Whale Research

Scientific Information about Whales

There is no shortage of information that we have about whales thanks to plenty of in depth research. The gathering of such information doesn’t occur overnight though so what we have has been accumulated over many decades of observation and studying. Based on this information we are able to understand the unique design of the whale anatomy. It is designed to let a whale move through the water with ease and to maintain the necessary functions.

We also know the process of reproduction for whales. The females will only have a new calf once very couple of years. Research shows us that they take very good care of their young, feeding it milk for the first year of life. We also know that the females will mate with many males during that part of the season which increases the chances of conception.

The ongoing habits of whales have been documented through careful research. Many mammals migrate during particular times of the year, but the whales will travel further than any of them. They consume more food in the summer so that they will be able to have more blubber to get them through the winter. As the cooler time of the year sets in they will migrate to warmer locations.

During that migration process they will move continually except when they need to rest. They generally don’t even eat during this time of  their lives. Many whales have a pattern of migration that they follow year after year. Then they return to their normal location when they temperatures will be warmer there once again.

One area of whale research that continues is their communications. While we do know that they clicks that they make and the songs that they sing are their ways of interacting, we don’t know what it all means. We can speculate about what some of the different sounds are for. However, there are plenty of them to listen to and different pods and species of whales will offer different sounds. As a result more time needs to be dedicated to finding out what they all mean.

For a very long time it was puzzling about the sleeping habits of whales. Since the time frame between breathes can be from 50 minutes to 2 hours, they obviously can’t fully sleep and then forget about that part of the breathing process. Some researchers thought that whales really didn’t sleep due to observations of them with one eye open in many instances as they were resting.

What they have found though through careful whale research is that they do sleep. However, they only allow one side of their brain to sleep at a time. This is why they are able to get sufficient rest and still surface as they need to for air.

A great deal of whale research has been possible due to the advances in technology. For example the use of tracking systems combined with satellites have allowed them to find out what life is all about for many whales. This information has also helped to reduce the myths and misinformation out there about whale activities and interactions. As new technology is introduced it too has been used to continue in these areas of whale research.

While we do know plenty about whales due to the research done, there is still more for us to understand. Don’t be surprised if you hear about new information coming to light in the next few years. There are plenty of great programs you can become a part of too if you would like to help with the observation and research involving whales.

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