Cetaceans - Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises
10 Facts About Whales
The term "whales" here includes all cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises), which are a diverse group of animals ranging in size from just a few feet long to over 100 feet long. While most whales spend their lives offshore in the ocean's pelagic zone
Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)
Because of their propensity for coastal areas and their popularity in marine parks, bottlenose dolphins are one of the most well-known cetaceans. Bottlenose dolphins are relatively large, streamlined animals with gray coloration and a prominent "beak." They are known for their acrobatic activity. Learn facts about the bottlenose dolphin,...
Types of Whales
There are about 86 species of whales, dolphins and porpoises in the Order Cetacea, which is further divided into two sub-orders, the Odontocetes , or toothed whales and the Mysticetes , or baleen whales.
Do Whales Have Hair?
Whales are mammals, and one of the characteristics common to all mammals is the presence of hair. There are over 80 species of whales, and hair is only visible in some. Whales have hair on their heads as fetuses, but they don't always keep it.
Do Whales Sleep?
Whales are voluntary breathers, meaning they think about every breath they take. That means they can't sleep the way we do. Learn how cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) sleep, or rest.
Prehistoric Whales - The Story of Cetacean Evolution
Whales are a case study in the gradual evolution of mammals from fully terrestrial to fully aquatic lifestyles. Learn about the evolution of whales and get facts and photos on the first whales.
View a glossary of whale words and learn about whales.
Facts about the Order Cetacea, the group of marine mammals that includes whales, dolphins and porpoises. Learn about cetacean characteristics, distribution, feeding, reproduction and conservation.
Beluga Whale (Delphinapterus leucas)
Beluga whales are cetaceans that belong to the Suborder Odontoceti, the toothed whales. Belugas are found in Arctic and subarctic ocean waters and the St. Lawrence River. These whales are easily recognizable by their white coloration and were called "sea canaries" by sailors.
What is the Biggest Animal in the Ocean?
The biggest animal in the ocean, and in the world, is the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus), a sleek, light-colored giant. The blue whale gets its name from its skin, which is a mottled blue-gray color.