Do Whales, Sharks and Dolphins Bite?
Despite their enormous size, whales sharks are generally considered to be quite gentle creatures and are usually known as friendly giants. It is believed that whales sharks can have a lifespan of up to 150 years in captivity. It has also been said that they can live up to three decades in the wild. It is rare to find more than a single individual in the wild, which makes these creatures very well protected in marine sanctuaries.
There are many species of whales sharks worldwide and they tend to share similar characteristics, including a short, rounded muzzle, a sharp, triangular shaped dorsal fin and a tendency to swim extremely fast (some species reach speeds of over nine miles per hour). Whales can generally be seen anywhere in the great oceans. They tend to prefer shallow waters where they can feed on the surface of the water. They also prefer large areas of deep ocean, which is why the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico are very popular spots for whales sharks.
Whales, like all predatory fish, primarily feed on fish. In the case of whales sharks this means fish such as fish, squids, crabs and octopuses. Fish are generally the preferred food of whales sharks because they are easy to catch, relatively easy to prepare for consumption and because they can hide in plain sight. Even though smaller fish tend to be eaten more easily by other large predatory fish, whales can catch large fish in just a few minutes.
Whales play an important role in the oceans ecosystem. They are considered to be a major contributor to the maintenance of ocean acidification levels. The increased amount of dissolved oxygen that comes from feeding whales causes the oceans to produce a surplus of calcium carbonate. This extra calcium carbonate is what forms the base of layers of the open ocean. Without this excess layer there would be much more dissolved oxygen in the open oceans, which would make it much more difficult for plankton to form layers of the marine ecosystem. Another important function of whales in the environment is that whales help control the levels of algae in the oceans so the ecosystems do not become too acidic.
Whales are closely related to dolphins and they can often be seen stranded on beaches. Many people believe that whales and dolphins are one in the same; others say they are separate species. There have been reports of whales and dolphins come together on occasion though, and there have also been cases where dolphins have taken calves. In fact, one of the most famous cases of two dolphin babies coming together was in 2021 when a pod of whales took a baby from the area of Australia. No further details are available regarding what happened between the pod of whales and the calf.
Whales, sharks and dolphins are members of a wide and varied family of aquatic mammals that enjoy a diverse diet. Dolphinariums provide an excellent home for these species because of their willingness and ability to swim with humans. They get to experience life in a safe enclosure that provides a great degree of protection from predators. Dolphinariums also give the opportunity for trainers and handlers to work hand-in-hand with these amazing animals.