Family Ziphiidae - beaked whales

  Order
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  Class
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Mammalia
  No. of Genera in Ref.
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  Environment
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Fresh : No | Brackish : No | Marine : Yes
  Aquarium
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  First Fossil Record
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  Remark
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Medium-sized cetaceans. Some species have pronounced beaks and may superficially resemble true dolphins (Delphinidae), but they are readily identified as ziphiids by the low number of teeth. There are usually only 1 or 2 teeth on each side of the lower jaw (erupting only in males). The position of the teeth is of high diagnostic value. In contrast to all other whale families there is no fluke notch. Two posteriorly diverging grooves are present on the throat. The flippers are very small relative to the body size and internal flights. Beaked whales are oceanic squid feeders. Much of our limited knowledge on ziphiids is based on stranded specimens. The taxonomy and number of species in this family is still uncertain and at least 2 new species await formal description. Accurate species identification frequently requires examination of the skull. Therefore, beaked whales should preferably be examined by an expert, or material collected for examination (Ref. 68590).
  Etymology
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  Division
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  Reproductive guild
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  Main Ref.
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Ref.
[ e.g. 9948]                       
Glossary
                    [ e.g. cephalopods]


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