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ALL ABOUT WHALES!
What is a Whale? Whale Information Sheets Anatomy and Behavior Extreme Whales Whale Myths Whale Evolution Whale Classification Whale Glossary Whale Activities Whale Index

Whale Classification
Mysticeti,
Baleen Whales
Odontoceti,
Toothed Whales
Archaeoceti
Extinct, Primitive Whales
Taxonomy and Cladistics

BALEEN WHALES:
Suborder Mysticeti

Baleen Whale Anatomy: Label Me!

Label baleen whale anatomy
Answers
This humpback whale represents a typical baleen whale. It has throat grooves; not all baleen whales do.

Whales, the order Cetacea (from the Greek word "cetus" which means whale), is divided into the baleen whales and the toothed whales.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata (vertebrates)
Class: Mammalia (mammals)
Order: Cetacea

  • Mysticeti or baleen whales - blue whales, humpback whales, gray whales and right whales. These "great whales" are among the largest animals on earth. Baleen whales are larger than the toothed whales and have two blow holes. Female baleen whales are larger than the males. Many baleen whales are endangered from over-hunting.

    Baleen whales have baleen plates instead of teeth, which they use to filter small particles of food. Baleen is a sieve-like device made of keratin (the same substance that fingernails and hair are made of). Baleen is a series of stiff, flexible material that hang from the upper jaw. The inside of the baleen is edged with hairy plates that filter krill (tiny crustaceans), plankton (small animals and plants that float with ocean currents), and small fish.

    Many baleen whale species migrate seasonally from cold-water feeding grounds to warm water breeding grounds. Many species congregate in groups called pods. Many species sing songs but they lack echolocation capabilities. Baleen whales have symmetrical skulls.

    There are many different baleen whale filter feeding techniques, including:
    Baleen whales evolved about 35 million years ago, during the early Oligocene Epoch. The earliest baleen whale fossils are from New Zealand.

    CLASSIFICATION OF BALEEN WHALES
    Mysticeti or baleen whales - These "great whales" are among the largest animals on earth. They have baleen plates instead of teeth, which they use to filter food. They are larger than the toothed whales and have two blow holes.


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    As a bonus, site members have access to a banner-ad-free version of the site, with print-friendly pages.
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    (Already a member? Click here.)
    EnchantedLearning.com
    ALL ABOUT WHALES!
    What is a Whale? Whale Information Sheets Anatomy and Behavior Extreme Whales Whale Myths Whale Evolution Whale Classification Whale Glossary Whale Activities Whale Index

    Whale Classification
    Mysticeti,
    Baleen Whales
    Odontoceti,
    Toothed Whales
    Archaeoceti
    Extinct, Primitive Whales
    Taxonomy and Cladistics


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