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Cetaceans - Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises

The term "cetacean" refers to all whales, dolphins and porpoises. There are over 80 species of cetaceans. These cetaceans are divided into two groups - the baleen whales, or mysticetes, and the toothed whales, or odontocetes. All cetaceans are mammals and breathe air, bear live young, and are endothermic.
  1. Baleen Whale Profiles (11)
  2. Cetacean Glossary (7)
  3. Toothed Whale Profiles (24)

Whale Words
View a glossary of whale words and learn about whales.

Differences Between Baleen and Toothed Whales
Learn about the difference between baleen whales (mysticetes) and toothed whales (odontocetes), along with examples of each.

What Is a Cetacean?
The word cetacean is used to describe all whales, dolphins and porpoises. Learn where the word cetacean originated and how it is pronounced.

Characteristics of Cetaceans
Cetaceans are whales, dolphins and porpoises. Learn about the characteristics that all cetaceans have, including how they are classified, how they breathe, keep warm, and adapt to water pressure and lack of oxygen when diving.

Types of Baleen Whales
Learn about the 14 species of baleen whales, including information on size, identification and where they live. Click through to profiles of each species to learn even more.

Green Sea Turtle Facts
Do you know how the green sea turtle got its name? Read this green sea turtle profile to learn the answer to this question, as well as many other facts about green sea turtles.

Types of Toothed Whales
Learn about the diverse group of whales known as the toothed whales, which includes the dolphins and porpoises, through facts, images and links to more detailed profiles.

Types of Whales
Cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) come in a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes. Learn about different types of cetaceans and see images of species including the blue whale, humpback whale, beluga, killer whale (orca) and bottlenose dolphin.

Order Cetacea
The Order Cetacea is the taxonomic group of marine mammals that includes all cetaceans - whales, dolphins and porpoises. There are about 86 species of cetaceans, and these are divided into two groups - the mysticetes, or baleen whales, and the odontocetes, or toothed whales. Cetaceans range in size from just a few feet long to over 100 feet long.

10 Facts About Whales
How many species of whales are there? What is the biggest whale species? How do whales sleep? Here you can learn the answers to these questions, along with more facts about whales.

How Do Whales Sleep?
Whales are voluntary breathers, meaning they have to think about every breath they take, and come to the surface to breathe. So how do they sleep? Learn here.

Whaling and the International Whaling Commission
Learn about whaling, who regulates whaling, and who is hunting whales.

Go Whale Watching
Learn about how to find a whale watch company, how to prepare for your whale watching trip, and what to expect when you're on the whale watch. You can also share your own tips and whale watching stories and photos.

What Is Ambergris?
What is ambergris? Learn about this substance that comes from sperm whales.

How Do Dolphins Sleep?
How do dolphins sleep? Dolphins need to be at the surface to breathe, and need to be constantly vigilant against predators. So how do they sleep?

Dolphin Facts
Learn about dolphins through 10 fascinating facts.

Dolphin Information
Learn about dolphins, with this collection of articles that include facts about dolphins, types of dolphins, and more.

Whales
Learn about whales through a collection of fascinating facts.

Do Whales Drink Seawater?
We need to drink lots of water each day. Do whales? Learn more here.

Long-Beaked Common Dolphin (Delphinus capensis)
Long-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus capensis) look similar to short-beaked common dolphins, but have a more defined range. Learn more about long-beaked common dolphins here.

What Is Cetacean Morbillivirus?
What is cetacean mobillivirus? Learn about this virus that affects whales, dolphins and porpoises and is thought to be responsible for several mass mortality events.

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