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What Are The Different Types Of Whales In Gulf Of Mexico?

types of whales in gulf of mexico

Whales are amazing creatures and they are always a source of wonder for people. Whales have different characteristics and some of them are friendly and others are not. There are many kinds of whales that live in the ocean and most of them are friendly.

Whales are extremely intelligent and they are always trying to find a way to communicate with people. They are always curious about what goes on around them and sometimes, they will even come close to the boats to ask questions.

Blainville’s Beaked Whale

Blainville’s beaked whale

Blainville’s beaked whale is a member of the ziphiid cetacean family. It is one of two species in the genus Pseudorca, the other being the false killer whale. Like all members of its genus, Blainville’s beaked whale has a short, blunt, conical snout, and long, slender, curved teeth. It has a stubby, rounded tail with a pair of symmetrical fins, one above the other, which extend from the upper surface to just below the lower fin. 

These animal has a slender, torpedo-shaped body with a broad, flattened dorsal fin that extends backward from the top of the head, between the eyes. It has a large, round, bulging, concave, ventral (belly) fin. The coloration is highly variable, ranging from grayish-white to dark brownish-gray, with varying amounts of black or dark gray on the sides. The beak is orange-red, with a white margin.

Blue Whale

The blue whale is the largest creature that has ever lived on this planet. It weighs up to three hundred and fifty-five thousand pounds and can reach a length of thirty-seven feet. The tongue alone is the third part of the body, behind the head and the torso. It contains forty-one inches and weighs eleven pounds.

The tongue is actually the largest muscle in the animal kingdom. It is twice the size of the next biggest muscle. It is used for catching prey and for feeding. When a blue whale is not eating, the tongue hangs down almost to the water’s surface. This allows the whale to use the drag created by the tongue to propel itself forward. This drag is so effective, it is said the whale can travel at speeds of up to thirty-five miles per hour.

Bottlenose Dolphin

Bottlenose dolphin

Bottlenose dolphins are the most sociable of all cetaceans (whales, orcas, and porpoises). They live in pods, usually consisting of 10 to 20 members, and travel in groups called “schools”. These schools can range in size from just two animals to over a hundred. 

The bottlenose dolphin is found in coastal waters around the world, but is most common in the northern hemisphere along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the United States, Canada, northern Europe, and northern Asia.

They are often seen playing in the waves, but will also enter the water to investigate marine life. They are inquisitive and curious, and are frequently seen pestering humans for handouts. They are among the very few animals that humans can approach with no risk of being attacked. If one of these playful, mischievous animals gets a little too close, all you have to do is wave your arms and they will swim away.

Bryde’s Whale

Bryde’s whales grow up to 90 feet long and weigh up to 200 tons. Bryde’s whales are named after John William Bryde, an English zoologist who was the first person to scientifically describe one of these creatures in the late 1800s. These huge mammals are found in all the world’s oceans, but they are most commonly sighted off the coast of Antarctica and Australia.

The Bryde’s whale is the only mammal that has a humongous, triangular-shaped head. Bryde’s whales feed on krill and other small marine animals. They are filter-feeders and eat a lot of seaweed. Bryde’s whales are the second-largest animal that can swim underwater. The largest animal that can swim underwater is the blue whale. Blue whales can reach lengths of 90 feet and weigh up to 200 tons.

Clymene Dolphin

Clymene dolphin

Clymene dolphins are quite possibly the cutest of all tropical fish. They are small, about one-half inch long, and they have a dark greenish-blue body with a silvery-white belly. They also have a black nose and a black circle around their eyes. These little guys get their common name from the Greek word kleini which means “pretty”.

Clymene dolphins are schooling fish and they often gather in large schools. They are quite active and they will swim continuously for short periods of time. They are a very hardy species and they can withstand a wide range of temperatures. This makes them a good choice for an aquarium setup. They can also be kept in a pond or other water feature.

Fin Whale

The fin whale is the second-largest animal in the world, after the blue whale. It is the only member of the rorqual family (named after the Latin word for “dolphin”). The scientific name of the species is Hydrurga leptonyx.

