Whales can be pretty intimidating. However, the more you know about them, the harder it is to be afraid of these incredible creatures. That’s often why fantastic facts about whales make them even better.
Some whales suck in their prey and swallow them whole
One of the most interesting facts about whales is that not all of them have teeth. These are known as baleen whales. Something else worth noting is that not all toothed whales actually chew their prey. Some suck them in like a vacuum cleaner by depressing the hyoid bone, which creates negative pressure in the mouth. Creatures as big as a squid can get pulled in and swallowed whole.
One of the most fascinating facts about whales is that they can go for months without food
You might be surprised to know that whales can go for months without eating anything. This is because they typically mate towards the equator, where there are fewer predators but also fewer nutrients like krill to feast on. As a result, females generally have to rely on the fat they’re already carrying to get them through pregnancy and nursing. This is why female whales are typically bigger than males, and it’s not the only time females in the animal kingdom have outshone their male counterparts.
Many whales use countershading so their prey can’t see them
Sea creatures come in all sorts of unexpected colors, as evidenced by the lemon shark. However, one of the fantastic facts about whales is how many use color in something known as countershading. This is where their top half is different from their bottom half in order to deceive prey. The top will often be quite dark, so they blend in with the ocean depths below, while the bottom will be light, so they look more like the bright sky above.
A whale’s sound differs in frequency depending on if it has teeth
One thing many people don’t know about whales is that those with teeth create higher frequency noises. This allows them to utilize very specific echolocation through which they can sense the texture of the fish they’re after. Baleen whales tend to make lower frequency sounds which don’t allow for as much detail but can travel a lot further. They also aren’t that quiet, with the blue whale being one of the loudest creatures on the planet.
You can apparently identify a whale by the shape of the vapor it spouts from its blowhole
With some species growing in number again, there are a lot of whales out there. If you’re not sure how to tell the difference between them all, it can apparently help to look at the vapor spouting from their blowhole. It seems that the shape of this can indicate what whale it’s come from. For instance, humpback whales often produce heart-shaped vapor clouds. What’s more, these clouds are actually air they’re breathing out, not water.
There’s no end to these fantastic facts about whales, which just prove they’re some of the most incredible creatures on the planet.