Whales made their move towards living in the sea about 50 million years ago. They evolved to exploit this watery environment, developing streamlined bodies, remarkable feeding methods, and, for toothed whales, the ability to ‘see’ with sound.
Plunge into the world of whales. Discover how their bodies work and explore their extraordinary lifestyles – from some of the smallest dolphins to the mightiest creature on Earth.
Te rangahau tohorā
Tata ki te 50 miriona tau ki muri i tīmata te nuku o te tohorā ki te moana noho ai. I tipu ake rātou kia rite ai mō te noho ki rō wai, nā te hanga mania o ō rātou tinana me ō rātou momo whāngai whakamīharo. Ka tipu anō i te tohorā whai niho te āhua kia ‘kite’ mā te whakatangitangi.
Kuhu mai ki te ao tohorā. Rapua he pēhea te hanga o ō rātou tinana, toroa te āhua o tō rātou noho – mai i te aihe iti ki te kararehe nui rawa o te Ao.
In this section
Whales evolved through many changes in climate, land mass, and oceans to become the extraordinary creatures seen today.
Using terms such as ‘whales’, ‘dolphins’, and ‘porpoises’ can be misleading when people want a clear picture of how whales are related. But what exactly is the difference?
The ability to produce and perceive sound is important for whales - to navigate, find food, and communicate.
Discover the difference between baleen whales (Mysticetes) and toothed whales (Odontocetes)...
Watch any whale in motion - such as a dolphin riding a boat's bow wave - and you'll notice that whales are superb swimmers.
Whales are mammals and have many of the features and systems of mammal anatomy.
Sperm whales are the most widespread of whale species and two of them have made their way to the exhibition.
Whales mate underwater, while either stationary or swimming. Like most other large animals, whales have a low birth rate.
Whales are reknowned for the spectacular behaviour they exhibit at the water's surface. But they spend most of their time below the surface, hidden from view.