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Whale is the common name given to a diverse range of marine mammal species. Probably the best known species include the blue whale, humpback whale and sperm whale.
Whales belong to the Cetacean infra order, along with dolphins, porpoises and ungulates. Whales closest living relative is actually the hippopotamus.
There are both toothed whales and baleen whales. Toothed whales such as the sperm whale, feed on giant squid and octopus' while baleen whales such as the humpback feed on krill and smaller marine organisms.
Blue whales are the largest animal in the world. They reach up to lengths of 40 metres and can weigh up to 190 tons.
Since whales are mammals, they give birth to live young and are warm blooded. Depending on the species of whale, mothers will nurse the calf for a long period of time.
Whales are highly intelligent creatures. They have been observed learning, teaching, playing, engaging in complex communication and even grieving.
Today, whales are protected under international law. However, this doesn't stop illegal poaching and wildlife trade in some parts of the world.
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