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  • Writer's pictureS. Rae

Behavior Shared by Whales and Humans

Updated: Jun 30, 2021

Whales and humans share many common behaviors. So is it no wonder that we have many similarities to our friendly, playful, intelligent, loving, ocean friends?


Whales and humans are extremely social mammals. They have social hierarchies, and learn about food, culture and other social issues from their elders. In Killer Whale pods, the elder female is the matriarch and teaches the younger male whales, usually her own young, tricks for survival, such as, where to find food when their normal diet runs low. Learn more about this fascinating behavior at: After Menopause, Killer Whale Moms Become Pod Leaders | Science | Smithsonian Magazine


Whales and humans use a variety of ways to communicate. Humans clap hands, whales slap fins and flukes (tail). Humans groan and growl, and so do whales. Whales make clicking sounds, much like Morse Code. Humans form words, whales sing. Listen to this Humpback Whale singing: National Geographic - Songs of the Humpback Whale 33 1/3 Flexi-Disc 1979 - Bing video


Whales and humans live in family units. We call whale family units, pods. The young stay with their mother until coming of reproduction age, anywhere between 5 and 15 years old. Whales in the family pod help each other with the rearing of young, protection of the young, and feeding. Whales Family Structure Introduction (whalesforever.com)


Whales and humans are sophisticated thinkers. Both species have large brains and are capable of problem solving, like asking humans for help. Check out this heartwarming video of humans helping a whale caught in a net, and how a baby whale alerted them: Rescuing a huge whale from the net. A baby whale asked divers for help - Bing video


Humans protect their family unit, and whales work together to protect their family pod. In the case of Humpback Whales, they actually protect other species from the attacks of Killer Whales as well. Check out this awesome article about Killer Whales attempting to eat a Weddell Seal trying to hide on a chunk of ice, and the Humpback Whales that came to its rescue: Scientists Amazed That Two Humpback Whales Rescue a Seal Under Attack by Killer Whales | The Weather Channel - Articles from The Weather Channel | weather.com


Whales, like humans, mourn their dead. Do whales and dolphins grieve for their dead? - Whale & Dolphin Conservation USA


This blog could go forever with whale videos and articles showing the similarities we share with our gentle, giant friends, but I'll leave that up to you. It is easier to learn how to help other humans, animals, insects, plants, and our ocean friends, when we take a moment to learn the similarities we share in life. Learning how others live and what it takes for their survival, can help us, help them.


To learn more about whales and their similar behavior to humans, check out the May 2021 edition of National Geographic.


'Secrets of the Whales' is a deep dive into whale culture - ABC News (go.com)


Try, Adopt a Whale | Oceanic Society, as a gift to a friend or loved one. You helping them, and they helping you.

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