an edit summary. You asked for refs and I provided them. The three sources on fin, sei, and Bryde's whales provide ages at physical maturity, thus providing a citation for the "20-30 years" reference. I've moved the other refs accordingly. SHFW70 (talk) 18:41, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
And thank you for adding crappy outdated references. Your style of contribution is really helpful too. --Fama Clamosa (talk) 21:03, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

hahahaha Aw, that's so sweet of you. :) Standard works and papers written by experts sure are terrible references compared to a single secondary source riddled with generalizations and mistakes. SHFW70 (talk) 21:12, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

Oh, and I thought you'd like to know that that giant wall of text you quoted from Bannister was from data obtained during the whaling era (i.e. prior to the dates of publication of my cited sources, which rely on the very same data). This shows what a novice you are. Perhaps you should argue about a subject you actually know something about? SHFW70 (talk) 21:22, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

Possible Improvements[edit]

I think it might be useful to include something on fetal development within the "life history" section. Specifically that of tooth formation/resorption. Particularly since the baleen dental structure is one of the most interesting adaptations of this organism. It's definitely eluded to within the first paragraph but not elaborated upon. Furthermore, the sections on certain physical structures (ie jaw) don't seem to be fully fleshed out. Finally, I feel as though this article could benefit from a more in depth Evolutionary history section. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Toddy.6osu (talkcontribs) 03:10, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

New version[edit]

I'm putting together an extensive rewrite in my sandbox. You can find what I've done so far here, and feel free to make whatever changes you feel necessary. Thanks   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  20:54, 23 January 2016 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Baleen whale/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Sainsf (talk · contribs) 12:43, 1 March 2016 (UTC)

I am interested to review this. Sainsf <^>Talk all words 12:43, 1 March 2016 (UTC)


  • I think the name taken as the article name, Baleen whale, should come before Mysticeti.
  • The etymology of Mysticeti looks clumsy in the lead. It need not be added there.
moved to Etymology section
Don't remove the mention of the scientific name completely, it should still be there in bold after the main name. Sainsf <^>Talk all words 05:09, 5 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Link cetaceans, vertebrae, critically endangered
  • which is also the largest creature Could the wording be a bit clearer like "the largest creature on earth", that would be more attractive I guess.
  • They exhibit sexual dimorphism. This is a short sentence that can be easily included in one of the other lines.
I don't see anything wrong with sentence size variation. Should I still continue?
This is a common point raised at FAC, though. Choppiness may be pointed out if there are short sentences (such as Baleen whales have two blowholes), and then you have to reword it all to make it look better. This article has a great potential, so I felt we could set it straight now itself. Sainsf <^>Talk all words 02:55, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
I have fixed this issue for your convenience. Not a major change, though. Sainsf <^>Talk all words 04:46, 5 March 2016 (UTC)
  • baleen whales can swim very fast Can we have an idea of its speed?
Please mention this in the main text as well and remove citations from the lead. Other editors have told me this time and again. Sainsf <^>Talk all words 02:55, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Do we need caps and even links for "Northern and Southern Poles"?
Yes on caps, links are questionable though. Should I get rid of them?
Looking at this once again, I believe we need to keep back the links, as this is a major habitat of the species of this order. The reader may like to know more about the poles. Sainsf <^>Talk all words 02:55, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
  • in the water, mating, giving birth How about "... in the water - breeding an molting..."?
  • relatively long period of time how long? I presume this is in comparison to other whales.
  • humpback whale Which whale is this?
The humpback whale is a species of whale
Can we link it? It would not be a duplink, I hope? Sainsf <^>Talk all words 02:55, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
It's already linked once in the Taxonomy section. Should I instead wikilink it in the lead?
There is no trouble if the links from the lead are repeated in the main text. The trouble is when links are repeated within lead or main text. Done with this. Sainsf <^>Talk all words 03:47, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
  • "pygmy right whale" is linked twice.


