Whales are amazing marine mammals that are capable of communicating with each other over long distances, hunting for food as strategic teams, playing water sports together, competing with each other and protecting their families against predators.
It is believed that whales evolved from land dwelling creatures into marine mammals over the course of millions of years.
In fact bones can still be found in the whales flippers which indicate limbs that used to be used for walking and capturing food.
Today millions of whales inhibit the oceans all over the world.
15 fun whale facts for kids that you may not have known about
1) The biggest animal on the planet is the blue whale, which can grow to over 100 ft long and weigh more than 150 tons!
2) The smallest known whale is the dwarf sperm whale which measures in at around 9 ft. and can weigh between 400 – 600 pounds!
3) Unlike fish whales breathe air and must come to the surface of the water in order to take in oxygen.
4) Some scientists believe that the bowhead whale can live as long as 200 years!
5) Unlike humans whales can make sounds without having to exhale.
6) The killer whale & pilot whale (despite their names) are actually part of the dolphin family.
7) Because whales live in the water they are never able to fall completely asleep otherwise they would drown.
8) Whales are mammals and like most mammals they are warm-blooded, produce milk, bare offspring, nurse their young, have hair (only some species) and require oxygen to survive.
9) Despite the blue whales massive size it is unable to swallow a human because it’s food passage is roughly the size of a beach ball, which is much smaller than an adult human or even a young child.
10) A blue whale can eat as many as 40 million krill per day!
11) In addition to making sounds with their blowholes whales can also communicate and locate food using echolocation.
12) Whales along with reptiles remain one of our oldest connections to the history of the dinosaurs as their earliest ancestors lived more than 50 million years ago.
13) Millions of years ago whales (actually their ancestors) used walk the earth and hunt on land.
14) The history of whale watching (in the US) can be dated back as far as 1950 where the Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego was declared a public place to observe gray whales in their natural habitat
15) The sperm whale can hold its breath for 90 minutes!