Whales and Fin whales, both rulers of seas and oceans, due to their size, are united by diet and fame but it is possible to distinguish them. Just look at them closely, study them, respect them, especially because pollution and climate change can put them at risk of survival. They are large and large but this does not mean that they can emerge unscathed from the continuous degradation that their habitat is undergoing.
Whales and Fin whales: characteristics
Whales and Fin whales belong to the Balaenopteridae family who does not only see these two animals inside. In our waters, there are nine species of Mysticeti cetaceans superficially quite similar to whales, for those who have never studied them, they are all whales, but it is enough to pause for a while to know the differences and their main characteristics, physical and social.
Whales and Fin whales: affinity
They are both gods Marine mammals and they have mammary glands capable of producing milk, the young feed on it. In particular, Whales and Fin whales, among the various Misticeti Cetaceans, they are baleen. This term indicates that they have no teeth and that to filter the food particles that are mixed in a very confused and unpredictable way with water, they use a sort of structure that can neither be defined as tooth nor membrane.
Usually these toothless mammals eat plankton which is a compound of numerous microscopic organisms that are unable to move independently if they are in an aquatic environment. If we see plankton moving, it is thanks to the sea currents.
Whales and Fin whales: differences
There are numerous differences between whales and fin whales, many of them stand in the skeletal structure of these marine mammals and derive from the fact that they were formed from a common ancestor two separate strains which then evolved autonomously. Thus giving life to two cetaceans that we have every reason to consider different and to classify with two distinct names.
True whales have therefore in the skeleton of anterior flippers, five fingers, those typical of the most primitive mammals, the whales instead have only four but over time they have changed their shape by lengthening in a conspicuously useful way. This change in morphology makes the fin whales swimming something more like wings, we are certainly not the first to notice it. It is true that in Greek the term "fin whale" means "whale with wings". Among the numerous types of fin whales, the Megaptera is the one that can show off the widest "wings".
Moving on to observe the cervical vertebrae, it can be noted that those of Fin whales are separated, as always in this type of animals, it is the whales in this case that have undergone skeletal changes and today these vertebrae are fused into a single rigid bone element.
A third difference between Whales and Fin whales we find it in the skull by observing the jaws, straight in the whales and strongly arched in the whales, so much so that in English they areor called "bowhead whales" ("bow-headed whales").
If you don't x-ray these mammals, it's much harder to find differences between them, but let's try! The Fin Whales they have that little dorsal fin that at Whales is missing - apart from a few exceptions. The latter therefore use as a propulsive organ the caudal fin, divided into two symmetrical, conjoined lobes, which allows them to dive even at great depths and in general to swim “easily”.
Whales and fin whales at risk
These two huge mammals are at risk, partly because of us, partly because of their physical characteristics that cannot be changed. Let's start from natural factors: their longevity - even 2 centuries from Campania - and their low reproductive activity.
Our faults must also be admitted, in fact it is no coincidence that we have established the World Oceans Day. In the waters we have often released toxic substances that can accumulate in adipose tissues of Whales and Fin Whales or in the organisms they eat, poisoning them.
Overfishing also damages these two cetaceans which often remain imprisoned in the, more and more sudden change in the marine environment, linked to human invasiveness, it continues to put in difficulty species like these that do not have the time to adapt to the new characteristics of the habitat in which they have always been present
THE climate changes threaten whales and fin whales as increased UV exposure alters distribution, quantity, density or conditions krill they eat. Not to mention the effect that the rays themselves can have on animal health. Few then take into account a type of pollution that causes silent damage: the acoustic one, first of all because it covers the sounds produced by cetaceans by disorienting them, and secondly because it can ruin their hearing.
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