 Done Sainsf <^>Talk all words 04:48, 5 March 2016 (UTC)

fixed latin, but greek should be directing to the Ancient Greek article rather than the Greek language (the two are apparently vastly different)
Sorry, I failed to notice it. Sainsf <^>Talk all words 03:10, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
  • " Rice 1998" is a weird way of putting a source. Instead, you could identify the author and add the year as normal words.
So it should read "Rice, nineteen ninety eight,..."?
Let me clarify. You should use my tip elsewhere as well. I searched for the "Rice 1998" article on Google to know who Rice is. Now I can write "which D. W. Rice (of the Society for Marine Mammalogy) in his 1998 work assumed was an ironic reference to the animals' great size." This may not be an issue at GAN, but is certainly one at FAC. Sainsf <^>Talk all words 03:10, 2 March 2016 (UTC)


 Done Sainsf <^>Talk all words 16:26, 5 March 2016 (UTC)

  • Link baleen plate, plankton, families, Balaenidae, Balaenopteridae, pygmy right whale, gray whale, blubber - it is their first mention in the article
fixed (All except "plankton" were wikilinked on their first mention)
  • and are more streamlined than Balaenids. Rorquals...Balaenid exist. Source?
Seems the Rorquals...Balaenid exist. part is still unsourced. Sainsf <^>Talk all words 03:23, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Link or explain "dorsal"
Where it says "halfway up the dorsal side"?
I see, you explain it here "a dorsal ridge (knuckles on the back)". No need to link. Sainsf <^>Talk all words 03:23, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Sasaki and Nikaido, Alexandre Hassanin and Anne Ropiquet need to be identified
There was originally a ref right next to them but I changed it to what was done with Rice 1998
As I explained above, you just need to fetch the author info. It looks clearer and interesting. In such cases you should write (I searched for info on the authors and found this) :
  • 4 extant genera say "four"
  • Duplinks: humpback whale, fin whale, Sei whale, Bryde's whale, Eden's whale, the blue whale, common minke whale, Omura's whale
I kept the ones that were first mentioned in the long list of extant species
  • Link baleen in the first line.
  • Could the font size of the cladogram be increased a bit? It appears clumsy now.
I'll see what I can do
  • pygmy right whale in the last para needs a link.
  • Some lines, such as Mysticetes are also known as baleen whales due to the presence of baleen, Balaenids are also known as right whales due to whalers preferring them over other species; they were essentially the "right whale" to catch shift focus from the taxonomy. Why not include them in a new para under Etymology that discusses vernacular names?
  • This is a suggestion. You can separate the description details into Anatomy. Taxonomy is generally not the place to discuss these things.
Well, I thought that Taxonomy would also include how these families are different from each other and how to tell them apart. In the case of baleen whales, it is largely feeding behaviour
Hmm... You may add a sub-section like "Differences among families" to Taxonomy, somewhat similar to what I and another user have done in the GA Wildebeest. It would be loads better for the readers. Mainly morphological and habitat details are to be added; the rest may be here or in comparisons in other sections. Sainsf <^>Talk all words 02:39, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Another suggestion. It would be great if you could add a horizontal gallery featuring the four families, one pic for each.
I'll see what I can do without cluttering the article with pictures
  • are thought to be genetically and physiologically dissimilar. Sounds vague. Any evidence why this should be so?
I think I fixed it but you might want to check it
Better. Sainsf <^>Talk all words 02:39, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
  • A general line or two at the start of Taxonomy like "Baleen whales are cetaceans that constitute the parvorder <a word or two to explain this, I could not find any link> Mysticeti" gives an easy and reader-friendly start.
done (I wikilinked parvorder)
Thanks. Sainsf <^>Talk all words 02:39, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
  • If you go alphabetically, should the order in which descriptions are arranged be: Balaenidae (right whales), Balaenopteridae (rorquals), Cetothriidae (pygmy right whale), and Eschrichtiidae (gray whale)?
I think you missed it, I will go ahead to rearrange it... Sainsf <^>Talk all words 02:39, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Two genera and nine species of rorqual are known to exist Should be added to the para on the taxonomy of rorquals.
  • "Rorqual" is linked much later.
Balaenopteridae redirects to rorqual, and is already wikilinked. I removed the wikilinks on "rorqual"
  • They recommend that the genus Balaenoptera... the blue whale, and Omura's whale. There is a repeated and have...and have structure, could use semicolons to cut out "and".
I think I fixed it but you might want to check

