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Learn More: 10 Facts About Whales

Long-finned pilot whales. Credit: Oceana/Carlos Minguell1. Beluga whales are remarkably sociable and vocal, and can also make facial expressions -- a unique characteristic among whales.

2. The blue whale is probably the largest animal that has ever lived on the planet.

3. Bowhead whales can break through ice over 12 inches thick, allowing them to maintain open water holes throughout the Arctic winter.

4. Unlike other baleen whales, the gray whale feeds on the sea floor, filtering animals out of the sediment.

5. Humpback whales produce the longest, most complex sound sequences of any animal, with each “song” lasting up to 30 minutes.

6. The northern right whale was one of the first whales to be hunted commercially and is now one of the most critically endangered species.

7. The sperm whale is the largest predator that hunts individual prey and is easily recognized by its huge square head.

8. Long-finned pilot whales live in groups that can be hundreds strong, and can easily become disoriented in shallow coastal waters, where they may become stranded in large numbers.

9. Cuvier’s beaked whale lives in deep water and can dive for more than half an hour.

10. Minke whales are naturally inquisitive and regularly approach boats.