2What do you know about whales? 1. What is the largest whale in the world?2. What do whales eat?3. Why are whales important?4. Where do whales travel in the world?5. Are any whales close to extinction?6. How do whales breathe?
3The largest whale is the blue whale The largest whale is the blue whale. It is also believed to be the largest animal that ever lived on the earth. It can grow to a length of 120 feet and weigh more than 100 tons -- that is 200,000 lbs. The blue whale uses a filtering system called a baleen to feed. They are gentle and slow moving, migrating from the Equator to the South Pole. They were nearly extinct due to hunting by whalers. There is now a world ban on hunting blue whales.
4Whales eat krill, which is tiny organisms that are filtered through the baleen by the thousands. Baleen whales filter planktonand small fish from the waterthrough their baleen.Toothed whales eat fishand squid.The humpback whale feeds onsmall schooling fish.The right whale feeds on tiny plankton it strains through its baleen.
5Whales are important for us to be able to see, to learn about, and to show our children one day. Can you imagine a world without whales - - where we see movies with computer-generated whales because there are no real ones left? It would be just like the movies we see about dinosaurs, where they have to create them on computers because there are no dinosaurs left on earth.It is important to keep the ban on hunting whales. Please be aware of these wonderful creatures, and be a part of saving them for all time.
6Whales “migrate” or travel from one place to another on the earth, usually because of changes in weather and feeding conditions.Blue whales migrate from the Equator to the North Pole.Humpback whales spend the spring, summer and fall in northern waters, and travel to the West Indies at the end of the year to mate and bear their calves (babies).Hawaiian humpbacks travel to Northern Alaska waters.
7The North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) is the mostendangered of all the world's greatwhales. Once found in Cape Cod Bayin huge numbers, there are fewer than350 North Atlantic right whales remaining in the world today.In the early part of this century, blue whales were nearly hunted into extinction by whalers who were eager to use the huge animals for their blubber. In the 1960s, all the nations around the world banned the hunting of blue whales. Since then, the number of these gentle giants has grown slowly but steadily.The North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) is the most endangered of all the world's great whales. Once found in Cape Cod Bay in huge numbers, there are fewer than 350 North Atlantic right whales remaining in the world today.
8Whales breathe by coming up to the surface Whales breathe by coming up to the surface. They inhale and exhale air through a dorsal (top) blowhole. When they spray water out to clear the hole, this is called “spouting.”
9Whale SoundsWhales sounds are produced by moving air back and forth through body passages. These haunting sounds may travel kilometers under water and can be heard above the surface. The intricate vocalizations produced range from high squeaks to low guttural growls, with many being at a frequency so low that they can not be heard by humans.Often, the sounds produced are organized into long sequences and are called songs. Humpback whales are thought to produce the longest and most varied songs in the animal world, especially during the breeding season. Only male humpbacks sing. Each sequence normally lasts minutes and can be repeated without pause, for hours. A blue whale song may last ten hours. Analysis has shown that sequences are always arranged into cycles characteristic of each population, so that all humpbacks in one area sing only the local song. These songs evolve with time and each year the song is a little different.Humpback feedingCrying soundsHowling whales
10killer whale, Orcinus orca The Orders of WhalesOdontocetikiller whale, Orcinus orcaMysticetigray whale, Eschrichtius obustusArchaeoceti
11Blue Whale: Largest Animal Ever It is believed that no animal -- living or dead -- has ever been larger than the blue whale. This giant marine mammal cangrow up to 120 feet in length and weigh more than 100 tons.Like other large undersea animals, the blue whaleReaches its massive size by feeding on microscopic animalsknown as krill. To maintain its immense weight, a blue whalemust spend its day filtering krill out of tens of thousands ofgallons of water it sucks into its mouth. The blue whale is a filter feeder which means it uses a filtering system in its mouth known as baleen. Baleen resembles the bristles in your hairbrush. When ocean water is pulled through a blue whale’s mouth the baleen separates the krill from the water, allowing it to be pulled through a blue whale’s mouth the baleen separates the krill from the water, allowing it to be pulled into the whale’s digestive track. The water is then squeezed out of the whale’s mouth and back into the ocean.Blue whales are gentle and slow-moving. They migrate from the Equator to the South Pole in small packs. In the early part of this century, blue whales were nearly hunted into extinction by whalers who were eager to use the huge animals for their blubber. In the 1960s, all the nations around the world banned the hunting of blue whales. Since then, the number of these gentle giants has grown slowly but steadily.
