A Whale of a… Well, Whale

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Dallas Shrawder, Imprint Writer

What do you call a pod of musical whales? An orca-stra! Get it? Okay, but really, whales are extremely interesting creatures. For instance, did you know there are more than 70 species of whales that have been identified so far? Did you then know that at a length of 100 feet and a weight of up to 200 tons, the blue whale is considered to be the largest animal to ever live on earth! That, however, is surely is not all there is to know about whales; if you want to know more and become an expert on Cetaceans (as they’re scientifically known), keep reading!

When someone thinks about whales, the first thing to come to mind would probably be that they are big; but just exactly how big is “big?” As stated before, the blue whale is the largest animal in the world. Its heart is the size of a VW Beetle car, according to the Whale and Dolphin Conservation foundation, and its aorta is large enough for a small child to crawl through. Even the newborn calf of a blue whale is considerably large in size, coming into the world at about seven and a half meters in lengths and weighing between approximately five and a half to seven tons.

Of course there are other questions a person could have about whales; one is not only interested in how big they are, after all. One may be curious as to which whale has the thickest blubber: unsurprisingly, the arctic bowhead whale has the thickest blubber, sometimes reaching up to seventy centimeters thick to help the animal keep warm in the frigid northern waters. Maybe readers are wondering which whale has the largest brain? The sperm whale, with a massive head that can reach up to a third of its body length, has the heaviest brain in the animal kingdom at around 8,000 centimeters. Compare that to the average human’s at 1,300 centimeters, and the enormity of the animal is mind-boggling. Maybe one is possibly interested to know which whale lives the longest? Though it isa  bit disputed, bowhead whales are though to hold the title of the longest living of all whales; sometimes surpassing 200 years.

Now that you have some background knowledge on whales, do you think you are a whale expert yet?