What does a whale eat?

Anna Mikhailova
Anna Mikhailova
October 28, 2014
What does a whale eat?

Whales are recognized themselves as huge mammals on planet Earth, and this is not surprising, since they often reach a length of 40 meters, and their weight often exceeds 140 tons. What is feeding this mammal, which has such an impressive size? Let's find out what the whale feeds on.

Main food whales

The most important food of whales are plankton - a variety of small organisms that live in the water column and are unable to resist the flow. They are swallowed by the whales along with tons of fluid. It is the planktons that provide these massive mammals with the necessary charge of energy for a long period.

The whales also feed on other underwater inhabitants. They actively eat octopus, fish and squid. However, sometimes such mammals can swallow birds and eat seals. There were cases when whales ate their own kind.

It is important to note that whales do not chew on food, but only filter through whale bite - the teeth are represented by large plates.The intestines of the whales themselves are many times larger than their size, and up to 2 tons of fish and crustaceans can simultaneously be in their stomach.

In order to get food for themselves, the whales first rise to the upper strata of the oceans and seas. If there is not enough food there, they can go for food to a depth of 1-1.2 km - there, in addition to plankton, they find giant squid, which they instantly swallow.

Feeding small whales

Not everyone has an idea of ​​what the young whales feed on. They are breastfed - small whales actively absorb maternal milk. This milk has a special chemical composition. It also contains a huge amount of fat. Thanks to this, the cubs grow every day by several tens of centimeters.

Unfortunately, every year it becomes more and more difficult for such mammals to get food for themselves. The reason is that due to pollution of the seas and oceans, the number of planktons - the main food of whales - decreases many times (by several tens of tons per year), therefore the number of these mammals is gradually decreasing. This also contributes to poachers who ruthlessly destroy thousands of whales a year. Of course, there is an active struggle with them, but the number of dead whales is constantly increasing.