Marine Mammals Brian Schuster
Taxonomy Kingdom Animalia Phylum Chordata Subphylum Vertebrata Class Mammalia Order Cetacea – Dolphins & Whales Order Sirenia – Manatees & Dugongs Order Carnivora Suborder Caniformia Superfamily Pinnipedia – Seals, Sealions, and Walruses
Evolution Mammals first evolved to live on land, then evolved to live in water again later on.
Adaptations for Living in Water Heat travels 25 times faster in water: • Blubber and/or fur used for insulation • Higher core body temperature • Mother’s milk contains 40-50% fat Swimming • Horizontal Caudal fin unlike fishes’ vertical one • Whales have no fur because it causes drag
Movement Classifications • Plankton: floats there, does not move itself • Neuston: floats on the surface of the water • Nekton: swims freely through water
Baleen Excerpt from Wikipedia: “Baleen makes up baleen plates, which are arranged in two rows that look like combs of thick hair; they are attached to the upper jaws of baleen whales. It is composed of keratin, which is the same substance that makes up human hair and nails. Whales use these combs for filter feeding. Whales are the only vertebrate group to use this method of feeding in great abundance.”
Whales to Know Largest Whales • Blue Whale: 90-100 ft • Fin Whale: 88 ft Right Whale • One species is virtually extinct due to whale hunting Blue Whale
Manatees • Sometimes called sea cows, these slow herbivores are silly