A biological assessment of the cetacean fauna of the Texas Coast.
Eighteen species of whales and dolphins have been recorded from the Texas Coast and adjacent waters. Sixteen of these can be verified, as their occurrence is documented by preserved skeletal parts, photographs, or observations made by trained cetologists. The occurrence of two species (Delphinus delphis and Orcinus orca) must be considered tentative as they are recorded only on the basis of sightings made by untrained persons. There have been very few beachings or observations of large baleen or toothed whales in the study area. Most larger whales feed in the deep waters adjacent to the Texas Coast. The continental shelf in the northwestern Gulf gradually slopes away from the coast, and, as a result, deeper waters lie far offshore.