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[mis-tuh-seet] /ˈmɪs təˌsit/
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 of mysticete
1825-35; < New 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-) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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