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Wikipedia:WikiProject Cetaceans



Cetaceans Portal

This WikiProject is about cetaceans - that's whales, dolphins and porpoises to you and me. The aim of the project is to write a good description of every known cetacean species out there (all 78, or 79, or 80,... however many there are :-)).


  • (27/11/2006) The Cetaceans Portal is now featured!
  • (07/11/2006) Portal:Cetaceans is a featured portal candidate.
  • (28/09/2006) Taxonomy templates created to ease taxonomic listing on pages.
  • (10/06/2006) Redesigned layout of Cetaceans Portal
  • (26/06/2005) Added a list of species (List of dolphins and whales)
  • (26/02/2004) All species now have IUCN status and a range map in the taxobox
  • (12/02/2004) All species now have an article or part of an article
  • (05/02/2004) There is a vigourous debate going on at Wikipedia:WikiProject Tree of Life about whether and how taxoboxes should be extended to include there. General comments there and specific comments about how cetacean articles would be best served here are welcome.
  • (30/12/2003) We now have an article on each of the species in the Cephalorhynchus genus.
  • (28/11/2003) We now have an article on each of the species in the Ziphidae family.
  • (26/11/2003) We now have an article on each of the porpoise species. Shame the Delphinidae are five times as numerous!
  • (24/11/2003) We now have an article on everything in the Mysticeti suborder. Shame the toothies are five times as numerous!
  • (20/11/2003) Rice's classification moved in full to Cetacea article. This is liable to more updates... every book/webpage claiming to reproduce his listing says something different


Put news stories here that perhaps should be integrated/referenced in appropriate articles (if you are really into this stuff, maybe get Google News Alerts for "whale", "dolphin", and "porpoise").

Things to be done

Featured Article/Good Article Candidates

These articles are regarded as being comprehensive and may have been labelled as a good article or is a featured article; or may be good enough to almost be listed as either.

= Good Article candidate, = Featured Article candidate

  • Baiji - Since its demise this article has improved a lot, with a bit more work could be GA.


Leave any requests you have or have found elsewhere here.


These articles are very short and may only include a sentence or two.


These articles are not listed as stubs but are only just about long enough to escape being so. Any help expanding these would be appreciated.


These articles may have enough text but are poorly formatted and may have spelling mistakes.

Patrol for vandalism

Have a look at the recent changes for the Category:Cetaceans

Collaboration of the Month

The current Cetaceans Collaboration of the month
is North Pacific Right Whale.
To nominate or vote for an article visit the collaboration page.

The Cetaceans Collaboration of the Month is a collaborative effort to improve whale, porpoise and dolphin-related articles, in order to help them reach featured-article standards. Anyone, no matter what their level of knowledge about Cetacea, is welcome to lend a hand. Each month, an article is chosen by people interested in the topic, and for the next month the chosen article is worked on, under Wikipedia's principle of collaborative editing. This provides a single article for people to concentrate their efforts on collaboratively.

Article assessment

Article assessment is the process by which cetacean articles are sorted into different qualities. Assessment is done through the assessment page.

Article structure

Bowhead Whale
Conservation status
Conservation Dependent[1]Scientific classificationKingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Subclass: Eutheria
Order: Cetacea
Suborder: Mysticeti
Family: Balaenidae
Genus: Balaena
Species: B. mysticetus
Binomial name Balaena mysticetus
Linnaeus, 1758
Bowhead Whale range

Articles on almost every species have now been started. Most species have their own article with the exception of Mesoplodont Whales - too little information known for separate articles - and Humpback Dolphins - the lack of consensus from the taxonomists makes difficult to know what species to choose. Better to do at the genus level to avoid making a judgement.

See Wikipedia:WikiProject Tree of Life/taxobox usage for the details of how to construct a taxobox.


An image in JPG or PNG format is very welcome, although the latter format is not as good for photographs. For public domain resources try the American National Oceanic and Atomospheric Administration, particularly the National Marine Fisheries Historic Image Collection.

Range maps

The basic template map is the world map without country borders that can be found at Wikipedia:Blank maps.

The blue colour shows where the species is (sometimes) present and white is where it is absent.

The grey colour has R:205 G:195 B:204 The blue colour has R:0 G:0 B:255 (:-))

If you edit a map, try to save at full-quality so that no blurring occurs at the edge of the countries - this blurring makes further editing of the map more difficult because the "fill" function of many image editing programs doesn't work with the blurred edges.

What to include

Some topics that might (and probably should) be written about are physical characteristics (birth size and weight, adult size and weight (male and female), life expectancy, gestation period, lactation period, baleen or toothed, colour, callosities, fins size shape and existence, speed, what do they eat, interaction with other species etc.) Population and distribution including changes over time. Distinguishing between one species and another. The relationship between this species and the whaling and whale-watching industries. The discoverer/describer of the species. Scientific names. Taxonomy debates. English meaning of Scientific name. This list is not exhaustive!

