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Whales-The Largest Mammals Living on This Earth

By Robin Mackenzie Subscribe to RSS | February 8th 2012 | Views:

So many miracles occur in nature and one such beautiful creations of God are the whales. They are the most gigantic living mammals ever living on the earth. Did you know that initially these Giant mammals were four legged creatures that walked on this earth and then gradually as part of the evolution, they returned back to the oceans? By the way why do we have to refer to them as wild mammals? What are the special features of mammals? These whales are not fish because fish breathe through gills and they lay eggs. But mammals unlike fish have lungs through which they breathe and not only that, they give birth to young ones just like all animals and they also secrete milk to feed the young and the kids are nursed almost a year until they are independent.

Whales belong to the mammal group Cetaceans. Even dolphins and porpoises belong to this group. Whales are not fish, they need air to breathe and so they come to the surface level every time they need oxygen. They are warm blooded and so their body is capable of maintaining a warm temperature in spite of the changes in the environmental temperature. The blue whale is considered to be the largest ever living mammal on the earth and it weighs up to 100 tones which means, it is way too heavy when compared to the dinosaurs. They are usually very huge but again very elusive. There is a touch of mystery to them and since they are not seen very often, it surprises me in a meager way to say that they are one of the most fascinating creatures on earth. They have a skeleton just like we do. Their front flippers are their forelimbs and they have no hind limbs at all.

Flukes are considered their rear flippers and they have no bones and are made up of a tough fibrous material. The forelimbs control the direction and they act as devices of communication and perform social functions. Just like how we humans have hemoglobin, the whales have a pigment called myoglobin which stores oxygen in the muscles during times of deep dives. All whales are either baleen or toothed. Baleen whales do not have teeth where as the toothed whales have them. However both the types swallow their food as a whole it’s just that the toothed whales get to tear pieces of a bigger chunk of food. Baleen whales are much larger when compared to the toothed whales. They also can’t swim as fast as toothed whales.

Blue whale, Grey whale, Bowhead whale, Fin whale, Humpback whale and Minke whale are some type of baleen whales where as Sperm whale, Narwhal whale, Pilot whale, and Beluga whale belong to the category of toothed whales. They eat a lot of things in the oceans. A lot of whales feed on fish but there are some which feed on planktons like krill. They usually sleep in the water on the surface. Some killer whales hunt and feed on other marine mammals including whales. Did you know that dolphins are a kind of whales? In fact all dolphins are whales but not all whales are dolphins.

I went to a sea world park to watch these amazing creatures and believe me they were awe inspiring. I have also watched some programs about whales on my TV provided by ATT Uverse. The actual matter of concern is the ruthless way in which these magnificent creatures are hunted down. Now some of the species are on the brink of extinction and may vanish from this earth forever. Let’s raise our voice against killing of these precious creations of God and save them for a safer tomorrow.

Robin Mackenzie - About Author:
Robin Mackenzie is a freelancer. She has a passion for wild life. In particular she likes to write about marine life especially mammals such as whales. During her free time she watches a lot of programs on her television provided by ATT Uverse.

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