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(vertebrate zoology)
The toothed whales, a suborder of cetacean mammals distinguished by a single blowhole.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(toothed whales), a suborder of aquatic mammals of the order Cetacea. The body of a toothed whale is 1.2–20 m long. In distinction to Mysticeti, it has from two to 240 teeth. There is one nasal opening at the top of the head. The lower jaws are shorter than the skull and are joined in front. Toothed whales orient themselves mainly by means of echolocation. The formation of the echolocation apparatus, with its system of air sacs, has caused skull asymmetry in toothed whales. They have highly developed hearing, and a sound signal and voice organ linked with the nasal passage. Toothed whales live in all seas and oceans. The suborder Odontoceti comprises four families: Physeteridae (two species: sperm whale and pygmy sperm whale), Platanistidae (four species), Ziphiidae (17 species), and Delphinidae (50 species). The waters of the USSR contain 23 species (belonging to 20 genera). Toothed whales reach sexual maturity between two and six years of age. Their food consists offish, cephalopod mollusks, and crustaceans. The most important for man are the sperm whale, bottle-nosed dolphin, common dolphin, harbor porpoise, white whale (beluga), killer whale, and blackfish. They are sought for industrial oil, spermaceti, and meat. The number of many species has sharply decreased, and some Odontoceti species have been placed under protection.


Tomilin, A. G. Kitoobramye. Moscow, 1957. (Zveri SSSR i prilezhashchikh stran, vol. 9.)
Tomilin, A. G. Kitoobraznye fanny morel SSSR. Moscow, 1962.
Zhizn’ ihivotnykh, vol. 6. Moscow, 1971.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The whale had features typically found in modern toothed whale species that echolocate, including thickening of the bone bordering the nasal opening, cavities in the back of the snout and a broad upper jaw.
Among toothed whales, the sperm whale (Physeter catodon or Physeter macrocephalus) is the biggest, reaching a length of about 60 feet.
Toothed whales eat animals such as penguins, seals, and large fish.
Jaw hearing may have evolved in the toothed whale lineage to provide an advantage under certain circumstances, he says.
Also, the frequency is too low to be heard well by most ocean echolocators--the dolphins and toothed whales that use sound to navigate and find food.
Paleontologists have long thought that Mysticetes and Odontocetes represent separate evolutionary lines that split from a group of ancestral toothed whales some 40 million years ago.
"These toothed whales are considered apex predators and are carnivores, feeding on fish or, in some instances, hunting in groups and preying on young marine mammals.
They must be able to collapse quickly enough to avoid rupturing when the whales dive deep (as some toothed whales do), but also to reinflate rapidly at the surface after two hours underwater.
Unlike those in dolphins and toothed whales, humpback whale ear bones are fused to the animals' skull, providing a direct link to conduct vibrations in the water through their bones to their ears.
That disappearance may have something to do with the rise of marine mammals such as seals and toothed whales, Mayr said.
Felix Marx has worked primarily on the fossil record of the earliest baleen whales (mysticetes), while Olivier Lambert has studied principally the fossils of extinct toothed whales (odontocetes).
The sperm whales, members of Earth's largest species of toothed whales, were originally spotted by fishermen in Tyre early Thursday morning.