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Humpback whale underwater

Climate giants – how whales can help save the world

We know that whales, dolphins and porpoises are amazing beings with complex social and family...
Black Sea common dolphins © Elena Gladilina

The dolphin and porpoise casualties of the war in Ukraine

Rare, threatened subspecies of dolphins and porpoises live in the Black Sea along Ukraine's coast....
WDC's Ed Fox, Chris Butler-Stroud and Carla Boreham take a message from the ocean to parliament

Taking a message from the ocean to parliament

It's a sad fact that whales and dolphins don't vote in human elections, but I...
Minke whale © Ursula Tscherter - ORES

The whale trappers are back with their cruel experiment

Anyone walking past my window might have heard my groan of disbelief at the news...
Boto © Fernando Trujillo

Meet the legendary pink river dolphins

Botos don't look or live like other dolphins. Flamingo-pink all over with super-skinny snouts and...
Tokitae in captivity

Talking to TUI – will they stop supporting whale and dolphin captivity?

Last Thursday I travelled to Berlin for a long-anticipated meeting with TUI senior executives. I...

Earth Day Q&A with Waipapa Bay Wines’ marketing director, Fran Draper

We've been partnered with Waipapa Bay Wines since 2019 so for this year's Earth Day,...
Orcas at the seabed

The secrets of orca beach life

Rubbing on smooth pebbles is a generations-old cultural tradition for a particular group of orcas...

Animal Olympics – The Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises are the record breakers!

As we focus on our own sporting prowess at the London 2012 Olympics, maybe it is a good time to think about some of the gold-medal holders in the animal kingdom too.

Humpback whale

LONGEST SWIM
The longest mammal migrations are made by the whales too – a humpback travelling from its feeding ground in Antarctica to the breeding ground off Colombia may cover 5,176 miles (8,334 km). The gray whales are also contenders for this gold medal and also cover vast distances.

Sperm whale

DEEPEST DIVING
The deepest diving mammal is probably the sperm whale. 2000 m has been recorded but indirect evidence indicates that they may go a further 1000 m. The beaked whale family are contenders for this medal too and are known to dive to similar depths.

LONGEST DIVER
The record for the longest dive may belong to the sperm whale too – two hours and 18 minutes were recorded. Team Beaked Whale is again a contender in this sport.

Blue whale

LARGEST
Of course the largest animal on Earth is the blue whale – the heaviest recorded weighed 209 tons (190 tonnes) and the longest measured 110 feet and 2 inches (33.5 m). A similar length to a Boeing 737 jet airliner. (The fin whale comes second!) 

LOUDEST VOICE
The loudest sounds made by any animal also come from the blue whale (and the fin whale) – these low frequency pulses can be up to 188 decibels.

MOST TUNEFUL
The longest and most complex song produced by any animal is that of the humpback whale. Each song may last for half any hours and contains many components.

Team Whale are also contenders in the following events:

Dall's porpoise

FASTEST SWIMMER
Dall’s porpoises can reach 30 knots which is about 34.5 miles per hour.

Spinner dolphin

MARINE GYMNASTICS
The spinner dolphins with their amazing high spinning leaps from the water might be the gold medallists here but don’t discount the amazing aerial displays by the humpback whales.

LONGEST LIVED
Perhaps not really a sport but certainly an important attribute and the bowhead whale is now known to live up to about 200 years. This probably makes them the longest-lived vertebrate animal.  

About George Berry

George is a member of WDC's Communications team and website coordinator.