Evolutionary history[edit]

 Done Sainsf <^>Talk all words 17:12, 4 March 2016 (UTC)

  • Link incisors, canines, molars, premolars, rostra, primitive, dental formula, maxillae, mandible, Miocene, tectonic, palate
  • Janjucetus had baleen present in its jaw I think "present" is redundant
  • with species like Mammalodon You mean "species like those of Mammalodon"?
no, Mammalodon was a genus (with one species)
  • It is thought that size and baleen dependence are linked Could we clean up the "thought to be" vagueness? How exactly are they linked?
  • The caption "Llanocetus skull" needs some italics
  • Originally thought to be Llanocetus, Fucaia buelli is the earliest mysticete The meaning seems unclear here. Was Fucaia buelli thought to be a Llanocetus species or were Llanocetus species thought to be the earliest mysticetes?
  • dating back to 33 mya Either link mya or expand it.
mya is already wikilinked earlier
  • Like other early toothed mysticetes, F. buelli had heterodont dentition. Other early toothed mysticeti or "archaeomysticetes" from the Oligocene... Could be better worded as Like other early toothed mysticetes or "archaeomysticetes", F. buelli had heterodont dentition. Archaeomysticetes from the Oligocene... Just to remove repetition
  • Mammalodon, "suction feeding" and "Oligocene" are linked on second mention.
  • Does suction feeding have a hyphen? You use it at first mention but not in the next
  • but it is largely thought that they I think you should say "generally believed".
  • and are thought to have lived This and the following lines can be reworded so that we do not come across "thought to" so often in the article. Could be "probably lived" or "are believed to have lived"
  • Balaenopterids got bigger during this time I think "grew" is better than "got"
  • The Eomysticetidae had long I think you should say "The eomysticetids".
  • Duplinks: benthic, plankton, Oligocene (third mention)


 Done Sainsf <^>Talk all words 16:44, 5 March 2016 (UTC)

  • "Thought to" is repeated throughout
changed three of them to "believed to"
  • Baleen whales range in size from the 20 ft (6 m) and 6,600 lb (3,000 kg) pygmy right whale to the 112 ft (34 m) and 190 t (210 short tons) blue whale, which is also the largest creature on earth. Where is this fact mentioned from the lead?
I'm confused what the question is. This is said in the lead
Actually all facts mentioned in lead should also have a mention in the main text. Sainsf <^>Talk all words 17:12, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
  • a study done in 2014 --> A 2014 study
  • Link dolphin, cranium, enzymes, blood vessels
  • Rorquals, needing to build speed to feed "that need to build speed"
That would imply that some don't have to (all of them have to build speed)
  • a small dorsal fin relative to its size --> a dorsal fin small for the whale's size or a dorsal fin small relative to its size
I have never seen it used like that. How about "a small dorsal fin, relative to its size,..."
Better. I have added it. Sainsf <^>Talk all words 17:12, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
  • "oral cavity" is linked here, but should be linked in the preceding section where it is mentioned first. Same for mandible
  • where it meets a three-chambered-stomach Should "meets" be "enters"?


