; order Cetacea, suborder Odontoceti)
A family of whales in which the snout is long and narrow, in some species with a high, bulging forehead, the dorsal fin and flippers are small, and the tail is only slightly notched at the mid-line. The first two cervical vertebrae are fused, and in Hyperoodon ampullatus (bottle-nosed whale) all the cervical vertebrae are fused. The number of teeth is variable, from one or two pairs in the lower jaw only, to 38 in the upper and 54 in the lower jaw. Ziphiids attain lengths of 4–12 m and are found in all oceans. They dive to considerable depths and feed mainly on deep-sea fish and squid. There are five genera, with 18 species.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.