Whales

Whales are one of the most popular animals. They come in different shapes and sizes as well as different features and can be divided into two broad categories: baleen whales (Mysticeti) and toothed whales (Odontoceti).  When we think of whales, we often picture species that are part of the Balaenopteridae family: blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus), fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus), and minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata). With its long, white pectoral fins and bumpy skin, the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is a well-known and unique species within the order of Mysticeti (baleen whales). Many whale-watching tours specialise in this particular whale species.

 

Further, the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus), part of the Odontoceti (toothed whales), is the world’s largest predator and well-known for its prolonged and deep dives after its favourite treat, the giant squid (Architeuthis). In contrast to baleen species, which feed on plankton, toothed whales are equipped with complex echolocation in order to hunt their prey.

 

© C. Pagel

Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)

© C. Pagel

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