During a recent voyage along South America’s eastern coast, Justin Hofman was surprised to get close-up footage of an unfazed mother whale and her newborn calf.
Found in all oceans of the world, orcas are most common in the Arctic and Antarctic and are often spotted off the west coast of the United States and Canada. Orcas are found in both coastal waters and open ocean. Orca’s can live for an average of 50 to 80 years. The brain of a killer whale can weigh up to as much as 15 pounds (7 kg). That’s about five times heavier than the average human’s, making it one of the biggest brains on the planet.
The beluga whale or white whale is an Arctic and sub-Arctic cetacean. Belugas are gregarious and they form groups of up to 10 animals on average, although during the summer months, they can gather in the hundreds or even thousands in estuaries and shallow coastal areas. They are slow swimmers, but can dive down to 700 m (2,300 ft) below the surface. They are opportunistic feeders and their diets vary according to their locations and the season. They mainly eatfish, crustaceans and other deep-sea invertebrates.
The physical design of the whale is very complex, and it is why they are able to survive in the water. They depend on their flippers and their dorsal fins to help them move in the water and to stay balanced. They also have blowholes at the top of them where they take in air. Then they can be submerged under the water for a period of time before they need to take another breath. This is a characteristic of whales that definitely separates them from the majority of aquatic life out there.