Marine Mammals

A:

A baby whale is called a calf. Most whales give birth to a single calf at a time, but several instances have been recorded in which twin calves have been born in the wild.

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  • How many teeth does a killer whale have?

    Q: How many teeth does a killer whale have?

    A: Killer whales have 48 to 52 teeth in total on their top and bottom jaws. Their teeth reach up to 4 inches long. Although they have teeth, they do not chew their food.
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  • What is the dolphin's habitat?

    Q: What is the dolphin's habitat?

    A: Dolphins live in all of the world's oceans. They are also found in several major river systems, including the Indus, the Ganges and the Amazon. No one species lives in every ocean, but every ocean has at least one dolphin species present.
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  • What animals eat penguins?

    Q: What animals eat penguins?

    A: Penguins have a variety of predators, including seals, killer whales and sharks. Additionally, birds, foxes and pumas eat penguins when their ranges overlap. Contrary to popular belief, polar bears are not predators of penguins, as polar bears inhabit the northern hemisphere, while penguins inhabit the southern hemisphere.
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  • How far can a whale hear underwater?

    Q: How far can a whale hear underwater?

    A: Depending upon the species, whales can hear each other up to 1,000 miles away. Whales use their sounds to communicate and to navigate the ocean with echolocation.
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  • How long can dolphins stay underwater?

    Q: How long can dolphins stay underwater?

    A: Dolphins are able to hold their breath for 15 to 17 minutes underwater. Dolphins are actually a type of whale, and they breathe through their blow holes.
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  • What are dolphins' enemies?

    Q: What are dolphins' enemies?

    A: Although dolphins are apex predators, they are sometimes eaten by sharks and killer whales; however, their primary predator is mankind. Dolphin pods attack sharks on sight, circling protectively around the weakest member of their group and attacking until the shark is driven away or killed. Dolphin remains have also been found in orca stomachs. Humans kill dolphins either by accident or intentionally during large-scale fishing operations.
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  • Are whales herbivores?

    Q: Are whales herbivores?

    A: Whales are carnivores, not herbivores. Herbivores have strictly plant-based diets, while carnivores consume meat. A whale's typical diet includes octopus, fish, shrimp, krill and squid, making these mammals carnivores. A blue whale can consume 4 tons of krill daily.
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  • Are harp seals endangered?

    Q: Are harp seals endangered?

    A: Harp seals are not an endangered species, according to Scientific American. However, scientists and colleagues at Duke University and the International Wildlife Fund have determined that a decrease of winter ice at harp seal breeding grounds is an ongoing threat.
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  • What sound does a walrus make?

    Q: What sound does a walrus make?

    A: Walruses are very loud and vocal animals that make an extraordinary range of sounds, including barks, moans, screams, whoops, wails, bellows, growls, snorts, sniffles and knocking sounds. Male walruses also sing complex and lengthy songs during breeding season.
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  • How are sharks and dolphins alike?

    Q: How are sharks and dolphins alike?

    A: Sharks and dolphins are alike in many ways, sharing several physical characteristics such as their side fins, dorsal fins and torpedo-shaped bodies. Although these animals vary wildly ��� one is cold-blooded and one is warm-blooded ��� they both evolved for underwater speed.
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  • What is the habitat of a manatee?

    Q: What is the habitat of a manatee?

    A: Sometimes called a sea cow, manatees live in the warm waters of bays, rivers, estuaries and coastal waters. They are graceful and gentle mammals that have been known to reside in the North American east coast, the Amazon River and in the rivers at the west coast of Africa.
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  • What eats sea lions?

    Q: What eats sea lions?

    A: Killer whales and sharks eat sea lions. Although sea lions swim faster than both predators, killer whales and sharks are often able to surprise them before they can escape.
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  • Do whales eat people?

    Q: Do whales eat people?

    A: Whales do not eat people. Many whales do not even have teeth but, instead, filter their food from water. Orca whales eat large marine mammals, such as seals, walruses and even other whales; however, there has never been a recorded incident in which a whale consumed a human for food.
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  • What are the predators of dolphins?

    Q: What are the predators of dolphins?

    A: Dolphins are close to the top of their food chain with few natural predators other than sharks. When faced by a predator, dolphins often circle, head butt or use their tails to hit the other animal in self defense. According to the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, sharks often attack dolphins from behind or below as shown by bite scars.
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  • What is the name for a baby whale?

    Q: What is the name for a baby whale?

    A: A baby whale is called a calf. Birth seasons and gestation periods vary among whale species. Most whale calf births are single, but twin births do happen occasionally.
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  • How do manatees nurse their young?

    Q: How do manatees nurse their young?

    A: Manatees are large aquatic mammals that nurse their young with a nipple that is located underneath the female manatee's flippers on each side of the body; though these are mammals that breathe air, the calf nurses while submerged. Baby manatees, which are known as calves, will nurse very shortly after birth and will continue nursing for the duration of the time they spend with their mother, which is typically about a year. Though manatee calves nurse for a relatively long period, they also begin eating plants while still nursing, which typically happens when they are a few weeks old.
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  • What does the inside of a whale look like?

    Q: What does the inside of a whale look like?

    A: Whales are not fish, but mammals, and the inside of a whale looks similar to that of a land mammal. They have skeletons with long backbones, circulatory systems similar to warm-blooded animals, large hearts and lungs, large teeth and inner ears that are adapted to hear underwater. To provide buoyancy, store energy and insulate them against cold temperatures, whales have a layer of blubber under their skin.
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  • How do harbor seals protect themselves?

    Q: How do harbor seals protect themselves?

    A: Harbor seals defend themselves from humans and predators by relying on their sensitive hearing to alert them and allow them to vacate the area. During the breeding season, males protect their territory from rival males by engaging in stylized fighting. While strong and fast swimmers, harbor seals lack other defense mechanisms and often fall prey to killer whales, sharks and the occasional coyote or bobcat.
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  • What are some facts about sea otters?

    Q: What are some facts about sea otters?

    A: Sea otters are mammals that belong to the weasel family, have the densest fur of all animals and are a keystone species. As a keystone species, the sea otter is critical for the health and well-being of a great number of other species. They are the heaviest weasels and the second smallest marine mammals.
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  • Are penguins mammals?

    Q: Are penguins mammals?

    A: Penguins are not mammals, even though they are warm-blooded animals. Penguins are one of only a few species of flightless birds left in the world. Many people mistakenly believe penguins have fur instead of feathers because of the extremely tight packing of the feathers on their bodies.
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  • How fast can dolphins swim?

    Q: How fast can dolphins swim?

    A: The most common dolphin species, the bottlenose dolphin, has a top speed of 21.7 miles per hour. The fastest member of the dolphin family is the killer whale, which can reach speeds of more than 30 miles per hour.
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