Cet-a-what now?

When it comes to Marineland’s marine mammals, it’s important to get them in the right order. For our whales and dolphins, that order is Cetacea.


Science classifies all living things, giving a specific name to each species. What we more commonly call a killer whale is an Orcinus orca, from the Delphinidae family of the order Cetacea. The Delphinidae family also includes porpoises and other whales, and sea-going dolphins like the bottlenose. But not all dolphins are Delphinidae; river dolphins belong to a different family.

Whether it’s belugas, bottlenose dolphins, or orcas, you can find a great range of cetaceans at Marineland. You’ll know them if you check for a blowhole on top of their heads – that’s like a nostril they can close when underwater. You won’t find that on our walruses and sea lions, because they’re not cetaceans, they’re from the order carnivora.


In fact, our cetaceans are more closely related to hippos and camels than they are to the other sea mammals at Marineland. When it comes to evolution, it’s important to put things in the right order.