Baleen whale

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Baleen whale Blog Image


Roughly 19 million years old fossil jaw bone of a baleen whale estimated to be around nine metres in length found recently.

About Baleen whales

  • These are any cetacean possessing unique epidermal modifications of the mouth called baleen, which is used to filter food from water.
  • Most mammals have teeth in their mouth. Baleen whales are a strange exception.
  • Baleen is a large rack of fine, hair-like keratin used to filter out small krill from the water.
  • This structure enabled baleen whales to feed efficiently on enormous shoals of tiny zooplankton in productive parts of the ocean, which facilitated the evolution of larger and larger body sizes.
  • There are 14 species of baleen whale including the blue, bowhead, right, humpback, minke and gray whale.
  • Baleen whales are generally larger than toothed whales except for the sperm whale which is very big and has teeth.
  • Many baleen whales migrate annually, travelling long distances between cold water feeding areas and warm water breeding areas.
  • The large whale fossils from Australasia and South America seem to suggest that for most of the evolutionary history of baleen whales, whenever a large baleen whale shows up in the fossil record, it is in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Baleen whales are ecosystem engineers, their huge bodies consuming tremendous amounts of energy.
  • Upon death, these whales provide an abundance of nutrients to deep-sea ecosystems.

Q1) What is Keratin?

It is a protein that your body produces naturally, and it helps keep your hair, skin and nails healthy and strong. Your body produces keratin naturally, but keratin shampoos and conditioners that contain keratin hydrolysates may strengthen your hair and improve its appearance.

Source: 19-million-year-old fossil jaw bone hints the biggest whales first evolved somewhere unexpected