You are now about to enter the world of whales have a nice trip
Killer whale • As the largest fish in the sea, reaching lengths of 40 feet (12 meters) or more, whale sharks have an enormous menu from which to choose. Fortunately for most sea-dwellers—and us!—their favourite meal is plankton. They scoop these tiny plants and animals up, along with any small fish that happen to be around, with their colossal gaping mouths while swimming close to the water's surface.The whale shark, like the world's second largest fish, the basking shark, is a filter feeder. In order to feed, it juts out its formidably sized jaws and sucks in everything in the vicinity. It then shuts its mouth, forcing water to filter out of its gills. Everything that remains becomes the giant shark's dinner.The whale shark's flattened head sports a blunt snout above its mouth with short barbels protruding from its nostrils. Its back and sides are gray to brown with white spots among pale vertical and horizontal stripes, and its belly is white. Its two dorsal fins are set rearward on its body, which ends in a large dual-lobbed caudal fin (or tail).Preferring warm waters, whale sharks populate al
Blue whales • Blue whales are the largest animals ever known to have lived on Earth. These magnificent marine mammals rule the oceans at up to 100 feet (30 meters) long and upwards of 200 tons (181 metric tons). Their tongues alone can weigh as much as an elephant. Their hearts, as much as an automobile. • Blue whales reach these mind-boggling dimensions on a diet composed nearly exclusively of tiny shrimplike animals called krill. During certain times of the year, a single adult blue whale consumes about 4 tons (3.6 metric tons) of krill a day. • Blue whales are baleen whales, which means they have fringed plates of fingernail-like material, called baleen, attached to their upper jaws. The giant animals feed by first gulping an enormous mouthful of water, expanding the pleated skin on their throat and belly to take it in. Then the whale's massive tongue forces the water out through the thin, overlapping baleen plates. Thousands of krill are left behind—and then swallowed. • Blue whales look true blue underwater, but on the surface their coloring is more a mottled blue-gray. Their underbellies take on a yellowish hue from the millions of microorganisms that take up residence in their skin. The blue whale has a broad, flat head and a long, tapered body that ends in wide, triangular flukes
Hump back • Humpback whales are known for their magical songs, which travel for great distances through the world's oceans. These sequences of moans, howls, cries, and other noises are quite complex and often continue for hours on end. Scientists are studying these sounds to decipher their meaning. It is most likely that humpbacks sing to communicate with others and to attract potential mates.These whales are found near coastlines, feeding on tiny shrimp-like krill, plankton, and small fish. Humpbacks migrate annually from summer feeding grounds near the poles to warmer winter breeding waters closer to the equator. Mothers and their young swim close together, often touching one another with their flippers with what appear to be gestures of affection. Females nurse their calves for almost a year, though it takes far longer than that for a humpback whale to reach full adulthood. Calves
killer whales • Orcas, or killer whales, are the largest of the dolphins and one of the world's most powerful predators. They feast on marine mammals such as seals, sea lions, and even whales, employing teeth that can be four inches (ten centimeters) long. They are known to grab seals right off the ice. They also eat fish, squid, and seabirds.Though they often frequent cold, coastal waters, orcas can be found from the polar regions to the Equator.Killer whales hunt in deadly pods, family groups of up to 40 individuals. There appear to be both resident and transient pod populations of killer whales. These different groups may prey on different animals and use different techniques to catch them. Resident pods tend to prefer fish, while transient pods target marine mammals. All pods use effective, cooperative hunting techniques that some liken to the behavior of wolf packs.Whales make a wide variety of communicative sounds, and each pod has distinctive noises that its members will recognize even at a distance. They use echolocation to communicate and hunt, making sounds that travel underwater until they encounter objects, then bounce back, revealing their location, size, and shape.Killer whales are protective of their young, and other adolescent females often assist the mother in caring for them. Mothers give birth every three to ten years, after a 17-month pregnancy.Orcas are immediately recognizable by their distinctive black-and-white coloring and are the intelligent, trainable stars of many aquarium shows. Killer whales have never been extensively hunted by humans.
the Beluga whale • Belugas are also called white whales, and their unusual colour makes them one of the most familiar and easily distinguishable of all the whales. Calves are born gray or even brown and only fade to white as they become sexually mature around five years of age.White whales are smallish, ranging from 13 to 20 feet (4 to 6.1 meters) in length. They have rounded foreheads and no dorsal fin.Belugas generally live together in small groups known as pods. They are social animals and very vocal communicators that employ a diversified language of clicks, whistles, and clangs. Belugas can also mimic a variety of other sounds.These whales are common in the Arctic Ocean's coastal waters, though they are found in subarctic waters as well. Arctic belugas migrate southward in large herds when the sea freezes over. Animals trapped by Arctic ice often die, and they are prey for polar bears, killer whales, and for Arctic people. They are hunted by indigenous people of the north, and by commercial fisheries that brought some populations, such as those in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, to near collapse.Beluga feed on fish, crustaceans, and worms. The whale is related to the tusked "unicorn" whale known as the narwhal. The beluga is not related to the sturgeon of the same name, which has been heavily fished for its famous caviar.
