San Diego Natural History Museum--Your Nature ConnectionSDNHM Field Guide

Glossary

Amphipod
Small crustaceans living in or next to the water, including sand fleas and whale lice.
Baleen
Long plates of horny material that hangs in rows from the roof. It's used to strain food from the water.
Blowholes
A nostril opening on the top of the head in cetaceans.
Cetacean
Any member of the order Cetacea—a group of primarily marine mammals occurring throughout the world's oceans, as well as in some tropical rivers and lakes. The name whale is often used to refer to larger species, while dolphin or porpoise is used for the smaller members of the order.
Estuary
A partly enclosed coastal body of water, open to the ocean so that fresh and salt water are mixed.
Fluke
One of the lobes of the tail of a whale or dolphin.
Pelagic
Of or relating to the open ocean.
Pinniped
Any of various families of aquatic, fin-footed mammals in the order Carnivora, often considered a separate order. There are three existing families of pinnipeds: Odobenidae (walrus), Phocidae (earless seals), and Otariidae (eared seals).
Rookery
A breeding ground, especially of gregarious birds or mammals; also a colony of such birds or mammals