North Pacific Right Whale - Endangered. Baleen whales can be found in all oceans worldwide, from polar seas to temperate and tropical zones.  Skim-feeders, like bowhead whales, feed upon primarily smaller plankton such as copepods. All are Baleen whales with the exception of the Sperm whale, which is by far the largest member of the toothed whale family. The males are generally more scarred than females which is thought to be because of aggression during mating season.  Because of their great size, right whales are not flexible or agile like dolphins, and none can move their neck because of the fused cervical vertebrae; this sacrifices speed for stability in the water. Most species of baleen whale migrate long distances from high latitude waters during spring and summer months to more tropical waters during winter months. The aetiocetid Chonecetus still had teeth, but the presence of a groove on the interior side of each mandible indicates the symphysis was elastic, which would have enabled rotation of each mandible, an initial adaptation for bulk feeding like in modern mysticetes. , Cetotheriidae consists of only one living member: the pygmy right whale (Caperea marginata).  Generally, a mother and calf pair, when faced with the threat of a killer whale pod, will either fight or flee. Baleen whales have two blowholes, as opposed to toothed whales which have one. They grow very rapidly during their first year, after which they hardly increase in size for several years. They recommend that the genus Balaenoptera be limited to the fin whale, have minke whales fall under the genus Pterobalaena, and have Rorqualus contain the Sei whale, Bryde's whale, Eden's whale, the blue whale, and Omura's whale. , The eyes of baleen whales are relatively small for their size and are positioned near the end of the mouth. It is thought that 'tasting' the water is important for finding prey and tracking down other whales. They are also plagued by internal parasites such as stomach worms, cestodes, nematodes, liver flukes, and acanthocephalans. Baleen whale, (suborder Mysticeti), also called toothless whale, any cetacean possessing unique epidermal modifications of the mouth called baleen, which is used to filter food from water. They do retain salt-receptor taste-buds suggesting that they can taste saltiness. This is probably because they feed on slow or immobile prey, combined with the fact that most sunlight does not pass 9.1 meters (30 ft), and hence they do not need acute vision. It is thought that their size increased with their dependence on baleen. They usually turn on their sides, scoop up sediment into their mouths and filter out benthic creatures like amphipods, which leave noticeable marks on their heads. It is thought this radiation was caused by global climate change and major tectonic activity when Antarctica and Australia separated from each other, creating the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. , When sieved from the water, food is swallowed and travels through the esophagus where it enters a three-chambered-stomach. The bowhead whale is another species of baleen whales found in the arctic and the sub-arctic waters. Bryde's whales are 40 to 55 feet long and weigh up to 45 tons.  It is possible the Plio-Pleistocene increase in seasonally intense upwellings causing high-prey-density zones led to gigantism.  A species of copepod, Balaenophilus unisetus, inhabits baleen plates of whales in tropical waters.  While feeding, the rorqual jaw expands to a volume that can be bigger than the whale itself; to do this, the mouth inflates. , Rorquals, needing to build speed to feed, have several adaptions for reducing drag, including a streamlined body; a small dorsal fin, relative to its size; and lack of external ears or long hair.  The ever-increasing amount of ocean noise, including sonar, drowns out the vocalizations produced by whales, notably in the blue whale which produces the loudest vocalization, which makes it harder for them to communicate. Some scientists have speculated that, if there were no interference, a blue whale's sound could travel from the North Pole to the South Pole. The scars on male whales suggest they fight for the right to mate with females during breeding season, somewhat similar to lek mating. Like many other large whale species, the southern right whale migrates between warmer, low-latitude breeding grounds and colder, high-latitude feeding grounds. Due to heavy whale hunting from the 1500s up through the 1800s, the population of this species has been reduced to a small fraction of its former size, with some estimates listing as few as 500 remaining. To counteract overheating while in warmer waters, baleen whales reroute blood to the skin to accelerate heat-loss. This pigmentation allows researchers to tell individual blue whales apart, as the patterns vary from whale to whale. They are believed to have an impaired sense of smell due to the lack of the olfactory bulb, but they do have an olfactory tract.  A 7-to-11 month lactation period is normally followed by a year of rest before mating starts again. Despite their size, these are fast, streamlined whales that sailors nicknamed "the greyhounds of the sea."  