Marine Mammals

A:

A group of whales is known as a pod. While not all species of whales are always seen in groups, whales form pods that range from a few animals to groups of 40 or more.

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  • What is the collective noun for a group of whales?

    Q: What is the collective noun for a group of whales?

    A: The collective noun for a group of whales is a pod. Since many kinds of whales are social, they can often be found in pods made up of their relatives or even unrelated whales.
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  • How many babies do dolphins have?

    Q: How many babies do dolphins have?

    A: Dolphins generally give birth to just one baby at a time, which is referred to as a calf. Unlike many animals, dolphins rarely have multiple births. After enduring a gestation period of 9 to 17 months, expectant dolphins part from their pod mates to deliver their offspring alone, typically near the surface of the surrounding water.
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  • Do dolphins live in coral reefs?

    Q: Do dolphins live in coral reefs?

    A: Dolphins live near coral reefs, but they do not live in coral reefs. Dolphins, like all other ocean species, benefit from a robust coral reef ecosystem, because reef inhabitants maintain the balance of nutrients that helps to normalize water quality.
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  • Are dolphins more intelligent than humans?

    Q: Are dolphins more intelligent than humans?

    A: Research indicates that, by human measures for intelligence, dolphins are the second-most intelligent species on the planet. MRI scans show that dolphins are self-aware, and other research suggests that the marine mammals have a special vulnerability for suffering and trauma.
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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 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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  • Do whales have hair?

    Q: Do whales have hair?

    A: Whales have hair, as all species of whales are aquatic mammals. Instead of having scales, like most other marine animals, whales have a fine layer of hair over their bodies.
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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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  • How do dolphins talk?

    Q: How do dolphins talk?

    A: Dolphins start communicating from birth by squawking, whistling, clicking and squeaking, according to National Geographic. Members of a pod sometimes vocalize in varying patterns simultaneously, much like people holding different conversations at a party.
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 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 beluga whales defend themselves?

    Q: How do beluga whales defend themselves?

    A: Beluga whales defend themselves by blending in with the polar ice caps that they swim near. For example, they often swim by large white chunks of snow in the water to hide from their main predators. They also have superb hearing and distinct voices, so they can call each other for protection. They have strong skin and fins, and their eyes have a protective substance on the cornea.
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  • Do killer whales eat polar bears?

    Q: Do killer whales eat polar bears?

    A: Generally, killer whales will not eat polar bears, but because they can be opportunistic eaters, if a polar bear presents itself as food the whale may eat it. However, the two animals typically leave each other alone.
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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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  • Where do harp seals live?

    Q: Where do harp seals live?

    A: According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, harp seals live in the waters surrounding the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans and can be found between Newfoundland and Northern Russia. The entire harp seal population is distributed into three groups, and each group has its own breeding site.
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  • What is being done to save the humpback whales?

    Q: What is being done to save the humpback whales?

    A: Some of the conservation efforts to save humpback whales include the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan, the Pacific Offshore Cetacean Take Reduction Plan, the Structure of Populations, Levels of Abundance and Status of Humpbacks project and the More North Atlantic Humpbacks project. In addition, safe boating practice education and humpback whale research and monitoring aid the effort to protect humpbacks.
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  • Why is the blue whale endangered?

    Q: Why is the blue whale endangered?

    A: The blue whale is endangered because it was hunted almost to extinction in the late 19th and early 20th century. Though the International Whaling Commission banned the hunting of blue whales in 1966, some countries continued to illegally hunt them until the 1970s.
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  • What eats whales?

    Q: What eats whales?

    A: Killer whales, sharks and false killer whales eat whales. False killer whales and killer whales may hunt whales in packs. Humans are largely considered to be the primary predator of whales.
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