Learn About Marine Mammals

Topics: Mammals

Did you know that marine mammal are considered endangered and highly protected?   Marine mammals are a group of mammals that have a unique characteristic that makes them stand out from other mammals. Marine mammals are not much different than the mammals that live on land except they are adapted to living in the ocean for either their whole life or part of their life. Marine mammals can stay underwater for long periods by storing oxygen in their muscles and blood. Marine mammals have blubber to help maintain warmth when swimming in cold waters or swimming down deep in the ocean for food.

Two classifications of marine mammals out of five are Pinnipeds and Cetaceans, the others would be sea otters, polar bears, and sirenians. Pinnipeds are mammals that live in the oceans but can come to land for long periods. Some of the animals that make up this classification are sea lions, seals, and walruses but there are thirty-four existing species.

Phocids are earless seals and they can be identified by looking at their ears, instead of having ears they have ear holes. Otariid is another family of Pinnipeds and they are referred to as eared seals, they are recognized by their fins, ears, and their coat of fur. Otariids were brought to extinction for their coat of fur in the 19th century.

Odebenids is the classification of walruses which is one of the largest Pinnipeds with tusks, also walruses have airsack’s in their necks to help them float back up to the surface.

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Cetaceans are separated into two groups of toothed or baleen whales. Families that make up the Cetacean family would be dolphins, whales, and porpoises. Cetaceans have developed a series of adaptations like being able to store oxygen in their blood and muscles having more blood volume for their body size which is something land animals can’t do. There are over 73 species of toothed whales varying from 5 feet to 60 feet varying in what mammal. Baleen whales have blowholes instead of teeth, they range from 21 feet to 100 feet there are only 11 species of these whales. Don’t let the size of these baleen whales fool you though, they eat very large quantities of food for their sizes! Sea otters don’t live in the ocean instead they inhabit kelp beds. Did you know that sea otters’ fur consists of two layers of fur? They have the thickest fur out of all mammals. This fur traps in the air next to their skin to help their fur not get wet. Sea otters are the smallest marine mammals, females weigh thirty-five to sixty pounds with males weigh up to ninety pounds. Female sea otters and pups spend time in groups and males do as well but in separate groups. Sea otters can eat up to twenty-five percent to thirty percent of their body weight and their diet consists of clams and abalone.

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Learn About Marine Mammals. (2022, Jun 21). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/learn-about-marine-mammals/

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