Scientists have put forward the theory that the ancestors of whales were mammals who had previously lived on land. The skeleton structure of these animals living in the sea confirms this hypothesis. They are not like fish, because they do not spawn, they do not breathe in the gills, their babies are born fully formed and fed by mother's milk. What are the whales? The size of some members of this squad is impressive. Consider them.
The biggest whale
According to some data, the dimensions of the largest giant were: body length about 34 meters and weight 180 tons. Blue, or, as it is also called, blue whale, according to the classification, belongs to mammal vertebrate animals. On average, representatives of this species grow to 30 meters. They weigh about 150 tons.
The size of the whales (photo) of other species is more modest. For example, a toothy sperm whale has a body length of about twenty meters, and a killer whale is no more than ten. Dolphins also belong to cetaceans. The size of these mammals is even smaller. The largest dolphin rarely grows longer than three meters.
Many people consider whales to be big fish. In fact, this is a misconception. Similar in them only the general structure of the body and habitat. Significant differences are in the nervous activity, blood circulation, skeletal structure, skin. Reproduction of offspring and its feeding is the same as that of land mammals.
Whales: sizes and varieties
Scientists divide the representatives of these mammals into two suborders. They differ significantly in lifestyle and nutrition. One group is baleen whales, the other one is toothed. The names are already incorporated and characteristic of their lifestyle.
Baleen whales are peaceful animals. They feed on plankton and mollusks, filtering them from the water column through the baleen plates. Most of them in adulthood have a body length of more than ten meters. Specific features of the representatives of this suborder and the way of life differ little.
Toothed whales are predators. Their food is fish and other mammals. This suborder is more diverse. Most representatives have body sizes up to ten meters. Such families are distinguished: oceanic and river dolphins, sperm whales, and peaks. They, in turn, have divisions by subfamilies and genera, depending on the characteristics of the lifestyle and habitat.
In the sub-detachment of toothed whales, there are representatives that differ in a special skin color. She is white. Hence the name - beluga. Animals belong to the family of narwhal. The size of a white whale is up to six meters. The mass of adult males reaches two tons. For comparison: approximately the same size of a newborn baby blue mustache.
Belukha lives up to forty years. Hunting for schooling fish, crustaceans and mollusks. It lives in northern latitudes. Features of the form: a thick layer of epidermis and fat, which protects against hypothermia, a “lobasty” head and short oval pectoral fins.
The specific color of the white whale is not from birth. Cubs are born in dark blue. At the age of one year, they brighten and become grayish. And only after three years (more often by five years) do they acquire a characteristic white color.
Despite the fact that it is a large animal, another cetacean, the killer whale, can hunt the beluga whale. Polar bears can also be a threat to them. This happens when belugas are caught in thick ice with polynyas. They cannot stay under water for a long time, since they float every two minutes to breathe air.
This is the biggest animal on the planet. Scientists distinguish three types. Two of them: northern and southern - live in different latitudes. The third representative is the dwarf blue whale. Its dimensions are much more modest. The adult individual reaches only the weight of the calf of its usual fellow. Dwarf blue whales are quite rare and are found only in the southern seas.
Big animals are big. The size of the heart of a whale is comparable to a small car, it can weigh up to 700 kg. This is not surprising, because this body is constantly pumping up to 10 tons of blood. The diameter of the giant's artery is 40 cm, and the child can freely climb into it. The tongue weighs up to three tons. They whale pushes through the large volumes of water from the mouth, an area of more than twenty square meters.
The color of the blue whales is actually gray. But if you look at them through the water column, it seems as if they have a bluish tint. The sense of smell, taste and vision of these giants are poorly developed. But they hear well. Communication is carried out by transmitting ultrasonic signals, and orientation in space - using echolocation.
Is a blue whale dangerous to humans? The size of these animals is huge by our standards. However, they cannot eat a person. They have different food preferences. The diameter of the pharynx is only 10 cm. This is enough for the passage of plankton, small fish, crustaceans and mollusks. The only harm that a blue whale can do is accidentally turn over a vessel that will be in close proximity to it when ascending.
Cetaceans breathe atmospheric air. They should rise to the surface from time to time for the next portion of oxygen. In the normal state, the blue whale sinks for 10-15 minutes. During ascent during exhalation, a characteristic fountain of water appears.
