Definitions for: Cetacea


[n] an order of Eutheria



Webster (1913) Definition: Ce*ta"ce*a, n. pl. [NL., from L. cetus whale, Gr. ?.]
(Zo["o]l.)
An order of marine mammals, including the whales. Like
ordinary mammals they breathe by means of lungs, and bring
forth living young which they suckle for some time. The
anterior limbs are changed to paddles; the tail flukes are
horizontal. There are two living suborders:
(a) The Mysticete or whalebone whales, having no true teeth
after birth, but with a series of plates of whalebone
[see Baleen.] hanging down from the upper jaw on each
side, thus making a strainer, through which they receive
the small animals upon which they feed.
(b) The Denticete, including the dolphins and sperm whale,
which have teeth. Another suborder (Zeuglodontia) is
extinct. The Sirenia were formerly included in the
Cetacea, but are now made a separate order.

Synonyms: order Cetacea

See Also: animal order, blower, cetacean, cetacean mammal, Eutheria, family Monodontidae, Monodontidae, Mysticeti, Odontoceti, subclass Eutheria, suborder Mysticeti, suborder Odontoceti

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