Compare Baleen Whales & Toothed Whales

Baleen whales have plates along their upper jaws used to filter food from the water. Those baleen plates are made of keratin, the same material as fingernails and hair. Baleen whales have two blow holes, and are among the largest animals on earth. Female baleen whales are generally bigger than the males.

Toothed whales can be any whale with teeth, but it also includes dolphins and porpoise. These mammals have teeth and a single blowhole. The number of teeth varies by species; ranging from two in some beaked whales to 250 in some dolphins. They use their teeth for catching fish, squid or other marine life. They do not chew their food like humans do, rather they use their teeth for a variety of purposes. Toothed whales are smaller than baleen whales, and many species live in pods.

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Baleen Whales

11 baleen whales 

Two blowholes

Symmetrical skull


Large tongue

Echolocation doubtful


Females usually larger than males

Small groups


Number of Species in world? 

Number of Blowholes?

How are their skulls different?

Teeth or Baleen?

Tongue size?



Sexual Dimorphism?


Toothed Whales

67 toothed whales 

One blowhole

Asymmetrical skull


Small tongue

Use echolocation

Small to large

Males usually larger than females

Complex social system