Narwhale • The narwhal is the unicorn of the sea, a pale-colored porpoise found in Arctic coastal waters and rivers. These legendary animals have two teeth. In males, the more prominent tooth grows into a sword-like, spiral tusk up to 8.75 feet (2.7 meters) long. The ivory tusk tooth grows right through the narwhal's upper lip. Scientists are not certain of the tusk's purpose, but some believe it is prominent in mating rituals, perhaps used to impress females or to battle rival suitors. Females sometimes grow a small tusk of their own, but it does not become as prominent as the male's. • Narwhals are related to bottlenose dolphins, belugas, harbor porpoises, and orcas. Like some other
Right whale • Right whales are the rarest of all large whales. There are several species, but all are identified by enormous heads, which can measure up to one-third of their total body length. These whales' massive heads and jaws accommodate hundreds of baleen "teeth." Rights and other baleen-feeding whales use a comblike strainer of baleen plates and bristles to ensnare tiny morsels of food as they swim. Right whales feed on zooplankton and other tiny organisms using baleens up to 8 feet (2.4 meters) long.Southern and the two species of northern right whales live in temperate Atlantic or Pacific waters, often near the coast.Right whales were named by whalers who identified them as the "right" whale to kill on a hunt. These leviathans had enormous value for their plentiful oil and baleen, which were used for corsets, buggy whips, and other contrivances. Because of their thick blubber, right whales also float accommodatingly after they have been killed. Populations of these whales were decimated during the whaling heydays of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. During this period they came close to extinction.Because females do not become sexually mature until ten years of age and give birth to a single calf after a yearlong pregnancy, populations grow slowly.All species of right whales are endangered and have enjoyed complete international protection since 1949. Several thousand southern right whales are believed to survive, and they have shown some encouraging population growth since their protection. South Africa's population is believed to have grown from 100 to 1,000 animals since 1940.Northern right whales are the most endangered of all large whales. They number only several hundred, and populations do not appear to have grown in the decades since their protection began.
Gray whale • Gray whales are often covered with parasites and other organisms that make their snouts and backs look like a crusty ocean rock.The whale uses its snout to forage by dislodging tiny creatures from the seafloor. It then filters these morsels with its baleen—a comblike strainer of plates in the upper jaw. A piece of gray whale baleen, also called whalebone, is about 18 inches (46 centimeters) long and has a consistency much like a fingernail. Whalebone was once used to make ladies' corsets and umbrella ribs.The gray whale is one of the animal kingdom's great migrators. Travelling in groups called pods, some of these giants swim 12,430 miles (20,000 kilometres) round-trip from their summer home in Alaskan waters to the warmer waters off the Mexican coast. The whales winter and breed in the shallow southern waters and balmier climate. Other gray whales live in the seas near Korea.
Sperm whales • Sperm whales are easily recognized by their massive heads and prominent rounded foreheads. They have the largest brain of any creature known to have lived on Earth. Their heads also hold large quantities of a substance called spermaceti. Whalers once believed that the oily fluid was sperm, but scientists still do not understand the function of spermaceti. One common theory is that the fluid—which hardens to wax when cold—helps the whale alter its buoyancy so it can dive deep and rise again. Sperm whales are known to dive as deep as 3,280 feet (1,000 meters) in search of squid to eat. These giant mammals must hold their breath for up to 90 minutes on such dives.
Whale is the common name for marine mammals of the order Cetacea. The term whale is sometimes used to refer to all cetaceans, but in more common English usage it generally excludes the members of the Delphinoideasuperfamily, such as dolphins and porpoises. These smaller species belong to the suborder Odontoceti (toothed whales), which also includes the sperm whale, killer whale, pilot whale, and beluga whale. The other suborder of cetaceans, Mysticeti (baleen whales), includes the blue whale, which is the largest animal known to have ever existed, the humpback whale, and many other animals that feed by straining seawater through long strips of baleen that they have in the place of teeth, and from which they get their name. • For centuries, whales have been hunted for meat and as a source of raw materials. By the middle of the 20th century, however, industrial whaling had left many species seriously endangered, and whaling was ended in all but a few countries. Several organizations have been founded to try to eliminate hunting of whales and other threats to whales' survival