Educate Your Child About Whales
Created by Urvashi Shah Updated on Oct 08, 2020
Whales are the largest living animals on this planet so make up some time to teach your child about this wonderful species of fish that is existing in all its glory. Did you know that the whales are bigger than the largest dinosaur and it is believed that millions of years ago, whales probably roamed on land once up on a time? Their back legs disappeared over time and their front legs became flippers. Well, this is just an interesting trivia about this animal. But here are some intriguing facts to teach your child about this fauna that will leave him/her in awe.
- Whales are the largest mammals on Earth who feed milk to their babies and breathe air. Despite living under waters, they are not able to breathe in the water as they haven’t developed any gills, compelling them to come up on the surface of the water to catch some breath in every few intervals through the blow hole on their back
- They tend to live in groups, referred as ‘Pods’ and the young ones are called as ‘Calf’, just like that of a cow
- Blue whales and killer whales can be found in every ocean around the world. Whales migrate further than any other animal and eat during the summer month building up layers of blubber. When the water begins to cool, they begin their migration to warmer waters
- During their migration journey, they do not eat anything, just travel and rest for shorter periods. At times when whales are migrating, they swim very close to the shore and can be seen blowing and jumping out of the water. This jumping is called ‘breaching’
- When the whales are sleeping, they tend to stay on top of the water, ensuring the blow hole is lying above the waters for oxygen. At times they swim up to the surface of the water, blow air out of their blow hole, which makes a fountain called a ‘Blow’
- There are two different kinds of whales, the baleen and the toothed whale. Baleen whales are also called ‘toothless’ whales, where instead of teeth, they have plates made of baleen in their jaws. Baleen is a very hard and strong substance that can be compared with the same substance that makes up the horns on some animals. Baleen is also called ‘whalebone’. Toothed whales have teeth instead of baleen. These whales include the beluga or white, bottlenose, narwhal, pilot and sperm whales who eat fish and plants
- Do you know how much food can a whale eat? Whales can eat up to 2 tons of krill each day
- The fin, gray, humpback, blue, bowhead, Bryde’s, minke, blue, and sei are baleen whales, who have two nostrils, or blow holes
- Scientist determine that killer whales can live for a period of 35 years. Just like other marine mammals, killer whales produce a periodic growth layer on teeth. By counting these layers, scientists can estimate the age of the killer whale
- The right way to differentiate between a male and a female whale is by looking at the shape of their dorsal fin. A male’s fin is very tall, growing up to 6 feet tall and triangular shaped. A female is shorter, up to 3 feet and curves back toward the dorsal fin
- Whales swim by moving their tails up and down and using their flippers, which also help them to turn. Some whales, such as the sei, can swim more than 30 miles per hour
- Whales talk to each other through squeaking, moaning, groaning as under water the sounds can travel to long distance. These sounds made by them are known as ‘Whale Songs’, making them the loudest animals in the world
These are some facts about these amazing huge creatures that you can teach your child. Expand your child’s knowledge on this mammal.
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