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Monodontidae: Wikis


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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Cetacea
Suborder: Odontoceti
Superfamily: Delphinoidea
Family: Monodontidae
Gray, 1821


The cetacean family Monodontidae comprises two unusual whale species, the Narwhal, in which the male has a long tusk, and the white Beluga. They are native to coastal regions and pack ice around the Arctic Sea, and the far north of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

Both species are medium-sized whales, between three and five metres in length, with a forehead melon, and a short or absent snout. They do not have a true dorsal fin, but do have a narrow ridge running along the back, which is much more pronounced in the Narwhal. They are highly vocal animals, communicating with a wide range of sounds. Like other whales, they also use echolocation to navigate.[1]

Monodontids have a wide-ranging carnivorous diet, feeding on fish, molluscs, and small crustaceans. They have reduced teeth, with the beluga having numerous simple teeth, and the narwhal having only two teeth, one of which forms the tusks in males. Gestation lasts 14-15 months in both species, and almost always results in a single calf. The young are not weaned for a full two years, and do not reach sexual maturity until they are five to eight years of age. Family groups travel as part of herds, or 'pods', which may contain several hundred individuals.[1]


Suborder Odontoceti

  • Superfamily Delphinoidea
    • Family Monodontidae
      • Subfamily Delphinapterinae
      • Subfamily Monodontinae


  1. ^ a b Brodie, Paul (1984). Macdonald, D.. ed. The Encyclopedia of Mammals. New York: Facts on File. pp. 200–203. ISBN 0-87196-871-1.  


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies


Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Mammalia
Subclassis: Theria
Infraclassis: Placentalia
Superordo: Cetartiodactyla
Ordo: Cetacea
Subordo: Odontoceti
Infraordines: Delphinida
Superfamilia: Delphinoidea
Familia: Monodontidae
Genus: Delphinapterus - Monodon


Monodontidae (Gray, 1821)

Vernacular names

Hrvatski: Bijeli kitovi
日本語: イッカク科
Suomi: Maitovalaat
Türkçe: Beyaz balinagiller


  • Monodontidae on Mammal species of the World.
    Don E. Wilson & DeeAnn M. Reeder (editors). 2005. Mammal Species of the World. A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed).


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