The aquatic mammals They are a group of around 120 species of mammals, which over time have adapted to the life of the sea, depending on that physical space to feed and live. For instance: whale, dolphin, manatee, walrus.
This first characteristic is important, since in all cases it has evolved from a mammalian animal to an animal adapted to water, and not the other way around. Aquatic mammals are considered animals of great intelligence, and on many occasions they are highly coveted for different purposes: this is why they are often endangered species.
The physical characteristics of aquatic mammals show their ability to survive in the water, with different degrees of adaptation. In some cases the tail becomes a horizontal caudal fin, in others the bony skeleton acts as a dorsal fin. It is common that there are not too many hairs except those of the head, and that the nostrils open in the upper part of the head to expel the water.
How do aquatic mammals breathe?
Most of these animals have a oxygen requirement similar to that of the human being, with a very similar respiratory structure. They do not have proportionally larger lungs than those of the human being, but they have a larger blood volume: the vascular bed is proportionally larger, and evidently serves as a reservoir of oxygenated blood. Within the blood, these mammals have a higher proportion of red blood cells, giving the muscles a very dark color.
That mammalian animals are capable of surviving in water is a capacity that has impressed men since their existence on earth, which is why they have always sought to portray this class of animals, and they have been included in stories and legends. of various kinds, giving it wonderful properties.
From the 15th century, stories of this type gave way to hunting stories, and whales became a great attraction for this activity.
The following list shows some examples of mammalian animals capable of surviving in the Water.
Examples of aquatic mammals
- Whale. The largest animal on the planet. It lives in water, but its food is produced in the same way as mammals. The calves measure 7 meters and weigh 2 tons at birth.
- Dolphin. They have a fusiform body with a very large head. Its coloration is usually gray, and it is able to use sounds, jumps and dances to communicate with its surroundings. This is why it is known as one of the most intelligent species.
- Sea cow.
- Walrus. Large mammal, in which, depending on the subspecies in question, many characteristics will change. Males shed their hair once a year, while females may take longer.
- Beaver. There are three species throughout the earth. They are well known for their characteristic of being able to make dams by cutting down trees, and for being a fearsome invasive species.
- Killer whale. According to the group, it presents well-defined characteristics. The families are headed by a female who acts as head and mother, and the groups do not exceed ten individuals and can remain stable over time.
- Seal. They completely lack an external ear, while their hind limbs are directed backwards, so they are not very adept at land movement.
- Otter. Water is the environment where you feel most comfortable, although it also defends itself well in the terrestrial environment.
- Sea lion. The only animal of the group of pinnipeds that has ears. Their appearance varies more than that of any other family according to age and sex: males have very long and thick necks in relation to the rest of the body. They spend most of their time in the sea, and they feed on fish.
- Sperm whale
- Platypus. It looks like a small animal, but it weighs a lot. It generally feeds on aquatic insects and their larvae, crustaceans and aquatic mollusks.
- Hippopotamus. A thick layer of fat under the skin protects it from the cold. Its open mouth can be up to a meter long, and it lives in the water during the day: when it gets dark, it goes out and walks in search of its food.