mysticete

[mis-tuh-seet]
noun Zoology.
any whale of the suborder Mysticeti, as finback and humpback whales, characterized by a symmetrical skull, paired blowholes, and rows of baleen plates for feeding on plankton.
Compare odontocete.


Origin:
1825–35; < Neo-Latin Mysticeti, plural of Mysticetus < Greek mystíkētos or mŷs tò kêtos whalebone whale, literally, mouse-whale (term used in extant texts of Aristotle, perhaps a corruption of *mystakókētos mustache-whale; see mustachio, cet-)

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