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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

T

TAIL SLAP
A tail slap is when a whale slaps the surface of the water with its tail, usually make a big noise and splash.
TAIL STOCK
The tail stock is the narrow, muscular part of a whale's tail between the body and the flukes.
TAXON
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

Taxonomy is the science of classifying organisms into groups by structure, origin, common ancestor, etc.
TERTIARY PERIOD
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

Thecodonts were socket-toothed reptiles that were the ancestors of dinosaurs, birds, pterosaurs, and crocodilians.


THROAT GROOVES

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

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.

TRACE FOSSILS

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.

TRIASSIC PERIOD

Dinosaurs and mammals evolved during the Triassic period, 245 - 208 million years ago.

TRILOBITE

Trilobites were early invertebrates with a segmented body and an exoskeleton. Trilobites dominated the environment during the Cambrian Period (540 to 500 mya).
TUBERCLES
Tubercles (also known as stovebolts) are small bumps with sensory hairs (bristles) protruding from them. They are found on the head of Humpback whales.

TYPE SPECIMEN

A type specimen is the specimen from which a new species is described.

Zoom Whales
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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