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Are whales mammals?

If fish are not mammals then why are whales? Unless there is no difference and I'm mistaken, but I believe that whales are mammals.

Lately however, I realise that fish are not mammals. Aren’t whales fish because they swim in the sea? Doesn't this mean that whales are in the same family class as fish?
Posted in Zoology, asked by Philo, 6 years ago. 1055 hits.


Whales are mammals. Just because whales live in the ocean along with fish does not mean that they fall into the same class as fish. In a way, you could compare their differences and relationship to different species of land animals. There are mammals as well as reptiles. Both live on land but they are not in the same class.

There are a number of distinguishing factors that separate fish from whales (or mammals).

1.) They way in which they swim. Fish move their tails from side to side while whales move their tails in an upward and downward motion to propel themselves through the water.
2.) Fish breathe through gills in either side of their faces. This is not at all similar to the way we breathe as humans. The oxygen is taken directly from the water, not the air. Whales breathe air from above the surface of the ocean. They have to come up in order to breathe. They use the blowhole on top of their heads to breathe.
3.) Whales are warm-blooded animals, while fish are cold-blooded.
4.) Whales give birth to live young. Fish lay eggs.
5.) Whales nurse their young by squirting milk into the calf's mouth. Fish do not.
6.) Whales usually give birth to a single calf. Fish lay hundreds or thousands of eggs at a time.

There are other mammals that live in the ocean too, such as dolphins, seals, and dougons.

One animal that may cause confusion is a shark. Sharks are not mammals, they are fish. They lay eggs and are cold-blooded. Even the whale shark which is large, harmless, beautiful and graceful and more closely resembles a whale is still a fish.

The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)

6 years ago


Yes, whales are indeed mammals and not fish.
6 years ago
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