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Dolphins are Cetaceans


All dolphins belong to the cetacean family. This order includes whales, dolphins, and porpoises.

The Cetacean order is broken down into sub-orders. In other words, the entire cetacean family is broken down into smaller families.

The first sub-order is the Mysticeti family, which is made up of Baleen Whales. These whales capture prey by straining water through a series of baleen plates in their mouths. These plates act as filters to collect the food.

Included in the Mysticeti family is the Balaenopteridae family, which is made up of Minke Whales, Sei Whales, Bryde's Whales, Blue Whales, Fin Whales, and the Humpback Whales. These are all fast swimmers that take in a great amount of water in an expanding buccal cavity, then expel the water through the baleen to capture their prey. Their bodies are very streamlined, which allows them to be lunging feeders.

The next family of cetaceans in the Mysticeti group is the Balaenidae family. The Bowhead Whales, Northern Right Whales, Southern Right Whales, and Pygmy Right Whales make up this group, and they are characterized by their habit of being slow-moving, continuous filter feeders. Still in the Mysteiceti group, the next family is the Eschrichtidae family. This family is comprised of the Gray Whale.

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