Fin whale Balaenoptera physalus, copyright Chris Buelow.

Belongs within: Mysticeti.

The Balaenomorpha are a clade of baleen whales in which the palate bears a pronounced median keel. The clade unites all living baleen whales with the paraphyletic ‘cetotheriids’ (Geisler & Sanders 2003).

Synapomorphies (from Geisler & Sanders 2003): Palate bearing pronounced median keel; small mandibular fossa; ascending process of premaxilla terminating on anterior half of supraorbital process of frontal; posterior halves of nasals very narrow; extensive contact between anterior process of petrosal and squamosal; petrosal with fossa for malleus absent or poorly developed, long anterior process present, ventrolateral ridge present, entire lateral side rugose; posterior processes of petrosal and tympanic fused; lateral lip of tympanic bulla fused to anterior process of petrosal; ventral margin of sigmoid process absent; transverse ridge absent inside cavum tympani of bulla.

<==Balaenomorpha [Balaenoidea, Cetotheriidae, Cetotheriinae]
    |    |--D. chichibuensisLB10
    |    |--D. hiatus Kellogg 1968SB02
    |    `--D. shobarensisLB10
    `--+--+--Pelocetus calvertensis Kellogg 1965GS03, SB02
       |  |--Herpetocetus Van Beneden 1872GS03, B76
       |  |    `--H. transatlanticusLB10
       |  `--ParietobalaenaGS03
       |       |--P. palmeri Kellogg 1968SB02
       |       |--P. securis Kellogg 1931B76
       |       `--P. yamaokaiLB10
          |    |--Balaenula Van Beneden 1872B76
          |    |    `--B. astensisLB10
          |    |--Morenocetus Cabrera 1926SM93
          |    |    `--M. parvus Cabrera 1926BDR85
          |    `--Eubalaena Gray 1864FS15, W81
          |         |  i. s.: E. belgicaLB10
          |         |--E. australis (Desmoulins 1822)FS15, W81 [=Balaena glacialis australisW81]
          |         `--+--+--*E. glacialis (Müller 1776)W81, FS15, W81 [=Balaena glacialisW81; incl. B. sieboldii Gray 1864W81]
          |            |  `--E. japonica (Lacépède 1818)FS15, W81 [=Balaena japonicaW81]
          |            `--Balaena Linnaeus 1758FS15, W81
          |                 |--*B. mysticetus Linnaeus 1758W81
          |                 `--B. boops Linnaeus 1758L58
          `--+--Caperea Gray 1864FS15, W81 [incl. Neobalaena Gray 1870W71; Neobalaenidae]
             |    `--C. marginata (Gray 1846) [=Balaena marginata, Neobalaena marginata]W81
                  |--Eschrichtius Gray 1864FS15, W81 [Eschrichtiidae, Eschrichtioidea, Rhachianectidae]
                  |    |--*E. robustus (Lilljeborg 1861) (see below for synonymy)W81
                  |    `--E. davidsonii Cope 1872 [=Eschrichitus (l. c.) davidsonii]B76
                       |--Parabalaenoptera baulinensisGS03
                       |--Plesiocetus Van Beneden 1859B76
                       |    `--P. dyticusLB10
                       |--Plesiobalaenoptera quarantelliiMJ11
                       `--Balaenoptera Lacépède 1804 [Balaenopterinae]W81
                            |  i. s.: B. davidsoniiLB10
                            |         B. ryani Hanna & McLellan 1924B76
                            |         B. siberiiLB10
                            |--+--B. acutorostrata Lacépède 1804WOY03, W81 (see below for synonymy)
                            |  `--B. bonaerensis (Burmeister 1867)WOY03, W81 [=B. acutorostrata bonaerensisW81]
                            `--+--+--B. musculus (Linnaeus 1785)WOY03, W81 (see below for synonymy)
                               |  `--+--B. physalus (Linnaeus 1758)WOY03, W81 (see below for synonymy)
                               |     `--Megaptera Gray 1846FS15, W81 [Megapterinae]
                               |          |--M. novaeangliae (Borowski 1781) (see below for synonymy)W81
                               |          |--M. hubachiLB10
                               |          `--M. miocaena Kellogg 1922B76
                               `--+--B. omurai Wada, Oishi & Yamada 2003WOY03
                                  `--+--B. edeni Anderson 1878WOY03, W81
                                     `--+--B. borealis Lesson 1828WOY03, W81 [incl. B. borealis schlegelii (Flower 1865)W81]
                                        `--B. brydei Olsen 1912WOY03, W81

Balaenomorpha incertae sedis:
  Mesocetus siphunculus Cope 1895SB02
  Thinocetus arthritus Kellogg 1969SB02
  Halicetus ignotus Kellogg 1969SB02
  Cetotherium Brandt 1843B76
    |--C. furlongi Kellogg 1925B76
    `--C. rathkii (Brandt 1873)SB02
  Isanacetus laticephalus Kimura & Ozawa 2002GS03
  Aglaocetus Kellogg 1934B76
    |--A. moreni (Lydekker 1894)SB02
    `--A. patulusLB10
  Cophocetus oregonensis Packard & Kellogg 1934B76
  Mauicetus Benham 1939WS76
    `--M. lophocephalus Marples 1956SB02
  Tiphyocetus temblorensis Kellogg 1931B76
  Peripolocetus vexillifer Kellogg 1931B76
  Mixocetus elysius Kellogg 1934B76
  Heterocetus brevifrons (Van Beneden 1872)B76
  Rhegnopsis Cope 1896SM93
  Cephalotropis Cope 1896SM93
    `--C. nectusLB10

