Are whales cold whales? Print E-mail
I think what you mean is, are whales cold-blooded like fish? Originally, people thought that whales were very large fish because their bodies have a similar shape to that of fish. In 1778, Swedish biologist, Linneus, recognized that whales were not fish but mammals. They share some common characteristics of all mammals. Unlike fish, whales are endothermic or warm-blooded: Their body-core temperature stays the same, it does not change with the temperature of their environment. Also, whales breathe air with lungs. Unlike fish, whales do not remove oxygen from the water but breathe air directly. This means a whale must come to the surface of the water at regular intervals to breathe. Whale nostrils, called “blowholes,” are located on top of the head. When a whale “surfaces” it exhales the air from its lungs. This is called “blowing.” They give birth to live young. Mothers (called cows) suckle their young (calves), on milk secreted by mammary glands. They have hair. Although they are not covered in hair or fur like many mammals, whales have some bristles, usually on their heads. In fact the humpbacks have a hair growing out of each of the golfball-sized tubercles on the tops of their heads. I think the whale can sense objects through the vibrations of the water around the hair folicles which are attached to sensitive nerve endings. So whales, like us, are warm-blooded and need to keep warm. Their thick layer of blubber helps whales stay warm during their feeding months in the colder waters up north.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 10 April 2008 20:56 )
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