Whales of the World. Whale Information. Whales belong to the order cetacea, Which includes whales, dolphins and porpoises. Whales are divided into two suborders: baleen and toothed whales. Baleen whales have a comb-like fringe, called a baleen,
Whales belong to the order cetacea,
Which includes whales, dolphins and porpoises.
Whales are divided into two suborders:
baleen and toothed whales.
Baleen whales have a comb-like fringe, called a baleen,
on the upper jaw, which is used to filter plankton,
as well as small fish and crustaceans.
They are the largest species of whale.
Toothed whales have teeth and prey on fish, squid,
other whales and marine mammals.
They sense their surrounding environment
Like all mammals, whales breathe air into lungs, are warm-blooded, feed their young milk and have some (although very little) hair.
Their bodies resemble the streamlined form of a fish, while the forelimbs or 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 known as a dorsal fin.
Beneath the skin lies a layer of fat called blubber. It serves as an energy reservoir and also as insulation.
Whales breathe through blowholes, located on the top of the head so the animal can remain submerged.
Baleen whales have two blowholes,
while toothed whales have one.
SWIMMING, DIVING, AND BREACHING
Gray whales breathe air at the surface of the water through 2 blowholes located near the top of the head. At rest, gray whales spout (breathe) 2-3 times per minute. Between deep dives they take deep breaths for about 3-5 minutes.
The spout of the gray whale is a noisy stream that rises 10-13 feet (3-4 m) above the water. It can be heard half a mile away.
Blue Whales are the world's largest living animal!
They have long and streamlined bodies with the
head making up a fourth of its body length.
The head region is broad and U-shaped.
Blue Whales do not have teeth.
Instead they have 270-395 plates of baleen on
either side of their jaws. Baleen look like long thin
teeth placed very close to one another. It is used
to catch small animals swimming in the water.
Once the animal is caught in the baleen the whale
Color: Blue Whales are blue-gray in color with white patches covering their body. The undersides of the flippers are lighter in color, and sometimes white, while the underside of the tail is dark. In Antarctica, the North Pacific and the North Atlantic smaller organisms called diatoms attach themselves to Blue Whale's undersides. These organisms give the whales belly a yellowish-green tint.
Length and Weight: The average length of a Blue Whale is 75-80 feet and these long marine mammals can weigh up to 200,000 pounds. Whales in the southern hemisphere are generally larger than those in the northern hemisphere. One whale captured in the southern hemisphere measured 110 feet long. Females are usually larger than males of the same age.
Fins: A small triangular shaped dorsal fin is located on the whales back. This fin measures only one foot in height. The shape and size of the dorsal fin can be very different for each whale. The whale's flippers are short and the tail is broad and triangular in shape.
The fin whale is the second largest living creature on earth.
This whale is sometimes called the "greyhound of the sea" because of its fast swimming speed. It can swim up to 23 mph.
The fin whale has an asymmetrical head.
The bottom lip is dark on the left sid and white
on the right side.
Fin whales grow to be about 59 to 72 feet long and weigh about 30 to 80 tons.
The females are slightly larger than the males,
as with all baleen whales.
Fin whales are carnivores that filter-feed plankton and small fish from the water.
They have very fine grey-black baleen that traps very small particles of food.
Each side of the upper jaw has 350-400 baleen plates.
Humpback whales can dive for up to 30 minutes, but usually last only up to 15 minutes. Humpbacks can dive to a depth of 500-700 feet/
Humpbacks are very acrobatic, often breaching
high out of the water and then slapping the
water as they come back down. Sometimes
they twirl around while breaching. Breaching
may be purely for play or may be used to
loosen skin parasites or have some social meaning.
Spyhopping is another
humpback activity in
which the whale pokes
its head out of the water
for up to 30 seconds to
take a look around.