Top 10 largest whales in the world
Whales are striking in gigantic size. The disposition of these mammals is harmless, peaceful. Huge lovers of plankton and krill often fall prey to whalers because of the valuable fat, it makes up 40% of the carcass, whalebone – a filter for filtering out plankton, krill, and small fish. The female bears a calf up to 11 months, whales reach sexual maturity by six years. Animals are studied, films are made about them. Our review features the largest whales in the world.
10. Lesser minke Minke (length 10.7 m)
Whales with a white belly, fin and stripes on their heads keep in small groups, only during the seasonal migration of krill these whales are huddled in large populations of up to 100 individuals. They spend the summer in temperate latitudes, for the winter they move to the tropics. They are found all over the globe.
Tourists love to watch minke whales while hunting: large gray-white animals are very mobile, make pirouettes no worse than dolphins, jump out of the water completely, and then fall noisily into the water, raising fountains of spray. Every year whaling ships catch up to 1000 individuals in the North, Japan accounts for up to 90% of the catch. The rest of the carcasses go to Norway, Iceland.
9. Northern smooth whale (length 17 m)
Smooth-skinned inhabitants of the Atlantic reach 100 tons in weight. They differ from their relatives by an even back, there is no fin on it. The average size of individuals is from 13 to 16 meters, females are usually larger than males. The population of northern right whales is small; there are about 300 individuals in the world. Hunting this species of mammals is prohibited.
White spots often grow on the dark blue head and at the tail of sluggish giants – small crustaceans parasitizing on the skin, forming large populations. They form hard growths on whales. The northern whale moves at a speed of up to 8 kilometers per hour, emits high-frequency sounds similar to singing and moaning.
8. Humpback whale (length 19.5 m)
The humpback or long-armed minke whale differs from minke whales by a wide mountain-like dorsal fin and side flippers narrow up to 1/3 of the body length. Flexible, mobile humpback whales weigh about 50 tons. They have dense, shortened bodies, a flattened head with a jaw protruding forward. The average length of individuals is up to 17.5 meters.
They live in the subpolar latitudes of the Southern and Northern Hemisphere. The color of humpback whales depends on the habitat; brown and dark blue individuals with black and white large spots are found. Individual coloration, cubs are born mainly in summer. During feeding, the whales forcefully beat the water with their huge tail, stun the fish, and then collect it with their huge mouth like a scoop.
7. Japanese whale (length 20 m)
Dark mammals are distinguished from other species of smooth whales by their small dorsal fin, which is shifted towards the tail. The smooth skin becomes covered with calloused, leathery growths with age. The whale’s head is small, the mouth with a curved lower jaw. On average, animals reach 18 meters in length, 80 tons. Dense, even bodies are overgrown with white spots – crustaceans parasitizing on the skin. Females become sexually mature not earlier than 6 years of age, give birth every 3-5 years, not more often.
The population of graceful, leisurely whales is small – up to 400 individuals, animals are found only off the coast of Japan and Mexico. The Okhotsk population is distinguished separately, about 100 females come to give birth to the coast of Kamchatka.
6. Southern Right Whale (length 20.7 m)
The whale has no dorsal fin; its huge head is up to 1/3 of the body length. The average length of individuals is up to 18 years, weight is up to 80 tons, cubs are born from 4 to 5.5 meters long, females are slightly larger than males. Southern right whales live in tropical latitudes. The sluggish animals that live near the coast have been nicknamed “right whales” by the English whalers. They became easy prey, carcasses always remained on the surface, and it was easy to tow them to the shore.
In the last century, when hunting for marine mammals was prohibited, the population of southern right whales increased significantly, there are about 7 thousand animals in the world. The main enemies are killer whales, they hunt for clumsy cubs.
5. Sperm whale (length 21 m)
The largest variety of toothed whales lives throughout the world’s oceans. Females are much smaller than males, males grow on average up to 19 meters, reaching a weight of up to 50 tons. Unlike other representatives, sperm whales are aggressive; they have repeatedly thrown boats and small vessels with their rectangular head. Looking at these mammals, there is confidence in the conclusions of scientists – they consider hippos to be the progenitors of whales.
The whale’s head is up to 1/3 of the body length. The sperm whale’s teeth grow unevenly at the top and bottom. Above, up to 3 pairs of huge teeth, up to a kilogram in weight. Below are the remaining 26 pairs, they are much smaller than the top ones. Predators do not shun sharks, turtles, swallow prey whole. In search of food, they dive up to 20 meters.
4. Seiwal (length 21, 3 m)
A large baleen whale with a pointed muzzle grows on average up to 17 meters, reaching 30 tons in weight. A moving whale is often called a torpedo, the animal is capable of moving at a speed of up to 25 kilometers per hour, it lives throughout the world’s oceans, with the exception of near-equatorial waters. A smooth back is often covered with spots – the consequences of wounds, parasitic lesions.
Females are larger than males, give birth every year, mate in winter. Whales keep in small groups of up to 5 individuals, the cubs are breastfed for up to 7 months. This species differs from other baleen whales by its powerful dorsal fin located in the caudal part of the body, small pectoral flippers. Mammals are long-lived, on average they live up to 75 years.
3. Bowhead whale (length 22 m)
On average, males grow up to 18 meters, females reach 150 tons. Inhabitants of the cold waters of the Arctic live on average 40 years, although there are centenarians up to 100 summers or more. Bowhead whales have good muscle mass. The path through the ice is pierced by a powerful body, being thrown onto the ice floes.
Every day, each whale eats up to 1.8 tons of plankton, krill, small fish, filters the prey with a huge curved mouth. An air cavity is clearly visible in the rounded back; whales delight travelers and scientists with powerful fountains. Smooth skin without growths is covered with light or dark spots. The whale is able not to breathe for up to 40 minutes, dives to a depth of 200 meters.
2. Finwhal (length 27 m)
The largest minke whale, lives in the circumpolar latitudes of both hemispheres in small groups of up to 6 individuals. The second name of the whale is herring. The height of the fountain reaches 6 meters. The maximum speed is 50 kilometers per hour. Females give birth to cubs annually. They often fall prey to sharks. The maximum diving depth is 230 meters.
The shape of whales does not change with age, babies are born a copy of their parents. In proportion to the proportions, the whale resembles a large fish with an elongated muzzle. The high dorsal fin adds similarity. On the head, two respiratory channels are clearly distinguishable, the skin is unevenly covered with spots. The mouth of the fin whale is pink or white with 360 plates. When diving, the whale strongly bends its tail, it is able not to breathe for up to half an hour.
1. Blue whale (length 33 m)
The blue whale is the largest whale in the world. This large marine mammal is a long-liver, lives up to 100 years. They prefer to live in solitude, gather in small groups only for the mating period. The maximum weight of females is 150 tons.
The population of animals is huge, in the world there are about 10 thousand individuals, they feed on schools of small fish species, plankton, crustaceans. Up to 2.2 tons of feed are swallowed per day. Cubs are born weighing more than two tons, up to 7 meters long, growing at a rate of up to 4 kilograms per hour. By six months, more than a ton of milk is sucked out.
The mammalian brain is small, up to 6 kilograms. Blue whales hear each other at a distance of 1600 kilometers. The largest whales and the loudest.