Despite only eating plankton, the Blue Whale is the largest living animal of all time. A humpback in shallow water scattering herring. Whale survives harpoon attack 130 years ago to become 'world's oldest mammal' A giant bowhead whale caught off the coast of Alaska had a harpoon point embedded in its neck that showed it survived a similar hunt – more than a century ago.
Biologists claim the find helps prove the bowhead is the oldest living mammal on earth. They say the 13-centimetre arrow-shaped fragment dates back to around 1880, meaning the 50-ton whale had been coasting around the freezing arctic waters since Victorian times. Scroll down for more... Because traditional whale hunters never took calves, experts estimate the bowhead was several years old when it was first shot and about 130 when it died last month. "No other finding has been so precise," said John Bockstoce, a curator at the New Bedford Whaling Museum in Massachusetts.
Calculating a bowhead whale's age can be difficult, and is usually gauged by amino acids in the eye lenses. It is rare to find one that has lived more than a century, but experts now believe the oldest were close to 200 years old. to stay warm as efficiently as possible. Fur Seal and Beluga Whale. Humpback whales feeding in Alaska. Massive Sperm Whale. The Loneliest Whale in the World. On their most recent episode of their always-enjoyable Dinner Party Download podcast, American Public Media's Rico Gagliano and Brendan Newnam featured the story of "a lonely whale with vocal problems whose love song supposedly chases lady whales away.
" According to a 2004 New York Times article on the subject, this particular baleen whale has apparently been tracked by NOAA since 1992, using a "classified array of hydrophones employed by the Navy to monitor enemy submarines. " It sings at 52 Hertz, which is roughly the same frequency as the lowest note on a tuba, and much higher than its fellow whales, whose calls fall in the 15 to 25 Hertz range. To make matters worse, the high-pitched whale "does not follow the known migration route of any extant baleen whale species.
" The result, according to Dr. Found: Whale thought extinct for 2 million years. The pygmy right whale, a mysterious and elusive creature that rarely comes to shore, is the last living relative of an ancient group of whales long believed to be extinct, a new study suggests.
The findings, published today (Dec. 18) in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, may help to explain why the enigmatic marine mammals look so different from any other living whale. "The living pygmy right whale is, if you like, a remnant, almost like a living fossil," said Felix Marx, a paleontologist at the University of Otago in New Zealand. "It's the last survivor of quite an ancient lineage that until now no one thought was around. " Living fossil The relatively diminutive pygmy right whale, which grows to just 21 feet (6.5 meters) long, lives out in the open ocean. The strange creature's arched, frownlike snout makes it look oddly different from other living whales. The findings help explain how pygmy whales evolved and may also help shed light on how these ancient "lost" whales lived. Megafauna size comparison. Cetacea. Mariachi Serenades a Beluga Whale. Whale under boat. Evolution of cetaceans. About 80 of the 87 modern species in the order Cetacea.
A phylogeny showing the relationships among cetacean families. illustrative evolution-line of cetaceans The cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) are marine mammal descendants of land mammals. Their terrestrial origins are indicated by: Their need to breathe air from the surface;The bones of their fins, which resemble the limbs of land mammalsThe vertical movement of their spines, characteristic more of a running mammal than of the horizontal movement of fish. The question of how a group of land mammals became adapted to aquatic life was a mystery until discoveries starting in the late 1970s in Pakistan revealed several stages in the transition of cetaceans from land to sea.
Earliest ancestors The molecular data is supported by the recent discovery of Pakicetus, the earliest proto-whale (see below). Indohyus Possible relationships between cetaceans and other ungulate groups. Pakicetidae General Whale Songs. Humpback Whale and Kite Surfer. Feb 8, 2012 Everyone knows whales are huge.
In fact, the Blue Whale is the largest known animal to have ever existed (source). Roughly the length of a basketball court, these majestic creatures are a sight to behold. In this startling image, we see a kite surfer likely unaware that this colossal mammal is right below him. The comments on Reddit and a search on TinEye did not turn up anything, please update us in the comments below if you know who the photographer is, or have any more information on this incredible aerial shot. *Update: As updated by the photographer (Michael Swaine @ AbovePhotography.com.au), this is an aerial capture of a humpback whale not a blue whale as initially reported. Man meets Whale.