Southern Right Whale Dolphin (Lissodelphis peronii)

is a small species of dolphin found in cold subantarctic waters, as its name suggests, but some can be found in some subtropical waters like in Australia, South Africa and South America. This species is the only species of dolphin without a dorsal fin that can be found in the southern hemisphere, they are also distinct in their coloration as they have a sleek body with a black upper side and a white underside making them easily identifiable. They behave like most dolphins as they live in large to small groups and will often leap out of the water and bow-ride boats.




Southern Right Whale Dolphin - Lissodelphis peronii

Right whale dolphins include Northern Right Whale dolphins, Lissodelphis borealis, and Southern Right Whale dolphins, Lissodelphis peronii (pictured), which are both small dolphins with the most slender bodies of all the cetaceans. These dolphins do not have dorsal fins or dorsal ridges which makes identifying them quite easy. They have small curved flippers, small tail flukes and short, well-defined beaks.

Like other dolphin species, these black and white dolphins are gregarious, found in schools of 200-2,000 that communicate using clicks and whistles, and are often found in V-shaped configurations.

Southern Right Whale dolphins are found only in cool temperate to subantarctic waters of the Southern Hemisphere.

References: [1] - [2] - [3]

Photo credit: ©Iván Hinojosa | Locality: Chile (2009)

Made with Flickr

ODONTOCETES! The next in my series of diverse marine silhouettes features several species of toothed whale. Read my blog post to see why I made the species choices I did.

Prints, shirts, mugs, and phone cases are available!



the order Cetacea includes the marine mammals commonly known as whales, dolphins, and porpoises. Cetus is Latin and is used in biological names to mean “whale”; its original meaning, “large sea animal”, was more general. It comes from Ancient Greek κῆτος (kētos), meaning “whale” or “any huge fish or sea monster”. In Greek mythology the monster Perseus defeated was called Ceto, which is depicted by the constellation of Cetus. Cetology is the branch of marine science associated with the study of cetaceans.

[migz - Happy Whales]


Sign this petition to free two captive russian orcas – Narnia and Nord!
Help russian anti-captivists to save these whales and return them back to their families. This is the main petition and we need to get as much signatures, as it’s possible!

«Please, set free young orcas Narnia and Nord, and ensure return them to their natural habitat! 

Two young orcas, 7-year-old female Narnia and 6-year-old male Nord have been languishing in the temporary tanks at the VDNKh exhibition center in Moscow for almost a year already. We are calling out to the owners of the Moscow Oceanarium and the Moscow Hotels Chain Radisson to set free the Narnia and Nord, and ensure their safe return to the ocean!
Marine Mammals captivity industry attracted attention of the kings of the Moscow real estate that are among the richest people in Russia. Mr. Zarah Iliev and Mr. God Nisanov have been financing construction of Moscow and Saint-Petersburg oceanariums – this is the first big investment into Orcas and Dolphins show in Russia. Help us to prevent Russia’s leading businessmen from financing disgraceful and cruel business!»

“King lizard”
Late Eocene, 40-33 million years ago

This early whale was first thought to be an enormous marine reptile. It wasn’t until it was shown to anatomist Richard Owen (coiner of the term “dinosaur”) that it was confirmed to be a mammal, and correctly dated to the (post-dinosaur) Eocene epoch. (Basilosaurus was originally dated to the early Capreseous Period, which would have made it a contemporary of Tomatoceratops and the mighty Mozzarellodon.)


10 ways that YOU can help dolphins and whales in captivity

Have you been educated about captivity, and decided you’re against keeping dolphins in whales captive for our entertainment at their expense? Want to get involved but just don’t know how? These are a few somewhat easy ways to make your impact on the greater fight for getting cetaceans out of captivity, and if you can accomplish just a couple of these tasks, you’re doing a great job of fighting for these intelligent beings. Every single voice matters, only united can we make a big wave.

