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Fun Facts on Whales

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Did You Know?
Did you know that a Whale is a Mammal? A Mammal can be described as an air breathing warm blooded, vertebrate creature. Warm blooded means that their temperature remains the same although their surroundings might change. A mammal has milk-producing mammary glands for nourishing their young. We have included a selection of trivia and interesting facts about Whales which will be helpful to students and teachers. Most of these interesting facts are amazing pieces of information and little known pieces of trivia!

Fun Fact 1: Whales are described as marine mammals from the scientific order Cetacea. The term cetacean includes all of 76 known species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises. Species that are larger than 4-5 m (13-16 ft) in length are generally referred to as whales, but smaller species are referred to as dolphins or porpoises. All species have a common shape similar to that of a fish with adapted forelimbs forming flippers, a tail with horizontal flukes, and one or two blowholes in the crown of the head that are used for breathing

Fun Fact 2: Whales live in all of the oceans of the world

Fun Fact 3: What do they eat? Some whales have teeth - species include the sperm whale, killer whale and beluga whale; these species hunt using echolocation and eat fish, squids and on occasion other larger mammals. Other species of whale have a comb like structure within the mouth (Baleen), through which they strain, filter and eat krill (minute crustaceans) species include humpback, bowhead, and blue whales

Fun Fact 4: What is Echolocation? Echolocation is a navigation system animals use to find food when visibility is restricted. The whale sends out high-frequency clicking sounds, the echoes of these sounds bounce back and enable the whale to create a mental map of the different objects in its path. Echolocation allows them to establish size and location within their surroundings and the travelling speed of objects nearby

Fun Fact 5: A male is referred to as a bull, a female is called a cow and their offspring, or baby, is called a calf

Fun Fact 6: The Blue Whale (also called Baleen whales) is the largest animal on the planet. They can measure up to 30.5 m (100 ft) in length and weigh more than 200 metric tons!

Fun Fact 7: Whales can make lots of different sounds; these noises are referred to as songs or clicks

Fun Fact 8: The killer whale is also known as Orca due to it's scientific name; Orcinus Orca. This specie is easily recognized due to its distinctive black-and-white coloring. They are extremely intelligent mammals and are often the star of the show at aquarium displays

Fun Fact 9: Killer Whales can measure 23 - 32 ft (7 - 9.7 m) in length and weigh up to 6 tons (5,443 kg). They are expert predators and hunt birds, seals and sea lions. They have numerous teeth some measure up to 4 inches (10cms) long

Fun Fact 10: Whales are very social creatures and live together in groups called pods. Studies have shown that within these groups they can pass on skills, cooperate with each other and even grieve a loss

Fun Fact 11: Beluga whales live in the Arctic. They are also known as the white whale, because of their colour, or the sea canary due to the high-pitched song it sings. The Beluga whale stands out from other species because of its pale colour, the distinctive lump at the front of its head and the absence of a dorsal fin on its back

Fun Fact 12: Water Fact! Whales do not drink water. They remove water from their food by using metabolizm

Fun Fact 13: Between the 18th - 20th centuries it was estimated that over 1 million sperm whales and over 10 thousand baleen whales were slaughtered by whaling fleets.  In 1986 commercial whaling was banned worldwide by the IWC (International Whaling Commission) although whaling has improved in recent years some species of whales are still being hunted in significant numbers

Fun Fact 14: Narwhal are one of only three species of whales that live entirely in the Arctic. Narwhals look very distinctive due to the tusk that extends from the head. The ivory tusk which can be as long as 10ft (3m) is actually a tooth; more specifically an elongated upper left canine

Fun Fact 15: Wild life experts consider various types of Whales to be endangered species. This is due to various reasons including water pollution, global warming and over exploitation - primarily whaling. Species now considered at risk and endangered include bowhead, beluga, gray, humpback, narwhal, sei and sperm whales

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