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Facts About Whales for Kids

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Last updated date: 04th Mar 2024
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An Introduction to Facts About Whales for Kids

Whales are huge, fascinating, and incredible water animals! The Blue Whale, in particular, is the world's biggest mammal. They can grow to be over 90 feet long and weigh over 330,000 pounds (about the weight of 24 elephants!). Whales are often black, grey, black and white, or white in colour. Some varieties are blue-grey. 


The skin of a whale is smooth. A thick layer of fat beneath the skin, known as blubber, shields the animal from the chilly water. The torpedo-shaped body of a whale allows it to travel fast through the water. Whales breathe at the surface of the ocean. A whale sucks in the air through one or two blowholes on the top of its head.


A Humpback Whale


A Humpback Whale 


How Many Types of Whales Are There?

You must be wondering do whales have teeth? Yes, they are divided into two groups based on the absence and presence of teeth as toothed whales and baleen whales. Toothed whales, like orcas, dolphins and porpoises have teeth that allow them to feed squid and fish, whereas baleen whales lack teeth. The roof of their mouth is covered with blade-shaped plates. These plates, known as baleen or whalebone, are used to capture food. Baleen whales, such as humpbacks, feed on more miniature food such as krill with fringed plates. Furthermore, toothed whales only have one blowhole, but baleen whales have two!


Whales Breathe Through the Lungs 

Whales, like other animals, breathe air into their lungs. Whales must come to the surface of the water to get air via a blowhole on the top of their heads. Depending on the species, whales may stay underwater for up to 90 minutes.


Whale Jumping out of Water


Whale Jumping out of Water


What does A Whale Sound Like?

Whales have been heard singing. While it is unknown why they sing, it is thought that their melodies are utilised for a variety of purposes. Some whales may be seeking a partner or keeping an eye on their offspring (babies). Other whales may sing to seek prey or just to communicate.


A whale's song may be heard for kilometres and can continue for up to 30 minutes. Toothed whales use distinctive noises to find stuff they can't see. These noises echo off solid objects and reach the whale's sensitive hearing. This is known as echolocation.


Whales Do Not Sleep 

Whales do not totally sleep like other mammals in order to avoid drowning. Whales sleep by turning off only half of their brain. This allows the other half of their brain to remain aware and ensure they take necessary breaths. Some whales, such as sperm whales, have been observed snoozing vertically with their noses out of the water.


Grey Whale


Grey Whale


How Do Whales Swim? 

Whales, despite their size, travel fast across the ocean. Whales can attain speeds of up to 30 miles per hour by moving their tails up and down rather than side to side. The tail is separated into two large portions known as flukes. These extend horizontally (side to side) rather than vertically (up and down) like a fish's fins. A whale also steers using two flippers on the front of its body.


Humpback Whale with Her Calf


Humpback Whale with Her Calf 


Whales Travel Long Distances Together in a Group

Most whales travel in groups known as pods. Pods can range in size from two whales to hundreds or thousands of whales. Pods often range in size from two to thirty whales. When whales begin on a long migration, larger pods are often formed.


How Long Do Whales Live? 

Whale lifespans range from 20 to 100 years, depending on the species. The typical lifespan of a whale is 40-70 years for non-endangered, healthy whales, however, this varies greatly depending on the whale species, its environment, habitat, and lifestyle. One whale species may live for up to 200 years!


Sample Questions

1. Whales are____.

a. Extinct 

b. Endangered

c Threatened 

d. Rare 

Ans. Endangered 

Explanation: Animals are called extinct when they are no longer alive in this whole world. Animals are endangered when they are close to facing extinction. They are threatened if their population declines by more than 50%. Whales belong to this category. Animals are considered rare when only 10,000 or less than that are present in the whole world. 


2. Whales are found in______.

a. Ponds

b. Rivers

c. Oceans 

d. Sea 

Ans. Oceans 

Explanation: Whales are only found in the large oceans and not in ponds, rivers and seas. 


3. Whales lay eggs. 

a. True 

b. False 

Ans. False 

Explanation: Whales give birth to live young ones and do not lay eggs because they are mammals.


Summary

Some of the interesting facts about whales are given. Whales are of two types. They can sing. Whales give birth to live young ones. Whales breathe in air through their blowholes. They travel in groups called pods. Whales, despite their size, travel fast across the ocean. Whales can attain speeds of up to 30 miles per hour by moving their tails up and down rather than side to side.

FAQs on Facts About Whales for Kids

1. Why are whales endangered?

Whales are considered to be endangered because in the early 1900s people used to hunt them a lot. Then a ban was implemented that prohibited the hunting of whales. Now only 10,000 to 25,000 whales are there in the whole world. 

2. Does a whale lay eggs or give birth to young ones?

Whales give birth to live young ones. A mother whale gives birth to a single kid, or calf, about a year after mating. She has been nursing her calf for several months. Blue whale calves are the world's largest infants.

3. How do whales communicate with each other?

Baleen whales communicate using moans, grunts, and groans, as opposed to toothed whales, which employ a sequence of distinct clicks and whistles. Humpback whales are believed to have the most beautiful songs of any whale species. These massive giants can sing for hours and hold the record for singing the longest songs, with some sonnets lasting 10 minutes on repeat for hours and others spanning a whole day.

4. Where do whales live?

Whales may be found in all of the world's seas, from temperate oceans and tropical waters near the equator to the polar waters of the Arctic and Antarctic oceans.

5. Do whales eat humans?

Whales do not eat humans, but rather eat tiny aquatic life forms such as fish, squid, and krill.