At one time, whaling was quite an important industry. To most of us, the idea of hunting for whales must seem a little strange. What can we get from this huge creature that can be useful to us? Well, the number of valuable products that come from whales is amazing. The blubber of the whale (an oil-filled layer of tissue under the skin) provides excellent oil. The oil is used for lighting in certain parts of the world and is often used in making soap.
Many whales furnish good meat to eat. Fertilizer is made from their ground flesh and bones. From the sperm whale comes Spermaceti, an oil found in the cavity of the head. It is used in making ointments, candles, and cosmetics.
Also from the sperm whale comes ambergris, a very valuable sub- stance produced by the intestine, which is used in making perfume. The teeth of the sperm whale and the tusk of the narwhal whale are both or valuable ivory. And the skin of the white whale is made into a kind of leather.
Did you know that all whales are mammals that have learned to live in the water? They are descended from mammals that once lived on land. In fact, they still have the bones of a five-fingered hand covered by the skin and flesh of their flippers. Some whales even have the bones of their hind legs down in their flesh. But during the many thousands of years, they have been living in the water, they have adapted themselves very well to this life.
How Many Type Of Whales Are There?
There are around 90 species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises, known collectively as “cetaceans”.