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How long a whale can stay underneath water? How long they can stay on land?
Question Date: 2013-07-09
Answer 1:

There are many kinds of whales. The underwater champions can stay down for up to two hours. Usually they only stay under for about 20 minutes, but different whales do different things.

Whales can only survive a few hours on land. They breathe the air just fine. The problem is that their fat holds in too much heat. When the water is not there to absorb the heat, they die. They are also very heavy. This is fine when the water supports their weight, but on land, their weight can crush their bones. Rescuers try to keep stranded whales cool with water and may try to move the smaller ones to new positions to protect their bones. The whales have to get back in the water soon in order to survive.

What do you think it’s like to live in water all the time? How would your body need to be different if you were going to spend your life in water?

Thanks for asking,

Answer 2:

There are many whales, so some can stay under water longer than others. From places that I've read online, some whales can stay for as long as 90-120 minutes under water when they are in danger, these are bottle nose whales. Usually while they are feeding though, they only stay for about 30-40 minutes.

Some whales can't stay under water for as long and can only do it for about 10-15 minutes while they are feeding. It really depends on which whale you are looking at.

Answer 3:

It depends on the kind of whale, but some whales can stay under water for as long as almost 2 hours! Overall, I believe the range is about 5 minutes to 1.5 hours, depending on which species of whale it is. Whales cannot survive on land -- their bodies did not evolve to. For instance, in water, pressure acts the same in all directions, but on land, we mainly feel force in one direction (downward). Now, whales tend to be large, so on land, all the weight they carry around would crush the organs in their body because we feel force only in one direction, whereas in water, this does not happen.

Furthermore, whales carry around a lot of blubber. This helps them keep warm in the water, where temperatures get a lot colder, but if they end up on land, they overheat and dry up very quickly because of their blubber.

Answer 4:

There are different types of whales, but they all are very massive! A blue whale is recorded to be the largest animal on Earth. Because of their size you can guess they can stay underwater for a long time. On average, whales can dive up to 2,000 meters in the ocean and stay there for about 2 hours. That's so much longer than humans - we can barely stay underwater for two minutes. Scientists don't exactly know why they can stay underwater for so long, but there has been speculation that they have a greater amount of myoglobin, a protein that stores oxygen, in their bodies.

Naturally, whales are sea creatures and can live the best in the ocean. If they ever are on land, they can survive only a couple hours. If there is a way of cooling down the whale when it is on land, like pouring cold water onto it, it can survive for a couple hours longer. A lot of whale die when then are on land because they cannot support their own weight when out of the water.

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