Despite their carnivorous diet, a 2015 study revealed they house gut flora similar to that of terrestrial herbivores. The pygmy right whale (Caperea marginata) is the smallest, and probably the least well-known baleen whale species.  Right whales feed with a wide-open mouth, risking entanglement in any rope or net fixed in the water column. Baleen whales get the water they need from their food; however, the salt content of most of their prey (invertebrates) are similar to that of seawater, whereas the salt content of a whale's blood is considerably lower (three times lower) than that of seawater.  The hind legs are enclosed inside the body, and are thought to be vestigial organs. She serves as the executive director of the Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation.  Cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) and artiodactyls are now classified under the order Cetartiodactyla, often still referred to as Artiodactyla (given that the cetaceans are deeply nested with the artiodactyls).  Blue whales stop producing foraging D calls once a mid-frequency sonar is activated, even though the sonar frequency range (1–8 kHz) far exceeds their sound production range (25–100 Hz). Here are a couple of cool facts about the sei whale. In most mammals, keratin structures, such as wool, air-dry, but aquatic whales rely on calcium salts to form on the plates to stiffen them. This group includes species such as the blue whale, humpback whale, bowhead whale and the right whales. This humongous animal can live for up to 90 years and grows to almost 100 feet long, making it the largest animal to have ever lived on earth. Baleen whales are generally larger than toothed whales except for the sperm whale which is very big and has teeth. As opposed to land mammals which have a flattened lens, whales have a spherical lens. Because of this, it is thought that baleen whales, or at least humpback whales, have consciousness. While cetaceans were historically thought to have descended from mesonychids, (which would place them outside the order Artiodactyla), molecular evidence supports them as a clade of even-toed ungulates (Artiodactyla).  Japan, being part of the IWC, whales under the Scientific Permit stated in Article VIII in the Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, which allows the taking of whales for scientific research.  Archaeomysticetes from the Oligocene are the Mammalodontidae (Mammalodon and Janjucetus) from Australia. This analysis claims that once the economic benefits of hotels, restaurants and other tourist amenities are considered, hunting whales is a net economic loss. All these nations are part of the IWC, with Norway and Iceland rejecting the moratorium and continuing commercial whaling. These protections have allowed their numbers to recover.  The last gray whale, J.J., beached itself in Marina del Rey, California, where it was rushed to SeaWorld San Diego and, after 14 months, was released because it got too big to take care of. Calves are typically born in the winter and spring months and females bear all the responsibility for raising them. There are 14 species of baleen whale including the blue, bowhead, right, humpback, minke and grey whale. Some populations of baleen wha… They can be identified by the rough patches of skin, or callosities, on their heads. The muscles surrounding the larynx may expel air rapidly or maintain a constant volume while diving. Pigmy right whales live in temperate waters of the Southern Hemisphere. , Balaenidae consists of two genera: Eubalaena (right whales) and Balaena (the bowhead whale, B. mysticetus). Blue whale – Sibbald’s rorqual – Great nothern roqual (Balaenoptera musculus) (This whale is part of the roqual family)Antarctic blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus)Pygmy blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus brevicauda)Bowhead whale – Greenland right whale (Balaena mysticetus)Bryde’s whale (Balaenoptera brydei) (This whale is part of the roqual family) (Named after Johan Byrde)Pygmy Byrde’s whale (Balaenoptera edeni)Fin whale – Razorback – Finback – Herring whale – Finner (Balaenoptera physalu… Fin whales have a unique asymmetrical coloration: a white patch on the lower jaw on the right side that is absent on the whale's left side. Rorquals also tend to be longer than the latter. Combined with spreading and acoustic shadowing effects, the result is that the whale is unable to hear an approaching vessel before it has been run over or entrapped by the hydrodynamic forces of the vessel's passage.  The gray whale has the longest recorded migration of any mammal, with one traveling 23,000 kilometers (14,000 mi) from the Sea of Okhotsk to the Baja Peninsula.  Usually, the only shark that will attack a whale is the cookie cutter shark, which leaves a small, non-fatal bite mark. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/U.S. As many as 10,000 humpbacks come to Hawai‘i every year to mate, give birth and nurse th…  The whale lungs are very efficient at extracting oxygen from the air, usually 80%, whereas humans only extract 20% of oxygen from inhaled air.  