 Done Sainsf <^>Talk all words 16:44, 5 March 2016 (UTC)

  • Link pupil, lens, retina, pheromones
  • Baleen whales have a small, yet functional, vomeronasal organ Contradiction need not be implied; small organs are not typically non-functional. But correct me if they indeed are generally non-functional in whales.
Toothed whales do not have a vomeronasal organ
Could this fact be explicitly stated in the article? Not everyone knows this. Sainsf <^>Talk all words 17:14, 4 March 2016 (UTC)

Diving adaptations[edit]

  • Link lung volume
  • What is sacculated shaped? I guess "shaped" is redundant?
sacculated shaped means sac-like. Should I change it?
Yes. Sainsf <^>Talk all words 17:15, 4 March 2016 (UTC)


 Done Sainsf <^>Talk all words 17:04, 4 March 2016 (UTC)

  • Do you link or explain "blubber" anywhere?


 Done Sainsf <^>Talk all words 17:02, 4 March 2016 (UTC)

  • Sea of Okhotsk is a duplink
  • It is also postulated By whom?


  • All baleen whales are carnivorous, however a study done in 2015 --> All baleen whales are carnivorous; however, a 2015 study
  • They then must decelerate I think it is "then they"
  • Why do we give the common names of families in this section when we already have them in Taxonomy?
so replace Balaenopteridae with rorqual and Balaenidae with right whale?
I mean you mention just the scientific names, lest it should look like you are identifying the families for the first time.
  • Duplinks: copepods, benthic

Predation and parasitism[edit]

 Done Sainsf <^>Talk all words 16:56, 4 March 2016 (UTC)

  • Unless killer whale is already linked, a link might be useful here.
linked in the Migration section
  • Link parasite
linked in Taxonomy section

Reproduction and development[edit]

 Done Sainsf <^>Talk all words 16:56, 4 March 2016 (UTC)

  • Blue whale is a duplink
  • Link sexual maturity
  • Instead of "/", you should say "per".
  • there is a 2-to-3-year calving period. In right whales, the calving interval is usually 3 years Numbers in words

History of whaling[edit]

 Done Sainsf <^>Talk all words 16:54, 4 March 2016 (UTC)

  • Which countries are being linked and which not?
Germany was not linked; fixed
  • whalers, namely the Americans and Australians Should it be "American and Australian whalers"?
Wouldn't that be redundant?
  • Link Inuit, Arctic Ocean
  • Japan is linked twice

Conservation and management issues[edit]

 Done Sainsf <^>Talk all words 16:54, 4 March 2016 (UTC)

  • Link Endangered at first mention
  • " North Atlantic right whale" could be linked here if not linked elsewhere
linked in the lead. Should I continue?
This can be done. I have done this for you. Sainsf <^>Talk all words 17:19, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Japan has had two main research programs: JARPA and JARPN. Can these be expanded?
  • Can scientific whaling be linked or explain?
  • permanently forbid whaling South of the Equator "S" in caps?


 Done Sainsf <^>Talk all words 16:06, 5 March 2016 (UTC)

  • I think refs. 118, 115, 107, 98, 51, 40, 11 could be formatted better
I don't see it. Could you explain more?
In 118, 115, 107, 98 we could mention the news agencies. 40 and 51 need to mention the publisher. We typically leave the name out rather than say "unknown". Sainsf <^>Talk all words 05:05, 5 March 2016 (UTC)
  • URL not need for ref. 109. It anyway leads to PubMed
Usually for journals the url is not given because only the Abstract is given (without any subscription fee), but for 109 the entire article is available for free so I added the url
Oh, then it should stay. Sainsf <^>Talk all words 05:05, 5 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Ref. 104 may be unreliable. I got the warning that connection to the website might be insecure. I received similar warnings for ref. 68 and 56
For all url's, I changed "http" to "https" which apparently does not allow you to go to certain websites. I'll fix the ones mentioned and I'll go through the other refs for more
  • Some editors have told me that Animal Diversity Web (ref. 1) might not be reliable; it is edited mainly by university students and takes its info from other comprehensive books and journals.
I had some doubts too but I found this on the Fin whale article, which is an FA-class article, and I thought it was reliable
Better be on the safer side, you use this ref. alone for giving the speed which is an important point. This may be troublesome. Sainsf <^>Talk all words 05:08, 5 March 2016 (UTC)
added another ref
  • You need italics for the binomial name in ref 12
"Histoire évolutive des Cetartiodactyla (Mammalia, Laurasiatheria) racontée par l’analyse des génomes mitochondriaux", I don't see a binomial name in this ref. It loosely translates to "History of evolution of Cetartiodactyla (Mammalia, Laurasiatheria) and analysis of mitochondria genomes"
Sorry, I meant ref. 18 Sainsf <^>Talk all words 05:05, 5 March 2016 (UTC)
It's already in italics
  • There are incomplete citation templates in some refs
This follows from the first point I raised. Moreover, we have instances without the "location" (refs. 13 and 15). Not very serious for GAN but I would like to do my best for this article. Sainsf <^>Talk all words 05:05, 5 March 2016 (UTC)
added (but I don't see why that was necessary)
Could not leave an issue out after having noticed it. Sainsf <^>Talk all words 16:34, 5 March 2016 (UTC)