12BALEEN WHALESWhales are divided into two groups, the toothed whales and the baleen whales. This minke whale is a typical baleen whale. Baleen whales are generally solitary animals. They use their baleen plates (called "whalebone" by early whalers) to filter small fish and plankton from the water.
13TOOTHED WHALESThis Atlantic white-sided dolphin is similar to many of the other dolphin species, all of which are toothed whales. These toothed whales are highly social animals, often traveling in large "pods" which may number as many as animals. Toothed whales feed on fish and squid.Some species of whales can be individually identified by differences in the natural markings found on their bodies. Thanks to the access provided by the Dolphin Fleet, scientists from the Center for Coastal Studies have been able to follow many of these whales throughout their lives. We know that many of these individuals return here every year to feed and raise their young, how often they bear calves, how long they take to reach sexual maturity -- information essential to protecting them.
14HUMPBACKThe humpback whale (Megaptera novaengliae) spends its spring, summer and fall months in northern waters, where it feeds on the small schooling fish which occur here. Late in the year, humpbacks migrate to the waters of the West Indies where they mate and bear their calves. Humpbacks are easy to tell apart, using the black and white pattern on their tail flukes. The tail pictured here belongs to a famous female humpback named Cat's Paw. The names we give to these humpbacks are based on natural field marks on their bodies. Cat's Paw was named for the white paw-like mark on her nearly all black tail. There are about 550 humpback whales in the Gulf of Maine, many of which frequent Cape Cod waters. The humpback is a large whale, often reaching lengths of feet. It is distinguished by its long white flippers and the fact that it often raises its tail high out of the water when it dives.
15FIN WHALEThe fin whale, or finback (Balaenoptera physalus) is somewhat larger than the humpback, reaching lengths of feet. It is also a more streamlined animal, moving quickly through the water. Fin whales can be individually identified by using a combination of body characteristics: dorsal fin shape, scars, and -- the most telling characteristic but also the most difficult to photograph -- the subtle shadings and swirls on the right side of the whale called the blaze and chevron. Fin whales are unique in that they are asymmetrically colored; the whale's lower right jaw is white and its lower left jaw is dark grey or black.
16RIGHT WHALEThe North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) is the most endangered of all the world's great whales. Once found in Cape Cod Bay in huge numbers, there are fewer than 350 North Atlantic right whales remaining in the world today. The right whale's long baleen plates covered in a thick mat of fine hairs, help this foot animal to strain tiny plankton from the water for food. Right whales can be identified by the differences in "callosity" patterns on their heads and lips; these callosities are actually bumps covered with tiny whale "lice". Right whales are found in the Massachusetts area in the late winter and early spring months. They use these waters as a feeding ground and nursery for mothers with young calves.
17What goes on below the waves? The humpback is the renegade among the mysticeti whales.Whether wooing mates with song, or engaging in combativesexual displays, this whale breaks all the rules. Perhaps nowhereis their enigmatic behavior more evident than on the feedinggrounds in Southeast Alaska. After traveling thousands of milesto these northern summering areas, Hawaiian humpbacks engagein bizarre feeding behaviors, many of which we are only beginningto understand.Schools of Pacific herring are one of their favorite targets. But capturing these fast agile fishrequires an arsenal of feeding tactics. One of their most effectiveploys is to band together in large groups, which may number nearly two dozenwhales. The whales will then deploy bubbles, broadcast of loud, trumpet-likesounds, and the flash of their flippers at the schools. These tactics apparently herdthe prey up towards the surface, where they then become trapped withinthe confines of a huge bubble net. Rocketing up through this tunnel of bubbles, thewhales engulf the entire fish school in their cavernous mouths.
18Beluga Whale Beluga or “white whales” are not born white. They are Delphinapterus leucasBeluga or “white whales” are not born white. They areGrey at birth and get lighter and lighter until at aboutAge six they are completely white. Belugas are one of theThree whales that spend all their lives in arctic waters.The other two are the bowhead and the narwhal. BelugaAre special among all whales because they can turnTheir heads. Maybe this is so that they can communicateWith each other better! Beluga are very social and make a wideVariety of sounds. A group of beluga can be loud! They haveBeen nick-named “sea canaries.”Belugas use sound to help them find their prey. They sendOut a sound which bounces off things in the water and allowsThem to hear how far away something is. This is called“echolocation.” Belugas will work together using this andOther techniques to herd fish into shallow water. It has also been reported by native people that beluga whales help each other give birth! They use many subtle forms of communication including a wide variety of facial expressions. Unlike some other whales, beluga have good vision. What they don't have is a dorsal fin, earning them the name "delphinapterus" or dolphin-without-a-wing.