ALL ABOUT WHALES!
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A tail slap is when a whale slaps the surface of the water with its tail, usually make a big noise and splash.
The tail stock is the narrow, muscular part of a whale's tail between the body and the flukes.
A taxon is category in the classification of living organisms. The taxa (the plural of taxon) in the Linnean system are kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species.
Taxonomy is the science of classifying organisms into groups by structure, origin, common ancestor, etc.
The Tertiary period lasted from 65 to 1.8 million years ago. It followed the Cretaceous period (the end of the Mesozoic Era) and the K-T extinction. Many mammals developed then, including primitive whales, rodents, pigs, cat, rhinos, etc.
Thecodonts were socket-toothed reptiles that were the ancestors of dinosaurs, birds, pterosaurs, and crocodilians.
Rorqual whales (Family Balaenopteridae), a type of baleen whales, have throat grooves (ventral grooves) that allow their throat to expand during the huge intake of water during filter feeding. When they eat, these grooves expand, allowing them to take huge gulps of water, forcing it through their short baleen to filter out tiny organisms.
Toothed whales (suborder Odontoceti) are predators with peg-like teeth; they eat fish, squid, and marine mammals. They include orcas, narwhals, belugas, sperm whales, beaked whales, dolphins, and porpoises.
Also known as ichnofossils, these are fossilized footprints, nests, dung, gastroliths, etc., but not actual body parts. They record the movement and behavior of animals.
Dinosaurs and mammals evolved during the Triassic period, 245 - 208 million years ago.
Trilobites were early invertebrates with a segmented body and an exoskeleton. Trilobites dominated the environment during the Cambrian Period (540 to 500 mya).
Tubercles (also known as stovebolts) are small bumps with sensory hairs (bristles) protruding from them. They are found on the head of Humpback whales.
A type specimen is the specimen from which a new species is described.
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