Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Humpback Whale - Baleen Plates

Humpback whales don't have regular teeth like humans or other animals, they have something called baleen plates.

Baleen plates are kind of like the bristles on a brush. They grow down from the top of the whale's mouth, and are very close together.
baleen plates
(From: Wikipedia - baleen)

When a whale wants to eat, it gets a huge mouthful of water that is filled with things like krill, which look like very small bugs that live in the water.
whale feeding
(From: Wikipedia - humpback whale)

Then the whale closes it's mouth and pushes the water out through it's baleen plates.
The krill are too big to get pushed out, so the whale gets to eat them. Yum!

(From: Wikipedia - krill)