Debut of new website: World Cetacea Database

The World Cetacea Database containing all currently accepted scientific names for whales, dolphins and porpoises is now up and running, at www.marinespecies.org/cetacea.  It is part of the consortium of websites using the common database Aphia and is hosted by the Flanders Marine Institute in Ostende, Belgium, as part of the World Register of Marine Species in cooperation with the Census of Marine Life.

The database includes currently accepted names, junior synonyms, new combinations, unjustified emendations, suppressed names, misspellings in print, etc. (total more than 1500 entries).  It is based on Phillip Hershkovitz' classic 1966 Catalog of Living Whales, Mead and Brownell's Cetacea chapter in Wilson and Reeder's Mammal Species of the World (2005 edition), Rice's 1998 Marine Mammals of the World, Jefferson et al.'s Marine Mammals of the World (2008 edition), Perrin et al.'s Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals (2009 edition), the Mammalian Species series and numerous other sources.  Other items are being added or expanded, including vernacular names, details of original descriptions and type localities, conservation status, images and information on distribution, habitat, size, and other aspects of natural history.

Queries or corrections should be sent to Bill Perrin (william.perrin@noaa.gov). Images for posting to the website are welcome.