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Catalogue of the specimens of Mammalia in the collection of the British Museum (Volume 1-2) online

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C E T A C E A.






1 HE chief object in preparing the present Synopsis has
been, to give at one view a complete Catalogue of all the
specimens of Mammalia, and their Osteological remains, at
present in the British Museum Collection, and an account
of the species known to exist in other collections, but which
are at present desiderata in the British Museum, so as to
enable travellers, collectors, and others, to assist in com-
pleting the National Collection. For this purpose, a short
description has been given of all the genera and species at
present known to exist in the different museums and private
collections, arid at the end of each description is added an
enumeration, stating the state, age, country, and other pecu-
liarities of each specimen of the kind in the Museum Collec-
tion ; or when the species is not at present in that Collection,
the museum, in which it has been observed, is added after
the general habitat of the species.

The different individuals of each species contained in the
British Museum Collection are indicated by the letters , b,
c, &c. When the age of the specimen is not stated, it is to
be understood that it is full-grown, or nearly so ; when other-


wise, its state is marked immediately after the letter by which
it is distinguished ; and if the sexes are known, it is stated
to be male or female. These particulars are followed by the
habitat, which is given as particularly as the materials pos-
sessed by the Museum permit. Those specimens which
have been presented to the Museum have the name of the
donor marked immediately after the habitat.

When there is no such indication, the specimens have been
either purchased or procured in exchange ; and in this case,
whenever the place or person from whence they have been
received gives authenticity to the specimen, or adds anything
to their history, they are noted as being from such or such
a collection.

The various synonyma have been given to the different
divisions of the class, and to the genera and subgenera and
species, and a reference made to the works in which they
have been characterized or described.

In the adoption of the names for these divisions and for
the names of the genera and species, it has been thought
right to use, whenever it was possible, that which was first
used for the purpose. As far as regards the specific name,
there is comparatively little difficulty in the application of
this simple rule ; but ordinal, and especially generic names,
have been used by different authors in senses so widely dif-
ferent, and the groups which they are intended to designate
have been so variously extended and restricted, that it is no
easy matter to determine, where several names have been
used, which of them ought to be preferred.

As every original observer will constantly make use of
characters which others may have overlooked, or not thought
of so much importance as further researches have shown to
belong to it, even when a generic name is used, it will of
necessity be often employed in a different sense, or with a


more restricted, or very rarely a more extended meaning
than its original proposer applied to it. If this was not
allowed, many new names must be added to the list of genera,
which is already so overburdened with synonyma.

In those cases where the two sexes of the same species,
or any particular individual state or variety belonging to it,
have been differently named, the names belonging exclusively
to the state or individual described are placed after the refer-
ence to the specimens to which they apply.

To determine with accuracy the names and synonyma of
the species, the various skeletons and other remains of Ce-
taceous animals in the museums of the College of Surgeons
of London and Edinburgh, of the Zoological Society, and of
the different local museums, especially those of Haslar, Nor-
wich, Bristol, Liverpool, c., and the various continental
museums of Paris, Leyden, Berlin, Vienna, and Frankfort,
have been personally examined, and in many cases the spe-
cimens contained in those museums have been sent to the
Museum, so that they could be actually compared with the
specimens in the Museum Collection.

June 1, 1850.



