The Quiz: What term refers to the fins of a whale’s tail?
Flukes are the two fins of a whale’s tail, and they are used to propel the whale through the water. The shape and markings on the tails of some whales (especially humpback whales) are as unique as fingerprints, and scientists use them to identify whales. While fish and shark tails are vertical, whales and dolphins have horizontal tails because they still have vestigial pelvis bones remaining from when the species evolved from having four legs. A whale’s pectoral fins are located on their sides, like arms, while dorsal fins (if they have them) are located on their back.
The correct answer to this quiz is Fluke.
The Quiz: Sperm whales produce what unique and rare substance?
Ambergris is a grey, waxy substance that looks like a rock when it washes up on a beach, but it is incredibly valuable. Scientists believe sperm whales excrete a fatty substance to help their stomachs digest the beaks of squids. Ambergris has been used for centuries, and today is still valued for use in perfume and pharmaceuticals. Chanel No. 5 famously relies upon the scent of ambergris.
The correct answer to this quiz is Ambergris.
The Quiz: What word describes when a whale jumps out of the water?
Breaching describes when most or all of the whale’s body leaves the water. The Humpback whale seems to do it more than other species, thus its name. As for other surface activities, whales are often seen using their pectoral fins to slap the surface or lobbing their tails to make a big splash. Tail sailing is more rare. Scientists have seen whales swimming with their tails raised into the air, perhaps using the wind to push them along or simply to cool off.
The correct answer to this quiz is Breaching.
The Quiz: What type of whale can live more than 200 years?
The Bowhead Whale is a particularly special animal. In addition to having the longest lifespan of any mammal, the bowhead also has the largest mouth of any animal on Earth, holding baleen up to 13 feet long. The bowhead is the only whale that never migrates away from the Arctic, and it has a layer of blubber 12 to 18 inches thick to keep it warm, the thickest of any whale.
The correct answer to this quiz is Bowhead Whale.
The Quiz: What type of whale has the fastest cruising speed at 23 mph?
Nicknamed “greyhounds of the deep,” the sleek fin whale is one of the ocean’s fastest whales. The sei whale can sprint faster, reaching 40 mph in short bursts, but it cannot sustain that speed for long. Making the fin whales’ speed even more impressive, it is the second largest whale, hurling its 80 tons of weight through the ocean.
The correct answer to this quiz is Fin Whale.