Fish use their gills to extract oxygen from the water. It is this part of the whale anatomy that makes it possible for them to stay below the surface of the water for extended periods of time. One of the first things you probably learned about fish in high school was that they have special organs called gills that can extract dissolved oxygen from water and enable them to breathe underwater. He said that they use them to filter the water for debris and food. But that means the whale needs to be awake to breathe. Whales and dolphins don’t have gills. Whales have hair when young. 10. Yes. Narwhals can hold their breath for up to 25 minutes. 11. A friend mentioned something about whales and gills, to which I said "No, they're mammals." The air is breathed in and out through their “blowhole,” which is on their back. He still insists that whales have some kind of "gills". That would really upset the whales. no! Whales live in large groups called “pods.” Whales evolved from a land mammal. killer whales have no gills because it's mammalsNo, whales are mammals, thus do not have gills. I said that whales with baleen use that to get plankton and other whales don't need to filter as they eat large prey. There'd also seem to be no real pressure/advantage, since air-breathing whales, dolphins and so on are pretty successful top-of-their-food-chain creatures. Yes. So you want them to go back to the land all over again? around freezing, having gills with the amount of water necessary to keep them oxygenated would kill them via hypothermia without fundamental changes to its … Whales even give birth to live baby whales that will get milk from their mom for food. Cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) are voluntary breathers, meaning they think about every breath they take.A whale breathes through the blowhole on top of its head, so it needs to come up to the water surface to breathe. Fish lay eggs, which must still grow into a baby fish. Whales do not have gills for breathing, and must instead surface in order to breath air above sea level. As we mentioned, whales have to fill their lungs with air. How Long Can Narwhals Stay Underwater? They must come up to the surface of the water to get air. They have a blowhole - a modified nostril - connected to their lungs to breathe with. One of the classic ways to identify mammals in comparison to non mammals, is to determine whether or not they have hair on them. In order to do so, they rely on a blowhole at the top of their body. Why? This is how the land mammal, the ancestor of whales, looked like. Fish get oxygen directly from the water through their gills. Do Narwhals Need to Breathe Air? In most cases, mammals have hair or fur, while fish never do. When you consider Whales have a body temperature similar to ours, and that many of them live in the high latitudes with water temps. Whales and dolphins are mammals, ie they are warm blooded air breathing animals whose ancestors, many millions of years ago, were land dwelling, four legged, furry animals. They have a blowhole - a modified nostril - connected to their lungs to breathe with. 9. Whales are mammals, so they feed milk to their babies and breathe air. Fish have scales. Like all mammals (including whales and dolphins) narwhals need oxygen. Some whales will have one and others have two but they work the same way. Do Narwhals Sleep? Whales even have a little bit of hair on their smooth skin, usually on the top of their head. Since whales are not fish they do not have gills, so they cannot breathe underwater. $\begingroup$ Looking at deepsea fish with gills, they tend to be sluggish and at a bare minimum of activity/expenditure due to the utter lack of oxygen at depths whales are known to frequent. But narwhals, like us, use their lungs to breathe. 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