Fun & Easy Science for Kids
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Whales – The Toothed and Baleen Whales  

When you think of whales, do you think of Shamu, the black and white orca whale at Sea World? Or, perhaps you think of the huge whale that swallowed Pinocchio in the Disney movie. Both images are correct. There are two types of whales: toothed whales and baleen whales.

A Killer Whale Jumping Out of the Water Image - Science for Kids All About Whales

Whales are thought to be one of the smartest animals on Earth and that’s not all about whales!

Most whales have teeth. Toothed whales are smaller than baleen whales and they only have one blowhole. Baleen whales don’t have teeth. Instead, they have baleen, which is sort of like a sieve or coffee filter in their mouths.

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Whale Teeth Image

Most whales have teeth. Toothed whales are smaller than baleen whales and they only have one blowhole.

Fun Facts about Whales for Kids

  • There are over 75 species of whale.
  • Whales are thought to be one of the smartest animals on Earth.
  • Whales can talk to each other through chirps, squeaks or whale songs.
  • Dolphins are a type of whale.
  • Whales are expert divers and swimmers. The sperm whale can dive to a depth of two miles deep and hold its breath for more than two hours!
  • Whales migrate from cold arctic or Antarctic waters to warmer waters to have babies.
Dead Whales Washed Up on Shore Image

Polluted water can make them sick.

Whale Vocabulary

  1. Correct: right
  2. Sieve: small tool with holes to drain water or food
  3. Image: picture or idea
  4. Migrate: move

Learn More All About Whales

Watch this amazing video about humpback whales:

A BBC excerpt documentary about humpback whales.

Whale Q&A

Question 1: What do whales eat?

Answer 1: Toothed whales use their teeth to tear herring and other fish. Baleen whales eat krill, which are tiny shellfish.

Question 2: Are whales endangered?

Answer 2: Whales were hunted for many years for their oil and meat and some species are extinct. Today, whales are protected, although they are still hunted in some countries. Polluted water can make them sick.

 

Question 3: What is a group of whales called?

Answer 3: A group of whales is called a pod. Although you may also hear a group called a herd, gam or school.

 

Question 4: What is a baby whale called?

Answer 4: A baby whale is called a calf. A Mommy whale is called a cow and the Daddy whale is known as the bull.

 

Question 5: How long can a whale live?

Answer 5: Depending on the type of whale. For example the Killer whale lives on average 29 years while the Blue whale can live up to 90 years. A Sperm whale up 70 years, Beluga Whale up to 50 years. Humpback whales can live up to 50 years also. Now wait for this one, the Bowhead whale can live up to 200 years of age according to scientists. While a 200 year old Bowhead is rare a small percentage of Bowhead whales live between 160 and 180 years.

 

Question 6: What is the largest whale species?

Answer 6: The Blue whale is the largest of the whale species. At a whopping 98 ft or 30 meters. True giants of the ocean. Apart from the whales massive length its a heavyweight coming in at 173 tonnes. That was the maximum weight recorded so far for the blue whale.

 

 

 

Enjoyed the Easy Science for Kids Website all about Whales info? Take the FREE & fun Whales quiz and download FREE Whales worksheet for kids. For lengthy info click here.

 

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