The study of whales is cetology. Some information is probably best described in an article outside a particular species e.g. baleen.

Articles at higher than species level

... check out Category:Cetaceans



There are huge numbers of books on the subject. The websites listed at cetacea may be useful for quick fact-verifying

Free pictures

The NOAA has some great cetacean photos on the web. It is a U.S. Federal Government department, so its photos are public domain. They're on many websites and can be tricky to find through searches. Here are some examples:


  1. User:Rav314
  2. User:Pcb21 (Pete)
  3. Tannin
  4. Dante Alighieri | Talk (just the river dolphins, really)
  5. [[User:Neutrality|Neutrality (talk)]]
  6. KJen74 - I discovered this project only this weekend, and I hope to increase my level of contribution as time permits.
  7. Made the List of dolphins and whales page
  8. Death Eater Dan #(Muahaha) Created the new article box on the portal main page
  9. Chris_huh
  10. UberScienceNerd
  11. Belugaperson Edited Beluga page, which is rather fitting
  12. User:Jimfbleak
  13. User:NuclearWinner
  14. Neil916 (Talk) Also a member of WikiProject Fishes
  15. User:Clayoquot
  16. User:SammytheSeal here and there
  17. User:akhampton dabbling a little
  18. PatricknoddyTALK (reply here)|HISTORY
  19. Pengo
  20. User:Shirehorse Adding photographs (example Harbour Porpoise vs Bottlenose Dolphin)
  21. István
  22. User:FionaBlinco
  23. User:Jonas Poole
  24. User:Emperor13
  25. User:Guidewell
  26. User:Rlendog
  27. User:SWF Trainer
  28. User:Rav314

Other WikiProjects

Parents : Wikipedia:WikiProject Mammals, Wikipedia:WikiProject Marine life
Grandparents : Wikipedia:WikiProject Tree of Life, Wikipedia:WikiProject Biology
Greatgrandparent : Wikipedia:WikiProject Science

Siblings : Wikipedia:WikiProject Birds (big sister!), Wikipedia:WikiProject Dog breeds (yapping little brother), Wikipedia:WikiProject Primates (big brother), Wikipedia:WikiProject Sharks (step-brother) Wikipedia:WikiProject Fishes (kissing cousin)

Things to be standardized

Capitalization: There was once a long debate about the capitalization of bird species on Wikipedia. The debate was backed by lots of research on both sides, but also became quite acrimonious. Call me a great wet lettuce (or Lettuce) but I for one hope to avoid repeating that debate, and get on with article-writing. Thus I propose we just borrow the convention from the bird project and then not worry about it too much. That is, capitalize species names when you write them in articles, e.g.

The blow of a Blue Whale is 9m high.

and when you create an article for the species, create it with caps in the title and then immediately create a redirect from the lower-case version of the same name. (N.B.: I didn't take part in the original debate and don't particularly care what the standard is, but standards are often useful and many people want standards, so I am proposing this one).

You are right IMO, and anyone who objects to importing the standard should know enough about the birds discussion to explain why cetaceans should be different, or else undertake to show why it should be changed at least for both, and preferably for vertebrates (or for some higher taxon that includes both).
And therefore someone who will be more active in this project than Jerzy should propose, at Wikipedia:WikiProject Tree of Life or its talk page, that there be a general standard (currently, capitalize all English species names, but of course subject to reconsideration) either
1. for all species, or
2. for all children of an independent (not redirected) Wikipedia:WikiProject Animals, where (in either additional project) the standard can be considered and promulgated without stepping on the toes of botanists (and perhaps microbiologists), whose realm(s) are the most likely ones to have conflicting naming or spelling standards in place.

One wrinkle: it is common practice in the cetacean literature to shorten e.g 'Southern Right Whales have no dorsal fin' to 'Southern Rights have no dorsal fin' i.e. drop 'Whale' as obvious. Two heavyweight books in the area are the Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals (which does this) and the National Audubon Society Guide to Marine Mammals of the World (which doesn't). I propose we allow (but not require) the shortening... it is better to avoid being unnecessarily prescriptive, and having two choices should make for less repetitious prose.

Spellings in taxonomy ( 'i' or 'ii', '-i' or 'es'): This seems to be inconsistent within the literature. Maybe we should have all article names in English, and make all common spellings of the Scientific version redirect to the English. I am thinking about sub-orders and families here; e.g. Mysticeti redirects to baleen whale.