Habitat and lifestyle
Do enemies have blue whales? Dimensions, as it turns out, do not save even the largest animals on the planet from the attack of killer whales. These hungry relatives, falling into flocks, can attack even a thirty-meter giant. They tear pieces of meat from the body of the whale. Serious wounds can cause death. There were facts when carcasses of blue whales with characteristic damage from the teeth of killer whales were found cast ashore. These giants, despite the size and weight, quite often jump out of the water. It is believed that in this way animals try to get rid of mollusks and crustaceans parasitic on their bodies.
The habitat of whales is extensive. Scientists do not have sufficient capacity to track all their movements. It is established that, depending on the season, blue whales migrate in search of food and optimal conditions. According to other observations, a part of animals resides in the equatorial part of the Pacific Ocean.
It is believed that the life span of blue whales can reach hundreds of years. They are loners. Only occasionally they gather in small groups during seasonal migrations. Mother feeds cubs at least six months. During the day, the growing "baby", weighing up to ten tons, can drink 600 liters of mother's milk.
Population and Commercial Catch
Scientists assume that before the start of active whaling in the waters of the oceans, there were at least 250 thousand individuals of the largest animals of the planet. To date, according to the most optimistic forecasts, there are no more than 10 thousand left.
What is the value of whales for humans? The body sizes of these animals are large by trade measures. From one ink, the whalers received not only meat, but also fat and whalebone. Meat is still popular in Japan, and it is not surprising that fishing there is the most active.
The population of blue whales has decreased significantly. Over the past decades, a large number of adults have been destroyed. Female whales reach sexual maturity at ten years. Once every two years they can give offspring. But the situation is such that the majority of young stockings fall prey to the fishery, never reaching their maturity.
To date, blue whales are protected. They are listed in the Red Book. But man and the consequences of his activities related to pollution of the environment still pose a serious threat to the entire population.
Appearance and structure
The constitution is proportional, the body is well streamlined. Head bulging laterally, but dulled in front. The respiratory opening (breathing) in front and from the sides is surrounded by a roller, which passes into the crest, which, gradually lowering, ends at the end of the snout. The eyes are small, located slightly behind and above the corner of the mouth. The length of the slit is 9-10 cm. The lower jaw is strongly arched to the sides, with the mouth closed, the snout protrudes 15-30 cm. There are several dozen short (15 mm) hairs on the front part of the head and lower jaw, the number of which varies.
The miniature dorsal fin is set back far back; its height is only about 30 cm and can have a diverse shape (with a rounded end, triangular, etc.). The pectoral fins are narrow, pointed and somewhat shortened (1/7 - 1/8 of the body length). The width of the caudal fin with a small notch in the middle is 1/4 of the body length. The head is broad from above, U-shaped, with the edges convex to the side. On the belly passes 70-114 longitudinal skin "bands", an average of 80. The depth of the pectoral-abdominal stripes up to 2 cm, width about 5-6 cm. The longest reach almost to the navel.
The body of a blue whale is dark gray, with a bluish tinge, speckled with light gray spots and a marble pattern. The head, lower jaw and chin are of the same color. The spots in the back half of the body and on the belly are larger than in the front and on the back. The belly may be yellow or mustard. The mass of the heart is more than half a ton. The diameter of the aorta reaches the diameter of a small bucket, and the lungs can hold up to 14 m3 of air.
The thickness of the fat layer is from 7-8 cm to 15 cm, sometimes up to 20 cm. Parasites from the class of crustaceans sometimes live on the skin of a blue whale - whale lice (penella) and small-legged crustaceans (coronules and xenobalanus), the shells of which have a base immersed in the skin. In the oral cavity, on the whalebone, copepods (balenophyses) and the odontobius roundworm were found. In the feeding areas, its skin, like in all minke whales, overgrows with a green film of diatoms, which disappears in temperate and warm waters.
Behavior and lifestyle
In general, the blue whale is prone to loneliness to a greater degree than all other cetaceans. The blue whale does not form herds, it is predominantly a solitary animal, although sometimes blue whales form only a few groups of 2-3 heads. Only in places with a particularly abundant food, they can form larger clusters, dividing into smaller groups. In such groups, whales keep separate, although the total number of such clusters of blue whales reaches 50-60 heads.
