Animal Info Whales Place of Origin

About the place of origin of whales and their terrestrial ancestors, the two families described.

WHALES

ORIGIN

Whales are warm-blooded, air-breathing mammals whose terrestrial ancestors took to the sea about 70 million years ago. Of the 10 species of great whales, 9--the blue, fin, humpback, gray, right, pygmy right, bowhead, minke, and sei--are of the Mysticeti, or baleen family, and these, numbering among them the largest creatures ever to have inhabited the earth, feed on the smallest organisms in the sea. The 10th great whale, the sperm, is of the predatory Odontoceti, or toothed whale family, which also includes the smaller porpoises, dolphins, and killer whales.

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