endangered aquatic mammals

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  • 7/30/2019 Endangered Aquatic Mammals


    Santosh Bhendekar (FRM-MA2-03)

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    What is a Mammal? Mammals have a 4

    chambered heart.

    Mammals are warm-blooded. They have hair/fur.

    Have mammary glands. Give birth to live


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    Cont The word "mammal" is modern, from the scientificname Mammalia coined by Carl Linnaeus in 1758.

    Aquatic mammal is a diverse group of mammals that dwellpartly or entirely in bodies of water.

    The Indian aquatic mammals mainly belong to orders Cetaceaand Sirenia.In India, 31 species of marine mammals (30 species of Cetacea and one species of Sirenia) are documentedaccounting to one fourths of the worlds marine mammalianfauna and almost 8% of the total Indian mammalian fauna(George et al, 2011).One species of freshwater mammals i.e. Gangetic dolphinalso recorded in India.

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    Aquatic Mammals of India

    ORDER: Cetaceai. FAMILY: Balaenopteridae - Rorquals

    ii. FAMILY: Delphinidae - Dolphinsiii. FAMILY: Phocoenida Porpoisesiv. FAMILY: Kogiidae - Small Sperm Whalesv. FAMILY: Physeteridae - Sperm Whalesvi. FAMILY: Ziphiidae - Beaked Whalesvii. FAMILY: Platanistidae River Dolphin

    ORDER: Sireniai. FAMILY: Dugongidae - Dugongs

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    Aquatic Mammals of India

    ORDER: Cetacea FAMILY: Balaenopteridae - Rorquals

    Balaenoptera acutorostrata, Lacepede, 1804, MinkeWhale

    Balaenoptera borealis, Lesson 1828, Sei Whale

    Balaenoptera edeni, Anderson 1878, Brydes Whale Balaenoptera musculus, Linnaeus, 1758, Blue Whale

    Balaenoptera physalus, Linnaeus, 1758, Fin Whale Megaptera novaeangliae, Borowski, 1781, Humpback


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    FAMILY: Delphinidae - Dolphins Delphinus delphis, Linnaeus 1758, Common Dolphin

    Feresa attenuata, Gray 1875, Pygmy Killer WhaleGlobicephala macrorhynchus , Gary 1846, Short-finned Pilot WhaleGrampus griseus, Cuvier 1812, Rissos Dolphin

    Lagenodelphis hosei , Fraser 1956, Frasers Dolphin Orcaella brevirostris, Gray 1866, Irrawaddy Dolphin

    Orcinus orca, Linnaeus 1758, Killer WhalePeponocephala electra, Gray 1846, Melon-headed Whale

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    Cont.Pseudorca crassidens, Owen 1846, False Killer WhaleSousa chinensis, Osbeck 1765, Indo-Pacific Hump-backed

    DolphinStenella attenuata, Gray 1846, Pantropical Spotted

    DolphinStenella coeruleoalba, Meyen 1833, Striped DolphinStenella longirostris, Gray 1828, Long-snouted or Spinner

    DolphinSteno bredanensis, Lesson 1828, Rough-toothed DolphinTursiops truncatus, Montagu 1821), Bottlenose Dolphin

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    FAMILY: Phocoenida Porpoises

    Neophocaena phocaenoides, Cuvier 1829, FinlessPorpoise

    FAMILY: Kogiidae - Small Sperm WhalesKogia breviceps, Blaninville 1838, Pygmy Sperm WhaleKogia simus, Owen 1866, Dwarf Sperm Whale

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    FAMILY: Physeteridae - Sperm WhalesPhyseter macrocephalus, Linnaeus1758, Sperm WhaleFAMILY: Ziphiidae - Beaked Whales

    Hyperoodon planifrons, Flower 1882, Southern Bottlenose Whale

    Mesoplodon densirostris, Blainville 1817, Blainvilles Beaked Whale

    Mesoplodon ginkgodens, Nishiwaki and Kamiya 1958 Ginkgo-toothed Beaked Whale

    Indopacetus pacificus , Longman 1926, Longmans Beaked Whale Ziphius cavirostris , Cuvier 1823, Cuviers Beaked Whale

    FAMILY: PlatanistidaePlatanista gangetica,, Roxburgh1801, Ganges river dolphin

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    ORDER: SireniaFAMILY: Dugongidae - Dugongs