The blue whale, swimming near the surface of the water, is not nearly as maneuverable as some other large cetaceans. In general, his movements are slower and, according to scientists, more clumsy than those of other minke whales. The activity of blue whales in the dark is poorly studied. Most likely, he leads a daytime life - this is evidenced, for example, by the fact that whales off the coast of California at night almost stop moving.
The blue whale dives rather deeply, especially if he is severely frightened or wounded. The data obtained by whalers using special instruments mounted on a harpoon showed that the harped blue whale can dive up to 500 m, and according to American data, the whale can dive even up to 540 m. Normal diving of a feeding whale rarely exceeds 200 m, and more often no deeper than 100 m. Such dives last from 5 to 20 minutes. The grazing whale dives rather slowly - it takes about 8 minutes to dive to 140 meters and the subsequent ascent. After the ascent, the whale's breathing quickens to 5-12 times per minute, with each time a fountain appears. Rapid breathing lasts 2-10 minutes, after which the whale dives again. The whale-stalked bluelfish is under water for much longer than usual up to 50 minutes.
After a long and deep dive, the blue whale makes a series of 6-15 short dives and small dives. For each such diving, it takes 6-7 seconds, for a shallow dive - 15-40 seconds. During this time, the whale has time to swim 40-50 m, shallow under the surface of the water. The highest dives in the series are the first after climbing from the depths and the last (before diving). In the first case, the whale, slightly bending the body, first shows the very top of the head with the breath, then the back, the dorsal fin and, finally, the caudal stem. Leaving for depth, the blue whale strongly bends the body, tilting the head down, so that the finest part of the back becomes the highest point, which are shown when the head and the front part of the back are already deep under water. Then the “arc” of the back gets lower and lower, and the whale disappears without showing a tail. Diving blue whale fin rarely shows - about 15% of diving cases. Observations of blue whales off the southern coast of California have shown that they spend under water 94% of the time.
In the short run, the blue whale can swim at a speed of up to 37 km / h, and in exceptional cases even 48 km / h, but cannot hold such a speed for a long time, since this represents an excessively heavy load on the body. At this speed, the whale develops power up to 500 horsepower. The grazing blual moves slowly, 2-6 km / h, during migrations it is faster - even up to 33 km / h.
A blue whale breathes 1-4 times per minute in a calm state. Studies in the 1970s showed that the frequency of breathing in blue whales (and minke whales in general) strongly depends on the size and age of the whale. Young whales breathe much more often than adults - for example, when ascending after a deep dive, the frequency of respiratory acts (inhalation-exhalation) of a blue whale 18 m long was 5-10 in 2 minutes, while in an adult 22.5-meter bluff - 7 - 11 times in 12.5 minutes. Respiratory rate in whales of this size who did not dive was 2–4 and 0.7–2 times per minute, respectively. The whaler pursued adult blue whale breathed (gave a fountain) 3-6 times per minute.
The largest animal on earth absorbs about 1 million calories per day. This is about 1 ton of krill, which makes up the basic diet of the blue whale. In general, the blue whale is a typical plankton-eater: it feeds on crustaceans in the upper water column, plunging under water for 10-15 minutes. The crustaceans with which he feeds are concentrated in special zones called feeding fields. In such places you can meet several whales at once, although usually they do not form groups of more than 3 individuals.
Fish, if it plays any role in the diet of blue whales, it is very insignificant. Soviet sources indicated that the blue whale is not eaten by fish at all, other sources more definitely indicate that they are still eating fish. Most likely, the ingestion of fish and other small marine animals occurs by chance, when eating masses of krill. It is also possible that eating small schooling fish and small squid, observed in the western part of the Pacific Ocean, is caused by the absence of large concentrations of plankton crustaceans. In addition to a small number of small fish, small crustaceans that are not related to krill were found in the stomach of a blue whale.
The blue whale feeds like the rest of the whales. The grazing whale swims slowly, opening its mouth and gathering water with a mass of small crustaceans. The bands on the throat allow the whale to graze to stretch very strongly, the movable joint of the mandible bones is also very conducive to this. Scooping up the water with the crustaceans, the whale closes the mouth and tongue squeezes the water back through the whalebone. In this case, the plankton settles on the fringe of the whisker and then is swallowed.
