As a wildlife photographer, I have taken a few images of some of Nature’s smallest creatures, like the incredible Hummingbirds, and her biggest, the Blue Whale – the largest animal living on our planet, ever. Cetaceans, the term used to describe porpoises, dolphins and whales, are mammals, just like ourselves. They are warm-blooded, have mammary glands to feed their young, possess a four chambered heart and have hairs on their bodies. Like all mammals, whales breathe oxygen. They surface to exhale and take in a quick breath before submerging. During the past few centuries of rentless commercial whaling, this behavior was the Archilles’ Heel of the great whales, because the whalers can spot the animal even from a distance and thus gave rise to the old, familiar cry, “Thar she blows!” Big Island photographers
There are two types of whales – toothed and baleen. Toothed whales, like the Killer whales and Beluga whales, have one blow hole on top of their heads and use their teeth to seize its food. Baleen is a strong and flexible material made out of keratin, a protein that is made from the same material as our hair and fingernails. Baleen whales, like the Humpback, Gray and Blue whales, have two blow holes and feed by swallowing huge amount of water, filled with small fish, krill and plankton. They then close their mouths and the baleen on the side will trap and filter the food and release the water.