Order III. CETE ... 1

Suborder I. CETE ... 4, 5

Fam. 1. Balcpnidae . . . 5

A. 1. BAL.ENA 9

1. B. mysticetus 12

2. B. marginata 14

3. B. australis 15

4. B. Japonica 17

5. B. antarctica 18

6. B.Pgibbosa 18


1. M. longimana 26

2. M. Americana 28

3. M. Poeskop 29

4. M. Kuzira 30


1. B. rostrata 32


1. P. antiquorum 38

2. P. Boope 41

3. P. Sibbaldii 42

4. P.? fasciatus 42

5. P. ? Iwasi 42

6. P. antarcticus 43

7. P.? Brasiliensis 43

8. P.? australis 43

Fam. 2. Catodontida... 44


1. C. macrocephalus 49

2. C. Colneti 52

3. C. polycyphus 52


2. KOGIA 53

1. K. breviceps 53


1. P. Tursio 56

Fam. 3 . Delphinida ... 57

A. a. 1. HYPEROODON 61

1. H. Butzkopf 63

2. H . rostratum 64

3. H. Doumetii 68

4. H. Desmarestii 69

5. H. latifrons 69


1. Z. Sowerbiensis 71

2. Z. Sechellensis 72


1. D. micropterus 73

b. 4. MONODON 74

1. M. monoceros 75

5. BELUGA 77

1. B. Catodon 77

2. B. Kingii 79 /


1. N. Phocaenoides 80

7. PHOC^ENA 81

1. P. communis 81



c. 8. GRAMPUS 82

1. G. Cuvieri 83

2. G. Rissoanus 84

3. G . Richardsonii 85

4. G. Sakamata 85


1. G. Svineval 87

2. G. intermedius 88

3. G. affiriis 89

4. G. Sieboldii 90

5. G. macrorhynchus . . . 90

10. ORCA 92

1. 0. gladiator 92

2. 0. crassidens 94

3. 0. Capensis 95

4. 0. intermedia 96


J. L. leucopleurus 97

2. L. albirostris 99

3. L. Electra 100

4. L. cseruleo-albus ... 100

5. L. Asia 101

6. L. acutus 101

7. L. clanculus 102

8. L. Thicolea 103


1. D. Peronii 103

2. D. borealis 105



a. 1. D. Heavisidii 107

2. D. obscurus 107

3. D. compressicauda... 109

b. 4. D. Tursio 109

5. D. Abusalam Ill

6. D. Eutropia Ill

7. D. Eurynome 112

8. D. Metis 113

9. D. Cymodoce 113

10. D. Doris 114

11. D. frenatus 115

12. D. Clymene 116


13. D. Styx 117

14. D. Euphrosyne 117

15. D. Alope 118

1. D. microbrachium ... 119

2. D. dubius 119

3. D. loriger 120

16. D. Delphis 120

17. D. Janira 123

18. D. Novse Zealandise . 123

19. D. Forsteri 124

20. D. Sao 125

21. D. longirostris 125

22. D. microps 126

14. STENO 127

1. S. Malayanus 127

2. S. frontatus 128

3. S. compressus ...... 129

4. S. attenuatus 130

5. S. fuscus 131

6. S.? rostratus 131


1. P. Blainvillii 134

16. INIA 135

1. I. Geoffroyii 135


1. P. Gangetica 137

Suborder II. SIRENIA 138
Fam. 4. Manatida... 138

1. MANATUS 139

1. M. australis 139

2. M. Senegalensis 140


1. H. Dugong 142

2. H. Tabernaculi 143

3. H. australis 143

3. RYTINA 143

1. R. gigas 144


1. Northern Atlantic.


Balaena Mysticetus 12

? gibbosa. Bermuda 18

Megaptera longimana 26

Americana. Bermuda 28

Balaenoptera rostrata 32

Physalus antiquorum 38

Boops 41

Sibbaldii 42

Catodon macrocephalus 49

? Physeter Tursio 56

Hyperoodon Butzkopf 63

rostratum 64

Doumetii. Corsica 68

Desmarestii. Nice 69

latifrons. North Sea 69

Ziphius Sowerbiensis. North Sea 71

Delphinorhynchus micropterus. North Sea 73

Monodon monoceros. North Sea 75

Beluga Catodon. North Sea 77

Phocaena communis. North Sea 81

Grampus Cuvieri 83

Rissoanus. Nice 84

Globiocephalus Svineval. North Sea 87

intermedius 88

Orca gladiator 92

Lagenorhynchus leucopleurus 97

albirostris 99

acutus 101

Delphinus Tursio 109

frenatus. Cape de Verd 115

Styx 117

Euphrosyne 117

Delphis 120

Janira. North Sea 123

Steno ? rostratus 131

2. Southern Atlantic.

Balaena australis. Cape of Good Hope 15

