25 Fascinating Facts About Whales You Can See Near Topsail Island

25 Fascinating Facts About Whales You Can See Near Topsail Island | Coastline Realty

The Giants of the Sea

If you love whales, you will love learning about the whales you can see near Topsail Island, NC. They are fascinating marine mammals that are diverse species found throughout the world. While there are many species of whales, the most common whales around Topsail Island are humpback whales, and it's an extraordinary occasion when residents and tourists see them!

A perfect way to increase your chances of seeing them is to take a vacation to Topsail Island and rent a beach property with an ocean view so you can keep a regular lookout for sea life. To learn more about whales, keep reading some fascinating facts about these diverse marine mammals in our blog.

Facts About Physical Characteristics of Whales

All species of whales are in one of two groups. They are either baleen or toothed whales. It means their way of obtaining food is different. Baleen whales don't have teeth but a special flexible filter made from keratin, which is like hair and fingernails and grows in their mouth. They will scoop up their food and push the water out of their mouth while trapping prey, like their favorite krill, in the filter. 

Whales with teeth actively hunt for their prey, typical of other mammals, and use their teeth to catch and eat them.

Other interesting facts about specific species:

  1. The smallest baleen whale species is the Minke whale. They are known for their streamlined bodies.
  2. Fin whales or finbacks are the second-largest species of whales. Sometimes they are called "razorback whales" because of the prominent ridge on their backs.
  3. Blue whales are the largest living animal to have ever existed and can grow up to 100 feet in length. 
  4. Sperm whales are the largest whale species with teeth and have the largest brain of any animal on Earth.
  5. Some whale species have been known to live up to 200 years.
  6. Whales breathe as we do and nurse their young, making them mammals like us.
  7. Humpback whales have a spout shaped like a heart, but blue whales have a tall, narrow spout.
  8. Some species of whales can hold their breath for up to 90 minutes!
  9. Scientists can identify whale species by the way they exhale and release their spout of water.
  10. Narwhals are the "unicorns of the sea." They are a type of whale with a long spiral horn coming from their head, which is actually a tooth that can grow 10 feet long!
  11. Blue whales' hearts can weigh up to 400 pounds and are about the size of a golf cart.
  12. The blue whale's tongue can weigh as much as an elephant.

25 Fascinating Facts About Whales You Can See Near Topsail Island | Coastline Realty

Facts About Whale Behaviors

Whales are fascinating to watch. Through years of observation, we have learned interesting things that help us better understand them. For example, whales can sleep with just half their brain so they can stay alert for predators and maintain breathing.

Another interesting fact is they use unique vocalizations and echolocation to communicate, navigate, and hunt. Some species have asymmetrical patterns of color on their flukes which help to identify them. Here are more interesting facts you might love as much as we do.

  1. Humpback whales are one of the more commonly seen whales seen near Topsail Island. They are known for their acrobatic breaching displays, as well as their beautiful songs.
  2. Whales are known to be altruistic and form lifelong bonds with other whales.
  3. When humpback whales sing, their song is heard for hundreds of miles underwater.
  4. Some whales, like the beluga, can mimic human speech.
  5. Gray whales can travel up to 12,000 miles in their long round-trip migrations.
  6. A playful behavior whales engage in is something called spyhopping. This surfacing behavior is where they poke their heads above the water and look around.
  7. Gray whales are the only known species to feed on the ocean floor, using their baleen to filter prey out of the sediment.
  8. Sperm whales have brains that can weigh up to 18 pounds and are larger than any sea or land mammal. 

25 Fascinating Facts About Whales You Can See Near Topsail Island | Coastline Realty

Facts About Whale Species Survival and Conservation

Many whale species are under threat and have been for years. One of the most threatened species is the North Atlantic right whale, with only a few hundred remaining worldwide. It is considered the most endangered whale species. It was once considered the "right whale" for hunting due to how easy it was to catch, and it had everything humans wanted: its meat, bones, and blubber.

Other species, like the gray whale, interact with humans creating dangerous situations for their species. And tons of human waste and garbage kill and threaten whales and other marine life every year. Other threats are climate change, but humans remain whale's greatest threat. For these reasons, conservation efforts were acted upon to protect whale populations, and now there are regulations and protections to help save them. Here are some other facts about whale survival and conservation.

  1. The North Atlantic right whale is special because it is rare, but interestingly enough, it is frequently seen near Topsail Island!
  2. Even though conservation efforts are in place, some species of whales are still hunted today for their blubber, meat, and bones, just as they have been for centuries.
  3. The International Whaling Commission was established in 1946 to regulate whaling and protect whale populations.
  4. Some conservation efforts are underway to protect and preserve whales and their habitats, such as reducing plastic pollution, noise pollution, and our effect on climate change.
  5. The more we engage and learn about the plight of whales, the more likely we will make decisions that help preserve them so their species can go on living in the wild. If you want to learn more, visit Whales and Dolphins Conservation.

25 Fascinating Facts About Whales You Can See Near Topsail Island | Coastline Realty

Whales are an amazing species, and there are many online sites where you can learn more about them and get more involved in their conservation. You can also come to Topsail Island and spend time in their environment and even book tours to see them in real life. They are such an incredible species it will change your life.

If you're looking for the best places to stay on Topsail Island, browse our fantastic beach rental properties. It is the perfect place to stay with your family because these rental properties offer space enough for your whole family, incredible ocean views, and amenities that give you all the comfort you need to have a wonderful and relaxing time!

Stay on beautiful topsail island for your next vacation!

Browse our available properties and make memories of a lifetime!

25 Fascinating Facts About Whales You Can See Near Topsail Island | Coastline Realty

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