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ALL ABOUT WHALES!
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Whale Glossary
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Click on an underlined word for more information on that subject.

E


EARTH

The Earth is the third planet from the sun.

ECHINODERMATA

Echinoderms (meaning "spiny skin") are a phylum of salt-water animals whose living members have five arms or rays (or multiples of five). They are mostly bottom-dwellers. These invertebrates include: starfish, sea urchins, sand dollars, crinoids, sea squirts, sea cucumbers, etc.

ECHOLOCATION

Whales use echolocation to sense objects. In echolocation, a high-pitched sound (usually clicks) is sent out by the whale. The sound bounces off the object and some returns to the whale. The whale interprets this returning echo to determine the object's shape, direction, distance, and texture. Bats also use echolocation.

ECTOTHERMIC

Ectotherms are animals that rely upon the temperature and their behavior (like sunning themselves) to regulate their body temperature. Reptiles are ectothermic.

EGG

Some animals hatch from eggs. Fossilized eggs from some prehistoric animals have been found.

ELASMOSAURUS

Elasmosaurus was a huge Cretaceous marine reptile - a plesiosaur, not a dinosaur.

EMBRYO

An embryo is a very young, unborn organism.

ENDANGERED SPECIES

An endangered species is a group of animals that is dwindling in numbers and may go extinct soon. Many species of baleen whales are endangered.

ENDOTHERMIC

Endothermic animals generate their own body heat to maintain their body temperature. Birds and mammals are endothermic.


EOCENE EPOCH

The Eocene epoch (58-37 million years ago) was the time when primitive whales and many other mammals evolved.
Eon Time
Phanerozoic Eon 540 million years ago through today
Proterozoic Eon 2.5 billion years ago to 540 million years ago
Archaeozoic Eon 3.9 to 2.5 billion years ago
Hadean Eon 4.6 to 3.9 billion years ago

EON

Two or more geological Eras form an Eon, which is the largest division of geological time, lasting hundreds of millions of years.

EPOCH

An epoch is a division of a geologic period; it is the smallest division of geologic time, lasting several million years.

ERA

Two or more geological periods comprise an Era, which is hundreds of millions of years in duration.

ESTUARY

An estuary is where a river meets the seas. Some beluga whales visit estuaries seasonally to breed and feed.

EUBALAENA

Eubalaenae is the genus of the right whales. They are baleen whales with no dorsal fin, thick blubber, and large, hairy heads.

EUPHAUSIID

Euphausiids are small, plentiful, shrimp-like, crustaceans that live in the open ocean. They are about 1 inch long.

EXOSKELETON

An exoskeleton is a tough, structural body armor made of chitin. Arthropods (insects, arachnids, trilobites, crustaceans, etc.) have exoskeletons.

EXTINCT

An animal species that is extinct has died out. Most animal species that ever existed have gone extinct, including all the dinosaurs.

EXTINCTION

Extinction is the process in which groups of organisms (species) die out.

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Whale Glossary
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