In details

Cetaceans



Dolphin: cetacean example

What they are - summary

Cetaceans are aquatic (mostly saltwater) animals and mammals belonging to the Phylum. Chordata. There are currently 85 cetacean species known. The best known are dolphins and whales.

Origin of the word

The word originates from the Greek, and kētos (cetus) means whale or sea monster.

General characteristics of cetaceans:

- Body very similar to that of fish.

- Modified front limbs.

- They have no hind limbs.

- The tail fin has a horizontal position.

- Cetaceans are sociable and live in groups.

- Body shape gives cetaceans great swimming ability. They are fast and can reach between 30 and 40 kilometers per hour. They can also dive to great depths. They can also jump above the water (between 2 and 4 meters).

- They are intelligent and some species, such as dolphins, are playful.

- They live between 25 and 30 years.

- Cetaceans feed mainly on fish and squid.

- They have a keen sense of echolocation (biosonar) through the emission of ultrasonic waves in the water.

- Have a layer of fat, which acts as a thermal insulator.

Cetacean families:

- Balaenidae Family

- Family Balaenopteridae

- Delphinidae family

- Family Eschrichtiidae

- Family Hyperoodontidae

- Iniidae family

- Family Kogiidae

- Family Monodontidae

- Neobalaenidae Family

- Phocoenidae Family

- Family Physeteridae

- Family Platanistidae

Examples of cetaceans:

- Blue Whale

- White whale

- Beaked Whale

- Humpback Whale

- Orca

- Dolphins or dolphins

- gray whale

- Sperm Whale

- Inia

- Narwhal (Toothed Whale)

Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Philo: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Infraclass: Placentalia

Order: Artiodactyla

Suborder: Whippomorpha

Infraorder: Cetacea

Biological curiosity:

- Ketology is the branch of zoology that studies the behavior, body and life of cetaceans.

White whale (Delphinapterus leucas), also known as beluga: example of cetacean.