New mammal family web pages

[Posted on behalf of Don Roberson]

I followed Jon Hall’s recommendation to spend the first months of the Covid-19 lockdown by entering all the mammals I’d seen in Scythebill, which was a great free program once I got the hang of it. That took care of March-April. Then, using Jon’s Scythebill list of global families, I spent much of May in creating a gallery of mammal photos I’d taken over the past 37 years, but organized by families. Only about 80 families are represented but I padded those with subfamilies and tribes. Not much diversity as many mammal-watchers will have, but good, clean indoor fun. Do let me know if you find misidentified mammals remaining… some mistakes were fixed in drafts. The seven web pages start at

Don Roberson
Pacific Grove, CA


  • Morgan Churchill

    Great Job!

    On the marine mammal note, it would probably be useful to include the Phocinae and the Monachinae: Both are monophyletic morphologically distinct groups which are nearly as old as the family itself.

    The subfamilies in Delphinidae are mostly monophyletic, if you treat Lagenorhynchus sensu stricto and Leucopleurus as monospecific subfamilies. So you might want to consider adding Lissodelphinae, Orcinae, Stenoninae, Globicephalinae, and Delphininae, since I imagine you have seen at least a few if not most of those groups

    The marine mammal taxonomic committee may be voting on whether to continue to recognize Eschrichtiidae or to lump it into Balaenopteridae. Generally many phylogenetic analyses find the Gray whale embedded within Balaenopteridae.

  • Don Roberson

    Thanks, Morgan, what a good idea! I used HMW subfamilies/tribes and they are surely outdated. I could “pad” the cetaceans as I spent 4 months at sea as the bird observer on a NOAA tuna-porpoise cruise in the eastern tropical Pacific in 1989. The bad fact is that those were pre-digital times. Obviously the years have passed quickly, and my degrees are not in math, but since the earliest slide I digitized for this project was 1974 (American Bison), it is a collection of 47 years of photos (but feels like 37 of less….).

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