Archive for May 14th, 2009

May 14, 2009

I Know The Scientific Names Of Beings Animalculous: Part Two

The moment of truth has arrived. Let’s see if my attempts to memorize and list all the ocean going dolphins, all the porpoises, and all the freshwater dolphins have actually paid off.

Family Delphinidae (the oceanic dolphins)

    1.  Atlantic bottlenose
    2.  Indopacific bottlenose
    3.  Atlantic spotted
    4.  Indopacific spotted
    5.  Atlantic humpbacked dolphin
    6.  Pacific humpbacked dolphin
    7.  Northern right whale dolphin
    8.  Southern right whale dolphin
    9.  Atlantic white sided
    10. Pacific white sided
    11. White beaked
    12. Hourglass
    13. Dusky
    14. Melon-headed whale
    15. Roughtooth
    16. Peale’s
    17. Fraser’s
    18. Risso’s
    19. Heaviside’s
    20. Hector’s
    21. Tucuxi
    22. Chilean
    23. Clymene
    24. Commerson
    25. Long-beaked common
    26. Short-beaked common
    27. Atlantic spinner
    28. Indopacific spinner
    29. Hawaiian spinner
    30. Striped
    31. Longfin pilot
    32. Shortfin pilot
    33. Pseudorca
    34. Killer whale
    35. Pygmy killer whale
    36. Australian snubfin

Family Iniidae, Platanistidae, and Pontoporidae (the river dolphins)

    Yangtze (aka the baiji, if it still exists)
    Amazonian (aka the boto)
    Indus / Ganges River

Family Phocoenidae (the true porpoises)


I did it!!  This either makes me the most awesome marine educator this side of the Mississippi River or the biggest obsessive cetacean nerd (with a blog) on the web. Hmm. I think I’ll let all of you decide which one it is.

Two thoughts. A) This listing of Delphinidae species is open to some debate.  As I mention in Part One, there’s some arguments over which species to recognize as their own and which are truly subspecies especially among the humpback dolphins and the spinner dolphins. 

B)  I repeatedly flubbed and wrote the porpoise family as ‘Phocidae’ while I was studying instead of ‘Phocoenidae’ (as I thankfully correctly listed above). Those three little letters change the family entirely, from porpoises to the true seals! And speaking of true seals, I think that might be my next personal challenge: memorize and list all the living members of the order Pinnipedia.

Too bad I’m not challenging myself to list the Sirenians (the manatees and dugongs).  With just four species that would be cake!  For my next challenge I think I’ll take on the pinnipeds. . or the 350+ species of shark.  What would you suggest?