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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  • 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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  • In which ocean zone do dolphins live?

    Q: In which ocean zone do dolphins live?

    A: According to EnchantedLearning.com, dolphins live in what is known as the euphotic zone, which is sometimes referred to as the sunlit zone — part of the continental shelf that extends down to depths of anywhere from 50 to 660 feet. This zone is so named because it is lit by the sun for at least part of the day.
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  • Can I swim with dolphins in Ireland?

    Q: Can I swim with dolphins in Ireland?

    A: There are several places in Ireland where a visitor may swim with dolphins. The Irish seas are often cold and harsh, however, and a traveler has to plan the visit to the Irish coast in the summer months.
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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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  • How big is a basking shark's mouth?

    Q: How big is a basking shark's mouth?

    A: The large mouth of the basking shark can measure over 3 feet across when open. The species swims with its mouth agape, catching plankton and other small organisms on bristles along massive gill slits, which filter as much as 1,500 gallons of water per hour during feeding.
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 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 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 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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  • 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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  • What is a blue whale's habitat?

    Q: What is a blue whale's habitat?

    A: Blue whales are oceanic animals and have been seen in every ocean. In the Northern Hemisphere, distinct populations exist near Iceland, California and in the region between Newfoundland and Greenland. In the Southern Hemisphere, the whales are often sighted in the Antarctic, and near Australia and New Zealand.
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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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  • Where do killer whales live?

    Q: Where do killer whales live?

    A: Killer whales live mostly in cool coastal waters. However, they can be found in most oceans across the globe. The least likely area to find them is in the middle of open warm areas, such as the Pacific Ocean.
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  • How long to baby otters stay with their mothers?

    Q: How long to baby otters stay with their mothers?

    A: Different otter species spend different amounts of time living with their mothers after birth. River otters stay with their mothers for about a year, usually long enough for her to become pregnant and deliver a new litter, while sea otter pups can remain dependent on their mothers for a period of five months to a year.
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  • What do Weddell seals eat?

    Q: What do Weddell seals eat?

    A: Weddell seals prey upon fish, squid and octopus, prawns and crabs, although their diet may vary slightly based on seasonal changes, according to TravelWild. Their favorite fish species to prey on are emerald rock-cod and Antarctic silverfish. Weddell seals seem to eat their food underwater.
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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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  • 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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  • 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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