What did baleen whales eat?

Baleen whales feed by filtering or straining food from the water. They love to eat krill, fish, zooplankton, phytoplankton, and algae.

What happens when whales eat krill?

Krill, small shrimp-like crustaceans* that blue whales eat almost exclusively, contain a significant amount of iron – a scarce nutrient in the open ocean. When whales eat krill they convert the protein into blubber and defecate* iron-rich waste. … These areas, which covered much of the ocean surface, have become barren*.

What’s the difference between krill and plankton?

Are krill the same as plankton? Krill are plankton but not all plankton are krill! Plankton just means any small freshwater or marine organism that due to its size, immobility, or weakness cannot swim against the current, and exists in a state of drift. … These plankton include algae and bacteria.

Why do blue whales only eat krill?

One of the main constraints to eating, for baleen whales, is to open their mouths wide enough to swallow massive amounts of krill-containing water. … It’s more energetically advantageous for these toothed predators to be medium size and eat medium size prey, than to dive long and deep searching for an elusive large meal.

Do baleen whales have tongues?

Instead of teeth, baleen whales have hundreds of overlapping baleen plates grow downwards from the gums of the whale’s upper jaw. The number, size, and color of the baleen plates are unique for each whale species. The hairy fringe on the inside of the baleen plates earned these whales their scientific name “mysticete”, or moustached whales. Baleen is made out of keratin, the same protein that makes up our fingernails and hair. Being strong and flexible, baleen makes the perfect filter, or colander, enabling whales to strain out sea water and keep the prey.

Do baleen whales eat birds?

Their throats are too small to swallow a human, Gorter told Live Science, though some baleen whales have been documented to accidentally swallow small birds.

Where baleen whales live?

Some baleen whales are coastal (they stay near shore). They forage along the productive continental shelf area. Some species give birth and rear young in protected coastal bays and lagoons. Other species are oceanic (they roam the open seas).

Are whales migratory?

Summary: Whales undertake some of the longest migrations on earth, often swimming many thousands of miles, over many months, to breed in the tropics. The question is why? Scientists propose that whales that forage in polar waters migrate to low latitudes to maintain healthy skin.

Do bottlenose dolphins live in the great barrier reef?

Around 30 species of whale and dolphin are found in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Dwarf minke whales, humpback whales and bottlenose dolphins are among the most commonly sighted and reported species.

Do humpback whales have baleen?

A type of baleen whale, humpback whales reach up to 50 feet long. … They feed by using their unique baleen—fringes of keratin hanging from the roof of their mouths—to help keep vast numbers of tiny prey (such as krill) in and filter water out. Blue whales, humpback whales, and gray whales are all mysticetes.

Do whales live in groups?

A group of whales is known as a “pod.” Other terms used for groups of whales are a “gam” and “school,” but pod is by far the most common name. The term “pod” refers to a group of animals living together. In general smaller animals are more likely than larger animals to form pods.

Do whales shed baleen?

And do baleen whales (mysticetes), which have no teeth, lose their baleen? No, they are not designed to be shed! Like nails and hair, baleen are composed of keratin and grow (and wear) continuously. Calves are born without baleen or with short baleen which grow at the same time as the animal grows.

How do baleen whales feed socially?

Baleen whales will feed by swimming through schools of fish and others forms of whale food, or may even skim the water’s surface with an open mouth to capture prey at the surface. In addition to filter feeding, some baleen whales utilize a method known as bubble netting.

How long do baleen whales live?

Longevity for most baleen whales is unknown. Some researchers have estimated that blue whales may live 30 to 90 years, fin whales may live 90 to 100 years, and sei whales may live as long as 60 years.

How many baleen whales are there?

There are 14 species of baleen whale including the blue, bowhead, right, humpback, minke and grey whale. Baleen whales are generally larger than toothed whales except for the sperm whale which is very big and has teeth.

How many whales are in a herd?

A pod usually consists of whales that have bonded together either because of biological reasons (i.e., a mother baring offspring and raising her child) or through friendships developed between two or more whales. A typical whale pod consists of anywhere from 2 to 30 whales or more in many cases.

What whales are found at the great barrier reef?

Humpback whales, dwarfe minke whales, false killer whales, killer whales, short-finned pilot whales, sperm whales and various beaked whales are all species that can be found in the waters of the Great Barrier Reef.

What whales live in the sunlight zone?

Sperm whales are the largest toothed whale and live in the “sunlight” zone. 2.

What’s the difference between baleen and toothed whales?

The key difference between them is the way they feed and what they have inside their mouth. Baleen whales have baleen plates, or sheets, which sieve prey from seawater. Toothed whales have teeth and they actively hunt fish, squid and other sea creatures.