What Do Whales Eat



What do whales eat in Australia?


There are many different types of whales in the world and they all have different diet. All the whales belong to the order Cetacea. Within that order, there are two main groups: baleen whales (Mysticeti) and toothed whales (Odontoceti). Toothed whales are usually smaller, and more abundant than baleen whales: there are 70 species of toothed whales in the world, while there are only 10 species of baleen whales. Below is information on what different species of Australian whales eat.


Humpback Whales Lunging While Bubble Net Feeding, Angoon, Tongass National Forest, Alaska, Usa
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What Do Whales Eat: Baleen Whales
Baleen whales are all filter feeders. They have a soft comb-like baleen in their mouth, and when they feed, they swim with their mouths open and the plankton will simply swim into their mouth and cannot get out again. Plankton can be either small plants or animals that float in the water (i. e. they don’t move by using any muscles for swimming).

Humpback Whales Surface Feeding on Sand Eels, Massachusetts
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Humpback Whale
Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is a large baleen whale that eats krill, plankton and small fish. It has a unique hunting habit where many whales cooperate bubble-netting.

Humpback Whales Feed Close to Shore by Lunging in the Inside Passage
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Dwarf Minke Whale
Dwarf Minke Whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) is one of the smallest baleen whales and it eats krill and plankton, but also small fish.

North Atlantic Right Whale Skim Feeding in Cape Cod Bay
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Southern Right Whale
Southern Right Whale (Eubalaena australis) is a large animal that eats krill and plankton. Krill are small shrimp like invertebrate animals that float in the water.

After feeding, a bowhead whale comes to the surface to rest
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Bryde’s Whale
Bryde’s Whale (Balaenoptera edeni) is a medium-size baleen whale that eats krill, plankton and schooling fish.

A Group of Humpback Whales Bubble Net Hunting and Feeding Together
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Blue Whale
Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is not only the largest whale, it’s the largest living animal on the Earth. It eats krill and plankton.

Humpback Whales Feeding on Herring, Frederick Sound, South East Alaska, USA
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What Do Whales Eat: Toothed Whales
Toothed whales have tooth in their mouths, and they are carnivores (meat-eaters). Most of them eat fish and small marine animals, while some species also eat large animals like seals and even other whales.

Gulls Fly over the Open Mouth of a Feeding Humpback Whale
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Sperm Whale
Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) is the largest toothed whale. But that doesn’t mean it eats the largest animals. Sperm whale eats fish and cephalopods (a kind of mollusks).

Killer Whales Feeding in Johnstone Strait, British Columbia, Canada
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Pilot Whale
Pilot Whale (Globicephala spp) is one of the smallest toothed whales. It eats fish and cephalopods.

A Killer Whale Feeds in Aialik Bay
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Killer Whale
Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) is a medium-sized whale that kills and eats larger animals like seals and other whales, but it also eats smaller animals like fish and squid, and gets an occasional seabird when it can.












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