The Odontoceti includes all the whales which eat prey larger than plankton. Examples are: sperm whales, beaked whales, dolphins, and others. As the name suggests, the suborder has teeth rather than the baleen of Mysticeti whales. This means they are predators of small to large sized prey.
The Sperm Whale Physeter, the Killer Whale Orca and the Pilot Whale Globicephala all take large prey. By means of co-operation, Killer Whales can take prey larger than themselves, up to and including Blue Whale calves. Sperm Whales are specialist feeders on giant squid.
Taxonomy[change | change source]
- Superfamily Delphinoidea; Porpoises, Dolphins, Pilot Whales, Killer Whales, Narwhal
- Superfamily Inioidea: some South American river dolphins
- Superfamily Lipotoidea: Chinese River Dolphin
- Superfamily Physeteroidea: Sperm Whales
- Superfamily Platanistoidea: River Dolphins proper
- Superfamily Ziphioidea: Bottlenose Whales, Beaked Whales
References[change | change source]
- Hooker, Sascha K. (2009). Perrin, William F.; Wursig, Bernd; Thewissen, J.G M. eds. Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals (2 ed.). Academic Press. p. 1173. . http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/bookdescription.cws_home/716899/description#description.
- Reeves R. et al. 2003. Dolphins, whales, and porpoises. IUCN Species Survival Commission Specialists Group.