Shop Windows to the Universe

Arches National Park Geology Tour provides an extensive, visually rich description of the geology of Arches, by Deborah Ragland, Ph.D. See our DVD collection.
This image shows a picture of a whale's tail sticking out of the water. Whales can often be identified by their tail features.
Click on image for full size
Windows Original, adapted from Corel Photography

Whales

Whales, like dolphins, are part of the Cetacea order. The name Cetacea comes from the Latin 'cetus', which means large marine creature or sea monster! But, whales are no danger to people...

Actually, it is people who are a threat to whales. Over the last 150 years, many species of whales have been brought close to extinction because of unconstrained whale hunting.

Whales strain plankton from the sea or they eat fish. Killer whales do eat squid and sometimes seals and otters too.

Whales make lots of unique and complex noises. We call them whale songs. One song may last as long as 35 minutes. The songs are used in identifying other whales and warning other whales of the same pod.


Last modified May 15, 2009 by Jennifer Bergman.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

"Science, Evolution, and Creationism", by the National Academies, provides fascinating background on these topics for all, and is particularly useful for the Earth and space science classroom. Check our other books in our online store.

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

Robots Watch out for Poisonous Plankton!

Tiny plankton that live in the sea may look harmless but certain types are able to kill fish, poison seafood and even choke swimmers. Now robots have been developed to search the seas for the dangerous...more

Finding the Four-Footed Ancestors of Whales

Scientists have known for a long time that whales, the largest marine mammals, have distant relatives that lived on land millions of years ago. Little was known about whales’ land-loving ancestors until...more

Life in the Open Ocean

The open ocean, called the pelagic zone, is the largest area of the marine ecosystem. It reaches from coasts to the middle of the ocean. The living things that survive in the open ocean need to have a...more

Life in the Deep Ocean

The deep ocean is very cold, under high pressure, and always dark because sunlight can not get down that far. Less life can survive in the deep ocean than in other parts of the ocean because of these conditions. ...more

Early Whales Gave Birth on Land

Scientists discovered two fossil whales in 2000 and 2004 in Pakistan. The fossils are a pregnant female and a male of the same species of primitive whale. After much work, scientists have made some exciting...more

Can there be Life in the Environment of Jupiter?

Jupiter's atmospheric environment is one of strong gravity, high pressure, strong winds, from 225 miles per hour to 1000 miles per hour, and cold temperatures of -270 degrees to +32 degrees (freezing temperature)....more

The possible discovery of Life on Mars

In July, 1996, it was announced that Dr. David McKay, along with a team of scientists at Johnson Space Center (a division of NASA), had discovered possible fossils of bacteria in a meteorite named ALH84...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA