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Whales Dolphins   Seals  Otters
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Whale is the common name for marine mammals of the order Cetacea. The term whale is sometimes used to refer to all cetaceans, but in more common English usage it generally excludes the members of the Delphinoidea superfamily, such as dolphins and porpoises.These smaller species belong to the suborder Odontoceti (toothed whales), which also includes the sperm whale, killer whale, pilot whale, and beluga whale. The other suborder of cetaceans, Mysticeti (baleen whales), includes the blue whale, which is the largest animal known to have ever existed, the humpback whale, and many other animals that feed by straining seawater through long strips of baleen that they have in the place of teeth, and from which they get their name Dolphins are marine mammals that are closely related to whales and porpoises. There are almost forty species of dolphin in seventeen genera. They vary in size from 1.2 m and 40 kg up to 9.5 m and 10 tonnes (the Orca or Killer Whale). They are found worldwide, mostly in the shallower seas of the continental shelves, and are carnivores, mostly eating fish and squid. The family Delphinidae is the largest in the Cetacean order, Dolphins are among the most intelligent animals and their often friendly appearance and seemingly playful attitude have made them popular in human culture The true seals or earless seals are one of the three main groups of mammals within the seal suborder, Pinnipedia. All true seals are members of the family Phocidae They are sometimes called crawling seals to distinguish them from the fur seals and sea lions of the family Otariidae. Seals live in the oceans of both hemispheres and are mostly confined to polar, sub-polar, and temperate climates, with the exception of the more tropical monk seals. Otters are semi-aquatic (or in one case aquatic) fish-eating mammals. The otter subfamily Lutrinae forms part of the family Mustelidae, which also includes weasels, polecats, badgers, as well as others. With thirteen species in seven genera, otters have an almost worldwide distribution. They mainly eat aquatic animals, predominantly fish and shellfish, but also other invertebrates, amphibians, birds and small mammals..


 

 

 
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