The huge lower jaw, filled with water and feed, is so heavy that it is sometimes difficult for a blue whale to move it to close its mouth. Measurements of a 150-ton blue whale with a length of 29 m showed that its mouth could hold 32.6 m³ of water. Therefore, quite often, a blue whale, having collected food in its mouth, turns over on its side or even on its back, and then the mouth closes itself under the action of gravity. Due to the enormous size of the blue whale, it is forced to consume a very large amount of food - it eats a day, according to various sources, from 3.6 to 6-8 tons of krill, and it is estimated that the number of individual crustaceans in this mass reaches 40 million. In general , per day, blue whale requires food of about 3-4% of body weight. The aforementioned whale, with a jaw volume of 32.6 m³, could capture over 60 kg of crustaceans at a time with normal krill density in the ocean. A tightly stuffed blue whale's stomach can hold up to a ton of feed.
Leading a solitary life, whales and whales have developed their own way of communicating, through which they communicate with each other through vast distances of up to 1600 km. These are the famous songs of whales, whose volume reaches 188 decibels. The meaning of these songs is not completely clear, but scientists have noticed that whales “sing” during the breeding season, so that singing is possible as it is connected with the family functions of animals. These songs last for half an hour.
At first, it was believed that only the males sing, but there is evidence that the females of the blue whales also sing for their babies. The animal's sound reproduction system is located in front of the head and serves as a lens to capture and reproduce sounds. Так как киты практически слепы и у них отсутствует обоняние, то звук это единственной средство общения с другими особями, и единственный способ контакта с окружающим миром. Поэтому киты постоянно заняты анализом окружающих звуков.
Океанографы собрали и проанализировали тысячи записей "песен" синих китов, которые документировались различными приборами на протяжении последних 45 лет. Оказалось, что медленно, но неуклонно, на доли герца в год, тональная частота звука снижается. Это происходит независимо от океана, где обитают животные. Но, к примеру, в большинстве обследованных популяций китов, обитающих близ Калифорнии, звуковая частота песен с 1965 года понизилась на 31%.
Among the possible causes of this phenomenon, which experts consider in an article published in Endangered Species Research, is the reaction to changes in the composition of water in the ocean, as well as simply the desire of young whales to imitate the timbre of older ones, in which it decreases with age.
The most plausible option, and at the same time the most unhappy - due to the fatal decrease in the number of blue whales, they now need to send their message more far away, and low-frequency sounds are known to travel further in the ocean.
The height of mating in blue whales is in winter: in January in the northern hemisphere and in July in the southern. The body length of newborns is from 6 to 8.8 m, usually 7–8 m, and weighs 2–3 tons. Strong variation in the size of embryos harvested at the same time indicates that mating periods are stretched for almost the entire year. Analysis of the size of embryos in the Antarctic catches showed an average increase in their body in November by 35 cm, in December - by 56, in January - by 72, in February - by 92 and in March - by 79 cm (Tomilin, 1957). Apparently, the growth rate of the embryo gradually increases, but by the end of the uterine life, it somewhat slows down.
Pregnancy lasts a little less than a year (about 11 months). Usually one cub is born, cases of multiple pregnancy are rare. According to the materials of the International Whaling Statistics (ISS), among 12,106 Antarctic embryos there were 77 cases of twins, five cases are ternary, one find with five and one with seven embryos. As a rule, only one of the twin embryos develops to the end; the others die and are resorbed. During the 7-month lactation period, the young, feeding on very fat milk (34–50% of fat), grows to 16 m and weighs 23 tons, and at the age of 19 months it reaches 20 m and weighs 45–50 tons, the average individuals (23.7— 24 m) weigh 80–85 tons, and large ones (30 m) weigh 150–160 tons (Wheeler a. Mackintosh, 1929, Krogh, 1934, Ruud, 1956). Sexual maturity occurs at 4-5 years, as evidenced by 8-10 layers in ear plugs, which determine the age. Females at this time reach a length of 23 m. They reach full growth and physical maturity with a body length of 26-27 m, which is probably 14-15 years old.
