Returning to the earlier discussion of space exploration, there may be a disturbing irony that, if the human race is unable to reach another planet outside our solar system -- and it has been confirmed by the Hubble telescope that the nearest such planet is more than 60 trillion miles from earth -- then the order Cetacea
may constitute the only opportunity that our species may ever have to communicate with "alien" creatures in an intellectually profound and mindful fashion.
Adaptive types in the order Cetacea
(the problem of ecological classification of Cetacea).
They are mammals of the order Cetacea
and the families Plantanistidae and Delphinidae and include about 50 species.
Along with dolphins and porpoises, which are also aquatic mammals, whales are placed in the order Cetacea
and are known as cetaceans.
All whales, dolphins and porpoises belong to the order cetacea
. They are grouped into two suborders -- Mysticeti (those with baleen, or whalebone) and Odontoceti (those with teeth).