Rhinoceros Dolphin

Unknown Cetacean of the North Pacific Ocean.

Scientific names: Delphinus rhinoceros, given by J. R. C. Quoy and J. P. Gaimard in 1824; Cetodipteros rhinoceros, given by Michel Raynal in 1991.

Physical description: Length, about 10 feet. Upper body spotted black and white. Has two dorsal fins—a standard dorsal fin in the center of the back, supplemented by a second fin close to the neck.

Significant sightings: The naturalists Quoy and Gaimard observed a school of dolphins with two dorsal fins in the North Pacific, possibly in the neighborhood of Palmyra Atoll, in October 1819. They did not get a good look at the animals' heads, which were under water.

In April 1856, one or two dolphins with two dorsal fins were seen in a school of Common dolphins (Delphinus delphus) in Lantivet Bay, Cornwall, England. Possible explanation:

(1) Michel Raynal points out that the animal might just as well be an unknown beaked whale as a dolphin.

(2) A calf pressed tightly against its mother might have been mistaken for a second dorsal fin in the nearest animal; that all the animals in the school had a similar protrusion may have been a false assumption.

Sources: Jean-René Constant Quoy and Joseph Paul Gaimard, Voyage autour du monde (Paris: Pillet Aîné, 1824), vol. 1 (Zoologie), p. 86; Jonathan Couch, "Remarks on the Species of Whales Which Have Been Observed on the Coasts of Cornwall," Transactions ofthe Royal Polytechnic Society of Cornwall24 (1856): 2746; Michel Raynal and Jean-Pierre Sylvestre, "Cetaceans with Two Dorsal Fins," Aquatic Mammals 17, no. 1 (1991): 31-36; Michel


Raynal, "Do Two-Finned Cetaceans Really Exist?" INFO Journal, no. 70 (January 1994): 7-13; "From the Archives: Andrews' Whale," Exotic Zoology 6, no. 2 (April-June 1999): 4.

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