Q:

What do whales look like?

A:

Quick Answer

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.

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Full Answer

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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    Did whales have legs?

    A:

    Ancestors of modern-day whales, such as Pakicetus, were amphibious cetaceans and possessed legs. Ambulocetus, a descendant of Pakicetus, had shorter legs more suited for aquatic life in addition to paddle-shaped feet.

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  • Q:

    Are whales carnivores or omnivores?

    A:

    Whales are carnivores, meaning that they subsist entirely on a diet of meat. Whales are part of a larger order of animals called cetaceans, which also includes dolphins and porpoises. All cetaceans are carnivorous animals.

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    How do whales mate?

    A:

    Like most mammals, male whales have a penis and females have a vagina; however, the males keep their genitals hidden in a cavity. They mate underwater, lying belly-to-belly with each other, and can mate either while stationary or swimming. Both males and females mate with multiple whales to increase chances of reproduction.

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    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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