THE KINGS OF MARINE BIOLOGY
Did you know that February 20th is a global Whale Day? If not, did you ever think of that special day that belongs to the majestic creatures ? Actually, the every day should be their day as they are one of a kind.
The whales themselves are categorized in 2 groups, depending on their biology and social behavior but the fact is that they are very big placental ocean mammals that share many common things with other well known marine mammals, even with humans themselves . According to the wildlife research, there are baleen ( mysticetes) and toothed whales( adontocetes). The first group has special baleen plates in their moths, enough for plankton, while other group of whales has teeth which enable them to deal with bigger prey.
I find very interesting the comment of one scientists that compared whales with humans, approaching their specific social behavior and style of living in the family. The whales look like different than human beings but indeed they breathe air, the are warm -blooded , give birth to their young and nurture love and friendship connection the best way they can. Those gentle giants are more mystical than we ever thought and their pattern of internal relationships is still a big challenge to wildlife experts.
There are about 90 species of whales or other called cetaceans. The most famous is indeed the great whale or the blue whale, due to the large size. It is reported that this animal is also the largest animal that ever lived on the earth. It could grow up to 90 or more feet and weigh as 24 elephants( 150,000 kg). This big whale belongs to the family of baleen, with estimated lifespan up to 90 years. Unfortunately, their existence is pretty much endangered by increased commercial fishing, vessel strike, ocean noise and loss of habitat as well as ocean pollution. Their number is dropping down and the protection measures must be serious reconsidered and implemented.
The next popular ocean friend is humpback whale that live in all oceans around the world. They travel a lot, migrating from one side to another and they have the longest journeys than any other animal. For the purpose of better food sources in cold areas, they may swim up to 5,000 miles, knowing to not eat up to 7,5 months. Their activity in ocean is almost like friendly dance and the sound or songs they create is something worth of watching or hearing.
The sperm whales were almost at the extinction:“They are named after the waxy substance—spermaceti—found in their heads. The spermaceti is an oil sac that helps the whales focus sound. Spermaceti was used in oil lamps, lubricants, and candles. Sperm whales were a primary target of the commercial whaling industry from 1800 to 1987, which nearly decimated all sperm whale populations. While whaling is no longer a major threat, sperm whale populations are still recovering”
The bowhead whale is famous for its long life. This baleen whale is found in Arctic and subarctic water and it is written that this mammal can live up to 200 years. They communicate in one perfect sound language, informing each other’s about potential danger or food source. As always, the human greed put this beautiful animal at all risks.
The whales are unique creatures that need to be protected and their existence is the crucial part of our marine environment and ocean ecosystems. They regulate the harmony in ocean life, taking care of flora and fauna in marine biology. Each of them has a role that is significant on this planet and only Homo sapiens dared to challenge their rights and freedom. That madness of illegal fishery, criminal whaling and slaughtering of innocent whales must be stopped, legally punished and those lands that support such a lunacy must be condemned. For how long we will tolerate to lose one of the most important ocean mammals because of evil and greedy people ? I guess it is time for all of us to wake up and ask our governments to work on regulations for proactive protection of whales and also on preventive international cooperation regarding their wildlife status. We can’t risk anymore about any single animal species, especially not about those majestic critters that just want to have their peace, deep in the ocean. The moment of truth is now and here, it is our right and our obligation to do something for them and for our planet, before the madness has gone too far.