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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

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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.

  • Blue whales switch to daytime singing before...
    on October 1, 2020 at 3:36 pm

    Through the use of two advanced audio recording technologies, researchers have found that blue whales switch from nighttime to daytime singing when they are starting to migrate.

  • Vessel noise present year-round at Cordell Bank...
    on September 29, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    The environment in the Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of San Francisco is not a refuge from the noise generated by ship traffic, the first underwater marine acoustic study of the region has shown.

  • Call of the wild: Individual dolphin calls used...
    on August 27, 2020 at 2:21 pm

    A new study has shown for the first time that acoustic monitoring can be used in place of photographs to generate abundance estimates of dolphin populations.

  • Ichthyosaur's last meal is evidence of Triassic...
    on August 20, 2020 at 3:28 pm

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  • Study finds high levels of toxic pollutants in...
    on August 6, 2020 at 7:36 pm

    Researchers examined toxins in tissue concentrations and pathology data from 83 stranded dolphins and whales from 2012 to 2018. They looked at 11 different animal species to test for 17 different substances. The study is the first to report on concentrations in blubber tissues of stranded cetaceans of atrazine, DEP, NPE and triclosan. It also is the first to report concentrations of toxicants in a white-beaked dolphin and in Gervais' beaked whales.


Phys.org - latest science and technology news stories Phys.org internet news portal provides the latest news on science including: Physics, Nanotechnology, Life Sciences, Space Science, Earth Science, Environment, Health and Medicine.

  • Crisis in the Galapagos: Chinese fishing fleets...
    on October 23, 2020 at 4:45 pm

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  • Endangered vaquita remain genetically healthy...
    on October 23, 2020 at 4:19 pm

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  • Plastic found in southern right whale in Argentina
    on October 23, 2020 at 1:24 pm

    Scientists found plastic debris in the digestive tract of a southern right whale stranded in Argentina, according to a study from the Southern Right Whale Health Monitoring Program, co-led by the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine; and Instituto de Conservación de Ballenas in Argentina.

  • NOAA report reveals condition of natural and...
    on October 21, 2020 at 8:14 pm

    NOAA has published a peer-reviewed State of the Monument report that was jointly produced by the co-trustees of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. The report includes information on the status and trends of living resources, habitats, ocean conditions, maritime and cultural archaeological resources, and the human activities and natural events that affect them.

  • Plan to retrieve Titanic radio spurs debate on...
    on October 18, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    People have been diving to the Titanic's wreck for 35 years. No one has found human remains, according to the company that owns the salvage rights.