Whale and Blue Whale
Blue whale and other varieties are marine largest mammals who give birth to their young ones. They breathe from lungs and are warm blooded. They have protected fat layer or blubber under their skin. The muscles contain large amount of myoglobin to store large amount of oxygen for respiration during diving. The whale exhale stale air through blowhole present on head in the form of plume fountain and intake fresh air through this blowhole into lungs.
There are 40 different whales species with two major groups.
- Toothless Whales: Examples are blue whale, white whale etc
- Toothed Whales: Examples are sperm Whale and Gray’s beaked whale etc
Toothless Whales/Baleen Whales have comb like structure in their Jaws which acts as strainer to filter food that is small crustaceans, small fishes from sea water.
Blue whale is the largest toothless whale in the world. it is the largest animal known to have ever existed. It measures up to 105 Feet and weighs about 190 tons. Interestingly this weight is equal to 24 adult elephants weight. Normally, Blue whale live upto 80 years on average with gestation period of 16 to 17 months. Blue whales have been found in every ocean of the world. Blue whales swim individually or in small groups. Pairs are very commonly seen. Approximately 2,000 blue whales live off the Ca
lifornia Coast and migrate to Mexico and Costa Rica.
Toothed Whale/Killer Whale:
Toothed whale/Killer Whale include sperm whales are having conical teeth on lower jaw. Sperm whales have spermaceti containers in huge head region, filled with spermaceti oil, a waxy semi-liquid substance. This waxy substance is used in making lubricants, candles and used in illuminant lamps. Detergents and glycerine are made of this this. When spermaceti oil becomes cold and hardens into solid wax, alter the buoyancy. The hardened oil/wax helps the whale ti sink and rise in the sea water.
Ambergris is a grey solid waxy, blackish substance formed from whale bile present in intestine of sperm whales. The Ambergris when passes out as vomits or by force is a valued perfumer and scent like amber. Is it not interesting fact?
Reproduction and development in Blue Whale:
As Blue whale, killer whale and all the whales are mammal and contain a mammary gland. The young/calf feeds on milk from this gland.
- Females give birth to calves every two to three years.
- They remain pregnant for about one year before giving birth.
- When born, the blue whale calf is about 23 feet (7 m) long and weighs 5,000 to 6,000 pounds (2,267 to 2,722 kg).
- A nursing blue whale mother produces over 50 gallons (200 liters) of milk a day.
- The milk contains 35 to 50% milk fat and allows the calf to gain weight at a rate of up to 10 pounds an hour or over 250 pounds (113 kg) a day!
- The calf wean an average length of over 52 feet (16 m) at the age of six month.
- The blue whale reaches sexual maturity at around 10 years of age.