How many species of whales are there

How many species of whales and dolphins are there in the world?

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How many species of whales and dolphins are there in the world?
Dolphins and whales are fascinating marine mammals. Some species are critically endangered. How many are there still in our waters? Maurice Björn, 8 years old, asked this question.

Large whales like this humpback whale are more likely to be stranded on the coasts of New Zealand.


In the order of the cetaceans, called "cetacea" in the Latin technical term, there are around 80 species of whale. These are divided into two main groups - the baleen whales (Latin "Mysticeti") and the toothed whale (Latin "Odontoceti").

These two main groups are again divided into ten families, into which the individual species are classified. 11 species belong to the group of baleen whales, these are bowhead whales, northern, southern and minke right whales, gray whales, blue whales, fin whales, sei whales, Bryde's whales, minke whales and humpback whales.

The far larger group are the toothed whales, which also include the sperm whale, the various dolphins, gudgeon beaked or porpoise whales.
The group of dolphins includes all members of the family "Delphinidae" and is thus the largest and most diverse group in the order of the cetaceans. This includes all species that live in coastal waters, on the high seas and sometimes even in fresh water. 31 different species of dolphins belong to this family.

You can find more information about whales and dolphins in WAS IST WAS Volume 85 Whales and Dolphins. The gentle giants