Toothed Whales | Odontoceti

Odontocetes are toothed whales classified under Cetaceans that include mammals such as the sperm whale, beaked whales, porpoise, and dolphins. Male and female Odontocetes show distinct sexual dimorphism. Odontocetes are acknowledged to have well-developed hearing senses with some species being very intelligent. They also have conical teeth and a layer of fat beneath their skin for keeping them warm while in cold waters. Additionally, most species of the Odontocetes are sociable with smaller Odontocetes like the dolphins kept in captivity for scientific research and entertaining people by doing tricks. Others are followed or observed in the ocean in an activity called whale watching.

What do dolphins eat?

A dolphin’s diet typically consists of a variety of fish, squid, shrimp, jellyfish, and octopuses. Their diet also depends on the species of the dolphin (there are more than 40 species of dolphin), where the dolphin lives, and the other wildlife that lives around them.

How long do dolphins live?

The life expectancy of a dolphin is affected by their habitat, geography, diet, level of endangerment, health, social structure, and species. Dolphins are able to live for an average of 20 years, and female dolphins tend live longer than males. Dolphins that live in captivity tend to have shorter lifespans than those in the wild.

Where do dolphins live?

Dolphins are able to live in all of the world’s oceans and in some rivers. Not all species of dolphins are able to live in every environment, except for the bottlenose dolphin who is able to live in almost every ocean except for the Arctic and Antarctic ocean. Most dolphins prefer tropical and temperate waters since they are warm-blooded mammals.