M egaptera Poeskop. Cape of Good Hope 29

Physalus Brasiliensis. Bahia 43

australis. Falkland Islands 43

? Catodon macrocephalus 49

Kogia breviceps. Cape of Good Hope .' 53

Ziphius Sechellensis. Sechelles 72

Neomeris Phocaenoides. Cape of Good Hope 80

Globiocephalus macrorhynchus 90



Orca Capensis. Cape of Good Hope 95

Lagenorhynchus cseruleo-albus. Rio de la Plata... 101

Delphinapterus Peronii 103

Delphinus Heavisidii 107

obscurus 107

compressicauda 109

microps 126

Pontoporia Blainvillii 134

3. Northern Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Balana Japonica. Japan 17

Megaptera Kuzira. Japan 30

Physalus? Iwasi. Japan 42

Catodon Colneti. Japan 52

Beluga Catodon. Behring's Straits 77

Neomeris Phocsenoides. Japan 80

Grampus Sakamata. Japan 85

Globiocephalus Sieboldii. Japan 90

Orca Capensis. Japan 95

Delphinapterus borealis 105

Delphinus Abusalam. Red Sea Ill

longirostris 126

? Steno compressus 129

fuscus 131

Manatus australis. Jamaica, &c 140

Manatus Senegalensis. River Senegal 140

Rytina gigas. Behring's Straits 144

4. Southern Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Balaena antarctica. New Zealand 18

marginata 11

Physalus fasciatus. Peru 42

antarcticus, New Zealand 43

Catodon Colneti 52

polycyphus. Malacca 52

Lagenorhynchus clanculus 102

Thicolea 103

Delphinapterus Peronii 103

Delphinus Eutropia 112

Nova? Zealandise 123

Forsteri 124

Sao. Madagascar 125

longirostris 125

Steno Malayanus 128

frontatus 128

attenuatus 130

Inia Geoffroyii. River Moxos 135

Platanista Gangetica. River Ganges 137

Halicore Dugong 142

Tabernaculi 143

australis ... ... 143


N.B. The dark back ground to the skull represents the shape of the
head of the animal.



1. Balaena Balaenidae.

2. Catodon Catodontidae.

3. Delphinus Delphinids.

4. Halicore Manatidse.


1. Balaena mysticetus, 12.

2. Balaenoptera rostrata, 32.

3. Catodon macrocephalus, 49.

4. Physeter Tursio, 56, from Sibbald.



1. Hyperoodon latifrons, 69.

2. Ziphius Sowerbiensis, 71.

3* Delphinorhynchus micropterus, 73.



1. Beluga Kingii, 77.

2. Neomeris phocaenoides, 80.

3. Phocaena communis, 81.



1. Grampus Cuvieri, 83.

2. Globiocephalus Svineval, 87.

3. Orca Capensis, 95.



1. Monodon monoceros, 75.

2. Lagenorhynchus albirostris, 99.

3. Delphinus Delphis, 120.



1. Steno frontatus, 128.

2. Platanista Gangetica, 137.

3. Inia Geoffroyii, 135.

4. Pontoporia Blainvillii, 134.



1. Halicore Dugung, 142.

2. Rytina gigas, 144.

The lower jaw is unknown.

3. Manatus Americanus, 140.










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C E T A G E A.

Order III. CETE.

Teeth all similar, conical ; sometimes not developed.
Palate often furnished with transverse plates of baleen or

Body fish-shaped, nearly bald.

Limbs short, fin-shaped.

Hinder pair forming a horizontal tail.

Mammalia, Cete, Linn. S. Nat. ed. 12. i. 27 ; Link, Eeytr. 1795 ;

Desm. N. D. H. N. xxiv. 35, 1804 ; Fischer, Syn. 1828 ; Eich-

wald, Zool. Spec. iii. 337 ; Gray, Ann. Phil. 1825.
Ceti, Wagler, Amph. 1830.
Les Cetaces, Cuvier, Tab. Elem. 1798 ; Cuvier, R. A. i. 271, 1817,

ed. 2. i. 281 ; F. Cuvier, 1829.

Cetacean, Brisson, R. A . 21 7, 1 762; Gray, Med. Rep. xv. 309, 1821 .
M. a nageoires, pars, Desm. N. D. H. N. xxiv. 32, 1804.
Natantia, Illiger, Prod. 139, 1811.

