But narwhals, like us, use their lungs to breathe. 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. Whales live in large groups called “pods.” Whales do not have gills for breathing, and must instead surface in order to breath air above sea level. 11. 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. Fish lay eggs, which must still grow into a baby fish. Like all mammals (including whales and dolphins) narwhals need oxygen. Whales have hair when young. killer whales have no gills because it's mammalsNo, whales are mammals, thus do not have gills. He said that they use them to filter the water for debris and food. Yes. 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 even have a little bit of hair on their smooth skin, usually on the top of their head. 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. 9. He still insists that whales have some kind of "gills". So you want them to go back to the land all over again? In most cases, mammals have hair or fur, while fish never do. I said that whales with baleen use that to get plankton and other whales don't need to filter as they eat large prey. 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. Whales are mammals, so they feed milk to their babies and breathe air. $\begingroup$ 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. They have a blowhole - a modified nostril - connected to their lungs to breathe with. As we mentioned, whales have to fill their lungs with air. Fish have scales. 10. 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. Why? The air is breathed in and out through their “blowhole,” which is on their back. But that means the whale needs to be awake to breathe. A friend mentioned something about whales and gills, to which I said "No, they're mammals." Whales and dolphins don’t have gills. In order to do so, they rely on a blowhole at the top of their body. Do Narwhals Need to Breathe Air? How Long Can Narwhals Stay Underwater? no! Since whales are not fish they do not have gills, so they cannot breathe underwater. Fish use their gills to extract oxygen from the water. 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. One of the classic ways to identify mammals in comparison to non mammals, is to determine whether or not they have hair on them. This is how the land mammal, the ancestor of whales, looked like. Do Narwhals Sleep? Narwhals can hold their breath for up to 25 minutes. Fish get oxygen directly from the water through their gills. They have a blowhole - a modified nostril - connected to their lungs to breathe with. Whales evolved from a land mammal. They must come up to the surface of the water to get air. Yes. That would really upset the whales. 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