Toothed Whales Guides
Browse through our curated Toothed Whales Guides for additional categorizations, tips, details, variations, styles, and histories of Toothed Whales. Guides provide additional insights into the unique properties and shared relationships between elements.
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14”-19” | 37-48 cm
22”-29” | 56-74 cm
6.5’-8.5’ | 1.98-2.59 m
331-408 lb | 150-185 kg
25-30 years
Amazon River Dolphin
48.000
74.000
259.000
185.000
30.00
32200
3D
Amazon River Dolphin
Baiji
19800
11”-20” | 27-52 cm
13”-24” | 32-61 cm
4.5’-8.5’ | 1.37-2.59 m
287-375 lb | 130-170 kg
24-30 years
Baiji
52.000
61.000
259.000
170.000
30.00
19800
3D
Baiji
2’8”-4’2” | 81-127 cm
35”-54” | 89-138 cm
13’-20’ | 4-6.1 m
2,000-3,000 lb | 910-1,360 kg
35-50 years
Beluga Whale
127.000
138.000
610.000
1360.000
50.00
224000
3D
Beluga Whale
2’1”-2’11” | 64-89 cm
33”-47” | 83-119 cm
10’-14’ | 3.1-4.3 m
300-1,400 lb | 136-625 kg
20-30 years
Common Bottlenose Dolphin
89.000
119.000
430.000
625.000
30.00
13000
3D
Common Bottlenose Dolphin
14”-20” | 36-50 cm
16”-22” | 40-55 cm
6.17’-8.5’ | 1.88-2.59 m
220-298 lb | 100-135 kg
25-40 years
Common Dolphin
50.000
55.000
259.000
135.000
40.00
7300
3D
Common Dolphin
18”-25” | 47-63 cm
14”-18.5” | 35-47 cm
5.92’-8’ | 1.8-2.44 m
265-353 lb | 120-160 kg
15-20 years
Dall's Porpoise
63.000
47.000
244.000
160.000
20.00
4450
3D
Dall's Porpoise
17”-23” | 43-59 cm
19”-26” | 49-66 cm
6.58’-8.83’ | 2-2.69 m
463-595 lb | 210-270 kg
15-22 years
Dwarf Sperm Whale
59.000
66.000
269.000
270.000
22.00
10500
3D
Dwarf Sperm Whale
29”-38” | 75-96 cm
46”-57” | 116-146 cm
16’-20’ | 4.88-6.1 m
2,645-4,850 lb | 1,200-2,200 kg
55-63 years
False Killer Whale
96.000
146.000
610.000
2200.000
63.00
38100
3D
False Killer Whale
14”-17” | 36-43 cm
21”-25” | 54-64 cm
6.25’-7.5’ | 1.91-2.29 m
66-159 lb | 30-72 kg
10-20 years
Finless Porpoise
43.000
64.000
229.000
72.000
20.00
4610
3D
Finless Porpoise
14”-16” | 35-41 cm
11”-13” | 29-34 cm
5’-6’ | 1.52-1.83 m
99-198 lb | 45-90 kg
8-20 years
Harbour Porpoise
41.000
34.000
183.000
90.000
20.00
6700
3D
Harbour Porpoise
16”-19” | 42-49 cm
19”-22” | 48-56 cm
7’-8.17’ | 2.13-2.49 m
154-243 lb | 70-110 kg
18-26 years
Indus River Dolphin
49.000
56.000
249.000
110.000
26.00
4500
3D
Indus River Dolphin
14”-21” | 36-54 cm
15”-23” | 39-59 cm
5.92’-9’ | 1.8-2.74 m
198-441 lb | 90-200 kg
15-30 years
Irrawaddy Dolphin
54.000
59.000
274.000
200.000
30.00
23400
3D
Irrawaddy Dolphin
12”-20” | 30-50 cm
15”-25” | 39-63 cm
5.5’-9’ | 1.68-2.74 m
397-606 lb | 180-275 kg
20-30 years
Melon-Headed Whale
50.000
63.000
274.000
275.000
30.00
2700
3D
Melon-Headed Whale
Narwhal
505800
23”-36” | 58-92 cm
25”-39” | 63-99 cm
11.5’-18’ | 3.5-5.49 m
1,764-3,527 lb | 800-1,600 kg
35-55 years
Narwhal
92.000
99.000
549.000
1600.000
55.00
505800
3D
Narwhal
5’3”-7’6” | 1.60-2.29 m
5.8’-8’ | 1.76-2.45 m
23’-32’ | 7.01-9.75 m
1.5-6 tons | 1.3-5.4 metric tons
30-50 years (wild); 60-70 years (captivity)
Orca | Killer Whale
229.000
245.000
975.000
5400.000
70.00
818000
3D
Orca | Killer Whale
13”-19” | 33-49 cm
16”-23” | 40-59 cm
5.5’-8.17’ | 1.68-2.49 m
298-441 lb | 135-200 kg
35-46 years
Pacific White-Sided Dolphin
49.000
59.000
249.000
200.000
46.00
3200
3D
Pacific White-Sided Dolphin
22”-25” | 56-65 cm
22”-24” | 56-62 cm
10’-11.5’ | 3.05-3.5 m
683-992 lb | 310-450 kg
17-23 years
Pygmy Sperm Whale
65.000
62.000
350.000
450.000
23.00
6250
3D
Pygmy Sperm Whale
6’9”-11’ | 2.06-3.35 m
10.5’-16’ | 3.21-4.88 m
39’-62’ | 12-19 m
38.5-65 tons | 35-59 metric tons
60-70 years
Sperm Whale
335.000
488.000
1900.000
59000.000
70.00
268000
3D
Sperm Whale
13”-16” | 34-41 cm
16”-19” | 41-49 cm
6.5’-7.75’ | 1.98-2.36 m
51-174 lb | 23-79 kg
20-25 years
Spinner Dolphin
41.000
49.000
236.000
79.000
25.00
9350
3D
Spinner Dolphin
16”-18” | 41-47 cm
20”-23” | 51-59 cm
7.17’-8.5’ | 2.19-2.59 m
198-331 lb | 90-150 kg
45-58 years
Striped Dolphin
47.000
59.000
259.000
150.000
58.00
7800
3D
Striped Dolphin
Vaquita
186000
12”-14” | 30-36 cm
12”-15” | 30-37 cm
4’-5’ | 1.2-1.5 m
100-110 lb | 45-50 kg
20 years (average)
Vaquita
36.000
37.000
150.000
50.000
20.00
186000
3D
Vaquita
Narwhal (Monodon monoceros)
Scale illustration of an average Narwhal compared to a human and similar species

The Narwhal (Monodon monoceros), is a medium-sized toothed whale that is distinguished by its large protruding canine tooth seen in male Narwhals. Physically, the Narwhal does not have a dorsal fin and its neck vertebrae is jointed like land mammals. The Narwhal has a black and white mottled skin pattern with a white underbelly. The natural habitat of the Narwhal is in the Arctic waters of Greenland, Canada, and Russia. The Narwhal’s diet is made up of flatfish, Arctic cod, Greenland halibut, and polar cod. The lifespan of the Narwhal can be up to 50 years and the species is not in danger of extinction.

Narwhals have a total length between 11.5’-18’ (3.5-5.49 m), body height of 23”-36” (58-92 cm), and width of 25”-39” (63-99 cm). The typical weight of the Narwhal is in the range of 1,764-3,527 lb (800-1,600 kg). Narwhal have lifespans between 35-55 years.

