Biology

Biology

Classification & Identification

Whales, dolphins and porpoises are classified as cetaceans. These are aquatic mammals with torpedo-shaped bodies, horizontal tails, multiple stomachs, a layer of blubber...

Anatomy & Physiology

Cetacean body structure is similar to most other mammals with tails, except for the missing hind limbs. Ribs are not attached to the vertebrae; only the first pair connect to the sternum...

Comparative Anatomy

Cetaceans have fewer bones than humans, mainly because they don’t have legs or feet. Including the individual bones that make up the skull, our sperm whale has 184 bones...

Reproduction & Growth

The three species of baleen whale that hang in the Jacobs Family Gallery have pregnancies that last 11-12 months. Sperm whales typically gestate for 15 months

Evolution & Adaptation

Whales as we know them have existed for approximately 33 million years. They are well evolved for living their entire lives in the water...

Number of Whales

Estimates for whale species are always a guess. Here are the most recent estimates for the species that hang in the museum, plus the one considered the most endangered...

About Whales (Cetaceans)

According to the Society for Marine Mammalogy, 88 species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises are included in the Order Cetacea...

Skeletons of the Deep

The 5 skeletons that are on display in the Museum came from animals that either died accidentally, or by undetermined circumstances. Interesting facts ...

Finding and Identifying Whales

Links to websites about whales, whale conservation, whale databases, an educational interactive and more...

Did you know that some whales have regional accents?