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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

WHALE CLASSIFICATION

There are two types of whales alive today: toothed whales, Odontoceti, and baleen whales, Mysticeti. Toothed whales have teeth, are predators that eat fish, squid, and marine mammals, have a single blowhole, and use echolocation. Baleen whales are larger than the toothed whales, are filter feeders that use baleen to sieve food (baleen is a comb-like structure that filters the baleen whales' food from the water), and have 2 blowholes.

A primitive groups of cetaceans, the Archaeoceti, evolved during the Eocene epoch, about 50 million years ago.


The following is the Linnaean taxonomy of cetaceans:

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

Whales belong to the order Cetacea (from the Greek word "cetus" which means whale), which is divided into the following suborders:
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EnchantedLearning.com is a user-supported site.
As a bonus, site members have access to a banner-ad-free version of the site, with print-friendly pages.
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ad
(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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