Seven Weird Facts about Whales - Oceana Canada
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February 19, 2016

Seven Weird Facts about Whales

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Whales are incredible marine mammals, and to celebrate how amazing they are, we’re counting down seven unique facts about them. Take action today to help protect all animals that live in the ocean, including whales, by becoming a Wavemaker.

1) The accumulated wax inside of a whale’s ear can be used to tell its age as well as any stresses or toxins it may have encountered. 

minke whale

2) The closest living relative of cetaceans, which includes whales, porpoises and dolphins, are hippos.  


3) The genitals of male whales are actually tucked inside of them when they aren’t mating, this reduces drag and allows them to swim faster. 

humpback whale jump

4) Whales are born tail first, meaning their head comes out last.

 5) Adult narwhals have only two teeth. In most males, the right tooth stays in the skull, while the left one forms a spiral that can extend over three meters.

narwhals Arctic Ocean

6) The largest animal ever known to have lived on earth, the blue whale, eats krill, tiny shrimp-like animals about the size of a jelly bean. 

blue whale

7) Whales sleep with one brain hemisphere at a time, which allows them to continue coming to the surface to breathe. There is still a lot of things we don’t know about the sleeping patterns of whales. One new observation has shown that sperm whales sometimes sleep vertically with their noses out of the water.