Which cetacean is classified as a 'toothed whale'?

THE first Who Wants To Be A Millionaire winner in 14 years is crowned tonight and the winner is thought to have answered the 15 questions in record time.

For £250,000, Donald Fear was asked Which cetacean is classified as a 'toothed whale'? Here, we answer that question.

Which cetacean is classified as a 'toothed whale'?

The word cetacean has its origins in Latin and Greek.

The Latin (Cetus) refers to a large sea creature, and the Greek (Ketos) means whale, or sea monster.

A cetacean is a marine animal that evolved about 50 million years ago, and they are now divided into two distinct groups:  Mysticeti (baleen whales) and Odonotoceti (toothed whales).

Mysticeti (baleen) whales have a filter-feeder system, and consist of approximately 15 species, including the blue whale, the right whale, the bowhead whale, the rorqual, and the gray whale.

These are usually the larger group of whales.

Odontoceti, the toothed whales, consist of around 70 species, including the dolphin, porpoise, beluga whale, narwhal, sperm whale, and beaked whale.

On the Friday, September 11, edition of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, the winning contestant had to choose between the gray whale, the minke whale, the sperm whale and the humpback whale.

And he guessed correctly to win £250,000. He then went on to guess the next three questions correctly, winning the £1 million jackpot.

What is a sperm whale?

A sperm whale is the largest of all the toothed whales, and the largest toothed predator.

It is a pelagaic mammal, meaning an ocean-dwelling mammal, and it has a world-wide range, migrating yearly for breeding and feeding.

The average sperm whale is approximately 16-20 meters long, and weighs 41,000 kg.

They eat 900 kg of food a day, and to find their prey (preferably giant squid), they often dive somewhere between 300to 1,200 meters.

While they're on a hunt, they've been known to dive as deep as 1.2 km, and an average dive lasts about 1 hour.

Females and young males live together in groups, while mature males live solitary lives outside of the mating season.

Females cooperate with one another to feed their young. They give birth every four to 20 years, and care for the calves for more than a decade.

Interestingly, sperm whales have the biggest heads and brains on earth, and their brains are 5 times heavier than a human's.

It's not known exactly how many sperm whales are alive today, but the best estimate suggests there are 200,000.

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