Baleen Whales | Mysticeti
Baleen whales are also called whalebones whales or Mysticeti or toothless whales. They are part of the Cetacea infraorder and possess an extraordinary modification of the mouth (also called baleen) used for filtering food from the water. They are the largest and heaviest carnivorous marine vertebrates that exist today and particularly live in chilly waters of the north and south poles. Baleen whales have small eyes situated close to the end of their mouth for seeing and sensing. Unlike toothed whales that have one blowhole, baleen whales have two blowholes and are regularly hunted for their blubber and oil.
The Baleen Whale has 2 blowholes that serve as its nostrils and are situated at the top of its head. The blows of the Baleen Whale are considered to be bushier than those created by toothed whales who typically only have a single blowhole. Baleen Whales can also expand their throat to gulp large amounts of seawater.
The Baleen Whale typically eats krill, fish, zooplankton, phytoplankton, and algae. The Baleen Whale feeds by filtering or straining food from the water they consume. The Baleen Whale has baleen plates which they use to push water out while trapping their food inside for them to swallow.
It is believed that Baleen Whales evolved from a common ancestor who lived more than 23 to 25 million years ago. Unfortunately, the common ancestor has not been discovered, but probably lived within the Oligocene period. It is also believed that the earliest ancestor of the toothed whale lived during this time.