The average daily weight gain of suckers, according to zootechnical calculations (Tomilin, 1946), reaches 81.3 kg with a daily intake of 90 kg of milk. Sexual maturity occurs at 4–5 years, when 8–10 layers appear in ear plugs, which determine age, (Nishiwaki, 1957), at this time the length of southern females reaches an average of 2-3.78 m, northern - 23 m and the average weight of the testes of males is 10 kg (Ruud, 1950, 1957). Usually females breed every two years. Strong variation in the percentage of pregnant females among mature (from 20 to 61%: Laurie, 1937, Ottestad a. Ruud, 1936) depends on the accuracy of registration of embryos at whaling bases and on the number of individuals studied (with smaller material, large deviations are possible).
Females reach physical maturity when 11 to 12 scars of the yellow bodies accumulate in the ovaries, this happens at the age of 14-15 years, and perhaps even at an older age, with an average body length of 26.2 m (Laurie, 1937), 26 , 5 m (Brinkmann, 1948) and 26.67 m (Peters, 1939). The minimum value of physically ripened Antarctic females is set at 24.7 m, and males - 22.3 m. A female with 41 cicatrices of the yellow bodies (18 in one ovary and 23 in the other) already showed signs of menopause, and with 35 scars there were no such signs . In the oldest female in the northern part of the Pacific Ocean, only 25 scars were found (Omura, 1955).
The initial number of blue whales, before the start of their intensive fishing, was estimated at 215 thousand heads. According to other data, it could be even more, up to 350 thousand. The first bans on fishing for the blue whale in the Northern Hemisphere belong to 1939, they affected only certain areas. The fishery was completely banned in 1966, but the prohibition of the fishery, however, did not immediately affect the blue pygmy whales, which continued to be harvested during the 1966-1967 season.
The current population of blue whales is difficult to assess. The reason, perhaps, is that blue whales have not been studied very actively for decades - so, according to authoritative sources of 1984, the International Whaling Commission, since the mid-1970s, practically did not calculate the population of these marine mammals. In 1984, it was reported that no more than 1,900 blue whales lived in the Northern Hemisphere, while in the Southern - about 10 thousand, half of which are dwarf subspecies.
According to some data, in the whole world ocean of bluals now number from 1300 to 2000, but in this case the number of these whales is even lower than 40 years ago, despite the complete absence of the fishery. Other sources give more optimistic figures: 5–10 thousand blyuval in the southern hemisphere and 3-4 thousand in the northern. The question of the quantitative distribution of the world population of blue whales in certain areas is also not fully clarified.
A number of sources indicate that between 400 and 1400 blue whales inhabit the Southern Hemisphere, about 1,480 in the North Pacific Ocean, and the number of blue whales in the rest of the Northern Hemisphere is unknown. With regard to the Southern Hemisphere (more precisely, the Southern Ocean), other figures are indicated: 1,700 heads with a 95% probability that this number is between the two extreme values of 860 and 2900. At the same time, in the Southern Hemisphere, 6 herds dwell blue whales. According to 2007 calculations, whales of the southern subspecies, which became the main object of attention of whalers in the twentieth century, remain only 3% of the population of 1914.
The growth of the blue whale population is slow, but in some places, for example, in areas near Iceland, the increase after the ban of fishing reached 5% per year. American scientists who conducted a detailed study of cetacean populations off the Pacific coast of the United States noted that the number of blue whales in these areas throughout the 1980s tended to increase. However, the same study concludes that there is no data on population growth in the Pacific as a whole. There are legitimate concerns that the number of blue whales may never recover to their original numbers.
Whales are very savvy animals. Their incredible intelligence and friendly nature made the whales very popular and interesting for science animals. Scientists generally believe that the whale's brain is more like a human in its capabilities than the brain of any other animal.
Some features of the structure of the whales are very interested in physicians. So whales do not have hemorrhages in the brain, due to the fact that in their heart there is a special shunt connecting two large arteries, which provides reliable protection against blockage of blood vessels, and as a result from heart attacks.
Scientists are also interested in the whale's eye. First, because in it the size allows you to see what is impossible to see in the eye of a person or other animal. Secondly, the blue whale can dive under water to great depth, and the structure of his eyes is such that it can withstand enormous pressure. Having learned this secret a person will help patients with glaucoma associated with a violation of intraocular pressure.
Weight of whales by species
Whales deservedly carry the title of the heaviest animals, both land and water.. The cetacean order consists of 3 sub-orders, one of which (ancient whales) has already disappeared from the face of the Earth. The other two suborders are toothed and baleen whales, which are distinguished by the structure of the oral apparatus and the type of food closely associated with it. The oral cavity of toothed whales is equipped, as it is logical to assume, with teeth, which allows them to hunt large fish and squid.