M. pinnata and pinnipedia, pars, Storr. Prod. Mam. 1780.
Bipedes, Latr. Fam. Nat. 64, 1825.
Sirenia and Cete, Selys Long champs, 1842.
Hydromastologie ou Cetologie, Lesson, Nov. Tab. Reg. Anim.

197, 1842.

Fischsucke (Schucher), Oken, Lehrb. Naturg. 661, 1815.
Cetacea and Amphibia, pars, Rafin. Anal. Nat. 60, 1815.

Belon and Rondelet appear to have known the Dolphin (Del-
phinus Delphis), the ' Ondre ' (D. Tursio), and the Phocaena
(P. vulgaris) ; but their account of the Spermaceti Whale is very

Clusius, in 1605, first described and figured the Sperm Whale



in a recognizable manner, from two specimens thrown on the
coast of Holland in 1598 and 1601 ; and Johnston (t. 41 & 42)
well figures one of these specimens.

In 1671, Martens, in his 'Voyage to Spitzbergen,' gave a de-
scription and figure of the Whalebone Whale, the " Fin Fish "
(Balccnoptera Physalus), the Weise Fish (Beluga Catodori), and
of the Botzkopt ( Orca Gladiator) ; and his figures of the first and
second have been the chief authorities for these animals until this

In 1692, Sibbald published a small quarto pamphlet, with three
plates, describing the Whales which had come under his observa-
tion. He divides them into three groups : I. The small Whales
with teeth in both jaws, of which he notices three : the Orca
(O. Gladiator), the Beluga, and one from hear-say, which from
its size was probably a Porpesse (Phoccena vulgaris). II. The
larger Whales with teeth in the lower jaw : 1 . the Sperm Whale ;
and 2. the Black-fish. And III. The Whalebone Whales, of
which he describes three specimens. The arrangement he pro-
posed is the one used in this paper; and his work forms the
groundwork of all that was known on the larger Cetacea up to
the Linnsean time : but Artedi and Linnaeus committed the mis-
take of regarding individual peculiarities resulting from accidental
circumstances as specific distinctions, so that three of their spe-
cies have to be reduced to synonyma. [There is a later edition,
edited by Pennant, which appeared in Edinburgh in 1773.]

In 1725, Dudley, in the ' Philosophical Transactions' (No. 387),
describes all the Whales now recognized by the whalers, except
the Black-fish; viz. 1. The Right or Whalebone Whale. 2. The
Scrag Whale. 3. The Fin-back Whale. 4. Bunch or Hump-
back Whale. And 5. The Spermaceti Whale. Cuvier, in his
historical account, scarcely sufficiently estimates either Sibbald's
or Dudley's contribution.

Bonnaterre, and after him Lacepede, in their Catalogues, col-
lected together with great industry all the materials they could
find, in every work that came in their way ; hence they, the latter
especially, formed a number of species on most insufficient au-
thority : for example, they made a genus on the otherwise good
figure of the Sperm Whale figured by Anderson, because the artist
had placed the spout on the hinder part of the head ; and a divi-
sion of a genus for the Fin-fish of Martens, because he did not
notice in his description or figure the fold on the belly. Yet the
characters given by Lacepede, and genera formed by him, have
been used in our latest works, some even in Cuvier's last edition
of the ' Animal Kingdom ' ; and many of these species still en-
cumber our Catalogues.

