What Makes Whales Mammals?

Whales are aquatic mammals, also known as Cetaceans because whales are warm-blooded, they breathe air through their lungs similar to other mammals, and they give birth to live offspring and suckle their young (called as calves) with milk.

They have lost the mammalian coat of hair in order to help them swim, but they have replaced it with an insulating coat of thick blubber.

During the evolution of mammals tens of millions of years ago one group returned to live in water.

These mammals became streamlined in shape, developed a powerful tail and front limbs for use as steering fins, and lost the use of the back limbs.

The whales are a large group of aquatic animals that vary in size from about 4 feet in length to nearly 100 feet.

Now you must be thinking if whales are mammals, then are whales fish?

You will be surprised to know that there are significant differences between whales and fish such as

  • Whales are mammals, therefore they are warm-blooded while fish are cold-blooded.
  • One of the surprising differences between fish and whales is how they take air and extract oxygen. whales breathe air through lungs just like humans do while fish use their filaments in the gills to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide.
  • We know that most of the fish lay eggs but whales give birth to young ones and feed milk similar to humans.
  • There is one more interesting difference between the whales and fish that is the way they move their tail. Fish generally move their tail from side to side while whale moves it up and down.

Professor Atom

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Professor Atom is a science enthusiast and alumni of IIT Bombay. According to him, every question can be solved with curiosity and mind mapping. ( Curiosity = Asking Questions = Learning )

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