Q:

What is another name for a whale?

A:

Quick Answer

Whales belong to an order of mammals called cetaceans, so an alternative generic term for a whale is a cetacean. However, cetaceans include not only whales, but dolphins and porpoises as well. These mammals are divided into two groups: baleen whales and toothed whales.

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Full Answer

The term "whale" is often used to describe the baleen whales, which are generally much larger than toothed whales. The notable exception is the sperm whale, the largest of the toothed whales. Examples of baleen whales include the blue whale, which is the largest animal on Earth, as well as the humpback whale, the sei whale and the right whale.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How big is a whale?

    A:

    Whales are mammals that have an incredibly size range, yet all whales fall between 13 feet long and 90 feet long. The blue whale, the largest known whale or mammal, ranges from around 70 feet to 90 feet. Most other well-known whales, such as the orca, sperm, humpback and minke whale, fall in a range of 20 to 69 feet.

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  • Q:

    How big is a humpback whale?

    A:

    Humpback whales range between 48 and 62.5 feet in length and can weigh up to 40 tons. As baleen whales, humpbacks' consume krill, plankton and small fish. The complex vocalizations of humpbacks are called songs and can last for hours, but the purpose of these sounds is unclear.

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  • Q:

    What is the largest whale?

    A:

    Blue whales are the largest whales. They are 100 feet long and weigh more than 200 tons. The heart of a blue whale is the size of an automobile, and the tongue weighs about as much as an elephant.

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  • Q:

    How far can a whale hear underwater?

    A:

    Depending upon the species, whales can hear each other up to 1,000 miles away. Whales use their sounds to communicate and to navigate the ocean with echolocation.

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