I don't want to open a can of worms here, but I think the bird species discussion isn't necessarily being applied consistently here. I've taken an interest in bottlenose dolphin and I think the capitalization should be Bottlenose dolphin, without a capital D on the dolphin. For reference, see Wikipedia:WikiProject_Birds#Bird names and article titles, which states:
The name of a group of species is not capitalised; birds, thrush family, kingfishers, turtle doves, marsh harriers.
From this, I infer that the correct reference would be "Bottlenose dolphin" or just "Bottlenose." In support of this, I'd add that a dog's species is capitalized, but not the word "dog," as in "Rottweiler" but not a "Rottweiler Dog" or "Great Dane" instead of "Great Dane Dog."
Any thoughts? Isaacsf (talk) 23:46, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't think so. If we are capitalizing it should be Bottlenose Dolphin. Even if we follow the bird convention the bird discussion is pretty clear that it is "Bald Eagle", not "Bald eagle" or "King Penguin" not "King penguin". Penguin and eagle would correspond to dolphin here.Rlendog (talk) 00:40, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Ummm.... what's wrong with referring to the literature? I just did a search on Google Scholar for (as an example) "blue whale" [1]. EVERY SINGLE ONE of the first ten articles (didn't bother looking beyond the first page) use lower case letters. In accordance with both wikipedia tradition and the scientific literature, the article should be "blue whale," NOT "Blue Whale". Venture to guess the same is true of other whale species. Don't care enough to fight about it though. Rracecarr (talk) 19:11, 2 April 2008 (UTC)



v • d • eExtant Cetaceaspecies   Suborder Mysticeti (Baleen whales)BalaenidaeBalaenaBowhead Whale (Balaena mysticetus)Eubalaena
(Right whales) North Atlantic Right Whale (Eubalaena glacialis) · North Pacific Right Whale (Eubalaena japonica) · Southern Right Whale (Eubalaena australis) Balaenopteridae
(Rorquals) BalaenopteraFin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus) · Sei Whale (Balaenoptera borealis) · Bryde's Whale (Balaenoptera brydei) · Pygmy Bryde's Whale (Balaenoptera edeni) · Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus) · Northern Minke Whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) · Southern Minke Whale (Balaenoptera bonaerensis) · Balaenoptera omuraiMegapteraHumpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) Eschrichtiidae EschrichtiusGray Whale (Eschrichtius robustus) Neobalaenidae CapereaPygmy Right Whale (Caperea marginata)   Suborder Odontoceti (Toothed whales)(cont. below) Delphinidae
(Oceanic dolphins) PeponocephalaMelon-headed Whale (Peponocephala electra)OrcinusOrca (Orcinus orca)FeresaPygmy Killer Whale (Feresa attenuata)PseudorcaFalse Killer Whale (Pseudorca crassidens)Globicephala
(Pilot whales) Long-finned Pilot Whale (Globicephala melas) · Short-finned Pilot Whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus)DelphinusLong-beaked Common Dolphin (Delphinus capensis) · Short-beaked Common Dolphin (Delphinus delphis)Lissodelphis
(Right whale dolphins) Northern Right Whale Dolphin (Lissodelphis borealis) · Southern Right Whale Dolphin (Lissodelphis peronii)SotaliaTucuxi (Sotalia fluviatilis)SousaPacific Humpback Dolphin (Sousa chinensis) · Indian Humpback Dolphin (Sousa plumbea) · Atlantic Humpback Dolphin (Sousa teuszii)StenellaAtlantic Spotted Dolphin (Stenella frontalis) · Clymene Dolphin (Stenella clymene) · Pantropical Spotted Dolphin (Stenella attenuata) · Spinner Dolphin (Stenella longirostris) · Striped Dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba)StenoRough-toothed Dolphin (Steno bredanensis)TursiopsCommon Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) · Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops aduncus)CephalorhynchusChilean Dolphin (Cephalorhynchus eutropia) · Commerson's Dolphin (Cephalorhynchus commersonii) · Heaviside's Dolphin (Cephalorhynchus heavisidii) · Hector's Dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori)GrampusRisso's Dolphin (Grampus griseus)LagenodelphisFraser's Dolphin (Lagenodelphis hosei)LagenorhynchusAtlantic White-sided Dolphin (Lagenorhynchus acutus) · Dusky Dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obscurus) · Hourglass Dolphin (Lagenorhynchus cruciger) · Pacific White-sided Dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens) · Peale's Dolphin (Lagenorhynchus australis) · White-beaked Dolphin (Lagenorhynchus albirostris)OrcaellaIrrawaddy Dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) · Australian Snubfin Dolphin (Orcaella heinsohni)   Suborder Odontoceti (Toothed whales)(cont. above) MonodontidaeDelphinapterusBeluga (Delphinapterus leucas)MonodonNarwhal (Monodon monoceros) Phocoenidae
(Porpoises) NeophocaenaFinless Porpoise (Neophocaena phocaeniodes)PhocoenaHarbour Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) · Vaquita (Phocoena sinus) · Spectacled Porpoise (Phocoena dioptrica) · Burmeister's Porpoise (Phocoena spinipinnis)PhocoenoidesDall's Porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli) Physeteridae PhyseterSperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) Kogiidae KogiaPygmy sperm whale (Kogia breviceps) · Dwarf sperm whale (Kogia simus) Ziphidae
(Beaked whales) BerardiusArnoux's Beaked Whale (Berardius arnuxii) · Baird's Beaked Whale (Berardius bairdii)HyperoodonNorthern Bottlenose Whale (Hyperoodon ampullatus) · Southern Bottlenose Whale (Hyperoodon planifrons)IndopacetusLongman's Beaked Whale (Indopacetus pacificus)Mesoplodon
whales) Sowerby's Beaked Whale (Mesoplodon bidens) · Andrews' Beaked Whale (Mesoplodon bowdoini) · Hubbs' Beaked Whale (Mesoplodon carlhubbsi) · Blainville's Beaked Whale (Mesoplodon densirostris) · Gervais' Beaked Whale (Mesoplodon europaeus) · Ginkgo-toothed Beaked Whale (Mesoplodon ginkgodens) · Gray's Beaked Whale (Mesoplodon grayi) · Hector's Beaked Whale (Mesoplodon hectori) · Layard's Beaked Whale (Mesoplodon layardii) · True's Beaked Whale (Mesoplodon mirus) · Pygmy Beaked Whale (Mesoplodon peruvianus) · Perrin's Beaked Whale (Mesoplodon perrini) · Stejneger's Beaked Whale (Mesoplodon stejnegeri) · Spade-toothed Whale (Mesoplodon traversii)TasmacetusShepherd's Beaked Whale (Tasmacetus sheperdi)ZiphiusCuvier's Beaked Whale (Ziphius cavirostris) Iniidae IniaBoto (Inia geoffrensis) Lipotidae LipotesBaiji (Lipotes vexillifer) Platanistidae PlatanistaGanges and Indus River Dolphin (Platanista gangetica) Pontoporiidae PontoporiaLa Plata Dolphin (Pontoporia blainvillei)

