Subject: Extinct (Ancient and Modern) Whales

Phillip Colla (oceanlight@oceanlight.com)
Sat, 12 Jun 1999 19:02:43 -0700

>What are the names of any extinct whales?

There are a number of "ancient" extinct whale groups, in three
suborders (Archaeocetes, Odontocetes and Mysticetes) nicely
outlined on the following:

   http://www.museum.state.il.us/isas/mammals/mami003.html

Dr. J.G.M. "Hans" Thewissen, of Kent State University and
Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine has
a super web site detailing the six families of archaeocetes:

   http://www.neoucom.edu/Depts/Anat/whaleorigins.htm

See the links to the different families.

Here is an interesting article about extinct Eocene whales:

   http://intersurf.com/~heinrich/Basilosaurus1.html

In "modern" times, there have been no known extinctions of
whales.  But there was at least one population (or "race") of whales
that became extinct: the Atlantic population of gray whales.
Here is a brief mention of this:

   http://elfnet1a.elfi.com/gwfClass.html

In your research, you might consider looking for mention of
populations or races of whales that are considered remnant
of once-larger and more viable whale populations.  These
remnant populations are closely studied to determine if they
are likely to become extinct.

There are some cetacean species that are in deep trouble,
and may become extinct in our lifetimes.  A few examples are
the Atlantic and Pacific northern right whales, the vaquita,
and the baiji.

There have been a few past WhaleNet replies to questions
about extinct whales.  Here is one:

   http://whale.wheelock.edu/archives/ask96/0006.html

Phillip Colla, http://www.oceanlight.com
oceanlight@oceanlight.com   or pcolla@cts.com