On average, toothed whales are inferior in size to representatives of the baleen sub-order, but there are also amazing heavyweights among these carnivores:
- sperm whale - up to 70 tons,
- northern plague - 11–15 t,
- narwhal - females up to 0.9 t, males at least 2-3 t (where one third of the weight is fat),
- white whale (beluga) - 2 tons,
- dwarf sperm whale - from 0.3 to 0.4 tons
Important! Porpoises stand somewhat apart: although they are part of the suborder of toothed whales, but in the strict classification they do not refer to whales, but to cetaceans. Porpoises weigh about 120 kg.
Now let's look at dolphins, which pedantic ketologists also deny the right to be called true whales, allowing them to be called cetaceans in the group of toothed whales (!).
List of dolphins by increasing weight:
- La Plata dolphin - from 20 to 61 kg,
- ordinary dolphin - 60–75 kg,
- Ganga dolphin - from 70 to 90 kg,
- white river dolphin - from 98 to 207 kg,
- bottlenose dolphin (bottlenose dolphin) - 150–300 kg,
- black dolphin (grind) - 0.8 tons (sometimes up to 3 tons),
- orca - up to 10 tons or more.
Strangely enough it sounds, but the heaviest animals belong to the sub-order baleen whales, whose gastronomic preferences (due to the absence of teeth) are limited to plankton. This sub-order includes an absolute weight record among the world's fauna - a blue whale, capable of gaining 150 tons or more.
The following list (in descending order of mass) looks like this:
- bowhead whale - from 75 to 100 tons,
- southern whale - 80 t,
- Finale - 40–70 tons,
- humpback whale - from 30 to 40 tons,
- gray or California whale - 15–35 t,
- Saver - 30 tons,
- Bryde's whale - from 16 to 25 tons,
- minke whale - from 6 to 9 tons.
The most miniature and at the same time rare baleen whale is a dwarf whale, pulling no more than 3–3.5 tons in an adult state.
Blue whale weight
Blyuval surpasses in weight not only all modern, but also animals that once lived on our planet. Zoologists have found that even the most magnificent of dinosaurs (brachiosaurus), weighing 2 times less, loses to the blue whale. What to say about the contemporaries of the bluebird, the African elephant: only thirty elephants are able to balance the scales, on the opposite side of which there will be a blue whale.
This giant grows to 26–33.5 m with an average weight of 150 tons, which is approximately equal to the mass of 2.4 thousand people. It is not surprising that the daily bovale is forced to absorb 1-3 tons of plankton (mostly small crustaceans), passing hundreds of tons of seawater through its magnificent mustache filters.
The common whale, or herring whale, is named the closest relative of the puppet and the second largest animal of our planet.
It is interesting! Fintails and blue whales are so close that they often mate with each other, producing quite viable offspring.
Adult herring whales living in the Northern Hemisphere, blow up to 18–24 meters, but they are superior to the Finwales living in the Southern Hemisphere and growing to 20–27 meters. Females (unlike most species of whales) are larger than males and weigh approximately 40–70 tons.
Sperm whale weight
This giant has surpassed the weight of the rest of the toothed whales, while the males of the species are almost twice as large as the females and weigh about 40 tons with a length of 18–20 m. The growth of females rarely exceeds 11–13 meters with an average weight of 15 tons. Sperm whale is one of the few cetaceans with pronounced sexual dimorphism. Females are not only more modest in size, but also differ from males by certain morphological features, including the shape / size of the head, the number of teeth, and the physique.
Important! Sperm whales grow to the end of life - the more respectable age, the larger the whale. They say that now 70-ton sperm whales swim in the ocean, and even earlier one could see a whale weighing 100 tons.
Against the background of other large cetacean sperm whales stands out not only weight, but also unique anatomical details, for example, a giant rectangular head with a spermaceti bag. It is a spongy fibrous tissue located above the upper jaw and impregnated with a specific fat known as spermaceti. The mass of such spermaceti bag is 6, and sometimes 11 tons.
