Marine Mammals

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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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  • Why Do People Hunt Blue Whales?

    Q: Why Do People Hunt Blue Whales?

    A: Blue whales have been hunted by people since the 1700s because of the value of their blubber and body parts. Oil is one of the primary products generated from oil blubber. Blue whales have been used for production of oil used in lamps, candles and various beauty products.
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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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  • 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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  • Did Whales Have Legs?

    Q: Did Whales Have Legs?

    A: Ancestors of modern-day whales, such as Pakicetus, were amphibious cetaceans and possessed legs. Ambulocetus, a descendant of Pakicetus, had shorter legs more suited for aquatic life in addition to paddle-shaped feet.
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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 Is a Whale Skeleton Made Of?

    Q: What Is a Whale Skeleton Made Of?

    A: Whales have skeletons that are mainly composed of the same materials as the skeletons of other vertebrates. These materials consist mainly of collagen fibers woven together with small, inorganic crystals, according to the University of Cambridge.
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  • How Does a Dolphin Protect Itself?

    Q: How Does a Dolphin Protect Itself?

    A: The main mechanisms dolphins use to protect themselves include avoiding natural predators by detecting them with echolocation and traveling in numbers for safety. When they cannot avoid attacks or scare off predators, dolphins defend themselves by fighting with their attackers.
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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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  • What Is the Elephant Seal Mating Ritual?

    Q: What Is the Elephant Seal Mating Ritual?

    A: The first step in the elephant seal mating ritual involves battles for supremacy between males. Afterwards, the dominant males drive away the weaker ones and establish harems of 30 to 100 females. The bulls then copulate with the cows in their harems. Only a few of the most powerful bulls have an opportunity to mate.
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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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  • 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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  • 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 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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  • How Much Does a Whale Eat in a Day?

    Q: How Much Does a Whale Eat in a Day?

    A: The smallest whale, the dwarf sperm whale, can eat up to 2,204 pounds of food a day. The largest whale, the blue whale, can eat 8,000 to 16,000 pounds of food a day.
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  • Do Whales Mate for Life?

    Q: Do Whales Mate for Life?

    A: Whales don't mate for life. Some species of whale mate with many different partners in a single year. This most often happens during mating season when many whales gather together to mate and bear offspring.
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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 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 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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  • 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 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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  • Do Whales Make Milk?

    Q: Do Whales Make Milk?

    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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