November 29, Rivaling the evolution of feathers in dinosaurs, one of the most extraordinary transformations in the history of life was the evolution of baleen—rows of flexible hair-like plates that blue whales, humpbacks and other marine mammals use to filter relatively tiny prey from gulps of ocean water. The unusual structure enables the world's largest creatures to consume several tons of food each day, without ever chewing or biting.
The distribution shown is generalised from the Departments Species of National Environmental Significance dataset. This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. Some species information is withheld in line with sensitive species polices.
Whales are marine mammals that dwell in the oceans and seas. The blue whale is the largest animal on Earth, topping the charts at up to feet in length and up to tons in weight. Whales belong to the cetacean family, which also includes dolphins and porpoises.
The sperm whale is the largest toothed whale. Males reach 60 feet 17 m in length and the smaller females are 37 feet 12 m. They are dark gray in color, have a hump rather than a dorsal fin, and usually display their tail flukes when they dive. Their skin is wrinkled to increase surface area for heat loss, giving them a shriveled look.
Sperm whalePhyseter catodonalso called cachalotthe largest of the toothed whaleseasily recognized by its enormous square head and narrow lower jaw. The sperm whale is dark blue-gray or brownish, with white patches on the belly. It is thickset and has small paddlelike flippers and a series of rounded humps on its back.
Whales are mammals that live underwater. Like all mammals, they breathe air and they are born live from their mothers instead of coming from eggs. However, whales are also unusual mammals, and not only because they live underwater.
It is the only living member of the genus Physeter and one of three extant species in the sperm whale familyalong with the pygmy sperm whale and dwarf sperm whale of the genus Kogia. The sperm whale is a pelagic mammal with a worldwide range, and will migrate seasonally for feeding and breeding. The females cooperate to protect and nurse their young.
The inspiration for the white whale of Moby Dick, sperm whales have the largest heads, biggest brains, and make the loudest sound of any animal on Earth. Region: Arctic. Destinations: Lofoten, Greenland, Svalbard, Iceland.
In certain whale species, teeth exist instead of the baleen plates of other whales. These whales are part of the Odontoceti suborder of Cetaceans, which eats mainly fish and crustaceans. Some toothed whales also eat smaller mammals such as dolphins or seals.
Fossil hunters have recovered the remains of an ancient sperm whale that boasted one of the largest bites of any predator that ever lived. The beast, named Leviathan melvillei after the author of Moby Dick, Herman Melville, had a skull 3 metres long with teeth in its upper and lower jaws that grew to an extraordinary 36cm long. Remains of the whale, including large fragments of its skull, lower jaw and teeth, were found in the sands of the Pisco-Ica desert on the south coast of Peru inbut details of the discovery have only now been released.