Remaining issues[edit]

Thanks for all your cooperation till now. For your convenience, I have listed the remaining issues below:

I already did these but I guess I forgot to respond to them.   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  03:36, 6 March 2016 (UTC)

Diving adaptations:

  • What is sacculated shaped? I guess "shaped" is redundant?
sacculated shaped means sac-like. Should I change it?
Yes, say "sac-like". Sainsf <^>Talk all words 17:15, 4 March 2016 (UTC)


  • Why do we give the common names of families in this section when we already have them in Taxonomy?
so replace Balaenopteridae with rorqual and Balaenidae with right whale?
I mean you mention just the scientific names, lest it should look like you are identifying the families for the first time. Sainsf <^>Talk all words 16:34, 5 March 2016 (UTC)

@Dunkleosteus77: Thanks for remaining patient and friendly throughout the review, I am sure the article is in a much improved state now. All issues raised by me have been addressed; I believe the article meets the GA criteria now. I would be happy to promote this. Sainsf <^>Talk all words 04:11, 6 March 2016 (UTC)

Molting? Molting?![edit]

Baleen whales are nearly or entirely hairless mammals. I assume the reference to molting is vandalism? I'm not just deleting it because it's possible it has some specialized meaning here I'm not familiar with but ... molting? IAmNitpicking (talk) 13:12, 23 March 2016 (UTC)

They moult to shed whale barnacles and other external parasites. I'll revert your edit and add a source and explanation as to why so this doesn't happen again.  User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  18:17, 23 March 2016 (UTC)

I didn't make any edits, though. That's why I posted here. I'm still not sure why molting (US spelling) in particular is mentioned as happening underwater but not, say, defecation or bone elongation. Surely even amphibious mammals like seals shed skin and hair in the water?IAmNitpicking (talk) 18:39, 23 March 2016 (UTC)

Amphibious mammals shed skin and hair on land   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  22:07, 23 March 2016 (UTC)
I have looked at the reference in the article, and I am not sure it is accurate to describe this as "molting". Molting is essentially a passive process, often determined by seasonal conditions. What the reference describes is more of an active, anti-parasite behaviour in which the whales deliberately rub their bodies on substrate to dislodge the parasites. I'm happy to rewrite the statements if we agree the change is needed. DrChrissy (talk) 14:30, 24 March 2016 (UTC)
Okay   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  18:29, 24 March 2016 (UTC)
Done. DrChrissy (talk) 20:02, 24 March 2016 (UTC)


Congratulations on getting this to FA but I just noticed that this article doesn't actually describe baleen much. What its made of, ect. LittleJerry (talk) 00:51, 25 May 2016 (UTC)

Added to the External anatomy section   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  03:24, 25 May 2016 (UTC)

Today's featured article[edit]

