The Quiz: What navigational tool do some whales share with bats?
Toothed whales (but apparently no species of baleen whales) use echolocation to hunt their prey, emitting high-pitched sounds and interpreting the sound that bounces back to them. To help amplify the sounds, whales that use echolocation have evolved oddly shaped asymmetrical skulls, plus a layer of extra soft tissue on their head called a melon. The technique, shared with bats, is so accurate scientists studied it to develop radar and sonar technology.
The correct answer to this quiz is Echolocation.
The Quiz: What whale is nicknamed “canary of the sea”?
North Atlantic Right Whales
Scientists have identified 28 different types of “contact calls,” whistles, and chirps that beluga whales use to communicate in the dark Arctic waters. Early mariners called belugas the canaries of the sea because they could hear them through the wooden hulls of ships. Today’s louder ships interfere with the belugas’ calls, so humans are less likely to hear their natural cries.
The correct answer to this quiz is Beluga Whales.
The Quiz: What was distinctive about the sperm whale in “Moby Dick”?
It was missing an eye
It had three fins
It had two blowholes
It was albino
Moby Dick was white, but most sperm whales are dark blue or grey in color. Herman Melville’s classic 1851 novel about an elusive and dangerous whale was partly based on a real-life sperm whale, detailed in the story “Mocha Dick: Or the White Whale of the Pacific.” Named for the island of Mocha in Chile, the creature eluded whalers for decades before being killed in 1839.
The correct answer to this quiz is It was albino.
The Quiz: Which of these whales is actually a dolphin species?
The so-called “Killer Whale” is not a whale at all. The Orcinus orca is the largest of the dolphin family, weighing up to 6 tons and measuring 23 to 32 feet long. As for the “Killer” part of its nickname, orcas are apex predators, but not for hunting humans. Orcas hunt fish, octopuses, and rays, as well as sea lions, sharks, and even whales.
The correct answer to this quiz is Killer Whale.
The Quiz: Instead of teeth, what do some whales use to eat plankton?
Instead of teeth, 14 species of whales have bristle-like baleen that filters plankton and krill from the seawater. Made of keratin, baleen is similar to human fingernails and hair. Several baleen whale species also have accordion-like throats, allowing them to gulp giant mouthfuls of seawater and food.
The correct answer to this quiz is Baleen.