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Melon (whale)

From Academic Kids

The melon is a oily, fatty lump of tissue found at the centre of the forehead of most dolphins and toothed whales The function of the melon is not completely understood, but scientists believe it provides a means of focussing sounds used in echolocation. Some species melons are more developed and specialized than others. The Sperm Whale has specialized sufficiently that the oil within the organ is chemically distinct from that found in other toothed whales. In fact the differences in size and composition are so great that the organ it is own name - see Sperm Whale.

The melon of the Beluga is also unique. Part of its adaption to its icy environment is to do more with its melon (though scientists aren't exactly sure what) by changing its shape at will.

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