Have you spotted the 'Whale Hello There' tee yet?
Did you also know there's a bigger story behind why we're featuring these gentle giants?
At the same time beautiful, powerful, and talented, whales are essential to the mission of ocean preservation!
In fact, when we researched these animals, we discovered some truly amazing stuff. (Extra fact: the study of whales is called Cetology!)
Which of these whale facts shock you the most?
Whales are Big.. Really Big. The blue whale is the largest animal to have ever lived— even larger than the largest dinosaurs— weighing as much as 200 elephants.
But Their Snacks are Tiny! Whales eat krill and other tiny crustaceans by filtering them through their baleen plates. Blue whales have the longest baleen in comparison to any other animal - they are able to filter feed up to three tons of krill at one time with their mouth open wide enough for you to climb inside!
Swimming Smarties. Whales have a highly developed nervous system— they have the brain capacity and complexity similar with human beings.
Get Pumped Up! Whale hearts are huge, weighing about 300 pounds. When fully expanded, a blue whale's heart is the size of a Volkswagen Beetle! Their blood vessels are able to deliver oxygen to their organs — even when diving deeply to avoid predators — by using the surrounding water pressure to increase oxygen transport.
Oldies but Goodies. Blue whales have been around at least 10 million years! They are one of the few species that can live longer than humans do - an average age of 60-70 years in the wild — up to 100 years or more!
The X Factor. Not only is their hearing exceptional, whale "voices" can travel miles and miles underwater. Blue whales make a variety of sounds like squeaks, moans, and whistles and Male humpback whales sing songs that last up to 20 minutes long. (But even after years of research scientists still aren't completely sure why whales sing.
What's in a name? The word "whale" comes from the Old English word hwæl which means "sea monster." Other names for whales are "sperm whales" and "dippers."
Mom Power. Female blue whales are pregnant for around 12 months before giving birth to a calf who weighs between 3-6 tons. Phew!
Whale Fight Club. Godzilla and King Kong step aside! Sperm whales are known to get into dramatic battles with their deep sea nemesis the Giant Squid. Scientists have discovered these whales on the surface with battle scars from the squid's barbed tentacles.
Here is a fact that Whales and Sea Turtles have in common:
Besides their endangered status, the protection of the whale species is of vital importance to their environments.
If these animals were to disappear, we would watch an extreme domino effect — with marine biodiversity, water quality, habitat health, even the food chain supply that we humans rely on quickly disappearing .
Unfortunately, these gentle giants are still endangered due to overfishing and whaling. These hunters take advantage of the lack of protection for whales in international waters, which means there's no one to stop them from killing as many as they want.
Pollution harms whale habitats and makes it difficult for them to find food or mate. Even the deep diving mammals can't escape the pollutants that sink into the depths.
Finally, noise pollution affects the whale's unique ability to communicate with each other.
If we want our children's children to be able to marvel at these beautiful mammals like we do today, then it's time for us all to take notice!