Pair of elevation illustrations of the Narwhal seen from the side and top
The Narwhal (Monodon monoceros), is a medium-sized toothed whale that is distinguished by its large protruding canine tooth seen in male Narwhals. Physically, the Narwhal does not have a dorsal fin and its neck vertebrae is jointed like land mammals. The Narwhal has a black and white mottled skin.

Narwhals have a total length between 11.5’-18’ (3.5-5.49 m), body height of 23”-36” (58-92 cm), and width of 25”-39” (63-99 cm). The typical weight of the Narwhal is in the range of 1,764-3,527 lb (800-1,600 kg). Narwhal have lifespans between 35-55 years.

Pair of elevation illustrations of the Narwhal seen from the side and top
Narwhal (Monodon monoceros)
Height:
23”-36” | 58-92 cm
Width:
25”-39” | 63-99 cm
Length:
11.5’-18’ | 3.5-5.49 m
Depth:
Weight:
1,764-3,527 lb | 800-1,600 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Monodon monoceros
Lifespan
35-55 years

Drawings include:

Narwhal side elevation, front, top

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Dwarf Sperm Whale (Kogia sima)
Comparison drawing of the Dwarf Sperm Whale compared to other similar species and a person

The Dwarf sperm whale is normally existing in both the warm and temperate waters. These toothed marine mammals are classified under the family Kogiidae and usually distinguishable by the Spermaceti—a waxy substance found in their heads. In appearance, the dwarf sperm whale has a small dorsal fin, small solid body, and pointed snout. They also spot markings that resemble fish’s gill cover behind their eyes. They also can be found solo or in small groups spending more time submerged and would sink or vanish showing no flukes. Another unique feature of the dwarf sperm whale is the sac in its small intestine filled with a black liquid that can be released when the animal feels threatened.

Dwarf Sperm Whales have a total length between 6.58’-8.83’ (2-2.69 m), body height of 17”-23” (43-59 cm), and width of 19”-26” (49-66 cm). The typical weight of the Dwarf Sperm Whale is in the range of 463-595 lb (210-270 kg). Dwarf Sperm Whale have lifespans between 15-22 years.

Set of scaled elevation drawings of the Dwarf Sperm Whale viewed from the side and top
The Dwarf sperm whale is normally existing in both the warm and temperate waters. These toothed marine mammals are classified under the family Kogiidae and usually distinguishable by the Spermaceti—a waxy substance found in their heads.

Dwarf Sperm Whales have a total length between 6.58’-8.83’ (2-2.69 m), body height of 17”-23” (43-59 cm), and width of 19”-26” (49-66 cm). The typical weight of the Dwarf Sperm Whale is in the range of 463-595 lb (210-270 kg). Dwarf Sperm Whale have lifespans between 15-22 years.

Set of scaled elevation drawings of the Dwarf Sperm Whale viewed from the side and top
Dwarf Sperm Whale (Kogia sima)
Height:
17”-23” | 43-59 cm
Width:
19”-26” | 49-66 cm
Length:
6.58’-8.83’ | 2-2.69 m
Depth:
Weight:
463-595 lb | 210-270 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Kogia sima
Lifespan
15-22 years

Drawings include:

Dwarf Sperm Whale side elevation, front, top

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Amazon River Dolphin (Inia geoffrensis)
Measured comparison illustration of the size of a Amazon River Dolphin to a typical person and similar species

The Amazon River Dolphin or boto or bufeo or pink dolphin are freshwater toothed whales under the family Iniidae existing mainly in the Amazon basin and also in some rivers of South America. Botos have a look of their own: usually pink with males being pinker and bigger than females. They have small dorsal fins, plump bodies, long skinny snouts, and small eyes. Botos love solo life, however, can also be found in small groups. Pink dolphins are active all day, inquisitive with large paddle-shaped flippers and lithe and maneuverable bodies. Also, pink dolphins have been associated with legends and also featured in mythology.

Amazon River Dolphins have a total length between 6.5’-8.5’ (1.98-2.59 m), body height of 14”-19” (37-48 cm), and width of 22”-29” (56-74 cm). The typical weight of the Amazon River Dolphin is in the range of 331-408 lb (150-185 kg). Amazon River Dolphin have lifespans between 25-30 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Amazon River Dolphin in top and side poses
The Amazon River Dolphin or boto or bufeo or pink dolphin are freshwater toothed whales under the family Iniidae existing mainly in the Amazon basin and also in some rivers of South America. Botos have a look of their own: usually pink with males being pinker and bigger than females.