Weight of humpback whale
Gorbach, or long-armed whale is delegated by the sub-order of baleen whales and is considered a relatively large animal.. Adult humpback whales grow up to 17–18 m occasionally: on average, males rarely go beyond 13.5 m, and females - for 14.5 m. The humpback whale weighs about 30 tons, but can boast the thickest layer of subcutaneous fat among the striped ones whales (in comparison with body size). In addition, among the cetaceans, the humpback takes the second place (after the blue whale) in the absolute thickness of the subcutaneous fat.
The killer whale is one of the most prominent predators of the dolphin family and the suborder of toothed whales. It differs from the rest of the dolphins in a two-color (black and white) contrasting color and an unprecedented mass - up to 8–10 tons with a 10-meter height. Daily feed requirements range from 50 to 150 kg.
White whale weight
This toothed whale from the family Narwhal got its name due to the skin acquiring white color no earlier than the animal becomes capable of breeding. Fertility does not occur before 3-5 years, and before this age, the color of the white whales changes: newborn whales are painted in dark blue and blue, after a year - in grayish blue or gray. White whale females are smaller than males, usually 6 meters in length with 2 tons of weight.
Kitten weight at birth
A blue whale calf weighs 2–3 tons when it comes to light with a body length of 6–9 meters. Every day, thanks to the exceptional fat content of breast milk (40–50%), it is heavy by 50 kg, drinking more than 90 liters of valuable product per day. The cub does not break away from the mother's breast for 7 months, gaining 23 tons by this age.
Important! By the time of transition to independent feeding, the young whale grows up to 16 m, and by the time it is one and a half years old, the 20-meter “baby” weighs 45–50 tons. He will approach the adult weight and height not earlier than 4.5 years, when he will be able to reproduce offspring himself.
Only a little behind the newborn blue whale infant fintail, having at birth 1.8 tons of weight and 6.5 m in length. The female feeds him milk for six months, until the child doubles her height..
Record breakers by weight
All titles in this category went to blue whales, but since the giants were mined in the first half of the last century, there is no 100% confidence in the accuracy of measurements.
There is information that in 1947 a blue whale weighing 190 tons was caught not far from South Georgia (islands in the South Atlantic). Whalers were caught on the basis of their oral stories and a copy that pulled more than 181 tons.
It is interesting! So far, the most truthful evidence of the capture in 1926 near the South Shetland Islands (Atlantic) of a 33-meter female bluwal, whose weight was approaching 176.8 tons.
True, evil tongues say that no one weighed this champion, and their weight was calculated, as they say, by eye. One day, luck also smiled on the Soviet whalers who scored a 30-meter blue whale, weighing 135 tons, around the Aleutian Islands in 1964.
It is proved that the largest brain on the planet (in absolute terms, and not relative to the size of the body) can boast a sperm whale, whose gray matter pulls almost 7.8 kg.
Having divided the 16-meter sperm whale, the scientists learned how much its internal organs weigh:
- liver - a little less than 1 ton,
- the digestive tract 0.8 t (with a length of 256 m),
- kidneys - 0.4 t,
- lightweight - 376 kg
- heart - 160 kg.
It is interesting! The blue whale's tongue (with a thickness of 3 meters) weighs 3 tons - more than an African elephant. On the surface of the tongue, bluals can stand up to fifty people at a time.
It is also known that the blue whale is able to starve (if necessary) for up to 8 months, but once in the area rich in plankton, it begins to eat without interruption, absorbing up to 3 tons of feed per day. In the stomach of the mined blual is usually from 1 to 2 tons of food.
The internal organs of blue whales were also measured and obtained the following data:
- total blood volume - 10 tons (with a diameter of the spinal artery of 40 cm),
- liver - 1 ton,
- heart - 0.6–0.7 t,
- Mouth area - 24 m2 (one-room small apartment).
In addition, ketologists found that the most impressive sexual organs among the world's fauna are southern whales, whose testicles weigh about half a ton (1% of body weight). According to other sources, the weight of the testicles of southern whales reaches 1 ton (2% by weight), the length of the penis is 4 meters, and the one-time release of sperm is more than 4 liters.
How much does the world's largest whale weigh?
The blue whale is a heavyweight in its class and could get a gold medal if a competition for the heaviest creature on the planet had been invented. The weight of a blue whale is about 200 tons, the giant's height is about 34 meters.
