Toothed whales make up one of two suborders within the cetacean species.
In addition to whales the toothed whale suborder also consists of all species of dolphin and porpoise.
As the name suggests toothed whale are born with teeth and are generally considered the hunters of the cetacean family as species such as the killer whale and sperm whale are known to be aggressive hunters and many of the species are known to hunt in cooperative groups or teams to isolate and capture their prey.
For the most part toothed whales are smaller than their baleen whale counterparts with the largest of the toothed whale family, the sperm whale, growing to lengths of up to 67 ft. and weighing over 45 tons.
Note: Although the sperm whale can grow up to 67 ft. long most sperm whales measure in at between 49 – 60 ft. long.
In comparison the second largest toothed whale is Baird’s beaked whale which can grow to lengths of just over 40 ft.
Most other toothed whales are considerably smaller in stature and weight.
Species such as the killer whale, pilot whale and melon headed whale also belong to the toothed whale family, however these marine mammals are actually part of the dolphin family.
The variety of foods these marine animals consume can vary greatly from one species to the next.
Various species of toothed whale are known to eat everything from numerous species of fish, squid, octopus and crustaceans to marine animals such as sharks, penguins, seals and sea lions, as well as other cetaceans such as whales, dolphins and porpoises (primarily hunted by killer whales).
In addition to possessing teeth the toothed whale suborder also possesses echolocation abilities that allow them to detect the size, direction, density and movement of their prey as well as surrounding objects in their environment.
The use of echolocation allows these marine mammals to search for food, avoid attacks from predators and navigate the ocean, even in pitch black environments and serves as an essential part of their survival.