Whales are incredibly intelligent and graceful creatures that have been around for approximately 55 million years, with the blue whale known as the largest mammal around today. The term “whale” can refer to all cetaceans, but usually excludes dolphins and porpoises. Check out some more extraordinary facts about whales below.
1. There is an Orca whale named “Granny” who is 103 years old.
Also known as, J2, Granny is estimated to have been born in 1911 and was actually captured along with her pod in 1967, but released as she was too old at the time for a marine mammal park.(source)
2. A killer whale that was captive at MarineLand discovered that it could attract sea gulls and then eat them, by regurgitating fish. Four other whales learned to copy this behavior.
3. Blue whales are incredibly loud and can hear each other up to 1,000 miles away.
4. If a whale remains under water for more than 30 minutes it will drown.
While humans are unconscious breathers (if we decided not to breathe, it’ll happen automatically before we lose consciousness), whales are known as “conscious breathers”. Luckily their respiratory system allows them to spend 30 minutes or more underwater without the need for oxygen. What’s cool about this is that to avoid drowning while they sleep, whales and dolphins have the ability to allow one half of their brain to sleep at a time. They do this for around 8 hours a day and are always aware at this time – albeit a little dozy.(source)
5. It’s possible to crawl through the arteries in a blue whale’s heart.
The heart of a blue whale is roughly the same size as a Mini Cooper, and only beats 5 to 6 times a minute while on the surface, and 3 times a minute while diving. The arteries and veins are so large, a small child would be able to crawl through them. (source)