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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 Glossary
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U-Z

D


DALL'S PORPOISE

Dall's Porpoise is a fast-swimming, black-and-white toothed whale. It is from 5.75-7.25 feet (1.7-2.2 m) long. Classification: Suborder Odontoceti (toothed whales), Family Phocoenidae, Genus and species Phocoenoides dalli.

DECIBEL

Decibels (abbreviated dB) are the unit of measuring the loudness (or intensity) of sounds. 0 dB is the faintest audible sound. Blue whale calls are up to 188 dB; this is the loudest animal sound, and is painful to the human ear. The decibel scale is logarithmic.

DIAPSID

Diapsids include all the reptiles (except turtles) and birds. They are distinguished by having two holes in the rear upper part of their skulls and two holes behind the eyes.


DICHOTOMOUS KEY

A dichotomous key is a method for determining the identity of sometihing (like a butterfly, a plant, or a rock) by going through a series of choices that lead the user to the correct name of the item. At each step of the process, the user is given two choices; each alternative leads to another questions until the identification is completed. For example, a question in a dichotomous key for trees might be something like, "Does it have flat or needle-like leaves?" Dichotomous means "divided in two parts".

DOLPHIN

Dolphins are small cetaceans that have a long, beaklike snout, a falcate (sickle-shaped) dorsal fin, and conical teeth. They are Odontoceti (toothed whales).

DORSAL

Dorsal means of, pertaining to, or near an animal's back or upper surface of the body.

DORSAL FIN

The dorsal fin is a fin on an animal's back. Many cetaceans have dorsal fins.

DORSAL RIDGE

The dorsal ridge is a raised line or hump on the back of a some whales (instead of a dorsal fin).

DORUDON

Dorudon atrox was an early whale, was about 20 feet (6 m) long. Its arms were small, flattened flippers. The rear limbs were only about 4 inches (10 cm) long. It had a long, pointed snout with many sharp, triangular teeth.

DWARF SPERM WHALE

The dwarf sperm whale (Kogia simus) is a small toothed whale - it is also known as Owen's Pygmy Sperm Whale (because it was originally described by the English scientist Richard Owen in 1866). The dwarf sperm whale has a very large head and large teeth. The countershaded skin is bluish above and poink below. It is about 9 feet long (2.7 m). This whale is widely distributed through tropical and temperate seas worldwide. The dwarf sperm whale is a deep diver and eats squid, fish, octopus, eels, and other deep-dwelling marine animals.

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Whale Glossary
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U-Z

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