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What type of whale is this?

Did you know that the largest mammal on Earth is part of the Cetacean family? Yes, as a matter of fact, the blue whale is the largest animal living on our planet.

While huge and frankly quite impressive to watch if you ever have the opportunity to observe one first hand during a whale watching trip, this gentle giant tends to inspire more respect and peacefulness than fear.

Why is that? Well, maybe because it belongs to the one of the two types of Cetaceans that includes the whales' families. The first one is the Odontoceti which means toothed whales. This type is divided in 66 species. These whales hunt their preys by using their peg like teeth and sometimes even swallowing them whole. They use echolocation to locate their prey or predator. This type of whale also has one blowhole instead of two like the baleen whales. Among this type you will find the sperm whale, the beluga, the narwhal and the beaked whale. There are 10 families of toothed whales: Physeteridae, Kogiidae, Zipihiidae, Delphinidae, Monodontidae, Platanistidae, Iniidae, Pontoporiidae, Squalodontidae and Phocoenidae.

The second type of Cetacean is the Mysticeti also known as baleen whales. This type includes such gentle giants as the blue whale. This type is divided in 10 species. Among these species you will find the blue whale, the humpback and the gray whales. The baleen whales have two blowholes unlike their more ferocious cousins, the toothed whales. This type of whale has a structure called a baleen which resembles a comb and filters water while trapping food inside and preventing it from leaving its mouth.

The baleen whale, depending on its specie, has 4 feeding techniques. There are the gulpers or swallowers which alternate swimming and gulping mouthful of food, the skimmers which have their mouth mostly open, filtering food continuously while swimming, the swallowers and skimmers such as the sei whale and the Benthic feeders also known as the bottom feeders which vacuum the mud of the ocean floor in search of food. There are 4 families of baleen whales: Eschrichtiidae, Balaenopteridae, Balaenidae and Neobalaenidae.

Now that you have read all this information, you will certainly be able to answer your own question: "What type of whale is this?"

If you wish to get more information on the types of whales, I suggest that you visit DiscoveryChannelStore.com . You will find a variety of wonderful resources such as: books, DVD's, videos and more.

Here are pictures of each type of whale that is a toothed whale:

Here is a beautiful picture of a Beluga whale!

Beluga
Narwhals

This is a beautiful picture of narwals tusking together.

Isn't is a beautiful specimen of a Sperm Whale?

Sperm Whale

Here is a picture of each type of whale that is a baleen whale:

Blue Whale

Here is a picture of the largest mammal on Earth, the Blue Whale!

This is a great picture of Bowhead Whales.

Bowhead Whales
Fin Whale

What a beautiful specimen of a Fin Whale!

This is a wonderful picture of a Humpback Whale.

Humpback Whale
Sei Whale

What a rare sight offers this Sei Whale!

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