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Whale Gifts

Whale is the common name for various marine mammals of the order Cetacea. The term whale is sometimes used to refer to all cetaceans, but more often it excludes dolphins and porpoises, which are also cetaceans but belong to the suborder Odontoceti. This suborder also includes the sperm whale, killer whale, pilot whale, and beluga whale. The suborder Mysticeti (baleen whales), are filter feeders that feed on small organisms caught by straining seawater through a comblike structure found in the mouth called baleen. This suborder includes the blue whale, the humpback whale the bowhead whale and the minke whales. All Cetacea have forelimbs modified as fins, a tail with horizontal flukes, and nasal openings on top of the head.


Whales are intelligent aquatic mammals.

Whale Classification:

Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Cetacea

Other Names:

Whale in Foreign Languages:

Ainu: humpe)
Albanian: balen
Arabic: hut
Armenian: ket
Azeri: balina
Belarusian: kit
Bengali: timi
Bulgarian: kit
Catalan: balena
Chinese Mandarin: jingy
Min Nan: hi-ang
Czech: velryba
Danish: hval
Dutch: walvis
Esperanto: baleno
Estonian: vaal
Faroese: hvalur
Tagalog: balyena
Finnish: valas
French: baleine
Old French: balaine / baleine
Galician: balea
Georgian: veapi
German: Wal
Greek: flaina
Greenlandic: arfeq
Gujarati: vhel machli
Haitian Creole: baln
Hebrew: livyatn
Hindi: vhel / hvel machli
Hungarian: blna / cet
Icelandic: hvalur
Ido: baleno
Indonesian: ikan paus
Javanese: iwak paus
Inuktitut: arvik
Inupiak: agviq
Italian: balena
Japanese: kujira / kujira / isana
Korean: gorae
Latin: balaena
Latvian: valis
Lithuanian: banginis
Macedonian: kit
Malay: ikan paus
Maltese: balena
Nahuatl: hueyimichin
Navajo: l'tsoh
Ngarrindjeri: kondoli
Norwegian: Bokml: hval / kval
Nynorsk: kval
Occitan: balena
Okinawan: guzira
Old English: hwl / hronfisc
Persian: nahang / vl
Polish: wieloryb / walen
Portuguese: baleia
Romanian: balena
Russian: kit
Scottish Gaelic: muc-mhara
Roman: kit / velriba
Slovak: velryba
Slovene: kit
Spanish: ballena
Swahili: nyangumi
Swedish: val
Thai: waan
Tswana: leruarua
Turkish: balina
Ukrainian: kyt
Urdu: vhel
Uyghur: kit
Uzbek: kit
Vietnamese: c voi / c ng / c ng voi / knh ngu
Welsh: morfil / morfilod
Yiddish: val-fish


Conservation Status:
Some Species Endangered

Size: Whales vary great in size. Large whales can measure up to 110 feet and weigh up to 180 tons.The largest whale is the blue whale. The smallest whale is the dwarf sperm whale which measures only 8.5 feet long.

Habitat: Whales collectively inhabit all of the world's oceans.

Description: Whales have streamlined bodies. All whales also have flippers, tail flukes and blow holes.

Diet: Baleen whales eat plankton, while toothed whales eat fish and other marine mammals like seals, dolphins or other smaller whales.

Communication: Whales communicate using sounds and through body language. Communication and sounds created by whales differ from one whale species to another.

Did You Know?

Whales and manatees are the only mammals that spend their entire life in the water.

Gestation: Whales carry their young from 9 to 18 months, depending on the species.

Birth: Whales give live birth. The size of the calf will vary by species.

Life Span: Whales typically live 20 to 40 years, but some species can live as long as 80 years.

Did You Know?

A blue whale calf drinks about 130 gallons of milk per day, and gains up to 200 pounds per day during periods of its nursing period.

Social Structure: Whales typically have very strong social ties. The strongest social ties is typically between mother whale and her calf. Whales often congregate in social groups referred to as a pod.

Whale Gifts




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