Search by Subject
Search by Institution
Pseudorca yuanliensis (苑裡偽虎鯨)

Scientific Name: Pseudorca yuanliensis
Chinese name: 苑裡偽虎鯨


~~ Introduction ~~
The modern false killer whales, while not commonly seen, are widely distributed in the warm, deep waters of tropical and subtropical regions, such as the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea . The False Killer whale is a small sized and slender whale, its skull extends into an obtuse, bluntly-tipped beak. It has 8 to 11 pairs of teeth.
In 1997, construction workers unearthed some fossil specimens in the mountain regions of Yuanli, Miaoli County . Researcher from the NMNS excavated and identified them to be fossil remains of a type of whale. Analysis of rock strata from the excavation sites has concluded it to be the Pleistocene Toukeshan Stratum, which was about 1 to 2 million years ago. Clues from the cranial shape, structural ratio and teeth morphology suggested that these animals have more elongated beaks and may resemble the modern day False Killer Whales, unlike the more obtusely beaked modern day orcas. However, these remains are larger than modern day false killer whales, and together with their dating back to at least a million years, these animals are believed to be an unrecorded new species. They were tentatively named Pseudorca yuanliensis and belong to the genus Pseudoorca of the Delphinidae family. Detailed study on this species is currently underway.

~~ Age ~~

~~ Classification ~~
                     Pseudorca yuanliensis

The international digital archives and e-learning communication project of the National Museum of Natural Science