Whales


Barbara J. Feldman

Whales hold several world records. Whales are the largest aquatic mammals (bigger than sharks or dolphins.) Grey whales migrate further than any other mammal (about 10,000 miles a year.) And the blue whale is the earth’s largest animal (even beating out the elephant.) A blue whale can grow to hundred feet long and weigh up to 150 tons. Can you imagine a whale as long as a ten-story building is tall?

  • Enchanted Learning Zoom: Whales5 stars

    "Whales breathe air. They are NOT fish. They are mammals that spend their entire lives in the water." Enchanted Learning has dozens of whale information pages and printable whale activities for elementary grades. Visit for quick facts useful for a school project, or for fun activities such as Beluga Connect the Dots, First Grade Addition/Subtraction Whale Puzzlers, and Whale Word Hunts.

  • Howstuffworks: How Whales Work5 stars

    "Whales are mammals, just like us, and more than 50 million years ago, their ancestors walked on land as we do. It's not clear what these animals were like, but some paleontologists believe they may have been hoofed mammals, something like modern cows." From the adaptations that make it possible for these huge mammals to spend their entire life in water, to the current status of whaling regulation and conservation, Howstuffworks really covers whales. You can navigate from page to page, or use the Table of Contents (at the top of each page) to jump around.

  • Journey North: Gray Whales5 stars

    Each spring, gray whales migrate from their warm birthing lagoons in Mexico to the cold feeding grounds of the Bering and Arctic Seas. If you live along the Pacific Coast, your classroom can join in tracking their migration. Even if you don't, Journey North is worth a visit because of the great Gray Whale FAQ page ("How did gray whales get their name?") and terrific articles filed under Lessons, Activities and Information.

  • PBS: Nature: Sperm Whales: The Real Moby Dick5 stars

    "A giant among marine mammals, a male sperm whale weighs between forty and sixty tons. Smaller females reach a maximum weight of only eighteen tons and measure about thirty-five feet." My favorite click is the multimedia lesson Swimming with Whales. But Introduction and Social Structure are also worth reading. You'll find additional PBS Nature articles about humpback and gray whales by searching for "whales" via the Search Nature tool in the upper right-hand corner.

  • Save the Whales4 stars

    "Save the Whales was founded in 1977 when Maris Sidenstecker was fourteen years old, and focuses on educating the public, especially children, about marine mammals and the fragile ocean environment." Best school report clicks are the six species info pages linked to from the front page, and the five additional ones found in the horizontal menu under Whales/Whales Species. Don't leave without reading "10 Ways You Can Help Marine Life Everyday." Scroll down to the bottom for a PDF version that is easy to print and pass along.

  • Download These Internet Resources as a Printable Handout Just $2.00
  • Honorable Mentions

    The following links are either new discoveries or sites that didn't make it into my newspaper column because of space constraints. Enjoy!

  • By October 26,2005



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    Whales
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    National Geographic Readers: Great Migrations Whales
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