Sea whales are among the largest Sea animals in the world. They are the most mystifying and interesting of all creatures. They are large, aquatic mammals. Studies have shown that these Sea mammals have actually originated from small, primitive land creatures which have returned to the water for living some 70-90 million years ago. They breathe in through lungs instead of gills. Like all mammals, they have hair but not as much as land mammals. They have a high body temperature, i.e. they are warm-blooded. They have mammary glands to nourish their young. Whales have a four-chambered heart.
Types of Sea Whales :
They range from 5 feet to 100 feet in length. The biggest whale is a blue whale which is about 94 feet in length. The smallest one is a dwarf sperm whale which is only 8.5 feet in length. The killer whales are the fastest with a speed of 30 miles per hour (48 kmph).
Sea whales are of the order Catecea referring to a classification which includes whales, dolphins and porpoises. They fall under two categories toothed whale and baleen whale.
Toothed whales are predators. They are smaller than baleen whales. They often hunt in groups and can kill creatures bigger than themselves. Toothed whales include sperm whale, killer whale, pilot whale, and beluga whale.
Baleen whales are named after their eating apparatus; series of transverse plates of comb-like baleen. Baleen is a hard but flexible material similar to human fingernails. They serve to strain plankton and small Deep Sea Fish. Baleen whales include the blue whale, humpback whale, bowhead whale and minke whale.
Activities and Socializing :
Whales have very strong social ties, especially between the mother and calf. A whales social group is called a pod. Baleen whales travel alone or in small pods while toothed whales travel in large, stable pods. Whales often do certain activities to communicate among them or for fun.
Breaching Whales jump high out of the water and then come down with a huge splash. Sometimes they twirl while breaching. Whales are very acrobatic.
Spyhopping Whales poke their head out of water and turn around. They do this perhaps to have a look-out for danger.
Logging The whale lies still on the surface of the water with its tail hanging down. Some parts of the body are exposed at the surface.
Lobtailing - Whales stick their tail out of the water, then swing it around and then slap it on the water surface with a loud sound. This is believed to be done to warn other whales of danger.
Sea Whales Reproduction :
Many whales spend six months in cold water which is rich in plankton but then moves to warmer tropical water for breeding and bearing young ones. Whales breed seasonally and generally have 1 calf in 1-3 years. Gestation period ranges from 9 months to 18 months. The whale calves weigh around 500 pounds to 8 tons, and can swim right after birth. They are nourished with milk from their mothers. Mother whales are very attached to their young and care for them for minimum one year.
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