Q:

What do whales look like?

A:

In general, whales are large, streamlined aquatic mammals with eyes, a mouth, a blowhole and two flippers and a tail that are used for swimming. But within the general category of whales, there is a lot of diversity when it comes to shape, color and texture.

Whales can have teeth or baleen (a fringed structure on the inside of the mouth), and some whales are hunters while others simply filter small sea creatures through their baleen. Different species of whale have different appearances. For example, the orca whale is shiny and black with bright white spots and a pointed dorsal fin that almost resembles a shark, while humpback whales are a dark gray, almost blue, in color with white undersides and very small dorsal fins.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How fast do whales swim?

    A:

    The speed of a whale depends on the species. For example, a finback, the second-largest type of whale, makes short sprints through the water at 35 mph. Normally, it swims about 14 mph.

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  • Q:

    Do whales make milk?

    A:

    Whales are mammals, so they produce milk. In order for an organism to be classified as a mammal, it must have certain physiological features, and feeding their young with milk is one requirement. Whales also have lungs, are warm blooded and have a fine layer of hair.

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  • Q:

    How do humpback whales protect themselves?

    A:

    The sheer size of a fully grown humpback whale dissuades all but the most aggressive sea predators from attacking them. In addition, whales typically swim in large groups called "pods" to protect smaller, weaker whales and youth. Mothers with calves swimming within a pod are accompanied by "escort" whales, which follow along slightly outside the pod to protect against aggression from competing humpback groups.

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  • Q:

    Why are whales so important?

    A:

    According to Whale Facts, whales are important because they are an essential part of the ocean ecosystem. For instance, they keep the flow of food regulated and the food chain intact. In turn, certain species of marine wildlife don't overpopulate.

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