Unlike fish, water mammals can’t get oxygen from the water. They have to come up to the surface to breathe. But unlike most mammals, water mammals can stay under the water for a long time. Most water mammals, including seals, walruses and whales, have blubber—or fat—to keep them warm. Sea lions have thick fur instead. Dolphins tend to live in warm water so they don’t need either.
Most water mammals are carnivores. They eat fish, shellfish and other aquatic animals. Some water mammals, such as walruses and some seals, are fierce. They are best left alone. Dolphins are smart and friendly. They often approach people swimming in coastal areas.
Fun Facts about Water Mammals for Kids
- All water mammals are excellent swimmers. They have fins or flippers to help them.
- Most water mammals have been hunted in the past for their fat or oil. Some were hunted almost to extinction.
- Water mammal babies can swim very quickly.
- Some water mammals have excellent underwater vision.
Water Mammal Vocabulary
- Oxygen: an element animals need to survive
- Surface: the top
- Blubber: fat
- Carnivore: eats other animals
- Coastal: near land
Learn More All About Water Mammals
Check out this awesome video and listen to the sounds of the sea by the water mammals:
A video documentary about sea mammals and the sounds of the sea.
Water Mammal Q&A
Question: Do all water mammals live in the ocean?
Answer: No, some water mammals live in rivers.
Question: How many babies do water mammals have?
Answer: Most just have one at a time.
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