Whales belong to an order of mammals called cetaceans, so an alternative generic term for a whale is a cetacean. However, cetaceans include not only whales, but dolphins and porpoises as well. These mammals are divided into two groups: baleen whales and toothed whales.
The term "whale" is often used to describe the baleen whales, which are generally much larger than toothed whales. The notable exception is the sperm whale, the largest of the toothed whales. Examples of baleen whales include the blue whale, which is the largest animal on Earth, as well as the humpback whale, the sei whale and the right whale.Learn More
Whales are mammals that have an incredibly size range, yet all whales fall between 13 feet long and 90 feet long. The blue whale, the largest known whale or mammal, ranges from around 70 feet to 90 feet. Most other well-known whales, such as the orca, sperm, humpback and minke whale, fall in a range of 20 to 69 feet.Full Answer >
The beluga whale, also called a white whale, is the smallest species of whale. The average beluga weighs 2,000 to 3,000 pounds and measures 13 to 20 feet in length.Full Answer >
A young whale is called a calf. The female whale is known as a cow, while the male is known as a bull. The gestation period of a whale can last from 9 to 18 months. The calf suckles from 6 months to 2 years before becoming an adult.Full Answer >
Whales are not considered fish. Although they resemble other animals that are considered fish, whales have a very different anatomy. Whales share many more anatomical and genetic features with another group of animals entirely: mammals.Full Answer >