The fin whale has a large, flat, triangular dorsal fin that extends well past its back. It has a short, stubby, tail with a large horizontal fluke on the end. The fin whale is a deep grayish brown above and white below. It has a dark, wide mouth with very long, slender teeth.

Whales are extremely intelligent animals and are known to be among the most playful of all mammals. Fin whales are no exception and they have been known to leap out of the water as high as 10 feet and splash down as hard as 200 miles per hour!

Fraser’s Dolphin

Fraser’s dolphin

Fraser’s dolphins are a type of dolphin that is found in warm oceans worldwide. They are named after Ian Fraser, an English zoologist who was director of the Zoological Society of London from 1875 until his death in 1895. 

These dolphins are known for their curiosity and their intelligence. These dolphins will remove corals and shells from reef areas in order to create small “tools” which they use to probe and scrape sessile animals (like octopuses) or even other fish.

Fraser’s dolphins have been observed using these tools up to 16 hours per day! It has been suggested that this behavior is a form of tool use by evolution, but it is more likely that these dolphins are simply curious and intelligent enough to figure out how to get what they want. Whatever the reason, these dolphins are very intelligent and it shows in their tool-making ability.

Gervais’s Beaked Whale

Also known as the “bottle-nosed whale”, the Gervais’s beaked whale is a small, stocky, gray-and-white whale that is found in all tropical and subtropical oceans. It is named for Sir Francis Gervais, who first described it in 1866. Its scientific name is Mammala subaquatica.

This curious mammal has a short, blunt snout and a long, deep beak that is used for suction-feeding. The nostrils are located high on the sides of its head, which allows it to breathe while submerged. This gives the animal an advantage over many other marine mammals because it can remain under water for long periods without having to surface to breathe.

The Gervais’s beaked whale feeds on squid and other cephalopods, and will sometimes take fish or krill. It is a very active mammal and is often seen breaching (raising its head above the surface) to breathe, or jumping completely out of the water to hunt for food.

Humpback Whale

A humpback whale has a long, sleek body with a distinctive S-shaped dorsal fin (tail fin) that extends nearly the entire length of the animal. The coloration of the humpback whale ranges from gray to dark blueish gray, but the most common color is a lighter shade of gray. 

The underbelly is white, as is much of the throat and jaws. Humpback whales have an average length of about 12-feet and can weigh up to 200-pounds. They typically live in warm waters all over the world.

Humpback whales are filter feeders. That means they sift through the water to catch microscopic plants and animals that are too small for other fish to eat. This process gives them an excellent source of nutrition and allows them to grow to enormous sizes. Humpback whales have been known to reach lengths of 21-feet and weigh up to 11-tons! They can dive as deep as 660-feet and stay underwater for as long as 15-minutes at a time.

Killer Whale

Killer whale

They can reach 10 feet in length and weigh up to 3,000 pounds. They have large, curved teeth and a thick, muscular body. They are warm-blooded and produce a loud, high-pitched whine when they are excited or agitated. 

Killer whales are found in all oceans of the world. They are social animals that live in pods of 2 to 15 individuals. Pods travel in search of food and other members of the pod. When a member of the pod is injured or becomes ill, the others help it to the surface so it can breathe.

They are intelligent and often use tools. They can be very playful and have been known to jump out of the water and play with boats. They are also curious and will investigate things that are new to them. Killer whales are not as aggressive as other marine mammals, but they will attack when necessary. They have been known to drive boats away from their young and females will sometimes attack boats that are near their offspring.

Minke Whale

It is gray or white with a dark saddle-shaped blotch running from its nose to the edge of its jaw. Its tail is short, and its flukes are broad and triangular. The coloration of the minke is similar to that of the common right whale, but the minke has a much shorter, stubbier beak. This distinctive feature helps the minke whale to feed in a manner somewhat different from other whales.

