To Have Seen the Whales Again, a Short Story Essay
Not so long ago, I had a dream about the whales and told my story to a good friend of mine. She laughed, the same women who laughed at my joke about ants getting blown away by lightening. This time she told me that the story was about a different kind of whale. She told me that these whales have migratory routes and spend most of their time off the coast of Australia.
The story begins in the late summer or early fall of each year, when the whales return to their preferred feeding and breeding grounds. This is known as migration. For this reason, many whale species migrate, some up to thousands of miles each trip. How about: The pilot whales have the highest reproductive rate of any baleen whales and can typically have a single calf a year. Other ocean mammals and even fish.
Have You Seen the Whales?
The whale I was telling my friend about, is called the blue whale. These are the largest creatures on Earth, measured by weight. They can grow to be over thirty feet long, but only once have they been recorded at over forty feet. There are two subspecies: the pilot whales and the humpback whales. Each has unique characteristics.
The pilot whales travel along coastal waters up into the Great Barrier Reef, while the humpback whales make sure they travel along the shipping routes up and down the east coast of Australia. The direction in which they go is called their home range. The sight of a blue whale is truly iconic, so much so that on many maps the headland of New Zealand is called “The whale’s Island.” These are the two most distinct varieties of ocean whale.
There are other smaller varieties, including the minke whale (which is only the size of a small dog), the pilot whales (which can be the same size as small dogs), and the bottlenose (which are the same size as a small dog). The last of these is the baleen whale, which is the largest of all ocean baleens. These are also known as sperm whales (male sperm). Their preferred diet is anchovies, but they are often caught feeding on the surface of the water, where they store the yolk that makes their meat come out soft. You might have seen the bottlenose whale rolling across the ocean, with its brightly colored blubber – they are a very common sight off the coast of South America.
In addition to whales there are countless species of fish, reptiles, crustaceans, amphibians, insects, snails, and plants that make up marine life. Not only are all of these species found on earth, but they also share a symbiotic relationship with whales. For example, fish have scales that allow them to protect themselves from predators, and whales have teeth that are designed for crushing. In this way they are both important to the marine environment.
Marine life in the area around the Humpback Whale can also be highly symbiotic or mutually beneficial. Fish produce a type of symbiotic algae called zardovia, which live by serving as a protective home for the whales’ young. This algal mat is called calycophora. This symbiotic relationship between fish and whales has been proven to exist since the beginning of the Pacific Ocean.
Another thing that is great about the Humpback whale is the fact that it is so well known. You don’t have to drive down a highway to see them, because they are almost always visible from the water. Because of their visibility, you can even find them on eBay, because so many people are buying and selling whales’ merchandise. So the next time you see a humpback whale, don’t just wonder what they might do to your car: buy them something nice!