Types of Whales and Dolphins

There are many different types of whales and dolphins.

The world's 70 types of whales are mainly divided into two groups deriving from their food and eating
habits, and consequently, their anatomy

Baleen Whale Species - Mysticeti

"Right Whale Rises to the Water's Surface Exposing its Baleen"
Right Whale Rises to the Water's Surface Exposing its Baleen
Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

The first type is Baleen Whales - named after the massive baleen that they have in their mouths. It helps them filter their food from the water. Baleen whales are typically very large animals, much larger than the next group below. The Blue Whale - the largest animal that has ever lived on the Earth belongs to the Rorqual family.The other two families are Right Whales and Gray Whales.

Go here for a
List of Whale Species

Toothed Whale Species - Odontoceti

  "Killer Whale, Orcinus, Orca Portrait"

Killer Whale, Orcinus Orca Portrait
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thumbnail to buy

The other type is
Toothed Whales. They are active hunters and meat eaters. They get their food by chasing and catching fish and larger animals like seals and sea lions. Being active hunters, they need to move fast and their bodies are therefore much smaller than the filter feeders above.

The whales in this group are commonly known as dolphins, even though some of them, such as Killer Whales, still bear the common name "whale". The different families of toothed whales include Sperm Whales, Narwhals and Belugas, Oceanic Dolphins, Porpoises and River Dolphins.

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