Re: Delphinapterus leucas

From: Merel Dalebout (
Date: Tue Jan 25 2000 - 15:42:12 EST

Hey there Alexander,

Sounds like you have a great project going there looking at beluga skull
morphology. I think Slijpers (1962) Whales, includes some illustrations of
a Delphinapteras skull, (nope, just checked. That's a narwhal. close though
pg. 80) but I expect you are looking for a bit more than that.

Dale Rices Marine Mammals of the World: Systematics and Distribution (1999)
includes these references on skull morphology in English or at least with
some English. Hope this helps. If you already have them, I suggest

Barabash (1937) Taxonomic observations on white whales. Journal of Mammalogy
18: 507-509
Klumov and Barabash (1937) Novye formy belukhi [a new form of beluga].
Ivestiya Akademii Nauk SSSR, Otdelenie Matematicheskikh y Estestvennykh
Nauk, 1937: 199-209 (Russian [you guessed it] with English summary]

And also this one on body size which might include some references to any
more work done on these animals by the Canadian side

Sergent and Brodie (1962) Body size in white whales, Delphinapteras leucas.
Journal of Fisheries Research Board of Canada 26: 2561-2580

That' s about all I can offer I'm afraid. You're right. Most things are in
Russian. If you get really desperate you could perhaps try the Smithsonian
National Museum of Natural History or Los Angeles COunty Museum of Natural
History. The marine mammal curators at both of these institutions, Dr. James
G. Mead and Dr. John E. Heyning, have an excellent knowledge of delphinid
skull morphology and evolution, and might be able to help you out, BUT I
know both are also extremely busy at the moment, and may not have time to
answer e-mail.

Well, I hope at least some of that helps

Good luck


Merel Dalebout
PhD student
School of Biological Sciences
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University of Auckland.
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