number of whale vertebrae

From: Catherine Schaeff (
Date: Tue Feb 22 2005 - 18:35:03 EST

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    Well, I understand you difficulty in finding a generally summary! Although I have been able to find information for specific species, e.g.:


    Delphinus delphis (a dolphin, of course): 7 cervical, 13 thoracic, 22 lumbar, and 31 caudal vertebrae;; blue whales 63-64 free vertebrae;;

    ?h  total number of vertebrae, 67-72: Stenella frontalis (Atlantic spotted dolphin).

    ?h   total number of vertebrae, 74-84: Stenella attenuata (pantropical spotted dolphin).

    the vertebral formula for the gray whale, based on a skeleton in the British Museum is: C 7, D 14, L 14, Ca 21. Typically, these vary somewhat from one individual to another. ttp://


    Sorry, I have not found anything more all encompassing... The encyclopedia Britannia looks like it may have the information (
    Unfortunately it requires a subscription.
    You can try searching the whalenet site if you have not already done so but I think that what is needed is a more general reference book.
    Cathy Schaeff
    Associate Professor and Chair
    Department of Biology
    American University
    101 Hurst Hall, 4400 Mass. Ave. NW,
    Washington DC 20016-8007
    p: 202.885.2194, f: 202.885.2182

    -----"Tricia O'Connor" <> wrote: -----

    To: <>, <>
    From: "Tricia O'Connor" <>
    Date: 02/22/2005 01:55PM
    Subject: whale vertebrae

    We are trying to find out how many vertebrae whales have. I know different species can have different numbers of vertebrae. Would it be correct to say ¡§Whales can have as many as 65 vertebrae.¡¨ Or what number would be correct in that sentence?


    Many thanks for any help you can provide. We have searched the internet far and wide and cannot find the answer to our question.





    Tricia O'Connor

    Visitor Experience Specialist

    Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art

    500 W. Washington St .

    Indianapolis , IN 46204

    317/636-9378, ext. 120

    FAX: 317/264-1724



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