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Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Mammalia
Subclassis: Theria
Infraclassis: Placentalia
Superordo: Cetartiodactyla
Ordo: Cetacea
Subordo: Odontoceti
Infraordines: Delphinida
Superfamilia: Delphinoidea
Familia: Delphinidae
Genera: Cephalorhynchus - Delphinus - Feresa - Globicephala - Grampus - Lagenodelphis - Lagenorhynchus - Lissodelphis - Orcaella - Orcinus - Peponocephala - Pseudorca - Sotalia - Sousa - Stenella - Steno - Tursiops - †Arimidelphis - †Astadelphis - †Australodelphis


Delphinidae (Gray, 1821)


Bianucci, G. 2005: Arimidelphis sorbinii a new small killer whale-like dolphin from the Pliocene of Marecchia River (central eastern Italy) and a phylogenetic analysis of the Orcininae (Cetacea: Odontoceti). Rivista Italiana di Paleontologia e Stratigrafia, 111: 329-344. ISSN: 0035-6883
* Delphinidae on Mammal species of the World.
* Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, 2 Volume Set edited by Don E. Wilson, DeeAnn M. Reeder
* 180415 Delphinidae Report on ITIS

Vernacular Names
Dansk: Delfiner
English: Oceanic dolphins
Galego: Delfínidos
日本語: マイルカ科
Suomi: Delfiinit
Türkçe: Yunusgiller


Oceanic dolphins are the members of the Delphinidae family of cetaceans. These marine mammals are related to whales and porpoises. They are found worldwide, mostly in the shallower seas of the continental shelves. As the name implies, these dolphins tend to be found in the open seas, unlike the river dolphins, although a few species such as the Irrawaddy Dolphin are coastal or riverine.

Six of the larger species in the Delphinidae, the Orca and the Pilot, Melon-headed, Pygmy Killer and False Killer Whales, are commonly called whales, rather than dolphins; they are also sometimes collectively known as "blackfish".


The Delphinidae are the most diverse of the cetacean families, with numerous variations between species. They range in size from 1.2 meters and 40 kg (Haviside's Dolphin), up to 9 meters and 10 tonnes (the Orca). Most species weigh between approximately 50 and 200 kg. They typically have a curved dorsal fin, a clear 'beak' at the front of the head, and a forehead melon, although there are exceptions to all of these rules. They have a wide range of colors and patterns.[1]

Most delphinids primarily eat fish, along with a smaller number of squid and small crustaceans, but some species specialise in eating squid, or, in the case of the Orca, also eat marine mammals. All, however, are purely carnivorous. They typically have between 100 and 200 teeth, although a few species have considerably fewer.

Delphinids travel in large pods, which may number a thousand individuals in some species. Each pod forages over a range of a few dozen to a few hundred square miles. Some pods have a loose social structure, with individuals frequently joining or leaving, but others seem to be more permanent, perhaps dominated by a male and a 'harem' of females.[1] Individuals communicate by sound, producing low frequency clicks, and also produce high frequency ultrasound whistles of 80-220 kHz, which are primarily used for echolocation. Gestation lasts from ten to twelve months, and results in the birth of a single calf.

Recent molecular analyses indicate that several delphinid genera (especially Stenella and Lagenorhynchus) are not monophyletic as currently recognized. Thus, the coming years will likely see significant taxonomic revisions within the family.


1. ^ a b Evans, Peter G.H. (1984). Macdonald, D.. ed. The Encyclopedia of Mammals. New York: Facts on File. pp. 180–185. ISBN 0-87196-871-1.

* LeDuc, R.G., Perrin, W.F., Dizon, A.E. (1999). Phylogenetic relationships among the delphinid cetaceans based on full cytochrome b sequences. Marine Mammal Science 15, 619–648.
* May-Collado, L., Agnarsson, I. (2006). Cytochrome b and Bayesian inference of whale phylogeny. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 38, 344-354.
* Site sur les differents orques et leur mode de reproduction évitant la consanguinité. (French)

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Source: Wikispecies, Wikipedia: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License