The balance of nature and the food chain is what makes life on earth peaceful and good. Every living organism plays a role in this world. Likewise, Whales, are the only large mammal in the world that lived in the past and present. Let’s see some of the characteristics and importance of Whales to nature and humans.
A whale bouncing off the water
Whale, an aquatic mammal belonging to the order Cetacea is the only organism that is larger than any other animal (Except Dinosaurs). The name Whale is given to the species that is large than 10 feet. Whales can be seen in all oceans and seas except Aral and Caspian seas. Some species of whales contain a thick layer of skin called blubber which is used to survive cold conditions in the water. They have a bigger head and a small eye which is used for surviving intense pressure underwater. They don’t have outer ears but they use their echolocation and sense vibration through the inner ear. Like humans, whales need to come to the surface for breathing. Some whales come to the surface between 3-20 mins but sperm whales can withstand up to 1 hour. They use their blowhole on the top of the head to breathe through the lungs.
They are warm-blooded organisms and they give birth like humans. The baby whale must be nursed up to 6-12 months by feeding milk. They have tiny hair near the blowhole and below. They have bigger brains and they are considered more intelligent than humans. Some of their species travel alone and some of them travel in groups. Some whales can live without food for 3.5-6 months by using their body fat. A whale can eat around 3600kg of food per day. There are 2 varieties of whale differentiated. They are toothed whales and baleen whales. Toothed whale-like porpoises, sperm whales, and orcas have teeth and have foods like small fishes, squid, and seals. Baleen whales have bristles that refine food like krill, plankton, and small fish. Whale food excrement is used as sea fertilizer which floats to the top and absorbs tons of carbon-di-oxide a year.
A picture of a Narwhal whale
Some whales have a tusk which is an elongated tooth that is used in hunting their prey. Some whales blow bubbles continuously in groups. The heated bubbles make their prey vulnerable and it is easy for them to hunt. The lifetime of a whale is said to be around 200 years.
Importance of whales:
A picture of a whale underwater
The big aquatic mammal is useful for not only the aquatic ecosystem it helps humans too. Whales are the protectors of the sea and they keep the food chain in balance. When a whale died in the water it reaches the seafloor and its carcasses are used as food for the living organisms which contain nutrients. Their excretes are used to reduce the Carbon-di-oxide in the atmosphere and thus help in & prevent global warming. Whales are important to provide nutrients to phytoplankton which helps the fish stock safe in the water. The process of whale excretion and giving nutrients to phytoplanktons is called the whale pump.
But in today’s world, some of the whale species are in their step of extinction. Many whales are hunted for making products and meat. Many of them entangle themselves in nets, bumping ships, etc which affects their health and sometimes death. As many people are on their feet to save the organisms and to preserve the earth. So let’s help the whale and other creatures and live a balanced life on the balanced earth.