Idiocetus ("unique whale") is a genus of extinct cetaceans of the family Balaenidae.[2]

Temporal range: Tortonian–Piacenzian
Atlas of I. guicciardinii, from Italy
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Infraorder: Cetacea
Family: Balaenidae
Genus: Idiocetus
Capellini 1876[1]
  • I. guicciardinii Capellini 1876


Fossils belonging to this genus were first found in Piacenzian (Upper Pliocene) strata near Montopoli in Val d'Arno, a town in Tuscany (central Italy). The Italian paleontologist Giovanni Capellini described the whale in 1876 and attributed it to a new genus and species, establishing the type species Idiocetus guicciardinii. Some decades later, in 1926, other fossil remains possibly belonging to the genus were discovered from the Tortonian (Upper Miocene) of Japan.[3]


  1. ^ Capellini, G., 1876. "Sulle balene fossili toscane". Atti della Reale Accademia dei Lincei 3: 9–14.
  2. ^ Steeman, M. E. (2010). "The extinct baleen whale fauna from the Miocene–Pliocene of Belgium and the diagnostic cetacean ear bones". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. 8 (1): 63–80. doi:10.1080/14772011003594961. OCLC 694418047.
  3. ^ Idiocetus on

Further readingEdit

Capellini, G., 1905. "Balene fossili toscane. III. Idiocetus guicciardinii". Memorie della Regia accademia delle Scienze dell’Istituto di Bologna 6: 71–80.