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Whales are warm blooded mammals which took to our seas over 45 million years ago. Being filter feeders, they strain sea water catching small organisms like plankton through a comb-like filter in the mouth called a baleen.
Whales vary in size from the blue whale, the largest mammal ever to exist at 35m 150 tonnes, to small pygmy sperm whale which is 3.5m.
Whales blow through their blow hole situated on top of the head .When submerged the whale’s blowhole fills with water and is cleared at the surface by blowing a jet of water into the air followed by a intake of breath. Baleen Whales have two blow holes.
Whales hear through their mouth where sounds pass on into the middle ear.
Whales are capable of making various sounds to communicate with others sometimes even man. These sounds are very complex and suggest a language of sorts, which is used to flirt during breeding season, to find out where others are to warn them off and I suppose general banter ,whale gossip and much more. Marine biologists are constantly studying and coming up with new discoveries regarding their communication
Latest findings published in nature magazine have found whales vocalise with regional accents Antarctic blue whales have different accents to blue whales off the coast of Chile.
Whales have much bigger brains than humans with more neurons although they might think more differently to us. This may be the reason they have not evolved in the same way as us, riding jet- skis or flying to the moon, as they have no limbs it is hard to throw a spear or invent wheels with fins!
Whales are very social animals capable of communicating over many hundreds of miles equivalent to a human mobile phone network. They teach, learn ,scheme and share emotions and grieve the loss of loved ones.
Whales don’t fall asleep because of the dangers of drowning. Instead one side of their brain rests while the other stays awake .