Ministry of Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation
World Whale Day
World Whale Day
World Whale Day, February 19th was founded in Maui, Hawaii in 1980 to honor humpback whales, which swim off of the coast of this tropical Island.
Whales, the largest living animals in the world are a widely distributed and diverse group of fully aquatic placental marine mammals belonging to infra-order Cetacea. There are two major categories of whales according to their way of eating: toothed whales and baleen whales.Toothed whales have cone-shaped or spade-shaped teeth used for catching prey. They are carnivores that love to eat fish. Their teeth are not used for chewing, only for capturing and holding on to the food. Baleen whales feed by filtering or straining food from the water. Baleen whales are generally huge than the toothed whales and the Blue whale is the largest. There are only 15 baleen whale species and they are generally larger than the 77 species of toothed whales – except for the mighty sperm whale, the largest toothed whale.
Whales evolved from land-living mammals, and must regularly surface to breathe air, although they can remain underwater for long periods of time. Some species, such as the sperm whale, can stay underwater for up to 90 minutes. They have blowholes (modified nostrils) located on top of their heads, through which air is taken in and expelled. They are warm-blooded, and have a layer of fat, or blubber, under the skin. With streamlined fusiform bodies and two limbs that are modified into flippers, whales can travel at speeds of up to 20 knots. Whales produce a great variety of vocalizations, notably the extended songs of the humpback whale. Although whales are widespread, most species prefer the colder waters of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres and migrate to the equator to give birth. Species such as humpbacks and blue whales are capable of travelling thousands of miles without feeding. Males typically mate with multiple females every year, but females only mate every two to three years. Calves are typically born in the spring and summer; females bear all the responsibility for raising them. Mothers in some species fast and nurse their young for one to two years.Unlike most animals, whales are conscious breathers.
Both whaling and whale watching are industries. Whales can also be threatened by humans more indirectly. They are unintentionally caught in fishing nets by commercial fisheries as bycatch and accidentally swallow fishing hooks.
– Source: Internet –