Table of Contents
• Types of Cetaceans
– Odontoceti (toothed whales)
– Mysticeti (mustached or baleen whales)
• General Information
– Reproduction/ size
– Water activities
• Interesting Information
– Random facts
– Status/ Social behavior
•Cetaceans include whales, dolphins and porpoises.
There are over 75 species of Cetaceans.
•Odontoceti is one of the two types of Cetaceans
•They are predators that use their teeth to catch fish
squid, and marine mammals, swallowing them whole
•They have one blowhole (nostril) and use
echolocation to hunt
•There are about 66 species
•Some examples of Odontoceti’s include: killer whale
buluga whales, narwhals, sperm whales, beaked
whales, dolphins, and porpoises
• They are predators that sieve tiny crustaceans, small fish, and
other tiny organisms from the water with baleen.
• Filter feeders
• They use their tongue to dislodge the food from the baleen
and swallow it.
• Baleen is a comb-like structure that filters the baleen whales'
food from the water.
• Mysticeti’s are larger than the Odontoceti’s and have 2
• There are 10 species.
• Some examples include: blue whales, humback whales, grey
whales, bowhead whales, minke whales, and right whales
1. Which group of Cetacean is the biggest, Odontoceti or Mysticeti?
2. What is the difference in the eating habits between the two groups?
3. Name 3 examples of toothed whales.
4. Name 3 examples of mustache whales.
5. Which group uses echolocation to hunt?
2. Odontonceits use their teeth to catch fish, squid, and marine mammals,
swallowing them whole. Mysticetis filter food from the water.
3. killer whales, buluga whales, narwhals
4. humback whales, grey whales, bowhead whales
• Cetaceans give birth to live young which are nourished with milk from their mothers - they
don't lay eggs.
• Cetaceans breed seasonally, usually in warm tropical waters, but they usually have only one
calf every 1-3 years.
• The gestation times range from 9-18 months.
• The young can swim at or soon after birth.
• Mother whales care for their young for an extended period of time, usually at least a year,
feeding them milk and protecting them.
•The biggest whale is the blue whale which can be 94 ft
•The smallest whale is the dwarf sperm whale which as an
adult is only 8.5 feet long
• Ceteans do 4 different things besides their
normal swimming, they breach, spyhop,
lobtail, and log.
• Breaching: when they (jump) high out of
the water and then slapping the water as
they come back down. Sometimes they
twirl and may be purely for play or may be
used to loosen skin parasites or have
some social meaning.
• Spyhopping: when they poke their head
out of the water and turn around, possible
looking around above water.
• Lobtailing: when whales stick their tail out
of the water into the air, swing it around,
and then slap it on the water's surface
which makes a very loud sound. It is
unknown why whales do this, but it may
be a warning that they are in danger
• Logging: when a whale lies still at the
surface of the water, resting, with its tail
hanging down. While floating motionless,
part of the head, the dorsal fin or parts of
the back are exposed at the surface.
1. What are the 4 types of water activities that cetaceans do?
2. The young and swim soon after birth? True or False
3. What is the biggest whale?
4. What is the smallest whale and its size?
5. What does the picture in the upper left hand corner of water activities an example
1. breaching, spyhopping, lobtailing, and logging
3. Blue Whale
4. Dwarft sperm whale, 8.5 feet long
• The blue whale is the largest animal that has ever existed on Earth.
• It is larger than any of the dinosaurs were and are also the loudest animal on
• Killer whales and Shortfin Pilot whales are the fastest, swimming up to 30 miles
• Whales swim by moving their muscular tail (flukes) up and down unlike fish who
swim by moving their tails left and right.
• They are the only mammals, other than manatees (seacows), that live their entire
lives in the water, and the only mammals that have adapted to life in the open
• Gray whales make the longest seasonal migration of any of the whales. They travel
about 12,500 miles each year.
Status/ Social Behavior
• Cetaceans have very strong social ties.
• The strongest social ties are between mother and calf. A social
group of whales is called a pod.
• Baleen whales travel alone or in small pods. The toothed whales
travel in large, sometimes stable pods.
• The toothed whales frequently hunt their prey in groups, migrate
together, and share care of their young.
• Baleen whales migrate over very long distances each year.
• They have songs, whistles, or clicks that are thought to be used in
attracting mates, to keep track of offspring, and for the toothed
whales, to locate prey. Status
•They Cetaceans that are at the biggest risk of going
extinct are the Mysticeti because they are bigger and
targeted by commercial whalers.
•The smaller whales are in good condition.
1. How do whales swim?
2. What group of whale is at the biggest risk of going extinct and why?
3. Cetaceans don’t have very strong social ties. True or False
4. What are the two fastest cetaceans?
5. About how many miles does the gray whale travel each year?
1. By moving their muscular tail (flukes) up and down.
2. They Mysticeti because they are bigger and more targeted by commercial whalers.
4. Killer Whale and the short-fined pilot whale
5. 12,500 miles
• There are two types of Cetaceans Odontoceti and Mysticeti.
• They vary in size from 94 feet long to 8.5 feet long.
• They breach, Spyhop, Lobtail, and log in the water.
• They have very strong social ties, especially to their calf.
• They give birth, they do not lay eggs.
• They feed and protect their calf for at least a year.
• Many of the larger whales are in danger of going extinct
because of commercial whalers