Other Free Encyclopedias » Animal Life Resource » Mammals » Rorquals: Balaenopteridae - Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Rorquals And People, Conservation Status, Blue Whale (balaenoptera Musculu): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT

Rorquals: Balaenopteridae - Rorquals And People

whale whales oil scientists

All species of rorquals have been hunted by people for their oil and meat. Their oil was used in making margarine, soap, and lubricants, or industrial oils, until the 1980s. During the early 1900s humpback whales were hunted heavily, because they live close to land and their population was severely reduced. Hunters then began hunting of a number of other rorqual species. The blue whale became a preferred target of whalers, whale hunters, because of its size and the quantity of oil, meat, and blubber that it could provide. Larger blue whales could contain as much as 9,000 gallons (34,000 liters) of oil. Through efforts of the International Whaling Commission, environmental groups and other agencies, large scale commercial whaling ended by 1990. Today, whale watching is more popular and profitable than hunting. According to the World Wildlife Fund, this ecotourism, travel for the purpose of observing wildlife and learning about the environment, generated approximately one billion dollars in 2000.


Scientists have discovered that each humpback whale's dorsal, back, fin and tail markings are unique. This is the whale's fingerprint. Knowing this, scientists can follow individual whales by photographing them when they leap out of the water and matching their fin and tail pattern to known individual whales. Being able to track a single whale has helped scientists learn where they migrate, when they mate, how long they live, and other important information.

Rorquals: Balaenopteridae - Conservation Status [next] [back] Rorquals: Balaenopteridae - Behavior And Reproduction

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