About Us

Whaleopedia is a non-profit project conceived and designed by Animal Fund as an educational tool for those who want to learn about the natural history of whales, dolphins and porpoises, known as cetaceans. While we have gone to great lengths to outline all of the known species, in many cases there is great controversy in the scientific community as to what constitutes species, sub-species, and races. This guide represents all of the generally recognized species with footnotes and natural history notations on possible variants. Information regarding the natural history of these animals is constantly improving and we shall update this information on each species as it is confirmed throughout the scientific community.

Whaleopedia principles:

STANLEY M. MINASIAN began Animal Fund (formerly Marine Mammal Fund) in 1971 as a non-profit organization devoted to public education on marine mammal and ocean issues. Through the Fund, he has worked for over 30 years in this educational capacity, producing a number of high profile, Emmy Award winning documentary films on environmental issues and animal welfare. He was senior author of The World’s Whales: The Complete Illustrated Guide, published by Smithsonian Books. He is an author, film producer, videographer, U.S. Coast Guard certified diver, and lecturer.

KENNETH C. BALCOMB was raised in the flatlands of New Mexico and central California before attending the University of California and graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Zoology in 1963. He worked as a whale biologist for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and as a field biologist for the United States National Museum before joining the Navy to become an aviator and oceanographer. From 1976 to 1986, Ken was Chief Scientist for the Ocean Research and Education Society (ORES) in Massachusetts. In this capacity he designed the whale research and student education programs for the research barquentine Regina Maris, and he was the onboard scientist for most of her expeditions in the Atlantic and eastern central Pacific oceans. He was co-author of The World’s Whales: The Complete Illustrated Guide, published by Smithsonian Books. He now resides in Friday Harbor, Washington, where he is the Director of the Center for Whale Research.

LARRY FOSTER was born in Sacramento, California, and cannot remember a time when he was not interested in whales. He is probably the world’s leading authority on the shapes and sizes of whales, dolphins, and porpoises. Dr. James Mead, Curator of Marine Mammals at the Smithsonian Institution, has said, “Larry has turned whale illustrations into a science. His illustrations are the most anatomically accurate I have ever seen.” Larry’s work has appeared in many books and magazines, including The World’s Whales: The Complete Illustrated Guide, published by Smithsonian Books, the Sierra Club Guide to Whales and Dolphins, and National Geographic Magazine.

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