Humans have been fascinated by whales for years. These graceful giants frolic in our oceans, and while much has been discovered, these huge mammals still hold some mystery. There are 86 recorded species of cetaceans (whales,porpoises, and dolphins) and while they all share some characteristics, each species has its own unique habits and way of living.
Some species of whale are huge- two of the largest animals in the world are whales, the blue whale (measuring up to 100 feet in length), and the fin whale (measuring up to 88 feet in length). But whales can come in all sizes; the Hectors dolphin measures only 39 inches in length. Whales are warm blooded mammals that breathe air, give birth to live young, and nurse their calves. Research shows that whales can live for an extremely long time. The bowhead whale is thought to have a lifespan of 200 years! Whale watching is a very popular activity involving a boat trip out on the ocean to observe whales. In some places, such as Hawaii and California, whales can be observed from land.
Despite the fact that most humans consider whales to be magnificent creatures they are still in danger of being hunted. Some whales are considered endangered due to over hunting. You can help protect whales by signing petitions letting our government know that whales need better protection. There are also many organizations dedicated to research, education, and ocean conservation; a donation to one of these organizations will help continue the fight to save our oceans whales.