Amazon River Dolphins have a total length between 6.5’-8.5’ (1.98-2.59 m), body height of 14”-19” (37-48 cm), and width of 22”-29” (56-74 cm). The typical weight of the Amazon River Dolphin is in the range of 331-408 lb (150-185 kg). Amazon River Dolphin have lifespans between 25-30 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Amazon River Dolphin in top and side poses
Amazon River Dolphin (Inia geoffrensis)
Height:
14”-19” | 37-48 cm
Width:
22”-29” | 56-74 cm
Length:
6.5’-8.5’ | 1.98-2.59 m
Depth:
Weight:
331-408 lb | 150-185 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Inia geoffrensis
Lifespan
25-30 years

Drawings include:

Amazon River Dolphin side elevation, front, top

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Orca | Killer Whale (Orcinus orca)
Dimensioned size comparison drawing of an Orca Whale (Killer Whale) compared to the size of a person

Orca Whales, also known as Killer Whales, are a part of the dolphin family and is the largest in the family. They have a distinguishably black-white two-toned look and can be found up to 6 tons (5,500 kg) and 32 feet (9.7 meters) long. Orcas are carnivores and prey on fish and small seals and other species of dolphins. The name “killer whale” comes from the fact that they can take down large animals. Orcas are apex predators which means no other animal preys on the killer whale.

The typical Orca Whale, or Killer Whale, has an overall height of 5’3”-7’6” (1.60-2.29 m) and body length of 23’-32’ (7.01-9.75 m). An average Orca Whale weighs between 1.5-6 tons (1.3-5.4 metric tons) and has a typical lifespan of 30-50 years (wild); 60-70 years (captivity).

Collection of illustrations of the Orca Whale (Killer Whale) seen from various elevations
Orca Whales, also known as Killer Whales, are a part of the dolphin family and is the largest in the family. The name “killer whale” comes from the fact that they can take down large animals. Orcas are apex predators which means no other animal preys on the killer whale.

The typical Orca Whale, or Killer Whale, has an overall height of 5’3”-7’6” (1.60-2.29 m) and body length of 23’-32’ (7.01-9.75 m). An average Orca Whale weighs between 1.5-6 tons (1.3-5.4 metric tons) and has a typical lifespan of 30-50 years (wild); 60-70 years (captivity).

Collection of illustrations of the Orca Whale (Killer Whale) seen from various elevations
Orca | Killer Whale (Orcinus orca)
Height:
5’3”-7’6” | 1.60-2.29 m
Width:
5.8’-8’ | 1.76-2.45 m
Length:
23’-32’ | 7.01-9.75 m
Depth:
Weight:
1.5-6 tons | 1.3-5.4 metric tons
Area:
Scientific Name
Orcinus orca
Lifespan
30-50 years (wild); 60-70 years (captivity)

Drawings include:
Orca Whale (Killer Whale) side elevation, front, top, breaching

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Common Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)
Dimensioned side elevation drawing of a Common Bottlenose Dolphin measured for length with a scuba diver for scale

Common Bottlenose Dolphins are long-beaked dolphins and are also one of the most well-known water mammals on the planet. Their popular exposure in marine parks and high-trafficked beaches have contributed to their global presence. Bottlenose Dolphins can swim at an average of 15 mph (24km/h) and dive for 20 minutes but commonly hit the surface every 3 minutes. Common bottlenose dolphins hunt eels, squid, and fish and they swallow their food whole. Keeping a healthy diet, these dolphins can live up to 50 years.

The typical Bottlenose Dolphin has an overall height of 2’1”-2’11” (64-89 cm) and body length of 10’-14’ (310-430 cm). An average Bottlenose Dolphin weighs between 300-1,400 lb (136-625 kg) and has a typical lifespan of 20-30 years.

Collection of illustrations of the Common Bottlenose Dolphin drawn from the top, front and jumping positions
Common Bottlenose Dolphins are a species of long-beaked dolphins and one of the most well-known water mammals on the planet. At around around 1000 pounds and 13 feet (4 m) in length, Bottlenose Dolphins can swim at an average of 15 mph (24km/h) and dive for 20 minutes.

The typical Bottlenose Dolphin has an overall height of 2’1”-2’11” (64-89 cm) and body length of 10’-14’ (310-430 cm). An average Bottlenose Dolphin weighs between 300-1,400 lb (136-625 kg) and has a typical lifespan of 20-30 years.

Collection of illustrations of the Common Bottlenose Dolphin drawn from the top, front and jumping positions
Common Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)
Height:
2’1”-2’11” | 64-89 cm
Width:
33”-47” | 83-119 cm
Length:
10’-14’ | 3.1-4.3 m
Depth:
Weight:
300-1,400 lb | 136-625 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Tursiops truncatus
Lifespan
20-30 years

Drawings include:
Common Bottlenose Dolphin side elevation, front, top, jumping

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