Talk page box

Add this template to the top of talk pages of any relevant articles. This will add a box at the top of the page:

This article is part of WikiProject Cetaceans, an attempt at creating a standardized, informative, comprehensive and easy-to-use cetaceansresource. If you would like to participate, you can choose to edit this article, or visit the project page for more information. Cetaceans Portal
Cetaceans To do:

Here are some tasks you can do, as organized by the Cetaceans WikiProject. If you are interested sign up on the project page:

Use: {{CetaTalk}}

Collaboration of the Month box

This template just displays the current collaboration of the month.

The current Cetaceans Collaboration of the month
is North Pacific Right Whale.
To nominate or vote for an article visit the collaboration page.
Use: {{Wikipedia:WikiProject Cetaceans/Collaboration/CetaceansCOTM}}

Portal box

This can be placed on any cetacean based article to link to the cetaceans portal.

Cetaceans Portal

Use: {{cetaceaportal}}


If you want to add a userbox to your home page, letting everyone know about your interests in this project we have one.

This user is a member of WikiProject Cetaceans.

Use: {{Wikipedia:WikiProject Cetaceans/Userbox}}

Welcome message

If you see that someone has added themself to the contributors list or the userbox to their page, you can add this to their talk page.

Welcome to WikiProject Cetaceans! Thank you for joining the project. There are many tasks that you can do to contribute:

Here are some tasks you can do, as organized by the Cetaceans WikiProject. If you are interested sign up on the project page:

If you want to show your membership, you can add {{Wikipedia:WikiProject Cetaceans/Userbox}} to your userpage, which creates:

This user is a member of WikiProject Cetaceans.

We hope you enjoy being a member of the WikiProject. If you have any questions, feel free to ask one of our project contributors, or inquire on the project's talk page. Again, welcome!

Use: {{Wikipedia:WikiProject Cetaceans/Welcome}}

Collaboration thanks

Add this to COTM voters' talk pages to thank them.

Thank you for your support of the WikiProject Cetaceans Collaboration.
This month North Pacific Right Whalewas selected to be improved to featured articlestatus.
Hope you can help.

Use: {{Wikipedia:WikiProject Cetaceans/Collaboration/Thanks}} Categories: Unassessed cetacea articles | Unknown-importance cetacea articles | WikiProject Mammals | WikiProject Cetaceans | CetaceansHidden category: Taxoboxes needing a status system parameter

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