Many people have come across whales, but many do not know much about them. Whales are an exceptionally broad group of aquatic, fully terrestrial placental mammal-and whales are the most diverse and common group of mammals in the entire ocean ecosystem. They are an open, semi-aquatic grouping within the cetacea family, which includes both whales and dolphins. Porpoises, bottlenose dolphins and even whales all belong to the same general class, Clostridiales.
whales are unique among mammals in their physiology and behavior. These creatures are known for their great intelligence and curiosity, being the only animal among vertebrates that has been capable of investigating the underwater environment and acquiring new knowledge about it over time. Most whales have at least two pairs of spiraled oars, which they use in swimming and to propel themselves forward. The two primary means of whale reproduction are pregnancy and assisted reproduction; the latter involves a female giving birth by using her forward-moving breast to cover and provide a place for the sperm to fertilize. A single pair of whales can keep mate with help from other whales in the mating process, as is the case in certain types of whales, like the pilot whales of the Southern Oceans.
One of the most interesting whale facts is that whales breathe through two blowholes located on their head and under their rib cages. This is the first known occurrence of a baleat (a type of whale) having a breathing tube. Although these creatures cannot dive, whales can walk, and can often be found walking along the ocean floor, hunting food. It takes several hundred yards for a single whale to cover the distance from one to three miles; although they can cover greater distances if they were to swim faster.
The second most popularly known fact about whales is their geographic distribution across the United States and Canada. Whales are nocturnal, migratory mammals that travel in packs. They live along coastal areas, in bays, in open oceans, and in fresh water lakes. There are a few species of blue whales that spend most of their time in the colder northern waters.
The third most frequently heard whale fact is that whales are not picky eaters. They will eat anything; even pieces of their own carcass. In fact, when a blue whale has caught enough food, it will take all of its excrement out with its blubber. If this waste isn’t cleaned up, it can pollute the open waters where the whales roam. If the excrement pollutes the waters, plankton starts to die, and the marine life that lives in the waters, including fish, birds, and humpback whales, start to die.
The last, but not least, is the fact that whales are mammals and they have flippers. These powerful mammals use their flippers to propel them through the water. Males can reach a length of twenty five feet long and their tails can reach lengths of up to three feet long. So the next time you hear whales mentioned, don’t think they’re just large creatures with massive feet and massive blubber.