Category: Cetaceans

Underwater Fact 144

Unlike most other whales, the beluga has a flexible neck that enables it to turn its head in all directions.

BelugaWhalesBeluga Whale   © Clifton Hill

Belugas are also called white whales, and their unusual colour makes them one of the most familiar and easily distinguishable of all the whales. Calves are born grey or even brown and only fade to white as they become sexually mature around five years of age.

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Underwater Fact 141

Bottlenose Dolphins give each other names by calling out to each other in individual whistling tunes.

Bottlenose Dolphin   © Flip Nicklin

Out in the pristine waters of Sarasota bay in Florida, scientists from Mote Marine Lab have spent the past thirty years studying the local residents – Bottlenose Dolphins.
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Underwater Fact 137

In early 2014 researchers have recorded a Cuvier’s Beaked Whale diving for over two hours into the depths of just under 3000 meters (nearly two miles) below the ocean surface, which represents both the deepest and the longest dive ever documented for any marine mammal.

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Underwater Fact 120

The False Killer Whale develops long-term social bonds and has been known to share prey with its companions.

False Killer Whale group underwater, Hawaii   © Flip Nicklin

Despite its name, the False Killer Whale (Pseudorca crassidens) is not a close relative of the Killer Whale or orca (Orcinus orca). The name of the False Killer Whale instead comes from a similarity between the skulls of these two species which are both members of the dolphin family Delphinidae. View full article »

Underwater Fact 110

Humpback whales sleep upside down.

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A Narwhal’s tusk protrudes out the left side of the upper jaw, which forms of a left-sided corkscrew and can be as long as 3 meters.

Narwhals   © Paul Nicklen

Narwhals (Monodon monoceros) are cetaceans that live year-round in the Arctic circle.
They feed in deep bays and inlets, where they find a good supply of Arctic cod, squid, and other food such as flatfish, pelagic shrimp, and cephalapods.

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Underwater Fact 99

All sleeping mammals, including dolphins, experience a stage known as REM Sleep.

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Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins located in Shark Bay, Australia are thought to have a symbiotic relationship with sponges by doing what is called “sponging”. A dolphin breaks a marine sponge off the sea floor and wears it over its beak.

It is thought to use the sponge to protect its nose while feeling around for food on the sea bed which would make them the only known dolphins that use tools.

Bottlenose Dolphin –   © Sophia Volzke

Shark Bay in Western Australia is home to more than 3 000 Bottlenose Dolphins.

Each group consisting of mostly females has perfectly adapted their hunting methods to their environment.
The “sponging” Dolphins live in the deeper waters of the southern channel of Shark Bay. Other groups reside along the beaches and have developed a unique hunting technique for shallow waters. Their prey is trapped towards the beach while they use the surf to catapult themselves towards the shore. This behaviour is extremely unusual for Dolphins but effective enough to be passed on from mother to daughter over generations.

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Underwater Fact 80

The Killer Whale or Orca is the biggest member of the dolphin family.

It has the ability to track down its prey using echolocation and can chase down victims at speeds of up to 65 km/h (40 mph).
Groups of killer whales occasionally hunt co-operatively, forcing prey such as shoal of fish into shallow water to be caught more easily.
Orcas have even been known to breach the surf and snatch seals and other animals from the beach.

Underwater Fact 65

A sperm whale’s tooth is the size of a big peanut-butter jar.

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