Detailed Pedia

List of extinct cetaceans

The list of extinct cetaceans features the extinct genera and species of the order Cetacea. The cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) are descendants of land-living mammals, the even-toed ungulates. The earliest cetaceans were still hoofed mammals. These early cetaceans became gradually better adapted for swimming than for walking on land, finally evolving into fully marine cetaceans.

This list currently includes only fossil genera and species. However, the Atlantic population of gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) became extinct in the 18th century, and the baiji (or Chinese river dolphin, Lipotes vexillifer) was declared "functionally extinct" after an expedition in late 2006 failed to find any in the Yangtze River.

Suborder Archaeoceti

Family Ambulocetidae


Family Basilosauridae

(Late Eocene)

Basilosaurus cetoides reconstruction

Family Kekenodontidae


Family Pakicetidae

(Early to Middle Eocene)

Ambulocetus skeleton in front and Pakicetus behind

Family Protocetidae


Rhodocetus kasrani reconstruction

Family Remingtonocetidae


Suborder Mysticeti

Family Aetiocetidae


Aetiocetus restoration

Family Llanocetidae

(Late Eocene-Early Oligocene)

Family Mammalodontidae

(jr synonym Janjucetidae)

(Late Oligocene)

Family incertae sedis

Clade Chaeomysticeti

Family incertae sedis

Superfamily Eomysticetoidea

Family Cetotheriopsidae

(Oligocene to Miocene)

Family Eomysticetidae

(Oligocene to early Miocene)

Family Aglaocetidae


Superfamily Balaenoidea

Family Balaenidae

(Miocene to Recent)

Family incertae sedis

Clade Thalassotherii

Family Cetotheriidae

(Miocene - Pliocene)

Classification follows Steeman (2007) unless otherwise noted.

Cetotherium restoration
Family Diorocetidae

(Miocene to Pliocene)

Family Neobalaenidae

(Miocene to Recent)

Family Pelocetidae


Family incertae sedis
Superfamily Balaenopteroidea
Family Balaenopteridae

(Miocene to Recent)

Family Eschrichtiidae

(Miocene to Recent)

Family Tranatocetidae

Family incertae sedis

  • Mioceta (nomen dubium)
  • Piscocetus
  • Siphonocetus (nomen dubium)
  • Tretulias (nomen dubium)
  • Ulias (nomen dubium)

Suborder Odontoceti

Basal forms

Family Agorophiidae

(Early Oligocene)

Family Ashleycetidae

(Early Oligocene)

  • Ashleycetus

Family Patriocetidae

(Oligocene to Early Miocene)

Family Simocetidae

(Early Oligocene)

Family Xenorophidae

(Late Oligocene)

Family Inticetidae

Family Microzeuglodontidae

  • Microzeuglodon

Family Squaloziphiidae

(Late Oligocene to Early Miocene)

Family incertae sedis

  • Ankylorhiza
  • Agriocetus
  • Atropatenocetus
  • Ediscetus
  • Olympicetus
  • Saurocetus

Superfamily Squalodontoidea

Family Dalpiazinidae

(Late Oligocene to Miocene)

  • Dalpiazina

Family Prosqualodontidae

(Late Oligocene-Middle Miocene)

Superfamily Physeteroidea

Family Kogiidae

(Miocene to recent)

Family Physeteridae

Family incertae sedis

Superfamily "Eurhinodelphinoidea"

Family Argyrocetidae

(Late Oligocene to Early Miocene)

Family Eoplatanistidae


  • Eoplatanista

Family Eurhinodelphinidae

(Late Oligocene to Late Miocene)

Superfamily Platanistoidea

  • Aondelphis
  • Awamokoa
  • Dolgopolis
  • Ensidelphis
  • Perditicetus
  • Urkudelphis

Family Allodelphinidae

(Late Oligocene to Middle Miocene)

Life reconstruction of Arktocara yakataga

Family Platanistidae

(Early Miocene to Recent)

Family Squalodelphinidae

(Late Oligocene to Middle Miocene)

Family Squalodontidae

(Late Oligocene to Middle Miocene)

Family Waipatiidae

(Late Oligocene to Early Miocene)

Superfamily Ziphioidea

Family Ziphiidae

(Miocene to Recent)

Clade Delphinida

Family incertae sedis

  • Anacharsis
  • Belonodelphis
  • Delphinavus
  • Graamocetus
  • Hadrodelphis
  • Lamprolithax
  • Leptodelphis
  • Liolithax
  • Lophocetus
  • Loxolithax
  • Macrokentriodon
  • Microphocaena
  • Miodelphis
  • Nannolithax
  • Oedolithax
  • Oligodelphis
  • Palaeophocaena
  • Pithanodelphis
  • Platylithax
  • Prionodelphis
  • Protodelphinus
  • Sarmatodelphis
  • Sophianacetus
  • Tagicetus

Superfamily Delphinoidea

Family Albireonidae

(Miocene to Pliocene)

  • Albireo
Family Delphinidae
Etruridelphis giulii

(Oligocene to Recent)

Family Kentriodontidae

(Oligocene to Pliocene)

Kentriodon reconstruction
Family Monodontidae

(Miocene to Recent)

Family Odobenocetopsidae

(Late Miocene to Early Pliocene)

Odobenocetops reconstruction
Family Phocoenidae

(Miocene to Recent)

Superfamily Inioidea

Family Iniidae

(Miocene to Recent)

Family Pontoporiidae

(Middle Miocene to Recent)

Superfamily Lipotoidea

Family Lipotidae

(Late Miocene to Recent)

Superfamily incertae sedis

  • Delphinodon
  • Heterodelphis

Family incertae sedis

  • Acrodelphis
  • Champsodelphis
  • Hesperocetus
  • Imerodelphis (Miocene)
  • Kharthlidelphis
  • Lonchodelphis
  • Macrochirifer
  • Microsqualodon
  • Pelodelphis
  • Rhabdosteus (nomen dubium)
  • Sulakocetus

See also

This page was last updated at 2021-10-25 02:47 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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