Whales are air-breathing, live-bearing mammals like us. But they spend almost their entire lives submerged, living in the vast ocean depths. That alone makes them an interesting species. But the next time you go whale watching, know that the magnificent animal you’re witnessing is amongst the most interesting life forms of all.
The Lung Capacity Of Champions
Whales are the undisputed champions of the world in terms of lung capacity. Bar none. It’s basically due to their evolutionary adaptation to life in the sea. But here’s an interesting tidbit about their lungs: they’re quite small in proportion to their massive bodies. It would be dangerous for them to have huge lungs due to the depths of their regular dives.
Coupled with this is the fact that whale lungs store oxygen differently from that of other animals. They don’t even need to have oxygen in their lungs to live, specifically. About 75 percent of the oxygen whales breathe in is stored in their blood. This allows whales to hold their breath for as long as one hour. The human record stands at a mere 22 minutes.
Female Humpback Whales Love Their BFFs
Think only human women love spending time with BFFs? Think again. Female humpback whales are amongst the most social of all whale species — they don’t just make friends but also see each other again every year. When in each other’s company, the female humpbacks float, eat, and just “enjoy” their time together. Scientists even claim that this mutual connection gives birth to healthier babies. Only lady humpbacks do this, however.
Humpbacks are also at it with their socialisation techniques. Male humpback whales “sing” the most complex communicative songs of any other species. These songs also possess the largest frequency range, at 20 to 90,000 Hertz. They use these sounds either to directly communicate with one another or to look for food.
One of The Most Endangered Animals Of All
Rampant fishing, pollution, dam/bridge construction, and commercial whaling have reduced whale populations greatly. In fact, this has been going on for thousands of years. Many of our earliest human ancestors hunted whales for their blubber, meat, and oil.
Whales are truly amazing creatures. These few interesting facts about them might add to the mystique of seeing such whales in person — not everyone has the privilege to see them thriving these days.