The bowhead whale is an interesting marine giant

The bowhead whale is an interesting marine giant
The bowhead whale is an interesting marine giant

The bowhead whale is a mammal belonging to the order Cetaceans, the family Smooth whales. In Latin it is called Balaena mysticetus. There was a time when populations of these animals lived in the oceans of the entire Northern Hemisphere.

bowhead whale

However, today they are found only in the Bering and Okhotsk Seas, in the area of ​​the Svalbard archipelago, the Davis Strait and the Hudson Bay. According to scientists, the total number of these mammals does not exceed 10,000 individuals.

The bowhead whale is second in size only to the vomit. Its length can exceed 20 m, of which the head accounts for a third. Weight can reach up to 130 tons. Interestingly, females are larger than males. The color is predominantly dark, only under the lower jaw there is a large white spot.

The structure of the oral cavity is specific, associated with the way of nutrition. On the curved jaws there are numerous plates (up to 400 pieces) more than 4 m high and less than 0.3 m wide, called whalebones. The bowhead whale feeds on plankton and small fish. When getting food, he swims with his mouth open. Everything that got into the oral cavity lingers on the plates, scrapes off the tongue and is swallowed. Weight of food eaten dailyestimated at 1.8 tons.

bowhead whale photo

His pectoral fins are shortened, widened, rounded. The bowhead whale has smooth skin. The photos presented in the article demonstrate the absence of horny growths and attached crustaceans. Subcutaneous fat in an adult is about 70 cm. It is very important, because it neutralizes excess water pressure during diving and protects against hypothermia. Their body temperature is normally the same as that of humans (they are also mammals). The eyes are small with a thickened cornea. From exposure to s alt water, they are protected by special glands that secrete an oily liquid. Vision is poor in water, better on the surface.

The bowhead whale is able to dive to a depth of 0.2 km and emerge after 40 minutes. The time spent underwater depends on the amount of air in the lungs. Its nostrils are located at the top of the head, they open only at the moment of inhalation-exhalation, the muscles of the nasal canal prevent water from entering the lungs. The whale begins to exhale at the surface of the water, the result of which is a fountain, the height of which can exceed 10 m.

polar whale

There is no auricle, but hearing is very well developed. The inner ear perceives both sound and ultrasonic vibrations. The range of sounds produced is wide. The bowhead whale has a sonar that allows you to navigate well in the ocean. The time between the sound produced and its return indicates to the animal the distance toa specific object on the path.

Sometimes a polar whale (that's what this giant is also called) jumps out of the water, flaps its fins on its body and dives onto one of its sides. Such attractions occur during the migration period and during the mating season.

Reproduction is not well understood, although gestation is known to last approximately 13 months. The cub is born 4 meters. During the year, he feeds on mother's milk. Whales become sexually mature by the age of 20. Live an average of 40 years.

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