Humpback Whale

Whales, dolphins and porpoises (cetaceans) are air-breathing, warm-blooded mammals that bear live young and nurse them on milk. Cetaceans play an important role in the life of the ocean, serving as flagships for the health and well-being of the whole marine ecosystem.

Whales breathe through blowholes on top of their heads, which allows them to take in air without interrupting swimming. The deep-diving sperm whale is the champion at holding its breath for over an hour. These whales can descend to depths of more than a mile.

Whale populations are threatened by hunting, collisions with ships, and environmental degradation due to pollution. However, the greatest threat to whales, dolphins and porpoises is entanglement in fishing gear (bycatch). Unless current trends are reversed, several cetacean species and many populations will be lost in the next few decades.

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