Tag Archive: whales

Baleen Whale

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This photo was taken by wikipedia user Whit Welles

The baleen whales, also called whalebone whales, form the Mysticeti, one of the two suborders of the Cetacea ( whales dolphins and porpoises). Baleen whales are usually larger than toothed whales, females being bigger than males.   This group includes the largest animal species, the blue whale.  The baleen whale has two blowholes, causing a V shaped blow.

Despite their enormous size they have the ability to jump fully above the surface. One whale that is known for their water feats is the humpback whale.  Baleen whales can grow to larger than 110 feet long, and can weigh up to 420,000 pounds.

Baleen whales have baleen, a straight, stiff material that hangs from the roof of their upper jaw. It is made of keratin, (the same substance that your fingernails and hair is made of). The inside of baleen have little hairy plates, that help filter krill, plankton, and small fish.

File:LMazzuca Fin Whale.jpg

This photo was taken by wikipedia user Lori Mazzuca

The Fin whale is an fairly endangered animal. They are very large whales, and the ones that live in the northern hemisphere can be around 60 feet. The ones in the southern hemisphere tend to reach closer to 70 feet. It is the same for males and females. Fin whales can be found in all the major oceans, with water temps polar and tropical. Though the Fin whale can live in different temperatures, they are found more commonly in colder climates. The only known predator of the Fin Whale is the killer whale, and even so, there are not many sightings of attacks. The Fin Whale is a baleen whale, and it eats only small fish, squid and other little crustaceans. The gestation period for a calf is 11-12 months.

Fun fact: fin whales can live up to 140 years!

Sperm Whale

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The Sperm whale is a very vulnerable animal. It mostly inhabits the Mediterranean sea and possibly the red sea. It has a very distinct look. it has a block shaped head, and a textured body. It’s diet consists of mostly krill and sometimes giant squid. On average, males are around 56 ft long, and females are usually around 36 ft long. Sperm whales weigh up to 57 tons.

Fun fact: “Moby Dick” was a sperm whale.

Blue whales


a photo of a blue whale

The blue whale is an endangered species that can be found in all the world’s oceans. This whale like many others has baleen. The blue whale first gulps in enormous amounts of water, and then filters out all the water through its baleen. Blue whales have around 300 baleen plates.  After the water is filtered out, thousands of krill are left behind. Krill are tiny microscopic creatures. Krill is the main food in a whales diet. An adult blue whale can eat up to 40 million krill a day. That weighs about the same as two average cars!  Blue whales can grow up to 82-105 feet in length.