Interesting Questions, Facts and Information
- There are a total of 10 general entries.
Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
Cetaceans and Sirenians
|A rorqual is another name for a baleen whale, and refers to the expandable pleats under the chin. (It comes from the Norwegian word r°yrkval, meaning "furrow whale.) Which rorqual has white bands across its pectoral fins? ||Cetaceans: Whales, dolphins and porpoises.
Minke whale. The minke whale is the smallest of the baleen whales. They are incredibly curious, and are a species that very much benefits the whale watching industry. They are also favoured by the whaling industry, sadly, due to their fascination with vessels bobbing out at sea.
Bottlenose dolphins. Harbour (or common) porpoises are the smaller, shy cousins of the bottlenose dolphin. They are under 2m in length, have blunt snub rostrums, and a very white underbelly. Unlike dolphins, they have tiny spade-like teeth!
Humpback whale. There are various ideas behind this nickname. One is that their graceful subaqua moves lead them to look like enormous winged beings. Also, their singing has captured the hearts of the most hardened men and women over the years. With their kindly natures, the humpback has its place in the human heart firmly cemented!
Moray Firth (Scotland) and Cardigan Bay (Wales). Bottlenose dolphins are HIGHLY intelligent. It is almost a cliche to say so, but it is true. Their brains are larger and more complex than ours. They have parts that ours do not, and share some that we do. Their spindle neurones that deal with emotional output, self awareness, thought processes, and cognitive processes (to name but a few!) are plentiful. In fact, they have more than we do. They also have more folds and undulations in their brain surface (sulci and gyri)than that of the human brain. These folds are what we call 'grey matter'.
|In which country are thousands of small toothed whales slaughtered every year, September through to March, for 'pest control' reasons, but actually for food? The Oscar winning documentary 'The Cove' covered this subject.||Cetaceans: Whales, dolphins and porpoises.
Japan. At the height of the wave of media attention shortly after the film's release, approximately 30,000 dolphins were being slaughtered annually in the coastal towns of Japan. The number has been reduced slightly since 2008, with an annual quota of around 800 individuals being killed in Taiji - the particular town focused on in 'The Cove', rather than 3000 as previously documented.
Orcas. Killer whales are not actually 'whales' at all, but are of the sub-order of delphinidae - dolphins. They have a gestation period of approximately 17 months (varying with different populations) and are sentient, self aware beings. But then so are all cetaceans...
Median notch. Flukes provide interesting information for scientists identifying individual whales. Scarring and pigmentation provide a personal 'thumb print' unique to each animal.
Odontocetes and Mysticetes. Mysticete means 'moustached whale' due to the hairy baleen plates used to sift plankton and krill etc. Odontocete refers to all toothed whales such as the sperm whale and killer whale.
Sea Monster. The Latin for whales & dolphins is 'cetus', simply meaning 'large sea creature'. There are around 86 species of cetacean found worldwide.