Whales

This passage is about whales and the different ways that they feed.

Lexile Level: 1330L

Categories: Animals & Nature


Whales can be divided into two catergories based on their feeding techniques. Toothed whales, or Odontocetes, catch their prey one at a time. Some of the seventy-one species in this category hunt in solo expeditions. Others utilize complex group strategies to maximize their catch of fish and other aquatic prey. In contrast, the fourteen species of Mysticetes, also known as baleen whales, have no teeth to assist in feeding and instead utilize a series of fiber-curtained plates to strain small organisms from vast quantities of water. Some baleen whales, known as rorquals, have a series of vertical grooves running the length of their throats that form pleats, which allow their flesh to expand significantly as tons of water rush through their mouths. These differences in feeding techniques contribute directly to the differences in social and migration patterns among the different whale species.


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