The efficiency of a blue whale lunge is approximately 30 times higher at krill densities of 4.5 kg/m3 than at low krill densities of 0.15 kg/m3. This migration cycle is repeated annually. In a 2012 review of cetacean taxonomy, Alexandre Hassanin (of the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle) and colleagues suggested that, based on phylogenic criteria, there are four extant genera of rorquals. This behavior was only documented in toothed whales until footage of a humpback whale sleeping (vertically) was shot in 2014. Typically, all humpback males in a population sing the same song over a breeding season, but the songs change slightly between seasons, and males in one population have been observed adapting the song from males of a neighboring population over a few breeding seasons.  The Mito Aquarium in Numazu, Shizuoka, Japan, housed three minke whales in the nearby bay enclosed by nets.  The discovery of Janjucetus and others like it suggests that baleen evolution went through several transitional phases. But there are other things that set them apart from other whales. Baleen whales can have streamlined or large bodies, depending on the feeding behavior, and two limbs that are modified into flippers.  By the early 1790s, whalers, namely the British (Australian) and Americans, started to focus efforts in the South Pacific; in the mid 1900s, over 50,000 humpback whale were taken from the South Pacific.  The penis on a right whale can be up to 2.7 m (8.9 ft) – the testes, at up to 2 m (6.6 ft) in length, 78 cm (2.56 ft) in diameter, and weighing up to 238 kg (525 lb), are also the largest of any animal on Earth. , Mysticetes are also known as baleen whales because of the presence of baleen. They are surrounded by a fleshy ridge that keeps water away while the whale breathes.  Whaling was controlled in 1982 when the International Whaling Commission (IWC) placed a moratorium setting catch limits to protect species from dying out from over-exploitation, and eventually banned it:, Notwithstanding the other provisions of paragraph 10, catch limits for the killing for commercial purposes of whales from all stocks for the 1986 coastal and the 1985/86 pelagic seasons and thereafter shall be zero. , The skim-feeders are right whales, gray whales, pygmy right whales, and sei whales (which also lunge feed). They have rarely been kept in captivity, and this has only been attempted with juveniles or members of one of the smallest species. The fin whale is the fastest baleen whale, recorded swimming at 10 m/s (36 km/h; 22 mph). Baleen whales have two blowholes, which in right whales produce a distinctive V-shaped blow, the spout of water spray and vapour blown out when the whale surfaces to breathe.  When diving, their heart rate will drop to 4 to 15 bpm to conserve oxygen. As well as this, heat inevitably given off by the arteries warms blood in the surrounding veins as it travels back into the core. Balaenids are distinguished by their enlarged head and thick blubber, while rorquals and gray whales generally have a flat head, long throat pleats, and are more streamlined than Balaenids. Bowheads are rich in blubber which can be up to 20-inch in places and have 2 blowholes located near the top of the head. Following,we list the most outstanding characteristics of these creatures. Adults normally start reproducing when 5–10 years old and reach their full length after 20–30 years. Lung volume is relatively low compared to terrestrial mammals because of the inability of the respiratory tract to hold gas while diving. Lunge-feeding is where a whale rams a bait ball (a swarm of small fish) at high speed. Southern Right Whale in Waters Off the Auckland Islands. The Gray Whale Going To Sea – Rescued Orphan Calf Will Be Freed This Week", "The California gray whale : papers presented at the California Gray Whale Workshop, Scripps Institution of Oceanography", "Growth of two captive gray whale calves", "Rescued Whale J.J. Begins Long Journey Home", "Syllabus of Lectures on Geology and Paleontology", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Baleen_whale&oldid=991705249, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles containing Ancient Greek (to 1453)-language text, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Cladogram showing phylogenic relations between baleen whale species according to, This page was last edited on 1 December 2020, at 11:48. All mammals sleep, but whales cannot afford to become unconscious for long because they may drown.  