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
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Dolphins and Whales News -- ScienceDaily Whales and dolphins. Whale songs, beaching, endangered status -- current research news on all cetaceans.
- Whales learn songs from each other in a cultural...on July 1, 2022 at 2:27 pm
A new study has found humpback whales can learn incredibly complex songs from whales from other regions.
- Southern resident killer whales not getting...on June 27, 2022 at 8:59 pm
The endangered southern resident killer whale population isn't getting enough to eat, and hasn't been since 2018, a new study has determined. The animals have been in an energy deficit, averaged across spring, summer and fall, for six of the last 40 years -- meaning the energy they get from food is less than what they expend. Three of those six years came in the most recent years of the study, 2018 to 2020. The average difference in energy is 28,716 calories, or about 17 per cent of the daily […]
- Hidden in plain sight: Biologists say southern...on June 14, 2022 at 8:44 pm
While researchers have speculated that the up to 50-foot-long whales choose shallow, coastal locations for lack of predators and warmer and calmer waters, a team of biologists recently uncovered a new potential motive.
- Right whales' survival rates plummet after severe...on June 14, 2022 at 4:27 pm
Most North Atlantic right whales that are severely injured in fishing gear entanglements die within three years, a study finds. Severely injured whales were up to eight times more likely to die than those with minor injuries, and only 44% of males and 33% of females with severe injuries survived longer than 36 months. Females that did survive had low birth rates and longer intervals between calving.
- New research shows climate change impacts on...on June 9, 2022 at 2:00 pm
New research finds climate change is having an impact on how large whale species, including the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale, use habitats in the warming Gulf of Maine, showing that right whales' use of Cape Cod Bay has shifted significantly over the last 20 years.
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- Satellite-tracking of whale sharks offered...on July 2, 2022 at 6:38 am
The largest fish in the ocean is a globe-trotter that can occasionally be found basking in the coastal waters of the Panamanian Pacific. However, little more is known about the habits of the whale shark (Rhincodon typus) in the region. By satellite-tracking the whereabouts of 30 of them, scientists from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life and the University of Panama explored the factors influencing this endangered species' behavior.
- California sets nation's toughest plastics...on July 1, 2022 at 7:55 am
Companies selling shampoo, food and other products wrapped in plastic have a decade to cut down on their use of the polluting material if they want their wares on California store shelves.
- Whales learn songs from each other in a cultural...on July 1, 2022 at 7:49 am
A University of Queensland-led study has found humpback whales can learn incredibly complex songs from whales from other regions.
- Bite marks on ancient sperm whale relatives...on June 30, 2022 at 1:44 pm
A small team of researchers from Switzerland, the U.S., Italy and Peru reports evidence that suggests ancestors of modern sperm whales were used as fat sources by ancient sharks. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the group describes their study of physeteroid fossil bones dated to the late Miocene and found in Peru, and what it showed them about the feeding habits of ancient sharks.
- The pair of Orcas deterring Great White...on June 30, 2022 at 8:18 am
A pair of Orca (Killer Whales) that have been terrorizing and killing Great White Sharks off the coast of South Africa since 2017 has managed to drive large numbers of the sharks from their natural aggregation site.
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Vertebrate Fish, Seahorse, Ray, Shark, Frog, Turtle, Tortoise, Dinosaur
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Monkey, Chimpanzee, Human