    Dugong dugon, Muller 1776, Dugong or Sea Cow

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    Common taxonomical terminologyBeak - the elongated part of the mouth and jawsBlowhole - the hole on the top of the head through which the dolphinbreathes air (it is the dolphin's nostril)

    Baleen - Plates of keratin hanging from the inside of the upper jawof mysticetes, used instead of teeth to capture preyDorsal fin - the fin on the upper side of the bodyEar - hearing organs located on the head behind the eyeFluke - one half of the tailFlipper - one of a pair of wide, flat forelimbs that is used forswimmingMedian notch - the indentation between the two flukesMelon - the rounded structure in the top of the dolphin's head just infront of the blowhole

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    baleen plates ventral pleats orcreases

    dorsal fin

    dorsal fin peduncle or tail stock

    peduncle or tail stock





    beak or rostrum forehead

    gape creases



    Baleen Whale

    Toothed whale

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    1. Order CetaceaIncludes whales, dolphins, & porpoisesMost inhabit oceans, but some dolphins live in freshwaterrivers

    Have a fish shaped bodyForelimbs modified as flippersNo hind limbsBroad, flat tails with horizontal fluke

    Breathe through a blowhole on top of the headNearly hairless, and are insulated from the cooler water theyinhabit by a thick layer of blubber.Divided into two groups - toothed whales & baleen whales

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    Baleen whale

    single blowhole

    teeth present Toothed

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    TaxonomyKingdom : Animalia

    Phylum : ChordataClass : MammaliaOrder : CetaceaSuborder : Mysticeti

    Family : Balaenopteridae

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    Blue whale ( Balaenoptera musculus )

    (Linnaeus, 1758)Blue whales are the largestanimals ever known tohave lived on Earth.Average life span inthe wild : 80 to 90 yearsSize: 82 to 105 ft (25 to 32

    m)Weight: Up to 200 tons(181,437 kg)

    Blue whale

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    Key to identification

    Largest animals; slender and streamlined.Head broad and almost U-shaped from above.Dorsal fin very small (about 1% of body length) and set farback on body.

    270 to 395 black baleen plates with black bristles per side.Head coloration symmetrical; body mottled grey, with whiteunder flippers; maximum body length 33 m.

    head coloration

    symmetrical dorsal fin very small

    A close-up view of baleen plates. The platesare used to strain food from the water

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    Pacific, Antarctic, and Indian Ocean

    IUCN status : Endangered

    Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 :Schedule-I

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    Fin whale ( Balaenoptera physalus)

    (Linnaeus, 1758) Also called the finback whale, razorback, or commonrorqual

    It is the second longest animal in the world and secondlargest rorqual after the blue whale, growing to over27 metres (89 ft) long and weighing nearly 74 tonnes.

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    Identification key

    From above, head V-shaped and pointed at tip; dorsal finabout 2.5% of body length;

    260 to 480 grey baleen plates with white streaks per sideHead coloration asymmetrical (left side grey, much of rightside white);

    Back dark, with light streaks; belly white; maximum bodylength 24 m

    Balaenoptera physalus

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    DistributionThe fin whale is a cosmopolitan species. It is

    found in all the world's major oceans, and inwaters ranging from polar to the tropical.The highest population density occurs intemperate and cool waters.IUCN status : EndangeredIndian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 :Schedule-I

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    Sei whale ( Balaenoptera borealis)(Lesson, 1828)Third-largest rorqual reaching 19.5 metres (64 ft)

    long and weighing as much as 28 tonnesFastest of all cetaceans (50km/hr)

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    Identification key

    Ventral pleats 32 to 60, longest ending past flippers, butwell short of navel;219 to 402 pairs of black baleen plates with many finewhitish bristles, less than 80 cm long;Flippers all dark; from side, snout slightly downturned at

    tip; maximum body length 16 m

    flippers all dark

    Balaenoptera borealis

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    DistributionFound in virtually every ocean and sea in theworld.

    Majority of Sei whales are found in temperateand sub-tropical waters, and annual migrationsbetween these areas.

    IUCN status : EndangeredIndian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 :Schedule-I

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    Orcaella brevirostris (Gray, 1866)

    Irrawaddy dolphinTaxonomy

    Kingdom: Animalia

    Phylum: ChordataClass: MammaliaOrder: CetaceaFamily: DelphinidaeGenus: OrcaellaSpecies: O. brevirostris

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    Identification CharacterThe Irrawaddy dolphin resembles the finless porpoise, butunlike that species, it has dorsal fin.The fin is small and triangular, with a bluntly rounded tip,and is set just behind midback.The large flippers have curved leading edges and roundedtips.

