Squeeze Whale Food

by TwinkieSWF
created Jan 25, 2016
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This is map 10 of 17 of the SWF Map Pack.

WHAT DO WHALES EAT?
When it comes to survival few things are as important as shelter, rest and food.

For marine mammals such as whales food is not only extremely important for their survival it’s also important for maintaining balance in the oceans ecosystem.

In order for whales to capture their food these marine mammals search and hunt for their prey using a variety of techniques in order to locate, isolate and immobilize their prey for easy consumption.

Because there are around 90 different animals within the cetacean family it is important to understand that not all species of whale hunt or attack their prey in the same way.

Depending on the whales size, social structure, environment, species and type (baleen or toothed) their diets can change drastically from small aquatic life forms such as fish, shrimp, larvae, plankton, crabs, krill and squid to large marine mammals (which are generally consumed by killer whale) such as sea lions, walruses, seals, sharks, seabirds and even large whales.

One of the most useful abilities whales use when hunting for food is known as echolocation.

Echolocation is a trait that is found in all species of toothed whale.

Echolocation works by emitting a series of clicking and busing noises and then listening to the echos that bounce off of objects in the area (such as fish or other aquatic life forms).

The amount of time it takes the echo to return to the whale can provide these marine mammals with vital information such as how far the object is, how dense it is, whether it is hard or soft, and whether or not the object is moving or still.

By using echolocation whales are able to determine whether the object is prey, a predator or an inanimate object.

These amazing marine mammals will continue to create these sounds until they find the prey they are looking for and then decide the best method for hunting and attacking their prey.

In addition to helping toothed whales find food echolocation is also useful for navigating the ocean in dark environments as the echoes create a map of the environment which can help the whale determine where various objects are so that it can avoid collision with them.

Since echolocation rely’s heavily on sound these marine mammals do not have to use their eyes when they are traveling or searching for prey, so it is a perfect skill to use when diving in waters that are void of any light.

In fact echolocation can be thought of as a highly advanced version of sonar that not only displays where a single object is in relation to the host but also provides highly detailed information about all of the objects in the area in a somewhat three dimensional way.
retagged Aug 3, 2016

8 comments

Leap
said Jan 25, 2016
Whale vocalization is likely to serve several purposes. Some species, such as the humpback whale, communicate using melodic sounds, known as whale song. These sounds may be extremely loud, depending on the species. Humpback whales only have been heard making clicks, while toothed whales use sonar that may generate up to 20,000 watts of sound (+73 dBm or +43 dBw) and be heard for many miles.

Captive whales have occasionally been known to mimic human speech. Scientists have suggested this indicates a strong desire on behalf of the whales to communicate with humans, as whales have a very different vocal mechanism, so imitate human speech likely takes considerable effort.
JewToTheRescue
said Jan 26, 2016
There is also a consensus that the various whale communications increase during the mating season. The males often sing low songs to the females as a way to court them. Some researchers also believe these low songs serve as a warning to other males in the area though to stay away. It could be a dual message that tells the female he is interested and lets other males know that they need to find someone else for their own interests.
indapop
said Jan 26, 2016
Administrator
Gray whales also migrate huge distances and some may even rival the humpback for distance travelled. Some travel a round-trip of between 16,000–20,000 km (10,000–12,400 miles) every year between their winter calving lagoons in the warm waters of Mexico and their summer feeding grounds in the cold Arctic seas, however a female grey whale has recently been recorded as having made an even longer round-trip of 22,500km (14,000 miles) migrating between the east coast of Russia and the breeding grounds of Mexico. To put this into perspective, the continent of Africa is approximately 8,000 km (5,000 miles) from north to south.

In its lifetime – that’s about 40 years – a gray whale travels a distance that is equivalent to going to the moon and back!
sunnyday
said Jan 26, 2016
Unlike most animals, whales are conscious breathers. All mammals sleep, but whales cannot afford to become unconscious for long because they may drown. While knowledge of sleep in wild cetaceans is limited, toothed cetaceans in captivity have been recorded to sleep with one side of their brain at a time, so that they may swim, breathe consciously, and avoid both predators and social contact during their period of rest.

A 2008 study found that sperm whales sleep in vertical postures just under the surface in passive shallow 'drift-dives', generally during the day, during which whales do not respond to passing vessels unless they are in contact, leading to the suggestion that whales possibly sleep during such dives
Shin Rekkoha
said Jan 26, 2016
*Whale Tales* (tm)
fishmcmuffins
said Jan 26, 2016
dolphin
ratingus
said Jan 26, 2016
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east, the Irish Sea to its north and west, and the Bristol Channel to its south. It had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2 (8,023 sq mi). Wales has over 1,680 miles (2,700 km) of coastline and is largely mountainous, with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa), its highest summit. The country lies within the north temperate zone and has a changeable, maritime climate.
Shin Rekkoha
said Jan 27, 2016
Yes.  Yes I see.  Hmmmm.  I believe I have seen... what you did... there.

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