All About Whales

Whales are by far the largest creatures that ever lived on Earth. They are even larger than the dinosaurs. Many people enjoy watching these magnificent animals from boats. To find out why, read the selection. All About Whales 1 Millions of years ago, whales using their flippers, which also help most likely walked on land. As time them to turn. Their tall fins allow passed, they began to evolve. Their them to propel themselves through back legs disappeared and their the water. Unlike fish, they must front legs became flippers. Now they come up to the surface of the water live in the ocean, but they are not to get air. The air is breathed in and fish. Whales are mammals just like out through one or two blowholes humans. Like all mammals, they located on the top of their head. breathe air into lungs, are warm- 2 There are basically two different blooded, feed milk to their young, types of whales, the baleen and the and have some hair. Their bodies toothed whale. Baleen whales are resemble the streamlined form of a also known as toothless whales. fish, while the flippers are shaped Instead of teeth, these whales have like paddles. Whales swim by plates made of baleen in the front of moving their tails up and down and their mouth. Baleen, or whalebone, ™ © Advanced Assessment Systems/LinkIt! Duplication is restricted to licensees only. 6 Whales are fascinating creatures. is a very sturdy material, something It is no wonder that whale watching like that of animal horns. The is popular in many coastal areas. whales’ food, usually small sea creatures, gets caught as sea water passes through the baleen. Whale Watching 7 Whale watching is more popular 3 There are many kinds of baleen today than ever, especially since the whales, including blue, humpback, whale population off the coast of minke, and right. The toothless Massachusetts is larger than it has whales are the largest species of been in decades. Chances of spotting whale, with the blue whale leading a whale are better than ever, although in size. The biggest blue whale ever scientists are not sure why. The Pride recorded was 110 feet and weighed of the Ocean offers whale watching nearly 200 tons. Humpback whales from the port city of Gloucester. are also big at up to 56 feet in length Watching a whale swim gracefully and up to 45 tons in weight. through the water is an exciting 4 Toothed whales use their teeth experience, sure to provide memories instead of baleen to catch and eat to last a lifetime. their food. These whales include the beluga, bottlenose, pilot, and sperm What Kinds of Whales Will You whales. Dolphins are also toothed See? whales. In fact, the killer whale is 8 People spot whales on most actually a large dolphin, which can of these trips. While the number of grow up to 30 feet long. It gets its whales varies, the rich coastal waters name because of its greedy appetite are one of the few areas where you for fish, seabirds, sea turtles, and can be almost certain of seeing at marine mammals. least a few large whales. 5 Most whales are very active in 9 Most commonly sighted off the the water. They jump high out of the coast are humpback whales. They are water and land back in it. They also often feeding, leaping, slapping their thrust their tails out of the water and flippers on the water’s surface, and slap the surface. Scientists believe pounding the water with their tails. that this is a warning of danger Because they are so active, they are a nearby. Whales also emit sounds favorite with whale watchers. to communicate. These sounds are extremely loud and can be heard for many miles. In fact, whales are the loudest animals in the world. ™ © Advanced Assessment Systems/LinkIt! Duplication is restricted to licensees only. 10 Other species commonly spotted 12 The whales do not remain in are minke, right, and finback whales. this area all year long. Many species On a less frequent basis, you might of whales are migratory, moving from see blue whales, sei whales, sperm place to place. While thick layers whales, and belugas. of fat keep adults warm, newborn whales do not have this protection. They must be in warmer waters in Why Are the Whales Here? order to survive. Therefore, whales 11 The whales gather in the must leave the area in the late fall waters near Gloucester throughout to travel to warmer areas, where the summer months to feed. They they mate and give birth to their feed on the masses of schooling fish young. Unfortunately, these waters that gather here to breed. Some of do not contain much food for the the larger whale species, such as whales. They eat little or nothing for humpback and finback whales, can months at a time. Then they return to consume over 3,000 pound of fish greedily feast in the waters again. a day. Whale-Watching Schedule Late April and May 1:00 p.m. June, July, August 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. September Weekdays 1:00 p.m. September Weekends 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. October 1:00 p.m. The season goes from late April through October. Please call for the exact dates. The length of the trip is about 4 hours. Pride of the Ocean Ticket Information Adults: $45.00 Seniors: $38.00 Children under 16: $28.00 Children 3 and under: Free ™ © Advanced Assessment Systems/LinkIt! Duplication is restricted to licensees only.

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