The Ultimate Whale Quiz
by Staff
Whales are among the most intelligent mammals known to man and most whales even appear to enjoy being in the company of human beings. Take our quiz to learn more about this amazing mammal.

What is the range in length of the whale species?

  • from 5 feet to more than 100 feet
  • from 10 feet to more than 120 feet
  • from 15 feet to more than 130 feet

What is the common name given to the two wings on a whale’s tail fin?

  • sails
  • flukes
  • vestigial flaps

What portion of a whale’s total body length is its tail?

  • one eighth
  • one quarter
  • one third

What is an obvious reason that scientists believe whales were once land-based animals?

  • Fossils have been found of whale like creatures with tiny legs that could not possibly support their weight.
  • Whales have vestigial hind legs buried in their flesh.
  • Both of the above are reasons that scientists believe whales evolved from land animals to living only in water.

What is the name given to a method employed by many whales to find prey and locate obstacles in the water using sound waves?

  • echolocation
  • sonar
  • doppler effect

What is the behavior called when whales slap the water with their tails?

  • dovetailing
  • lobtailing
  • breaching

A whale is an oxygen-breathing mammal, so how does it breathe when it spends most of its time underwater.

  • A whale extracts oxygen from the water and surfaces only to blow out water containing carbon dioxide.
  • A whale opens a blowhole to breathe as it breaks the surface and then closes it before submerging again.
  • A whale inhales oxygen through its always-open blowhole just after it ejects water that came in while submerged.

What is it that allows whales to eat while submerged without drowning?

  • A whale’s lungs are connected as with land animals, but a flap seals the mouth from the windpipe when submerged.
  • Air pressure in a whale’s lungs prevents water from entering during feeding while submerged.
  • A whale’s lungs and windpipe are connected only to its nasal passages and not its mouth.

Why do whales squirt seawater out of their blowholes, if their blowholes are always closed during submersion?

  • Whales do not squirt seawater from their blowholes at all.
  • Whales squirt seawater from their blowholes as part of their mating ritual.
  • Whales only squirt seawater from their blowholes when they feel threatened in order to intimidate a threat.

When an experienced whale watcher observes a waterspout, what can they tell about the whale that created it?

  • Experienced whale-watchers can identify the sex of a whale simply by its distinct waterspout.
  • Experienced whale-watchers can identify the species of whale simply by observing its waterspout.
  • Experienced whale-watchers can identify the health of a whale simply by observing its waterspout.

Into how many groups do scientists divide whales?

  • two
  • three
  • four

Non-toothed whales have developed something called a baleen to allow them to catch their food. What is a baleen?

  • A baleen is a wide plate in a whale’s mouth that has hundreds of round openings to trap fish from seawater.
  • A baleen is a wide plate in a whale’s mouth that looks like fishing net.
  • A baleen is a wide plate in a whale’s mouth made up of hundreds of long blades to trap fish from seawater.

What do whales drink?

  • Whales drink from the seawater when they swim.
  • Whales get their water from the food they eat.
  • Both of the above are ways that whales drink water.

What do whales do to stay hydrated if they do not have food readably available from which to derive water?

  • Whales will drink what they need from their blubber stores.
  • Whales will seek out fresh water springs often found close to shore or at the bottom of the ocean.
  • Whales are often found drinking at fresh water outlets of large rivers, which can extend more than a mile offshore.

What is the round-trip distance of the longest migration of a mammal, which is completed by a gray whale?

  • 10,000 miles
  • 8,000 miles
  • 6,000 miles

What is another popular name that blue whales are affectionately called?

  • big blue
  • gentle giant
  • sulfur bottom

How much of the tiny shrimp like krill can an average blue whale consume during the summer feeding season?

  • over 14,000 pounds
  • over 10,000 pounds
  • over 7,000 pounds

Do whales have good eyesight?

  • Baleen whales have good eyesight especially in dim underwater environs but toothed whales do not.
  • Both Baleen and toothed whales have better than average eyesight underwater.
  • All whales rely more on sound to locate food and obstructions than they do on eyes.

Are killer whales dangerous to humans, especially swimmers or divers?

  • Killer whales are noted for attacking whaling boats, swimmers or divers and are very dangerous when in the wild.
  • Killer whales did not get that name by accident so beware and get out of the water if one approaches.
  • Killer whales are simply a huge dolphin and if treated with respect will act in kind toward you.

About how much weight can mother blue whales lose while nursing their infant?

  • as much as 150,000 pounds
  • as much as 100,000 pounds
  • as much as 80,000 pounds