2 Families Odontoceti (toothed whales) 67 species One opening for blowhole Mysticeti (baleen whales) 11 species Two openings for blowhole
Teeth Toothed whales have teeth which are numerous and peg-like, although sometimes modified, as in the single tusk of the narwhal or the odd, fanglike lower teeth of the beaked whales.
Teeth Baleen whales lack teeth completely as adults (although teeth are present in fetal baleen whales). They feed by straining small marine organisms out of the water using plates of baleen, a hornlike substance that forms filaments that hang down from the roof of the mouth.
Reproduction All species produce a single offspring at a time The female delivers usually a single calf tail-first to minimize the risk of drowning. Milk is so fatty that it has the consistency of toothpaste
Sound Most whales have generally poor vision (exept dolphins which have acute binocular vision). To make up for it cetaceans have excellent hearing. Because sounds travel farther and faster in water whales can communicate to each other at far distances.
Baleen whale songs All the whales in an area sing virtually the same song at any point in time and the song is constantly and slowly evolving over time. Unsure why they sing but most agree it is used for sexual courtship. Only males sing Do not have vocal cords, how they make the sound is unknown.
Toothed whale echolocation Have a highly adapted echolocation adaptation Use it to see their surroundings as well as communicating between individuals Can use the intense sounds to immobilize small prey
Intelligence Studies into dolphin behavior have highlighted how similar their communications are to those of humans and that they are brighter than chimpanzees.
Intelligence Baleen whales also exhibit a high level of intelligence. Have the ability to migrate thousands of miles