Loading...
Cetacea: An order of wholly aquatic MAMMALS occurring in all the OCEANS and adjoining seas of the world, as well as in certain river systems. They feed generally on FISHES, cephalopods, and crustaceans. Most are gregarious and most have a relatively long period of parental care and maturation. Included are DOLPHINS; PORPOISES; and WHALES. (From Walker's Mammals of the World, 5th ed, pp969-70)ArtiodactylaDolphins: Mammals of the families Delphinidae (ocean dolphins), Iniidae, Lipotidae, Pontoporiidae, and Platanistidae (all river dolphins). Among the most well-known species are the BOTTLE-NOSED DOLPHIN and the KILLER WHALE (a dolphin). The common name dolphin is applied to small cetaceans having a beaklike snout and a slender, streamlined body, whereas PORPOISES are small cetaceans with a blunt snout and rather stocky body. (From Walker's Mammals of the World, 5th ed, pp978-9)Whales: Large marine mammals of the order CETACEA. In the past, they were commercially valued for whale oil, for their flesh as human food and in ANIMAL FEED and FERTILIZERS, and for baleen. Today, there is a moratorium on most commercial whaling, as all species are either listed as endangered or threatened.Porpoises: Mammals of the family Phocoenidae comprising four genera found in the North Pacific Ocean and both sides of the North Atlantic Ocean and in various other seas. They differ from DOLPHINS in that porpoises have a blunt snout and a rather stocky body while dolphins have a beak-like snout and a slender, streamlined body. They usually travel in small groups. (From Walker's Mammals of the World, 5th ed, pp1003-4)Minke Whale: The species Balaenoptera acutorostrata, in the family Balaenopteridae. It is the smallest of the WHALES in the family and though mainly oceanic, is often found in coastal waters including bays and estuaries.Fossils: Remains, impressions, or traces of animals or plants of past geological times which have been preserved in the earth's crust.Phylogeny: The relationships of groups of organisms as reflected by their genetic makeup.Biological Evolution: The process of cumulative change over successive generations through which organisms acquire their distinguishing morphological and physiological characteristics.DNA, Mitochondrial: Double-stranded DNA of MITOCHONDRIA. In eukaryotes, the mitochondrial GENOME is circular and codes for ribosomal RNAs, transfer RNAs, and about 10 proteins.