whale : any of various very large, aquatic, marine mammals (order Cetacea) that have a torpedo-shaped body with a thick layer of blubber, paddle-shaped forelimbs but no hind limbs, a horizontally flattened tail, and nostrils that open externally at the top of the head — Webster
Whales are a widely distributed and diverse group of fully aquatic placental marine mammals. They are an informal grouping within the infraorder Cetacea, usually excluding dolphins and porpoises. Whales are creatures of the open ocean; they feed, mate, give birth, suckle and raise their young at sea. So extreme is their adaptation to life underwater that they are unable to survive on land. Whales range in size from the 2.6 metres (8.5 ft) and 135 kilograms (298 lb) dwarf sperm whale to the 29.9 metres (98 ft) and 190 metric tons (210 short tons) blue whale, which is the largest creature that has ever lived. The sperm whale is the largest toothed predator on earth. Several species exhibit sexual dimorphism, in that the females are larger than males. Baleen whales have no teeth; instead they have plates of baleen, a fringe-like structure used to expel water while retaining the krill and plankton which they feed on. They use their throat pleats to expand the mouth to take in huge gulps of water. Balaenids have heads that can make up 40% of their body mass to take in water. Toothed whales, on the other hand, have conical teeth designed for catching fish or squid. Baleen whales have a well developed sense of “smell”, whereas toothed whales have well-developed hearing − their hearing, that is adapted for both air and water, is so well developed that some can survive even if they are blind. Some species, such as sperm whales, are well adapted for diving to great depths to catch squid and other favoured prey.– Wikipedia
Dolphins and Whales News -- ScienceDaily Whales and dolphins. Whale songs, beaching, endangered status -- current research news on all cetaceans.
- Family ties give animals reasons to 'help or...on September 26, 2022 at 3:49 pm
The structure of family groups gives animals an incentive to help or harm their social group as they age, new research shows.
- Why whales don't get brain damage when they swimon September 23, 2022 at 1:08 pm
Special blood vessels in whale brains may protect them from pulses, caused by swimming, in their blood that would damage the brain, new research has suggested.
- Did primitive cetaceans feed like marine reptiles?on September 2, 2022 at 2:32 pm
Did the first ancestors of whales pick up where the mosasaurs left off 66 million years ago, after the extinction of all the large predatory marine reptiles? A study has looked into the possible convergences in morphology and behavior that may exist between these two groups of large marine predatory animals.
- Dolphins form largest alliance network outside...on August 29, 2022 at 7:32 pm
Male bottlenose dolphins form the largest known multi-level alliance network outside humans, researchers have shown. These cooperative relationships between groups increase male access to a contested resource.
- Fossils of giant sea lizard that ruled the oceans...on August 24, 2022 at 7:23 pm
Fossils of a giant killer mosasaur have been discovered, along with the fossilized remains of its prey.
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- Receding ice leaves Canada's polar bears at...on September 29, 2022 at 8:18 am
Sprawled on rocky ground far from sea ice, a lone Canadian polar bear sits under a dazzling sun, his white fur utterly useless as camouflage.
- Sex and power in the animal kingdom: Seven...on September 28, 2022 at 3:57 pm
It's easy to assume all animals have a neat dividing line between the sexes because the differences in appearance between males and females can be so striking. But the more scientists learn about wildlife, the clearer it is that nature doesn't have a rule book.
- Gene duplication that appears to slow division of...on September 28, 2022 at 3:10 pm
A trio of researchers, one with the University of California-Berkeley, the other two with the University of Buffalo, has found a gene duplication in bowhead whales that may be at least partially responsible for their extremely long lives. Juan Vazquez, Morgan Kraft and Vincent Lynch have published their findings on the bioRxiv preprint server.
- Dead fish breathes new life into the evolutionary...on September 28, 2022 at 3:00 pm
A trove of fossils in China, unearthed in rock dating back some 436 million years, have revealed for the first time that the mysterious galeaspids, a jawless freshwater fish, possessed paired fins.
- AI better than humans at detecting blue whale...on September 28, 2022 at 1:27 pm
Whale scientists could soon do themselves out of a job—or at least a tiring and repetitive one—by applying artificial intelligence (AI) to their research.
Here are links to pages about closely related subjects.
Life Cell, Gene, Tree of Life
Plant Flower, Tree
Invertebrate Cuttlefish, Octopus, Ant, Bee, Butterfly, Spider, Lobster
Vertebrate Fish, Seahorse, Ray, Shark, Frog, Turtle, Tortoise, Dinosaur
Bird, Ostrich, Owl, Crow, Parrot
Mammal Bat, Rabbit, Giraffe, Camel, Horse, Elephant, Mammoth
Whale, Dolphin, Walrus, Seal, Polar Bear, Bear, Cat, Tiger, Lion, Dog, Wolf
Monkey, Chimpanzee, Human