Miracle fish would break all records not only in total weight, but also in weight of internal organs. The enormous and noble heart of a whale weighs about 700 kg, which is equal to the weight of 2500 human hearts. Whale language can "grow" up to 4 tons. That is, if mammals are weighed, then 14 medium cows can be placed on one side of the scale, and the second will be only the language of one blue whale!
It is interesting!
Due to the fact that the whale is not a predator and its diet includes crustaceans, small fish and algae, the whale, in order to satiate your body, you constantly have to filter the water through the whalebone. This time-consuming process is bearing fruit - the height and weight of the blue whale is impressive. Against the background of a giant, his fellow predator, the killer whale, which hunts for seals and other marine mammals, weighs "only" nine tons, with a ten-meter growth.
Blue, the whale is called not quite right. The color of the mammal is closer to gray and has a slightly bluish tint. Blue, the whale seems, if you look at it through the water column. The belly and fins are lighter in color and differ from the main color of the skin integument. Поэтому, если говорят о синих и голубых китах, речь идет об одном и том же млекопитающем, поэтому вес голубого кита равен весу синего кита.
Продолжительность жизни млекопитающих – около ста лет. «Взрослеют» киты медленно, первое потомство самка кита приносит в десять лет, вынашивание детеныша длится около года. Малыши появляются не чаще, чем один раз в два года. Новорожденного кита малышом назвать сложно – его вес около трех тонн. В пересчете на человеческие показатели, это вес тысячи новорожденных ребятишек. The newborn kitten will not become capricious and complain, for one feeding he drinks about one hundred liters of milk, therefore the baby grows not by the day, but by the hour.
Habitat can be heavy, as warm tropical waters, and rather cold waters of the polar seas.
How much does a white whale weigh?
There is a theory that whales once lived on land, and moved into the water after the emergence of some unfavorable conditions for life. Arguments in favor of this assumption are certain facts:
- whales have a special skeleton structure, different in shape from the skeleton of fish,
- mammals do not breathe with the gills, like all fish,
- young whales are born fully formed and feed on mother's milk.
The name of the whales depends on the color of their skin. The white whale or white whale, much smaller than its large counterparts of blue whales, its weight is about two tons, they grow to six meters. It can be said that the weight of an adult white whale is equal to the weight of a newborn blue whale.
The appearance of the white whale also has its own characteristics: the head of the mammal is rather convex, and the front fins are short.
The white whale feeds on schooling fish, crustaceans and mollusks. Lives about forty years. Killer whales represent a danger for him, whales are hunters and polar bears, when a white whale is caught in the ice, it has to float every two minutes to breathe air, it becomes their easy prey.
How much does a humpback whale weigh?
Another representative of the sub-order of cetaceans - the humpback whale, got its name because of the fin on the back, which in form resembles a hump, or due to the fact that when swimming, it strongly arches its back.
The largest individuals of humpback whales reach a length of 17-18 meters, but they are rare. Common sizes of mammals:
- the length of humpback whale males is 13.5 - 14 meters,
- The length of the female humpback whale is about 13 meters.
The average animal weight is about 30 tons. Humpback whales are also distinguished by the fact that they have a significant layer of subcutaneous fat. Fat reserve serves as a nutritional reserve during the wintering period. The color of mammals is different, therefore, to identify an animal, one pays attention to the coloring of the lower surface of the caudal fin, which the whale exposes from the water, during a deep vertical dive.
This ability from mammals is inherent only to whales and people. Males are endowed with vocal data; the performance of one composition can take from 6 to 35 minutes. The sound range of performers ranges from 40 to 5000 Hz.
Sea giants differ from other mammals not only in appearance, but also habits. Whales can go without sleep for a hundred days, throughout their lifespan they constantly “listen”, since their sight and smell are rather poorly developed. Sea inhabitants have their own identifier - tail fin, each whale has a special pattern. Mammals are able to starve, if food is not enough, the whale can limit itself to food for up to one hundred days. This diet affects the weight of the animal slightly, the weight of the whale does not decrease to critical indicators due to the presence of a thick fat layer. The average weight of the animal remains stable when the mammal reaches adulthood. Every year the population of the blue giants is rapidly diminishing, the matter is that the person who uncontrollably exterminates animals, therefore the future of these magnificent and unusual animals lies exclusively in the hands of people.