Wikipedia tells us this about whales :
Whales, derived from Proto-Germanic word hwæl, are a widely distributed and diverse group of fully aquatic marine mammals. They comprise the extant families Cetotheriidae (whose only living member is the pygmy right whale), Balaenopteridae (the rorquals), Balaenidae (right whales), Eschrichtiidae (the gray whale), Monodontidae (belugas and narwhals), Physeteridae (the sperm whale), Kogiidae (the dwarf and pygmy sperm whale), and Ziphiidae (the beaked whales). There are 40 extant species of whales. The two suborders of whales, Mysticeti and Odontoceti, are thought to have split up around 34 million years ago. Whales belong to the clade Cetartiodactyla and their closest living relative is the hippo having diverged about 40 million years ago.
Whales range in size from the 2.6 metres (8.5 ft) and 135 kilograms (298 lb) dwarf sperm whale to the 34 metres (112 ft) and 190 metric tons (210 short tons) blue whale, which is also the largest creature on earth. Several species exhibit sexual dimorphism, in that the females are larger than males. T
But I like whales because they are:
- Can hold their breath for a long time
There are some key parts to a whale's anatomy that I think are interesting.
Blowhole: Whales breathe via blowholes; baleen whales have two and toothed whales have one. These are located on the top of the head, allowing the animal to remain almost completely submerged while breathing. Breathing inolves expelling stale air (which is warm and moist), as well as some mucus and excess water from the blowhole, forming an upward, steamy spout, followed by inhaling fresh air into the lungs. Spout shapes differ amon species, which facilitates identification.
Ears: The whale ear has specific adaptations to the marine environment. In humans, the middle ear works as an imedance equalizer between the outside air's low imedance and the cochlear fluid's high impedance. In aquatic mammals, such as whales, however, there is no great differenec between the outer and inner environments. Instead of sound passing through the outer ear to the middle ear, whales receive sound through the throat, from which it passes through a low-impedance fat-filled cavity to the inner ear. The whale ear is acoustically isolated from the skull by air-filled sinus pockets, which allow for greater directional hearing underwater.
Whale jumping out of water
Killer whale jumping out of water