Humpback whale breaching

Baleen whales are a widely distributed and diverse parvorder of carnivorous marine mammals. They include 15 species from the families Balaenidae (including right whales), Cetotheriidae (the pygmy right whale), Eschrichtiidae (the gray whale), and Balaenopteridae (the rorquals, including the blue whale, the largest animal on earth). Cetaceans were thought to have descended from the extinct mesonychids, but molecular evidence supports their descent from even-toed ungulates. Baleen whales split from toothed whales around 34 million years ago. The meat, blubber, baleen, and oil of baleen whales have traditionally been used by the indigenous peoples of the Arctic. Once relentlessly hunted by commercial industries for these products, cetaceans are now protected by international law, but Japan, Norway and Iceland continue to allow whaling for various purposes. Baleen whales also face threats from marine pollution, ocean acidification, collisions with ships, and entanglement in nets. Sonar can cause strandings and disrupt their communication. They have rarely survived for long in captivity. (Full article...)


This section is like most sections on whales etc, contradict itself, or repeats redundant info like saying koi carp fish, when koi has to be in the 2 groups named after.--Simon19800 (talk) 08:15, 19 October 2016 (UTC)

I'm having trouble understanding this. Do you mean adding the "whale" part to, say, "gray whale" is redundant? I've heard people do say "Grays" when referring to the whale, but that seems a bit too colloquial.   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  17:32, 23 October 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Ocean acidification[edit]

I didn't realize baleen whales had such brittle shells? OM2003 (talk) 18:44, 5 December 2016 (UTC)

Gray whale populations[edit]

The classification section states the following about gray whales: "The two populations, one in the Sea of Okhotsk and Sea of Japan and the other in the Mediterranean Sea[10] and East Atlantic,[11] are thought to be genetically and physiologically dissimilar." The two citations talk about two gray whales from the Pacific that wandered into the Atlantic, making them vagrants. How do two vagrants make a "population"? Did you mean the Eastern Pacific population off Alaska, the west coast of Canada, the lower 48 states of the U.S., and Baja? OM2003 (talk) 18:53, 5 December 2016 (UTC)

Pygmy right whale[edit]

In the Differences between families section, the last sentence describes the differences between the above species and minkes (including "a light eye patch" I've never heard of), but none of it is in the cited source (Bannister 2008, p. 80). Please provide a source that states that info or I'm removing it. OM2003 (talk) 19:05, 5 December 2016 (UTC)

History of whaling[edit]

This entire section needs to be rewritten. Someone with little to no knowledge of whaling history wrote it. For example, it states the following: "Commercial whaling was historically important as an industry well throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Whaling was at that time a sizable European industry with ships from Britain, France, Spain, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Germany, sometimes collaborating to hunt whales in the Arctic". The cited source was vague about centuries, but the preceding sentence was referring only to open-boat whaling off Spitsbergen in the first half of the 17th century. The second sentence quoted above has nothing to do with the 19th and 20th centuries. The sentences immediately following the above two go back and forth between open-boat and modern whaling. Why is that exactly? OM2003 (talk) 19:12, 5 December 2016 (UTC)

History of whaling again[edit]

"Commonly exploited species included arctic whales such as the gray whale, right whale, and bowhead whale because they were close to the main whaling ports, like New Bedford. After those stocks were depleted, rorquals in the South Pacific were targeted by nearly all whaling organizations; however, they often out-swam whaling vessels." I didn't realize bowhead whales and gray whales, both primarily hunted in the Pacific by New England whalers (though they did send vessels to the Davis Strait in the 18th century and to Hudson Bay in the late 19th century, but the latter was fairly small scale), were hunted off New Bedford? What? Are you serious? Is that based on Dudley's "scrag whale" or something? That's jumping to quite a conclusion there. Then you talk about hunting rorquals, which involved different technology and personnel from other nations? Really? What haphazard Google search led you to that nonsense? OM2003 (talk) 19:46, 5 December 2016 (UTC)

You seem to know what you're talking about. Why don't you rewrite it?   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  04:05, 7 December 2016 (UTC)
@OM2003: I'm serious, you really do seem to know what you're talking about and you should probably be the one to make the changes. Best of luck   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  22:48, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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