    The head is blunt, with no beak; the mouth line is straight,and there may be a visible neck crease.The U-shaped blowhole is open toward the front

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    DistributionIrrawaddy dolphins inhabit coastal, brackish, and freshwaters of the tropical and subtropical Indo-Pacific. Theyrange from northern Australia and New Guinea to the Bayof Bengal, including at least the Irrawaddy, Mahakam,Mekong, Ganges, and Brahmaputra rivers.

    IUCN Status : VulnerableIndian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 : Schedule-I

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    Platanista gangetica (Roxburgh,1801)

    Ganges river dolphin Taxonomy

    Kingdom : AnimaliaPhylum : ChordataClass : MammaliaOrder : CetaceaSuborder : Odontoceti

    Family : Platanistidae

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    The South Asian river dolphin or Susu ( Platanista

    gangetica ) is a freshwater or river dolphin.Primarily found ion the Ganges and Brahmaputrarivers and their tributaries.

    The Ganges river dolphin has been recognized by thegovernment of India as its National Aquatic Animal.

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    Identification key

    It has the long, pointed nose.Its teeth are visible in both the upper and lower jaws evenwhen the mouth is closed .

    The snout thickens towards its end.The species does not have a crystalline eye lens.The body is a brownish color and stocky at the middle.Triangular lump in the place of a dorsal fin.

    The flippers and tail are thin and large in relation to thebody size, which is about 2-2.2 meters in males and 2.4-2.6 m in females.

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    Platanista gangetica

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    Distribution :

    Freshwater river systems located inIndia, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan.

    IUCN status : EndangeredIndian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 :Schedule-I

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    Neophocaena phocaenoides, Cuvier 1829,

    Finless Porpoise TaxonomyKingdom: AnimaliaPhylum: ChordataClass: MammaliaSubclass: EutheriaOrder: Cetacea

    Suborder: OdontocetiFamily: PhocoenidaeGenus: NeophocaenaSpecies: N. phocaenoides

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    Identification keyNo dorsal fin; narrow dorsal ridge;The head is beakless; the rounded forehead rises steeplyfrom the snout tipbody dark grey or black, with lighter belly13 to 22 teeth in each tooth rowmaximum size to 2 m

    no dorsal fin

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    DistributionWarm, coastal Indo-Pacific waters, both fresh and marine,are home to the finless porpoise. The range runs fromnorthern Japan to the Persian Gulf, including many riversin the Asian subcontinent (one of the best knownpopulations is in the Yangtze River of China).

    IUCN Status : VulnerableIndian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 : Schedule-I

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    Dugong dugon, Muller 1776,

    Dugong or Sea CowTaxonomyKingdom: Animalia

    Phylum: ChordataClass: MammaliaOrder: Sirenia

    Family: DugongidaeSubfamily: DugonginaeGenus: DugongSpecies: D. dugon

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    Identification key A fusiform body with no dorsal fin or hind limbs,instead possessing paddle-like forelimbsEasily distinguished from the manatees by its fluked,

    dolphin-like tailTail split into flukes, with a median notchTail stock laterally compressed

    Nostrils on top of snout

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    DistributionDugongs are widely distributed in the Indo-Pacificregion in coastal tropical and subtropical waters. They also occur in inshore waters, in bays and channels. Therange is discontinuous: from southeast Africa north tothe Red Sea; in the Persian Gulf; along western Indiato Sri Lanka; and throughout Indonesia and the Pacific

    islands, to the Ryukyu Islands in the north and thecentral coasts of Australia in the south.

    IUCN Status : VulnerableIndian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 : Schedule-I

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    ReferencesFAO species identification guide, Marine mammals of theworld, (1994 ) , United Nations Environment Programme Foodand Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

    Jayashankar, P., Anoop B., Identification of Marine mammalsof India.Padmanaban, P., Dinesh, K. P., (2011): A Checklist of MarineMammals of India, Marine Biology Regional Centre,

    Zoological Survey of India, Ch.ennai-600 028, Tamil Nadu,India.Wikipedia, The free Encycloedia.

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