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What are the types of whales?

whale species

What are the types of whales?

Whales are divided into two main groups, the baleen whales, scientifically known as Mysticeti, and the toothed whales, known scientifically as Odontoceti.
 Baleen whales are called by this name because their mouth contains baleen sheets made of keratin, which filter plankton from the water. This type of whale is characterized by having two nozzles at the top of the head. Toothed whales have teeth instead of plates, and they feed on fish and squid, and are distinguished by their ability to identify their surroundings using bio-sonar (echolocation).

baleen whales

Among the most important types of baleen whales are the following:

Blue Whale

It is known scientifically as (Balaenoptera musculus), and it is the largest animal that lives on the planet Earth ; It reaches a length of 100 feet, and can weigh 100-190 tons. It also makes the loudest sounds in the animal kingdom; Where the whale's low-frequency sound can travel from the North Pole to the South Pole, the blue whale's body is gray or blue speckled with light-colored spots.

Fin Whale

It is known scientifically as (Balaenoptera physalus), and it is the second largest animal on the surface of the earth. 
It is characterized by speed, and asymmetry of colors on both sides of its head. It has a white spot on the right side of the lower jaw, while this spot is not found on the left side.

Sei whale

Scientifically known as (Balaenoptera borealis), it is a streamlined whale, with a dark back, white ventral area, and highly curved dorsal fins. It is one of the fastest whales.

Bryde's Whale

It is known scientifically as (Balaenoptera edeni), and this whale is named after the name of Breedy, after Johann Pride; Who built the first whale stations in South Africa. Bryde's whales are 40-55 feet long and weigh approximately 45 tons. They look similar to the Sei whale, except that they have three spurs on their head instead of one.

Omura's Whale 

Scientifically known as (Balaenoptera omurai), it lives in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, including southern Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, and the Solomon Sea. Scientists believed that this whale is a small Pride whale, but genetic studies have proven that it is a separate species, and Omura's whale is similar in shape to the Sai whale, and it has a single bump on its head, and it resembles a fin whale with asymmetric colors on its head.

Humpback Whale 

Scientifically known as Megaptera novaeangliae, it ranges between 40-50 feet in length, weighs, on average, 20-30 tons, and has wing-like pectoral fins, up to 15 feet in length. This whale is famous for its long migrations between its feeding and breeding places, and it often fasts for a period of up to several months during the winter breeding season.

Gray Whale 

Scientifically known as (Eschrichtius robustus), this whale is gray with light-colored spots and dots, approximately 45 feet long, and can weigh between 30-40 tons.

Common Minke Whale

Scientifically known as (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), the common minke whale is divided into three subspecies, the North Atlantic minke whale, the North Pacific minke whale, and the dwarf minke whale.

Antarctic Minke Whale 

Scientifically known as (Balaenoptera bonaerensis), this whale differs from the common minke whale in that its pectoral fins are gray rather than grayish-white, and it was recognized as a separate species from the common minke whale in the 1990s.

bowhead whale 

Scientifically known as (Balaena mysticetus), this whale lives in the polar regions; Therefore, the layer of fat that covers its body is thick to protect it from the cold, and its length ranges between 45-60 feet, and its weight can reach 100 tons.

North Atlantic Right Whale 

It is known scientifically as (Eubalaena glacialis), characterized by the presence of coarse skin tissue on its head, and its length reaches 60 feet, and its weight is 80 tons.

North Pacific Right Whale 

Scientifically known as (Eubalaena japonica), this type of whale was recognized as a separate species from the North Atlantic right whale in 2000 AD, and it is one of the whales whose numbers are declining sharply due to overfishing, and its numbers are currently estimated at only 500 whales.

Southern Right Whale 

It is known scientifically as (Eubalaena australis), a huge whale that reaches 45-55 feet in length, and weighs up to 60 tons, and is famous for swimming during strong winds; By raising its tail above water level.

Pygmy Right Whale 

Scientifically known as (Caperea marginata), it lives in the temperate waters of the southern hemisphere, between latitudes 30-55 degrees south, and it is the smallest and least known type of baleen whale. These whales are up to 20 feet long and weigh nearly 5 tons.

Toothed whales

Among the types of toothed whales are the following:

Sperm Whale 

It is scientifically known as (Physeter macrocephalus), and it is the largest of the toothed whales. Its head is square in shape, and it has 20-26 conical teeth on each side of the lower jaw.

Pygmy Sperm Whale 

Known scientifically as (Kogia breviceps), it is 10 feet long and weighs 900 pounds.

The white whale

Scientifically known as (Delphinapterus leucas), it is known as the sea canary because of the distinctive sounds it makes.

whale breeding 

Whales have reproductive organs that are pulled inside the body while swimming, and a female whale can mate with several males in one season, and fertilization occurs internally, and the gestation period extends for about a year, after which she gives birth to one calf that comes out from the side of the tail first ; To reduce the risk of drowning. 
The length of the newborn whale ranges from one third to half the length of the mother. The mother breastfeeds the calf from a pair of nipples that are located in the back of the abdomen near the opening of the genitals. In most species of whales, the mother continues to breastfeed the calf for a whole year, and therefore the links between them are close. 
The milk of female whales is thick and rich in fat, and the whale reaches maturity when it is between seven and ten years old.

The way whales communicate 

Whales communicate with each other by releasing sounds that other whales can hear for long distances up to miles under water. Even humans attack to hunt, and whales can make sounds for distress. The whale's different sounds are emitted by air rushing from the mouth at the top of the whale's head, and then amplified by the fat that's lumpy in the whale's upper jaw.
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