Whale Senses – Taste

The sense of taste is, in general, not as important to all animals as it is to human beings. We delight in a range of flavours, even craving sweet, sour or salty food. Animals, however, do not necessarily need to have this quality of enjoyment. Still, taste may help them to avoid food that has become rotten, for example.

Whales and other cetaceans do not enjoy a very strong sense of taste. In fact, some have wondered if they can taste at all. Most whales possess visible taste buds on their tongues, but these have often atrophied (died) or they have degenerated, making them quite useless. Still, on observation, whales and dolphins have been shown to avoid dead fish and sometimes display a preference for one fish above another. This would imply that they prefer the taste of a particular fish species.

Some whale species have a Jacobson’s organ or vomeronasal organ. This enables them to smell food once it is in their mouths, which produces something very similar to a taste sensation.

Since whales tend to eat the same type of food (living organisms from the sea), their sense of taste may be far less important to them, since they do not need to discriminate. For one, everything that they take in will taste more or less the same. In addition, the sea water that they necessarily ingest with every meal would mask the taste of the actual prey.

While their senses of taste and smell may not be particularly well developed, it is important to remember that whales have other very effective senses, which aid in their protection and feeding.

For more information, please go: HERE

Facts About Whales

More from author

Do Whales Live in the Gulf Of Mexico?

Do Whales Live in the Gulf of Mexico? Many people have asked this question many times over the years. The truth is that it...

What is a Whale’s Body Temperature?

Whales are endothermic, or warm-blooded, mammals that occupy a cold environment. As such, they have a fairly constant body temperature, as opposed to ectotherms,...

Whale Respiration

Living in a watery environment, whales and other cetaceans require certain adaptations in order to survive. Whales are mammals, breathing fresh air by means...

Whale Migration

Migration is defined as the movement (of humans or animals) from one fixed location to another. There are a number of whale species that...