Whale facts for kids are a great way to introduce children to these amazing creatures of the sea!
Whales are big, beautiful, amazing sea creatures!
Whale Facts: Did you know that whales are one of the few mammals that spend their entire lives in the water? It’s true.
Want to know more? Keep reading for more interesting fun facts about whales!
Whale Facts Every Child Should Know
There are 2 Categories of Whales
While there are many species of whale, all of them fall into two categories: toothed whales and baleen whales. Toothed whales, like orcas, have teeth to eat squid and fish. Baleen whales, such as humpbacks, use fringed plates to eat smaller prey like krill. In addition, toothed whales have only one blowhole, while baleen whales have two!
Whales Breathe Air
Like other mammals, whales breathe air into their lungs. Using a blowhole located on the top of their head, whales have to come up to the surface of the water to get their air. Depending on the type of whale, they can be under water for up to 90 minutes.
The Whale is the Largest Animal
The Blue Whale, specifically, is the largest animal that ever lived. They can grow over 90 feet long and weigh over 330,000 pounds (just to give you an idea, that’s like the weight of 24 elephants!) Now that’s big!
Whales Like to Sing
Whales are known to carry a tune. While it is not positive why they sing, it is believed that their melodies are used for a number of reasons. Some whales may be looking to attract a mate or to watch over their calves (babies). Other whales might use a song to locate their prey or simply to communicate. The tune of a whale can be heard for miles and miles and can last as long as 30 minutes.
Whales Half Sleep
In order to keep from drowning, whales do not fully sleep like other mammals do. Whales sleep by shutting down only half of their brain for rest. This lets the other half of their brain remain alert to make sure they take breaths when needed. Some whales, such as sperm whales, are known to snooze vertically keeping their noses out of the water. How interesting!
Whales Are Fast Swimmers
Despite their large size, whales move through the water pretty quickly. By using their tails in an up and down motion, rather than side to side, whales can reach speeds of up to 30 miles an hour.
Whales Travel in Pods
Most whales move in groups called pods. Pods can be as small as two whales and be as big as hundred or more whales. It is most common for pods to consist of about two to thirty whales. Larger whale pods are typically formed when embarking on a long journey of migration.
Each Whale Tail is Unique
Whale tails have flukes or lobes. Each fluke is unique and special to that whale. Similar to a persons fingerprint, whale lobes have distinctive traits that are helpful in identifying specific whale species.
What are some of your favorite types of whales? Share them with us in the comments below!