Toothed Whales

Toothed Whales

(Odontoceti) – approx. 73 species

Striped Dolphin © CRRU

1 Blowhole
Striped Dolphin © CRRU

The teeth can be used to identify families and even age cetaceans once they have passed away © CRRU

Predators with teeth/The teeth can be used to identify families and even age cetaceans once they have passed away © CRRU

Distinguishing features of Toothed Whales

Toothed whales are predators that use their peg-like teeth to catch fish, squid, and marine mammals, swallowing them whole. They have one blowhole (nostril) and use echolocation to hunt.

 

 

Echolocation

Dolphin Echolocation. Dolphins make a sound that travels quickly through water. The sound is bounced back and the information decoded in the Dolphin Melon. © dolphin-world.com

Dolphin Echolocation. Dolphins make a sound that travels quickly through water. The sound is bounced back and the information decoded in the Dolphin Melon. © dolphin-world.com

Toothed whales have excellent hearing and use echolocation (also known as SONAR) to sense objects. They make short, intense, broad-band pulses of ultra-sonic sound which bounce off objects near it. The animal “hears” the objects in its environment, creating an acoustical picture. In echolocation, a high-pitched sound (usually clicks) is sent out by the whale. The sound bounces off the object and some returns to the whale. The whale interprets this returning echo to determine the object’s shape, direction, distance, and texture. Bats and some other marine mammals also use echolocation. A toothed whale’s echolocation starts with a series of low-frequency clicks (called a train) produced by the animal. This train passes through the melon of the whale:  a fat-filled organ in the head of the toothed whale that focuses the sound wave. The train of clicks is focused into a beam that bounces off objects and reflects (echos) back to the whale.

 

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Be Wise about Toothed Whales:

click on the photos below to learn more!

 

 

Harbour Porpoise © HWDT

Harbour Porpoise © HWDT

Common Bottlenose Dolphin © WiseOceans

Common Bottlenose Dolphin © WiseOceans

Spinner Dolphin © HEPCA

Spinner Dolphin © HEPCA

Orca © Planet Whale

Orca © Planet Whale

Pilot Whale © Planet Whale

Pilot Whale © Planet Whale

Cuvier´s Beaked Whale © CIMA foundation

Cuvier´s Beaked Whale © CIMA foundation

Northern Bottlenose Whale © Planet Whale

Northern Bottlenose Whale © Planet Whale

Common Dolphin © CRRU

Common Dolphin © CRRU

Sperm Whale © Planet Whale

Sperm Whale © Planet Whale

 

Huge thanks go to the following organisations who have very kindly contributed information & photos

If you would like to contribute to this information resource and promote the fantastic work of your organisation then please contact WiseOceans at:  info@wiseoceans.com

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