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Decurved : Curved downward.

Depressed : Flattened from top to bottom so that the animal is wider than high.

Dermal Ridge : A ridge of skin.

Dolphin : A relatively small cetacean with (usually) a curved dorsal fin; also used interchangably with 'porpoise' as a general term.

Dorsal : Pertaining to the back or upper surface of the body.

Dorsal Fin : The fin along the midline of the back.

Dorsal ridge : A hump or ridge which takes the place of a dorsal fin on some cetaceans.


Echolocation : A system used by cetaceans to navigate, orientate and find food by way of sending out signals and interpreting the returning echoes.

Emarginate : Notched, but not deeply forked.

Extinct: To describe a species or population that is no longer living

Ecosystem: A biological community and environment functioning as a whole.


Falcate : Strongly curved or lunate.

Fathom : A unit of measurement used to indicate water depth, and equal to 1.8m (6 feet).

Flippers : In cetaceans, the forelimbs.

Flipper-slapping : Raising a flipper out of the water and slapping it onto the surface.

Flukes : In cetaceans, the horizontally positioned tail fin, resembling the tail of a fish, but not as vertical.

Fluking : The act of raising the flukes into the air upon diving.

Forked : Shaped like a fork; cleft or sharply angled.

Fusiform : Spindle-shaped, tapering toward ends.