• Have you ever seen a whale?
Yes. We have seen gray whales, blue whales, killer whales, fin whales, minke whales, sperm whales, northern right whales, and humpback whales. We have seen gray whales from a boat while we were around the California Channel Islands, but not while we were diving underwater. We have seen and swam with humpback whales underwater while we were studying them in the Silver Bank, near the Caribbean Sea. In The Ocean Adventure program, The Silver Bank Humpback Whale Expedition, we show you some of humpback whales we have worked with.
Mr. Brown: I swam with a blue whale 10 years ago off the coast of Southern California. The blue whale I swam with was over 65 feet (20 meters) long.
• Do whales sleep?
Whales don't sleep like you do. They don't lie down on a bed and put their head on a pillow. Whales sleep, but they don't sleep for hours and hours like you do. Whales sometimes will float on the surface and take little naps. Whales sometimes also take little naps while they are holding their breath floating underwater.
• Why do whale have to live in water?
Whales' tails and flippers are designed for swimming underwater, not for walking on land. Whales will die if they are out of the water too long. Whales are big and heavy. Water supports the heavy weight of whales so they aren't crushed by their own weight. If whales tried to live out of the water they could be crushed to death by their own weight. When whales are on land they can't move and their skin dries out. On land whales can die from the heat and too much sun. Living in the water keeps the whales skin moist and whales can move easily in the water
• How many kinds of whales are there?
There are 78 different kinds (species) of whales that have been identified so far. This includes all three whale (cetacean) groups: porpoises, dolphins and whales.
• How many whales are there in the world?
No one knows for sure how many whales there are in the whole world. We are not even sure how many kinds of whales there are. Every once in a while some one discovers a new kind of whale no ever knew existed. Before 1900 there were probably about 3 million whales in the world. Of all the different kinds of whales in all the oceans, seas and rivers, there are possibly less than 2 million whales living today.
• Why are all whales mammals?
We call whales mammals because of certain things they have in common with other animals we call mammals. We are mammals. The five special things that mammals have in common are:
(1) breathing air with lungs
(2) having warm blood
(3) giving birth to live babies (not laying eggs)
(4) feeding babies milk from the mother
(5) having hair.
Dive into one of our previous Internet Expedition to see
some of the whales we have seen around the world.