Anti-whaling groups, such as the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), claim that countries which support a pro-whaling stance are damaging their economies by driving away anti-whaling tourists. Now, there are 11 types of baleen whales divided into four different families: Family Eschrichtiidae, which is just the gray whale. Balaenids rely on their huge heads, as opposed to the rorquals' throat pleats, to feed effectively. The eomysticetes had long, flat rostra that lacked teeth and had blowholes located halfway up the dorsal side of the snout. Gray whales are specialized for feeding on bottom-dwelling crustaceans. Intelligence tests such as the mirror test cannot be done because their bulk and lack of body language makes a reaction impossible to be definitive. :327–333 Several species that were commercially exploited have rebounded in numbers; for example, gray whales may be as numerous as they were prior to whaling, making it the first marine mammal to be taken off the endangered species list. , Baleen whales continue to be harvested. The common minke whale or northern minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) is a species of minke whale within the suborder of baleen whales.. Doing so may cause serious complications such as embolism. Newborns, born with underdeveloped blubber, would likely otherwise be killed by the cold polar temperatures. The epidermis itself is only 1 millimeter (0.04 in) thick. Calves are born precocial, needing to be able to swim to the surface at the moment of their birth. Whaling was at that time a sizable European industry with ships from Britain, France, Spain, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Germany, sometimes collaborating to hunt whales in the Arctic. Rather, it is a name given to the select group of 13 extremely large Cetacean species that can still be found in the Ocean today.  Baleen whales are promiscuous, with none showing pair bonds. This allows baleen whales to detect chemicals and pheromones released by their prey. Lunge-feeders feed primarily on euphausiids (krill), though some smaller lunge feeders (e.g. Until then, it was thought to be a smaller form of the Bryde's whale, but more recent genetic evidence supported classification of this whale as a separate species. Unlike most other marine mammals, female baleen whales are larger than males. Besides hunting, baleen whales also face threats from marine pollution and ocean acidification. The fin whale is the fastest among baleen whales, having been recorded travelling as fast as 10 m/s (36 km/h; 22 mph), and sustaining a speed of 2.5 m/s (9.0 km/h; 5.6 mph) for an extended period.  Whaling basically stopped when stocks of all species were depleted to a point that they could not be harvested on a commercial scale. This species is listed as "data deficient" on the IUCN Red List, which states that they may be "naturally rare...simply difficult to detect or identify, or perhaps its areas of concentration have not yet been discovered.". The fin whale is the second-largest animal in the world, with a mass greater even than any dinosaur. Like its northern counterpart, the southern right whale is a large, bulky-looking whale that reaches lengths of up to 55 feet and can weigh up to 60 tons.  There has been one report of a shark attacking and killing a whale calf. 14 Types of Baleen Whales. A right whale has a smooth throat and a disproportionately large head with very long baleen plates in a hugely arched jaw. Blue whales are thought to be the largest animal ever to live on the Earth. Kim Westerskov/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images, Cultura/George Karbus Photography / Getty Images, Photo by Vichan Sriseangnil / Getty Images, Myer Bornstein - Photo Bee 1 / Getty Images, Common Minke Whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), Antarctic Minke Whale (Balaenoptera bonaerensis), North Atlantic Right Whale (Eubalaena glacialis), North Pacific Right Whale (Eubalaena japonica), Southern Right Whale (Eubalaena australis), Facts About Mysticetes - the Baleen Whales, The Best Way to Watch Whales from Shore on Cape Cod, Differences Between Baleen and Toothed Whales, Cetaceans: Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises, The Giant Siphonophore and More of the Largest Living Sea Creatures, 10 Facts You Should Know About Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises, M.S., Resource Administration and Management, University of New Hampshire, B.S., Natural Resources, Cornell University. They are positioned parallel to air flow, as opposed to the perpendicular vocal cords of terrestrial mammals.  A 2014 study noted that a lower vessel speed correlated with lower collision rates.  Some baleen whales will deliberately rub themselves on substrate to dislodge parasites. , Many parasites latch onto whales, notably whale lice and whale barnacles. These whales are about 20 feet long and weigh about 5 tons. The septum that separates the blowholes has two plugs attached to it, making the blowholes water-tight while the whale dives.  Gigantism also was preceded by divergence of different mysticete lineages, meaning multiple lineages arrived at large size independently. The eyeballs are protected by a thick outer layer to prevent abrasions, and an oily fluid (instead of tears) on the surface of the eye. , Most species of baleen whale migrate long distances from high latitude waters during spring and summer months to more tropical waters during winter months. As an industry well throughout the 19th and 20th centuries greater even than any dinosaur one. 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