Tikiri Animal Knowledge Series
Our next gigantic animal in the limelight is the beautiful and soulful whale!
We all dream of seeing a whale in the wild - jumping out of the water playfully. In reality they are usually naturally shy creatures which means unless you are really searching or on a specific whale watching trip you don't get to see them. If you have been lucky enough to ever see one in the wild then you will appreciate just how big whales are and how exciting it is to witness one in it's own habitat.
There are so many different types of whales and and so much we can learn about them. Here are our top 10 whale facts:
Whale Fun Facts
1. There are 2 main types of whale - baleen whales and toothed whales. Baleen whales have fibrous plates in their mouths which help to filter their food. Examples of these are humpback, minke and grey whales. Toothed whales have - you guessed it...teeth which help them chew up larger food such as fish and squid. Examples of toothed whales are killer, pilot and sperm whales.
2. Did you know that a killer whale or 'orca' is actually a Dolphin? They are the largest of the Dolphin species but are still tiny compared to most other larger whales.
Photo credit: wolfganglucht
3. Humpback whales can go without food for over 6 months at a time! They rely off their fat reserves (or blubber) during this time and then migrate to the Antarctic to stock up on krill.
4. Whales can bubble net feed. Bubble net feeding is where whales work together by blowing bubbles around their prey. Their prey won't go through the bubbles which means they are trapped ready for the whales to eat them.
5. The Antarctic blue whale is the largest animal on the plant can can measure up to 30 meters long and can weigh 200 tons (around 33 elephants!)
Photo credit: janeb13
6. TEAR JERKER ALERT! The blue whale has been in decline for a long time and there are now less than 3000 Antarctic blue whales remaining in the world compared to over 225,000 before they started to go into decline.
7. The creepy looking Narwharl's tusk is actually an overgrown tooth! It usually only forms in males and they use it for for foraging for food and fighting.
8. Gray whales swim around 10,000 miles a year whilst they travel between Mexico and their feeding area in the artic seas. They live around 40 years and in that time cover the distance of going to the moon and back!
9. Humpback whales are the best singers of the whale world! Males sing songs that can last up to 30 minutes and they repeat them for hours at a time during the breeding season. They change their songs each new breeding season! How could the ladies resist?
Photo credit: ArtTower
10. HAPPY FACT ALERT! Some whales can live for more than 200 years! The bowhead whales can live 200 years and killer whales can live for more than 100 years too!
We hope you enjoyed our 10 whale facts – keep an eye out for our next animal in the limelight in the next few weeks.
If your child would like their own miniature whale of their own you can buy our whale bath toy and teether.