Cuvier, dissatisfied with this state of things, in his ' Ossemens


Fossiles,' examined the various documents and consulted the
authorities which had been used by Lacepede ; but he appears to
have undertaken the work with a predisposition to reduce the
number of species, which his predecessor had described, to the
smallest number. Thus, he concludes that there are only eleven
species of Dolphins, one Narwhal, one Hyperoodon, one Cachalot
or Sperm Whale; and he appears to think there are only two
Whalebone Whales the Right Whale and the Finner. To make
this reduction : first, he believes that the Hump-backed Whale of
Dudley is only a whale that has lost its fin, not recognizing that
the Cape Rorqual, which he afterwards described from the fine
skeleton now shown in the inner court of the Paris Museum, is
one of this kind ; secondly, that the Black-fish and the Sperm
Whale are the same species; an error which must have arisen
from his not having observed that Sibbald had figured the former,
for he accuses Sibbald of twice describing the Sperm Whale ; and
when he came to Schreiber's copy of Sibbald's figure, he thinks
the figure represents a Dolphin which had lost its upper teeth,
overlooking the peculiar form and posterior position of the dorsal
fin, and the shape of the head, which is unlike that of any known
Dolphin. This mistake is important, as it vitiates the greater part
of Cuvier's criticism on the writings of Sibbald, Artedi and others,
on these animals. Unfortunately these views have been very
generally adopted without re-examination. But, in making these
remarks, it is not with the least desire to underrate the great
obligation we owe to Cuvier for the papers above referred to ;
for it is to him that we are indebted for having placed the exa-
mination of the Whales on its right footing, and for directing
our inquiries into the only safe course on these animals, which
only fall in our way at distant periods, and generally under very
disadvantageous circumstances for accurate examination and

In 1828, Mr. F. J. Knox, the Conservator of the Museum of
the Old Surgeons' Hall in Edinburgh, published a Catalogue of
the Anatomical preparations of the Whale, in which he gives many
interesting details on the anatomy of the Balcena maximus and B.
minimus, which had been stranded near Edinburgh, of the foetus
of B. mysticetus from Greenland, and of Delphinus Tursio (D. leu-
copleurus), D. Delphis and Phoccena communis, Soosoo gangeticus,
and Halicore Indicus-, but the paper has been very generally
neglected or overlooked.

M. F. Cuvier's ' Cetacea' (Paris, 1836) is little more than an
expansion of his brother's essays, with a compiled account of the
species ; but he has consulted with greater attention the works of
Sibbald and Dudley, has some doubts about the finned Cachalots
being the same as the Sperm Whale (p. 475), but at length gives



up the subject. He has found out that the Hump-backed Whale
is evidently a Rorqual (p. 305), but does not record it as a spe-
cies, nor recognise it as the Cape Rorqual, nor as Dr. Johnston's
Whale ; the latter he incorrectly considers the same as B. Phy-
salus. He combines together as one species Quoy's short-finned
Rorqual of the Falkland Islands with Lalande's long-finned
Whale of the Cape (p. 352). He is in great doubt about the
hump of the Cachalots (p. 279) ; his remarks on that subject and
on the Cachalots of Sibbald, show how dangerous it is for a na-
turalist to speculate beyond the facts before him.

Sir William Jardine's WHALES in the f Naturalists' Library ' is
chiefly an abridgement of M. Lesson's miserable compilation,
with some extracts from Knox and other English writers on the

Nor are the British species better known; for in Fleming's
excellent work they are left nearly in the same state they were
in when Linnaeus published his twelfth edition of the 4 Systema
Naturae ' ; and Mr. Bell's account and figures are chiefly derived
from preceding authors : this revision, though not undertaken
with any view to this subject, has taken three or four species
from our list, and determined the specific identity of one hitherto
neglected, and added two or three species for the first time to
our Fauna.

I am by no means convinced that all the species in the follow-
ing Synopsis are distinct. It is rather to be regarded as a col-
lection of the accounts of the Whales of different localities, de-
rived from the specimens and other materials at present at our
command; and I have endeavoured to select from these sources
what appeared to afford the best characters for defining them,
so as to furnish to those naturalists who might enjoy the oppor-
tunity of observing the animals, a short abstract of what has been
observed with regard to them, and of referring them to where
they could find a more detailed account of each kind. I have
been induced to adopt this course, as wherever I have had the
opportunity of examining and comparing the proportions of the
allied species of distant seas, and of comparing their bones, they
have invariably proved distinct, which leads me to believe that
many of the other species of different countries, which have been
regarded as the same, will be found to be distinct, though repre-
sentatives of those found in other seas.