  1. Get Educated- You may already be educated on why cetaceans don’t fare well in captivity, but you can never be too knowledgable on the subject and there’s new information coming out all the time. Keep researching!
  2. Attend Protests- Peaceful protesting is a great way to get out there and show people that there are real humans out there that are standing up to this abusive practice and want it to end. Not only are you making a statement to the captivity industry, you may be planting a seed to so many people who just happen to come by your protest and learn something new that they may not have ever thought about previously. If there aren’t any protests going on near you, organize one!
  3. Tell Everyone you Know- Make a Facebook status about it. Call your parents and tell them about it. Bring it up in conversation at lunch with your friends. One of your most powerful tools is education, and anyone with compassion who’s educated on the subject will be inclined to not support this industry.
  4. Make Flyers and Put them Up Around Town- Making informational flyers is an awesome way to get the word out even farther than your friend circle. Include a few main points on why cetacean captivity is cruel and include some reference websites to learn more from. Also don’t forget to encourage everyone to boycott marine parks with captive cetaceans!
  5. Write to your Government Leaders- Let your government know that you’re not going to stand for this. Get involved and learn about specific cases of captivity abuse, and tell your leaders in that area about it! Letting your leaders know that this is something on the people’s minds is helpful in getting them to get involved on the issue.
  6. Sign Petitions- While some online petitions aren’t very useful and effective, some really are! Regardless, at least you can say you got involved and took a stand, so sign any dolphin and whale welfare petitions you find that are worth supporting! Also don’t be afraid to start your own petition! The best way to know if a petition is effective is yourself being in charge of it and you ensuring the signatures get to where they need to go.
  7. Boycott!- Boycotting all marine parks with captive cetaceans is key to taking them down where it’s important- money. Also consider boycotting any companies who do business with or openly advertise for these marine parks, so that they may be inclined to stop their support. It’s worked before and it will keep working so long as we keep the pressure on!
  8. Tell the Marine Parks What You Want- Contact these parks and facilities, let them know you don’t support what they’re doing, and let them know they won’t be getting any money from you until they reform their cruel practices. They need to know what the public wants, and it’s up to you to tell them!
  9. Donate to Organizations Helping to Stop Captivity- There are tons of non profits out there that work towards animal welfare and stopping the continued captivity of dolphins and whales, and they need your funding to keep operating! If you can donate any amount to these organizations, you’re funding the fight against this abusive industry.
  10. Get into Online Activism- The internet is an amazing tool for spreading information, and if you want to help get information out to the masses and encourage them to boycott marine parks, try spreading the word through your own website or social media! Always remember to cite sources, present strong and constructive arguments, and network with like minded people along the way!

Genus: Odobenocetops

…an extinct genus of small whales that lived during the Pliocene epoch. Odobenocetops had a very flexible neck and a broad snout, like modern walruses. This suggests that it was a bottom feeder, and fed mostly on molluscs, sucking them out of their shells with a powerful tongue. Like the semi-related narwhal Odobenocetops had two large tusks (the only male specimen has one large tusk and one small tusk, it is speculated that this is true for all males but this is not confirmed) their exact function is unknown but it is thought that they might have been used as a sensory organ, like in narwhals.



Images: Parrish and Ghedoghedo 

Have you ever noticed that an orca’s saddle patch is heart-shaped when viewed from above? I’ve wanted to explore that idea for a while and finally got it out of my head with this quick little iPad painting done during breaks at work over the last couple of days. Hooray for being productive! I used my Bamboo stylus with Procreate as my app of choice.



 The cetaceans—whales, dolphins, and porpoises—are the most highly evolved, fully aquatic marine mammals, and make up 2 percent of the 4,600 living mammal species.

 Dolphins belong to the suborder Odontoceti, or “toothed” cetaceans. Toothed whales are divided into ten families grouped into Three “superfamilies”: Delphinoidea, or oceanic dolphins, porpoises, and monodontids such as the beluga whale; Ziphoidea, or beaked whales; and Physeteroidea, or sperm, pygmy sperm, and dwarf sperm whales.

The other suborder of cetaceans, Mysticeti, comprises eleven species of whales which have baleen plates instead of teeth.

Toothed whales also differ from baleen whales in having a single (instead of a double) blowhole, a highly specialized echolocation system, and a pronounced forehead, or melon.

Toothed whales make up the vast majority of cetaceans. Approximately seventy one diverse species range from the relatively tiny vaquita, or Gulf of California harbor porpoise, which weighs in at about 120 pounds (about 50 kg) and is roughly 5 feet (about 1.5 m) long, to the well-known bottlenose dolphin, white beluga whale, and magnificent killer whale (the largest dolphin) on up to the largest toothed whale, the sperm whale, which can reach 55 feet (18 m) in length. The terms porpoise, whale, and dolphin are often used interchangeably, but size (specifi cally length) is the criterion anatomists have generally used to apply the common name whale.

Porpoises, members of the family Phocoenidae, differ from dolphins in several characteristics. Typically smaller, they also lack a pronounced rostrum (beak) and have shorter, spade-shaped teeth as opposed to dolphins’ more conical, pointy teeth.


Sperm Whale

  • During the days of commercial whaling, sperm whales were so named because when the head was cut open it was found to contain a milky white substance, and the whalers thought the large square head was a huge reservoir for sperm.
  • The sperm whale’s huge head, which is up to 1/3 of its overall body length, houses the heaviest brain in the animal kingdom.
  • Sperm whales are thought to dive deeper than any other mammal in the world and the sperm whale is the champion ‘free-diver’ of the whale world. Typically they make dives of up to 400 m, but they can reach depths of up to 2-3km. They are thought to be able to hold their breath for up to two hours, although 45 minutes is the average dive time.
  • Sperm whales are at risk from human disturbance and whaling, chemical and noise pollution and entanglement in fishing nets. The current worldwide population is not known and the conservation status of the sperm whale is listed as Vulnerable.
  • Info From the WDC