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tins of whale meat

How Japan’s whaling industry is trying to convince people to eat whales

Japan's hunters kill hundreds of whales every year despite the fact that hardly anyone in...
Common dolphins © Christopher Swann

Did you know dolphins have personalities?

Kidzone - quick links Fun Facts Our Goals Curious kids Kids blogs Fantastic fundraisers Gallery...
Microplastics on beach

Blue whales and the menace of microplastics – how we’ll solve this problem

Our love affair with plastic began in the 1950s when it revolutionised manufacturing. But what...
A dolphin called Arnie with his shell.

Dolphins catch fish using giant shell tools

In Shark Bay, Australia, two groups of dolphins have figured out how to use tools...
Common dolphins at surface

Did you know that dolphins have unique personalities?

We all have personalities, and between the work Christmas party and your family get-together, perhaps...
Leaping harbour porpoise

The power of harbour porpoise poo

We know we need to save the whale to save the world. Now we are...
Holly. Image: Miray Campbell

Meet Holly, she’s an incredible orca leader

Let me tell you the story of an awe-inspiring orca with a fascinating family story...
The Last Whale

The Last Whale – your chance to win a copy of new book

Kidzone - quick links Fun Facts Our Goals Curious kids Kids blogs Fantastic fundraisers Gallery...

New (or should that be old?) species of whale discovered in California

US palaeontologists studying fossils recovered from the San Diego Formation in California have described a new species of baleen whale that would have lived between 3.5 and 2.5 million years ago. 

Until now, the genus Herpetocetus (a genus of now extinct dwarf baleen whales) contained four recognised species, this new specimen – known as Herpetocetus morrowi – brings that total to five.

The researchers believe that H. morrowi was one of the smallest baleen whales, measuring only 4.5m in length. They also postulate that it could have been a bottom-feeder, feeding in a similar way as the gray whale, where they are known to roll on to one side (usually the right side in gray whales – hence why sometimes the baleen on the right side is shorter and the head more scarred) and then swim slowly along the bottom sucking up the sediment before filtering it out through their baleen and trapping their food behind. 

Compared to the finding that dolphins have been around for between 8 and 13 million years this is not quite as ground-breaking but interesting nonetheless as it gives more insight into the evolutionary changes that have taken, and undoubtedly continue to take place, within whales, dolphins and porpoises.

About Nicola Hodgins

Policy Manager at WDC