Have a whale of a time with these oceanic mammals!
Whales and dolphins are cetaceans, the scientific order (or group) of marine mammals that share plenty in common with humans! Despite living in the ocean, like all mammals, cetaceans:
- have hair
- breathe air
- drink milk when they’re young.
They are playful and intelligent animals that use sound in different ways to talk to one another, find their way, or catch food. Humpback whales even sing beautiful songs as they travel up and down the coast.
There are two types of dolphins that call the waters off Gladstone home — the Australian snubfin and the Australian humpback. The map below shows you where you’re most likely to find them in the Gladstone region.
You would probably recognise the Australian humpback as a dolphin, but the Australian snubfin (as shown in the picture below) is quite unique looking for a dolphin!
Sleeping with one eye open!
Dolphins don’t sleep! It is thought that they rest one half of their brain at a time – so that they don’t forget to breathe!
The neverending journey…
Humpback whales can migrate more than 16,000 kilometres each year — one of the longest migratory journeys of any mammal on Earth.
I’m an individual
The Australian snubfin dolphin was only described as a unique species in 2005. Before that, observers thought they were Irrawaddy dolphins which is a dolphin species found in south and south-east Asia.