Prehistoric Models: Cetacea

(whales, dolphins, and porpoises)

Mammals are a class animals defined as warm-blooded vertebrates, distinguished by the possession of hair or fur, the secretion of milk by females for the nourishment of the young, and (typically) the birth of live young (with only two modern exceptions).

The Infraorder Cetacea includes placental mammals that include whales, dolphins, and porpoises. The term Cetacea stems from the Latin: cetus meaning “whale” and from the romanized ancient Greek kētea meaning “huge fish”. To see my fossil Cetaceans click here.

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Superclass: Tetrapoda – Class: Mammalia – Order: Artiodactyla – Infraorder: Cetacea – Family Basilosauridae – Subfamily: Basilosaurinae

(Early whales)

Late Eocene

 

Genus: Basilosaurus 
Name meaning: King lizard
Synonym name: Zeuglodon
Classification: Family: Basilosauridae
Time: Late Eocene (Bartonian and Priabonian)
Range: United States, Egypt, Western Sahara, Morocco, Jordon,Tunisia, and Pakistan
Diet: Carnivore

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Superclass: Tetrapoda – Class: Mammalia – Order: Artiodactyla – Infraorder: Cetacea – Family Physeteridae

(Sperm whales)

Oligocene – Recent

 

Genus and species: Physeter macrocephalus
Common name: Sperm whales
Classification: Family: Physeteridae
Time: Pliocene to Holocene
Range: Global
Diet: Carnivore

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Superclass: Tetrapoda – Class: Mammalia – Order: Artiodactyla – Infraorder: Cetacea – Family: Monodontidae

(Beluga whales)

Late Miocene- Recent

 

Genus and species: Delphinapterus leucas
Common name: Beluga Cow and Calf
Classification: Family: Monodontidae
Time: Quaternary to Holocene
Range: Artic Ocean
Diet: Carnivore

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Superclass: Tetrapoda – Class: Mammalia – Order: Artiodactyla – Infraorder: Cetacea – Family Delpinidae

(Oceanic dolphin)

Late Oligocene – Recent

 

Genus and species: Orcinus orca
Common name: Killer whale
Classification: Family: Delphinidae
Time: Pliocene to Holocene
Range: Global
Diet: Carnivore
Genus and species: Tursiops truncatus
Common name: Bottlenose Dolphin
Classification: Family: Delphinidae – Subfamily: Delphiniae
Time: Miocene to Holocene
Range: Global, non polar oceans
Diet: Carnivore
Genus and species: Tursiops truncatus
Common name: Bottlenose Dolphin
Classification: Family: Delphinidae – Subfamily: Delphiniae
Time: Miocene to Holocene
Range: Global, non polar oceans
Diet: Carnivore

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Superclass: Tetrapoda – Class: Mammalia – Order: Artiodactyla – Infraorder: Cetacea – Clade: Mysticeti – Family: Balaenopteridae

(Rorquals)

Miocene- Recent

 

Genus and species: Megaptera novaeangliae
Common name: Humpback whale
Classification: Family: Balaenopteridae
Time: Miocene to Holocene
Range: Global
Diet: Filter Feeder
Genus and species: Megaptera novaeangliae
Common name: Humpback whale
Classification: Family: Balaenopteridae
Time: Miocene to Holocene
Range: Global
Diet: Filter Feeder
Genus and species: Balaenoptera borealis
Common name: Sei whale
Classification: Family: Balaenopteridae
Time: Holocene
Range: Global
Diet: Filter Feeder
Genus and species: Balaenoptera musculus
Common name: Blue whale
Classification: Family: Balaenopteridae
Time: Middle Pleistocene to Holocene
Range: Global
Diet: Filter Feeder

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Superclass: Tetrapoda – Class: Mammalia – Order: Artiodactyla – Infraorder: Cetacea – Clade: Mysticeti – Family: Eschrichtiidae

(Baleen whales)

Late Miocene- Recent

 

Genus and species: Eschrichtius robustus
Common name: Gray whale
Classification: Family: Eschrichtiidae
Time: Late Pleistocene to Holocene
Range: North American west coast northwest Asian coast
Diet: Filter Feeders

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