Fascinating diversity exists among life on Earth, with all the different creatures created that come in varying color, shapes and sizes. One of these wonders are the giants of the seas, they are what we known as whales. Whales fall under the order of Cetaceans with more than eighty species. Whales are classified into two groups, the baleen whales and the toothed whales (it includes dolphins).
Whales are believed to be living millions of years ago (estimated about 50 million years ago), it was also believed that their descendants are land-living animals which mutated after living a long time in water. Its DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) leads scientist that its common origin is a hippopotamus. Whales surely dominate most size aspects among living creatures, this article includes them and some other amazing facts about these gigantic creatures.
Whales are also mammals, they cannot live underwater for a very long period of time, and they need air to breathe just like humans. Wondering how they do it? You’ll know the answer after reading this article.
Here’s top 10 lists of the Most Amazing Facts About Whales.
1 – Big at Heart
The blue whale’s heart is the heaviest and biggest among all living creatures. It weighs 600 kilograms (sometimes it even weighs up to 900 kilograms). With that massive size, you’ll be more fascinated about the size of its aorta. The blue whale’s aorta has a diameter of 23 centimeters (equal to 9 inches) enough to fit a junior size basketball.
2 – The Swallowing Mouth
The blue whale also dominates the animal kingdom in terms of the size of the mouth. Research shows that the blue whale’s mouth can hold up to 90 tons (even 100 tons) of water and food.
3 – Keep that Tongue out
When you have the biggest mouth you probably will also dominate the animal kingdom in terms of the size and weight of the tongue. Within the blue whales’ big mouth is the world’s heaviest and largest tongue which weighs 2.7 tons (even 3 tons). It is about the size and weight of a full grown elephant.
4 – Big Brains, Great Advantages
The biggest brain is also included in the whale species, the Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) specifically has the biggest and the heaviest brain. Its brain weighs approximately 9 kilograms. Compared to an average human’s brain which weighs 1.5 kg, you can fit 6 human brains inside a Sperm Whale’s brain. By the way, this whale’s head covers almost 35% of its total body length.
5 – Reproduction and the Reproductive Organ
The blue whale’s penis measures 2.4 meters or eight feet in length. A female whale will reach maturity on its tenth year while the male will be matured on its twelfth year. Their mating season is very long which begins on late Autumn up to winter. The wonders on how whales find their mate is still a mystery to most researchers. Female whales can give birth every two to three years, this depends on how fast they can find a mate during mating season.
6 – Giant in Size
The blue whale is the largest living creature on Earth. The longest ever recorded is 110 feet long and it was a female blue whale. The average size of the female measures 85 feet and the average size of the male measures 82 feet. The newborn blue whale measures 19 and half feet long.
7 – Marvelous Appetite
An average blue whale can consume about 8,000 pounds of food each day, that’s a lot of small krill, squids and other life forms. For a newborn blue whale calf, it drinks 50 to 150 gallons a day, making them 200 pounds heavier a day.
8 – The Sleeping Habit
Whales cannot breathe underwater, but they can only dive and hold their breath for a limited time. If that’s the case, you have to be awake to avoid drowning. So, how they sleep? They rest half of their brain at a time to make sleeping possible. This is what happens, half of the brain remains awake to make sure that they can breathe and to keep them alert on their surroundings, then the other half of the brain sleeps. This is a continuous process that whales can do.
9 – Life Span of Whales
Though whales did not beat the tortoises in terms of who lives the longest. They still have a very long life span. Record shows that the longest living whale is a bowhead whale which may live to over 200 years. Wondering how experts determine their age? They have various methods such as looking at ear plugs in baleen whales, growth layers in the teeth of toothed whales and even studying aspartic acid in the whale’s eye.
10 – Journeying, the Whale Style
Whales do not have good vision underwater, so they have this technique known as echolocation. They use sound and echoes to find their way and to find food. Whales can also adapt to cold, icy waters because of the thick layer of “Blubber” under their skin. This serves as thermal insulation, making them to feel warm and another use of this blubber is as food storage