Tag Archives: Toothed Whales

Will New Whales Be Discovered?

Compared with terrestrial predators, the ~90 species of cetaceans (WoRMS 2012) ranging from wolf-sized to the largest animals ever, are a mind-boggling array. They’re the Pleistocene megafauna that, until recently, survived mostly intact (Anderson 2001) and no place on land, even Recent sub-Saharan Africa, can really compare with our oceans. It’s shocking that on top of this vast menagerie, one author claimed as many as 15 species remain to be discovered, including exotic beasts such as an 18 meter baleen whale with two dorsal fins (Raynal 2001). In a previous article I argued that particular hypothetical species, Amphiptera pacifica, was far more likely to be an early observation of (an anomalous?) Caperea than anything new and began to wonder if the discovery of unmistakable new species is at all probable. It isn’t.

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