They can hit prey with force one million times that of gravity or the equivalent of a T-Rex bite – but they are not always successful. This is why a whale may go back and attack several times.
They often disembowel their prey using their teeth and then eat it from the inside out, starting with the heart and liver.
The sperm whale’s teeth can weigh up to 1,100 lbs and be 12 inches long – that’s as heavy as an adult male grizzly bear. Their teeth are the most powerful ever evolved, according to marine scientists.
Their jaw muscles are so huge that it took 40 people to open Moby Dick’s mouth for his autopsy after being killed by whalers in 1851 near South Georgia Island – now a British Overseas Territory in the Sub Antarctic.
Why Do Whales Breach?
When whales surface and breach, they often show off, giving their prey a false sense of security, and then attack. Whales are also known to charge at things they see in the water, boats, or even other whales.
What Does Whale Breach Mean?
A whale breach is when a whale lifts itself out of the water, sometimes more than halfway out of it, and falls back down. This happens most often when the whale is playing or hunting.
When whales breach, they take a big breath of air and then push their tail up hard. This helps them launch themselves out of the water. Whales use the air they breathe to inflate their bodies. They do this to make themselves more buoyant and to help them float on the surface of the water so they can breathe easily.
To Remove Parasites
A whale may breach to remove parasites from their skin! This phenomenon has been documented for decades, but it has only recently been studied in detail.
It turns out that whales have an excellent reason for doing this as the parasites tend to attach themselves to the whale’s skin, which can cause infection and irritation.
To remove these pests from their skin, whales will come up from the depths of the ocean and perform a massive breach out of the water. These breaches can be as high as 18 meters and last up to 12 seconds.
Researchers believe that this is a defense mechanism against these pests, and it’s something that could be seen as an adaptation for life in the deep oceans where there are few opportunities to escape these parasites.
To Improve Digestion
It is not uncommon for a whale to breach the water and then slam back into the water. This may be because whales need to improve their digestion. The whales may be trying to release gas from their intestines, which will help them digest food more efficiently.
This theory is backed up by the fact that whales will often breach and then go back underwater to catch a breath, and they will make a suck-blow motion with their mouths before breaching again. Sucking in the air helps them control their buoyancy and thus makes it easier for them to jump back into the water.
To Have Fun
A whale may breach to have fun. Of course, they don’t do it only for fun. They do it so they can breathe. This is because when a whale breaches, they need to take in a massive breath of air, and when they go back down, their lungs are filled with oxygen again.
They are doing this because the water is so dense that it doesn’t have enough oxygen in it for them to breathe.
A whale may breach to communicate. A whale’s breaching is a complicated behavior, but it may be used for many reasons. When whales are in the water, they sound off with their noises.
It can also be used to scare predators away or get other whales to come into the breaching whale’s area. They can also use it as a form of greeting or an invitation to other whales.
To Look for Food
Perhaps the most common reason a whale will breach the water is to look for food, and if they are not looking for food, they may be trying to communicate with other whales.
The fact that whales are often seen breaching in groups suggests a social element to it, which may be because they are trying to communicate with each other.
They may be warning other whales about nearby threats, or it may just be a way of saying hello in their unique way. Whales are very social animals, and breaching has been observed in all of the world’s major oceans.
To Socialize with Other Whales
Scientists have observed that the frequency of whale breaching increases when there is a large amount of fish in the area, suggesting that these creatures use it to communicate with one another.
It is believed that whale communication occurs by emitting sounds through air bubbles produced by their blowhole.
This means that when whales breach, they can send and receive different messages from each other, which may help them hunt or find mates.
Interesting Facts About Whales
- Whales are mammals that live in the water. Whales are also called cetaceans. The word whale is a synonym for a cetacean.
- Some of the most common species of whales are beluga, orca, sperm whale, a baleen whale, humpback whale, and blue whale.
- Cetaceans cannot breathe underwater, so they have to come up to the surface to breathe every few minutes.
- A group of whales is called a pod
- The largest animal on earth is a blue whale that can weigh up to 190 tons
Important to the Ecosystem
There are many reasons why whales contribute to the ecosystem. One of the most important reasons is that they feed on krill and other small crustaceans, which decreases the population of their prey.
This allows other species to thrive, such as fish and sea turtles. They also act as a food source for other predators, such as sharks and killer whales. The whale’s excrement becomes fertilizer for algae and kelp, consumed by crabs and starfish.
The whale’s bones sink to the bottom of the ocean floor, providing nutrients for future generations of animals on the ocean floor.
The whale watching industry is essential because it promotes conservation, education, and community. The whale watching industry has also been beneficial for communities in Massachusetts and Maine.
These two states have experienced economic growth from the whale watching industry, which has helped them become more economically stable.
Whales are also an essential part of many cultures. For example, the Makah tribe in Washington State hunted gray whales for their meat and blubber.
The Makah tribe used the whales’ bones to make tools, such as shovels and arrowheads. The Makah tribe is still allowed to hunt gray whales on a limited basis by the International Whaling Commission (IWC). The IWC regulates whale hunting to ensure that populations do not decline too quickly.