Facts About the Breeds of Whales
Whales are amazing mammals, a fascinating combination of fish, meat and aquatic animal. In general, this only spans from late spring to fall. What breeds of whales will they be likely to encounter, and what are their unique traits? Right now, at around 25 feet to 30 feet long, the smallest known baleen whale is the minke whale.
Unlike birds or insects, whales move about without stopping. For this reason, it is very important that people watch out for them when they are in the water. If you happen to be on a boat, whale watching excursions often make use of boats with hoods over the pilot and passengers so as to be protected from the whale’s movement. Sometimes, after seeing a whale, a boat can even head into the harbor to investigate.
Whales, technically called cetaceans, are an extinct group of animals that are closely related to the bottlenose dolphin, but have a very different ancestry. Bottlenose dolphins are always found close to the surface of the open ocean, but sei whales (or “killer whales”) are found much further offshore. Since these creatures differ in anatomy, they are classified as their own species, hence the term “sei whale.”
The most famous breeds of whales belong to the genus Balaenoptera. These include the Orca (Killer), Balaenoptera physalis, Balaenoptera bernut, Balaenoptera cephalonia, Balaenoptera hirsuta, and the rare and special Carcharocana. Of these, the Orca is one of the largest, with a length of up to twelve metres. Balaenoptera physalis and Balaenoptera bernut are slightly smaller, with lengths of four to five and a half metres and four to six metres, respectively. Their tails are not visible, since they have soft tissues covering them. Apart from the large and distinctive bodies, these whales also have soft, spiraled soft-plastic flippers, which enable them to walk in the water.
Most whales seen by whale watchers are easy to spot because they often leave a trail of squid, bait, or other detritus in the water. However, whales that dive into the deep have even more resistance to the strong currents. When this happens, it takes a lot of skill to follow such whales. Therefore, it is advised that unless you know exactly where to look, you should rely on experienced whale watchers who know how to distinguish these types of whales.
In addition to whales’ colours, there are also other distinguishing characteristics that you need to be aware of. The first of these is the appearance. Whales vary widely in terms of their colouration, patterns, and general looks. Therefore, it may be quite difficult to actually see one. Experienced whale watchers will have an advantage in this aspect, especially if they have observed different species of whales in the past.