Minkes are social animals, and they form tight-knit pods of 10 to 30 individuals. They are often found in coastal waters near their feeding grounds, and they migrate between these areas and the open ocean. 

They are sometimes seen in bays and estuaries, and they are frequently encountered near islands and continental shelves. Minke whales have been known to frequent the coastlines of Japan, Korea, China, India, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, Peru, the United States, and Canada.

Northern Right Whale

Northern right whale

The northern right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) is the only member of its genus. It is the second-largest living species of cetacean (after the bowhead whale), and the largest known right whale. Northern right whales typically grow up to about 115 feet (35 meters) long and weigh up to about 110 tons (98.5 metric tons).

These large animals feed mainly on krill and small fish, which are abundant in the cold, northern waters in which they live. They are highly social and will travel vast distances in search of food. Like other right whales, northern right whales are filter-feeders, using their large, external nasal cavities to strain water as it passes through their mouths and down their throats.

This filter-feeding behavior allows them to dive to extremely great depths while maintaining an air supply. They have been known to dive as deep as 3,280 feet (1,000 meters) and remain underwater for as long as 19 minutes at a time.

Pantropical Spotted Dolphin

The pantropical spotted dolphin is a small dolphin which is found in warm tropical waters worldwide. This particular species is most often seen in large schools and is known for its acrobatic behavior. They are very playful and will often leap out of the water, spin around, and jump back in all within a matter of seconds.

These dolphins are quite friendly and inquisitive towards humans. They are one of the few dolphin species that are not afraid of boats. If you are fortunate enough to encounter a school of these dolphins, you will almost certainly be treated to some spectacular shows of acrobatics. They will leap out of the water, spin around, and perform spectacular leaps all within a matter of seconds.

Risso’s Dolphin

Risso’s dolphin

It gets its name from the Italian naturalist Giovanni Risso who first described it in 1761. This tiny dolphin is about 3 inches long and has a grayish-brown back with a lighter-colored belly. The front half of its body is dark and the rear half is light. It has a triangular head with a white underside. This species of dolphin is found in all tropical and subtropical oceans.

It is the most abundant of all dolphins and is sociable. It usually stays in small family groups and sometimes larger groups called “pods.” Risso’s dolphins are not aggressive and are not interested in human beings. They are curious, but will seldom approach boats or other large objects. 

However, they are curious about everything that moves in the water and will often investigate any new object that pops up. They are excellent swimmers and can achieve speeds up to 35 miles per hour for short distances. They feed on a wide variety of fish and cephalopods.

Rough-toothed Dolphin

The rough-toothed dolphin is one of the few species of dolphins that has been known to attack and eat human beings. These intelligent mammals are found in all tropical oceans and are often seen playing in the surf near beaches where humans congregate.

They are very acrobatic and will leap completely out of the water to catch fish in midair. They are also highly inquisitive and will approach boats with great interest. If a curious dolphin approaches your boat, it is wise to throw it a small morsel of food. This will usually make it go away. 

However, if it persists, you should use an electric prod or even a rifle shot to get it to go away. Don’t try to handle these animals. They can inflict serious injuries. Moreover, they are extremely dangerous.

FAQS

How fast can whales swim?

Average swimming speed is about 5 miles/hour. 

Have any species of whale become extinct?

Yes. The last known Ginkgo-toothed beaked whale died in a Japanese Aquarium in 1986. It was the last of its kind. There are other species of whale that are on the brink of extinction.The others are the Pig-nosed Whales, Pygmy Sperm Whales and the False Killer Whales. 

How many whales live in the oceans today?

About 50,000 sperm whales live in the world’s oceans today. 

Conclusion

Whales are amazing creatures. They have been around for millions of years and they still exist today. There are many different species of whales and each of them has its own characteristics. One of the most amazing things about whales is that they are the only animals that can survive in the ocean for an extremely long time.

Even though we may never see a whale up close, it would be great if we could experience their amazing music through the sounds that they make. Hopefully, after reading this article, you will get to experience the sounds of whales at a much closer range.

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