Cetotheriidae is a family of baleen whales in the suborder Mysticeti.[1] The family was generally thought to have existed from the Late Oligocene to the Late Pliocene before going extinct. However, the phylogenetic studies conducted by Fordyce and Marx (2013) recovered the living pygmy right whale as a member of Cetotheriidae; if confirmed these results would resurrect Cetotheriidae from extinction.[2]


Since its description by Brant in 1872, Cetotheriidae was used as a wastebasket taxon for baleen whales which were not assignable to extant whale families.[3] Starting in the early 2000's a number of studies on the phylogeny has reduced the included genera down to thirteen in two subfamilies.[4]

Cetotheriidae (Brandt, 1872)


  1. ^ The Paleobiology Database Cetotheriidae entry Accessed on 27 December 2010
  2. ^ R. Ewan Fordyce and Felix G. Marx (2013). "The pygmy right whale Caperea marginata: the last of the cetotheres". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 280 (1753): 20122645. doi:10.1098/rspb.2012.2645.
  3. ^ Steeman, M.E. (2010). "The extinct baleen whale fauna from the Miocene-Pliocene of Belgium and the diagnostic cetacean ear bones". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 8 (1): 63–80. doi:10.1080/14772011003594961.
  4. ^ Bouetel, V.; Muizon, (2006). "The anatomy and relationships of Piscobalaena nana (Cetacea, Mysticeti), a Cetotheriidae s.s. from the early Pliocene of Peru". Geodiversitas 28 (2): 319–395.
  5. ^ Kimura, T.; Hasegawa, y. (2010). "A New Baleen Whale (Mysticeti: Cetotheriidae) from the Earliest Late Miocene of Japan and a Reconsideration of the Phylogeny of Cetotheres". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 30 (2): 577–591. doi:10.1080/02724631003621912.
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