Le Règne Animal (1829)


(p. 291)
(…) M. Dussumier à découvert au Cap, une espèce de ce sous-genre, qui a la tête ronde, et les dents comprimées et obtuses du marsouin (D. phocænoides). (In Cape Town, Mr. Dussumier has discovered a species of this sub-order [Delphinapterus] which has a round head, and the compressed and obtuse teeth of a porpoise.) (…)

“The description is obviously of a finless porpoise and the skull was identified as such by later workers, but the type locality is in question. Allen (1923) believed that a stuffed skin of a right whale dolphin, Lissodelphis peronii, from the Cape of Good Hope was somehow erroneously associated by Cuvier with Dussumier’s finless porpoise skull. In researching Dussumier’s journals, he found no mention of collection of specimens at the Cape and concluded that the finless porpoise skull was collected elsewhere. He also noted that the finless porpoise had not since been recorded from South Africa. Hershkovitz (1966) rejected Allen’s arguments and noted that Gibson-Hill (1950) reported occurrence of the species off South Africa. However, the South African record was based on a sighting, identified only on the basis of absence of a dorsal fin, a feature also of the southern right whale dolphin, which has been subsequently recorded from as far north on the coast of southern Africa as Namibia (Rose and Payne, 1991). Dussumier did report collecting (for the Paris Museum) on the Malabar coast of India a species similar to the beluga in having a blunt head and no dorsal fin (Laissus, 1973), certainly a finless porpoise, and the type locality of the nominate subspecies is now accepted to be the Malabar coast (Jefferson and Hung, 2004).”
[Perrin, W.F., Mead, J.G., and Brownell, R.L. Jr. 2009. Review of the evidence used in the description of currently recognized cetacean subspecies. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOAA-TM-NMFS-SWFSC-450. National Oceanic and Atmospheric administration. Available from http://swfsc.noaa.gov/publications/TM/SWFSC/NOAA-TM-NMFS-SWFSC-450.pdf ]