Balaenoptera acutorostrata Lacépède 1804WOY03, W81 [incl. Balaenoptera acutorostrata davidsoni (Scammon 1872)W81, Balaenoptera huttoniW81, Balaena rostrataW81, Balaenoptera rostrataHD09, Balaenoptera acutorostrata thalmaha (Deraniyagala 1963)W81]

Balaenoptera musculus (Linnaeus 1785)WOY03, W81 [=Balaena musculusW81; incl. Sibbaldus borealis Gray 1864W81, Rorqualis borealisW81, Balaenoptera musculus brevicauda (Ichihara 1976)W81, Balaenoptera musculus intermedia (Burmeister 1871)W81, Balaena maximusW81, Balaena sibbaldiiW09, Sibbaldus sulfureusW81]

Balaenoptera physalus (Linnaeus 1758)WOY03, W81 [=Balaena physalusW81; incl. Balaenoptera australis Gray 1846W81, Balaenoptera patachonicus Burmeister 1865W81, Balaenoptera physalus quoyi (Fisher 1829)W81, *Balaenoptera rorqual Lacépède 1804W81]

*Eschrichtius robustus (Lilljeborg 1861) [=Balaenoptera robusta; incl. Balaena gibbosa Erxleben 1777, Eschrichtius gibbosus, Rhachianectes glaucus Cope 1868, E. glaucus]W81

Megaptera novaeangliae (Borowski 1781) [=Balaena novaeangliae; incl. M. novaeangliae australis (Lesson 1828), M. boops, *M. longipinna Gray 1846, M. nodosa, M. osphyia, M. poeskop]W81

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B76] Barnes, L. G. 1976. Outline of eastern North Pacific fossil cetacean assemblages. Systematic Zoology 25 (4): 321–343.

[BDR85] Barnes, L. G., D. P. Domning & C. E. Ray. 1985. Status of studies on fossil marine mammals. Marine Mammal Science 1 (1): 15–53.

[FS15] Faurby, S., & J.-C. Svenning. 2015. A species-level phylogeny of all extant and late Quaternary extinct mammals using a novel heuristic-hierarchical Bayesian approach. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 84: 14–26.

[GS03] Geisler, J. H., & A. E. Sanders. 2003. Morphological evidence for the phylogeny of Cetacea. Journal of Mammalian Evolution 10 (1–2): 23–129.

[HD09] Hutton, F. W., & J. Drummond. 1909. The Animals of New Zealand: An account of the Dominion’s air-breathing vertebrates 3rd ed. Whitcombe and Tombs Limited.

[LB10] Lambert, O., G. Bianucci, K. Post, C. de Muizon, R. Salas-Gismondi, M. Urbina & J. Reumer. 2010. The giant bite of a new raptorial sperm whale from the Miocene of Peru. Nature 466: 105–108.

[L58] Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per Regna Tria Naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. Laurentii Salvii: Holmiae.

[MJ11] Meredith, R. W., J. E. Janečka, J. Gatesy, O. A. Ryder, C. A. Fisher, E. C. Teeling, A. Goodbla, E. Eizirik, T. L. L. Simão, T. Stadler, D. L. Rabosky, R. L. Honeycutt, J. J. Flynn, C. M. Ingram, C. Steiner, T. L. Williams, T. J. Robinson, A. Burk-Herrick, M. Westerman, N. A. Ayoub, M. S. Springer & W. J. Murphy. 2011. Impacts of the Cretaceous terrestrial revolution and KPg extinction on mammal diversification. Science 334: 521–524.

[SB02] Sanders, A. E., & L. G. Barnes. 2002. Paleontology of the Late Oligocene Ashley and Chandler Bridge Formations of South Carolina, 3: Eomysticetidae, a new family of primitive mysticetes (Mammalia: Cetacea). Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology 93: 313–356.

[SM93] Stucky, R. K., & M. C. McKenna. 1993. Mammalia. In: Benton, M. J. (ed.) The Fossil Record 2 pp. 739–771. Chapman & Hall: London.

[WOY03] Wada, S., M. Oishi & T. K. Yamada. 2003. A newly discovered species of living baleen whale. Nature 426: 278–281.

[W09] Waite, E. R. 1909. Vertebrata of the Subantarctic islands of New Zealand. In: Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand  pp. 541–551. John Mackay, Government Printer: Wellington (New Zealand).

[W81] Watson, L. 1981. Sea Guide to Whales of the World. Hutchinson: London.

[WS76] Whitmore, F. C., Jr & A. E. Sanders. 1976. Review of the Oligocene Cetacea. Systematic Zoology 25 (4): 304–320.

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