One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A division of the whales that comprises the baleen whales.
- ‘Modern whales may be divided into two subgroups: the Odontoceti (toothed whales) and the Mysticeti (baleen whales).’
- ‘In the Late Oligocene, a fundamental split occurred between the Odontoceti and the Mysticeti.’
- ‘The extant sub-orders are the Mysticeti (baleen whales) and the Odontoceti (toothed whales).’
- ‘Estimates for Tragulidae, Odontoceti, and Mysticeti are generally younger and close together in time, followed by a still more recent divergence of cervids, bovids, antilocaprids and giraffids.’
Modern Latin (plural), from Greek mustikētos representing (in old editions of Aristotle) the phrase ho mus to kētos ‘the mouse, the whale so called’.
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