Everything You Need To Know About Whales!

Whales are beautiful oceanic creatures….(and they’re my favourite creatures on Earth!!)

Here’s all you need to know about whales, their diet, amazing skills, and every other interesting thing.

LET’S GO!

Whales belong to the order Cetacea. This order includes dolphins, whales and porpoises.

Divisions

Whales are subdivided into….

Baleen whales

This kind of whales has cilia-like fringes, called baleen, on their upper jaw that is used to filter small fish and plankton. They are the largest species of whales.

Toothed whales

These whales are smaller than baleen whales, and they prey on quids, dolphins and other whales. Almost like the human version of cannibal…..just joking.

Basics

They are mammals, and like all mammals, they are warm-blooded, feed their young one’s milk, have (very, very little) hair, and breathe into lungs; hence the blowhole.

Looks

Their body structure resembles that of a fish, which is streamlined, and their flippers are paddle-shaped. The tail fins, or flukes, enable whales to propel themselves through the water. Most species of whale have a fin on their backs aka dorsal fin.

Skin

Beneath their skin, there is a layer of blubber which acts as an insulator (heat) as well as an energy reservoir.

Visual difference between baleen whales and toothed whales

A very basic, and simple difference between them is that baleen whales have two blowholes, while toothed ones have only one.

The blowhole is situated at the top so that the whale can remain submerged, and still breathe.

Behavior

Climate

Most whales, especially baleen whales, tend to migrate long distances from their cold-water residence to warm-water breeding grounds each year. They travel alone or in groups, or pods, on their annual migrations…almost like a vacation. Toothed whales often hunt in groups, migrate together and share young-rearing duties.

Activities

Most whales are really, really active. They breach out of the water, and then come back in, or jump high. Guess what? They, sometimes, thrust their tails out and slap it on the water surface, which is believed to be a warning of danger nearby.

Sound

Whales communicate with lyrical sounds, and these are very, very loud. These noises can be heard from miles away.

Here is a link to a humpback whale, singing a sound, while slowly dancing….click here

Reproduction

The season varies by different species, but the gestation is usually of 9-15 months.

The nursing time is long (more than one year for many species, around 6 months for others), which is associated with a strong bond between mother and young. This strategy of reproduction spawns few offsprings at a time, but provides each with a high probability of survival in the wild.

Acts

Species at Risk Act

  Endangered Species Act

International Whaling Commission (entity)

International Union for Conservation of Nature (entity)

Save the Whales

The Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972

The U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA)

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act

Humpback whale

See the source imageSource

Killer whale

See the source imageSource

Sperm whale

See the source imageSource

Beluga whale

See the source image

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