Marine Mammals

A:

Whales are mammals, so they produce milk. In order for an organism to be classified as a mammal, it must have certain physiological features, and feeding their young with milk is one requirement. Whales also have lungs, are warm blooded and have a fine layer of hair.

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  • How Long Do Harp Seals Live?

    Q: How Long Do Harp Seals Live?

    A: Harp seals live from 25 to 30 years in the wild. They range from the North Atlantic to the Arctic and can be found in the open water and along the coastline.
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  • What Do Otters Eat?

    Q: What Do Otters Eat?

    A: Most otters eat crayfish, crabs, fish, frogs and other aquatic invertebrates. The diet of otters varies, however, depends on the species, location of residence and availability of food sources. Small otters generally consume small mollusks, crayfish and crabs, while the largest species eat fish, frogs and even land mammals such as birds, rodents and rabbits.
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  • How Do Whale Sharks Protect Themselves?

    Q: How Do Whale Sharks Protect Themselves?

    A: As the largest fish in the world, whale sharks rely on their size to dissuade predators. Reaching up to 60 feet in length and weighing more than 20 tons upon maturity, adult whale sharks are only preyed upon by orcas and humans.
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  • How Long Have Whales Been on Earth?

    Q: How Long Have Whales Been on Earth?

    A: Fossil records show that the first whales lived approximately 50 million years ago, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. Primitive whales, belonging to the extinct suborder Archaeoceti, had features in common with land mammals and were the ancestors of today's baleen and toothed whales.
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  • How Much Does a Killer Whale Weigh?

    Q: How Much Does a Killer Whale Weigh?

    A: According to Encyclopædia Britannica, a male killer whale can reach a length of more than 26 feet and weigh more than five tons. Females can reach 23 feet and weigh significantly less.
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  • Why Do Dolphins Jump Out of the Water?

    Q: Why Do Dolphins Jump Out of the Water?

    A: Dolphins World cites five possible reasons as to why dolphins jump out of the water: to get a better view over the water, to conserve energy, to play, to get rid of parasites and to communicate with others.
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  • What Are Baby Whales Called?

    Q: What Are Baby Whales Called?

    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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  • What Is the Killer Whale's Scientific Name?

    Q: What Is the Killer Whale's Scientific Name?

    A: The scientific name of the killer whale is Orcinus orca. Instantly recognized by its black and white color, adult orcas commonly reach sizes of 32 feet and 6 tons or greater.
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  • What Sound Does a Seal Make?

    Q: What Sound Does a Seal Make?

    A: A seal makes a sound that is a mixture of a bark and an eerie whaling sound, depending on the species of seal. Sea lions are known to bark whenever they come out of the water as they snort to clear their nostrils.
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  • What Eats Dolphins?

    Q: What Eats Dolphins?

    A: Sharks, killer whales and humans are the primary eaters of dolphins. Dolphins are near the top of the food chain and employ many defensive strategies, so they are not often eaten by predators.
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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 Big Is a Whale's Stomach?

    Q: How Big Is a Whale's Stomach?

    A: Depending upon the species, a whale's stomach can be enormous, holding up to 2,200 pounds of food in the case of the blue whale. This whale's main diet consists of krill and copepods filtered through stiff, comb-like teeth called baleen plates.
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  • What Are Baby Seals Called?

    Q: What Are Baby Seals Called?

    A: Newborn and baby seals are commonly referred to as pups until they are 5 years old. After the five-year mark, young seals are called yearlings.
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  • What Do Whale Sharks Eat?

    Q: What Do Whale Sharks Eat?

    A: Whale sharks are filter feeders, which means that they eat massive amounts of tiny crustaceans, plankton and other small organisms. They have specialized passive filter structures in their mouths that allow sea water to pass through and strain out food matter.
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  • How Many Types of Dolphins Are There?

    Q: How Many Types of Dolphins Are There?

    A: There are 42 species of dolphins in the world. There are 38 species of marine dolphins and four species of river dolphins. The normal habitat for dolphins is saltwater, but some do live in freshwater. Dolphins are generally found in the shallow coastal waters of warm locations.
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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 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 Bottlenose Dolphins Reproduce?

    Q: How Do Bottlenose Dolphins Reproduce?

    A: The bottlenose dolphin reproduces through sexual copulation. The gestation period is 12 months. While twins do occur in bottlenose dolphin births, single calves are the most common. A calf remains with its mother from 18 months to 8 years following its birth.
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  • What Are the Adaptations of a Pygmy Hippo?

    Q: What Are the Adaptations of a Pygmy Hippo?

    A: The pygmy hippopotamus has several special adaptations for living in its environment, including major sensory organs on top of its head, strong muscles to keep ears and nostrils shut underwater and secretions of a red liquid that moisturizes the skin. These special adaptations are ideal for the creature's aquatic habitat.
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  • How Long Can a Whale Hold Its Breath?

    Q: How Long Can a Whale Hold Its Breath?

    A: Although the amount of time that a whale can hold its breath varies by species, the beaked whale can hold its breath for up to 2 hours. The sperm whale can hold its breath for up to 90 minutes.
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  • Is the Blue Whale Larger Than a Dinosaur?

    Q: Is the Blue Whale Larger Than a Dinosaur?

    A: At 170 to 200 tons, the blue whale is larger than any dinosaur known to have lived. The largest dinosaur lived in the Mesozoic Era and was the Argentinosaurus, which weighed up to 99 tons.
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