Suborder I. Skin smooth, bald. Teats 2, inguinal. Limbs claw-
less j fore-limbs fin-shaped; hinder united, forming a forked
horizontal tail. Teats inguinal. Nostrils enlarged into
blowers. Carnivorous. CETE.


1. BAL^ENiDvE. Nostrils 2, separate, longitudinal. Palate with

baleen. Jaws toothless. Head very large.

2. PHYSETERID^E. Nostrils 2, separate, longitudinal. Palate

smooth. Lower jaw toothed. Head very large.

3. DELPHINID^E. Nostrils united, lunate, transverse. Palate

smooth. Jaws toothed ; rarely deciduous. Head moderate.

Suborder II. Skin rather hairy ; whiskers rigid. Limbs clawed.
Teats 2, pectoral. Nostrils 2, apical. Herbivorous. Si-

4. MANATID^E. Grinders none, or flat-crowned. Front of jaws

covered with horn.

Suborder I. CETE.

Skin smooth, without hair. Limbs clawless ; fore fin-like ;
hinder caudal, horizontal, forked. Teats 2, inguinal. Nostrils
enlarged and close together, called blowers. Carnivorous. Teeth
conical, all similar, often not developed, and absorbed. Palate
often furnished with transverse, pendent, horny plates of baleen
or whalebone ; fringed on the edge.

SYN. Cete, Gray, Ann. Phil. 1825; Selys Longchamps, 1842.

Cetacea, Dum. Z. A. 1806.

Cetacese carnivorae, Gray, Med. Rep. xv. 309, 1821.

(Souffleurs) Hydraula, Latr. Fam. Nat. 1825, 65.

Natantia Cete, Illiger, Prod. 141, 1811.

Cete ft Fischer, Syn. 1828.

M. pinnata, Storr. Prod. Mam. 1780.

Cetaces, Cuv. Tab. Elem. 1798.


Head very large, one-third the size of the body. Jaws of
young with rudimentary teeth, which are never developed ; of
adult toothless. Palate with crowded, transverse, triangular,
pendent, horny plates (whalebone or baleen), with a fibrous inner
edge, forming " a screening apparatus." Head large, shelving
in front. Blowers far back, longitudinal, separate, each covered
with a valve. Spout double. Gullet small. Eyes small, near
angle of the mouth.

Balaena and Physeter, Linn, j Cuv. Tab. Elem. 1798.

Balaenadae and Physeteridae, Gray, Lond. Med. Rep. xv. 310.

Les Cachalots and Les Baleines, F. Cuv. 1829.

Cete, Illiger, Prod. 141, 1811.

Cetacea edentula and C. dentata, Brisson, R. A. 218, 225.

Edentes abormaux, Blainv. 1816.


Physeteridae, Gray, Ann. Phil. 1828 ; Selys Long champs, 1842.

Cete hydrseoglossi B, Wagler, N. S. amp. 33, 1830.

Cetaces, Lesson, N. Tab. Reg. Anim. 197, 1842.

Cetacea, Rqfin. Anal. Nat. 60, 1815.

Ruderer Wale, Oken, Lehrb. Nat. 661, 1815.

Balenidia, Rqfinesq. Anal. Nat. 61, 1815.

Balaenidae, Gray, Ann. Phil. 1828 ; Zool. Erebus and Terror, 15;

Cat. Mam. EM. ; Selys Longchamps, 1842.
Vermivora, Lesson, N. Tab. Reg. Anim. 201.
Balcena, Lesson, N. Tab. Reg. Anim. 201.
Bale, Oken, Lehrb. Naturg. 663, 1815.

The Baleen or Whalebone has generally been considered as the
teeth of the whale ; but this must be a mistake, for Mr. Knox
observes " In the foetal B. Mysticetus sixty to seventy dental
pulps were found on each side of each jaw, making the whole
number amount to from 260 to 300. The preparation (n. 56)
exhibits a portion of this gum with twelve pulps ; had these pulps
been confined to the upper jaw and corresponded to the number
of baleen plates, it would have formed a strong analogy between
the baleen and teeth ; but the number of baleen plates in the
whale greatly exceeds the number of dental pulps, and the lower
jaw, which contained an equal number of pulps with the upper,

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