List with 6 most important mammals in the Mediterranean
During our sail tours, we sometimes see dolphins and very seldom a whale, and it is nice to know what you see. So BarcelonaSail listed the 6 most important mammals in the Mediterranean. Unfortunately, we see fewer mammals in the Mediterranean during our sail tours and trips each year.
Turtles would now and then touch the boat we were floating at sea on a windless day. Plastic waste has killed a lot of turtles. Transparent plastic bags look like jellyfish and turtles love jellyfish so they eat them until the turtle’s stomach is full of plastic and it will die of starvation.
The most important fish in the Mediterranean we see during Barcelona sail tours we describe in a separate post. Some fish and mammals are endangered and we never go near them. For detailed information on the endangered status of the mammals listed below, I recommend this site.
6 most important mammals in the Mediterranean
1.) Fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus), or greyhound whales are the second-largest mammalian on the Earth after the blue whale. The largest fin whales can grow up to 90 feet (27.3 m) and weigh up to 110 ton. That is about 110 medium seize cars. With luck you can spot the fin whale in front of the coast of Garraf, about 10 miles (18 km) South of Barcelona. Unfortunately we have not seen the fin whale yet.
Fin whales one of the largest animals ever exited on earth feed of one of the smallest animals, plankton or krill. The largest plankton is about 1mm or 0.04inch long. How does a whale get so big of such a small animal? The fin whale has developed a flexible jaw so that it can open its mouth so big that in a few seconds 70.000 liters of water, or the equivalent of a small swimming pool, flow in the whale’s mouth. The whale has a great filtering system, and a few second later the water flows out leaving the krill inside.
2.) Sperm whales ( Physeter macrocephalus) are the largest toothed whales. Males are considerably larger than females. Adult females can reach a length up to 36 feet (11 m) and weigh 15 tons. Adult males reach about 52 feet (16m) and weigh 45 tons! We have seen the Sperm whales twice, it was quite a shock to see an animal much larger than our boat so close.
3.) The Cuvier’s beaked whales can reach up to 20 feet (6.5m) and we have seen them a few times. Curvier’s beaked whale is the world’s best diver among mammals. Curvier’s beaked whales dive very deep and long, up to 3000 meters and over two hours! Down there the Curvier’s beaked whale looks for squid and other deep-sea fish.
4.) Short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) measure up to 8 feet (2,4m) and weigh only 0,2 tons (200 kilos). They are fun animals and like to bow ride on boats. It is a fast swimmer who can easily reach 35knots (60 km/h), I wish our boat would sail that fast. 5.) The Striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) lives in off-shore waters, seldom being found closer than 10 miles from shore and therefore we see the striped dolphin only when we travel to the Balearic Islands. Its average length is 1,85 m (females) and 2,56 m (males). The striped dolphin is the most common cetacean in the Mediterranean Sea.
6.) The Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) we used to see during our sailing tours a lot. The Bottlenose Dolphin swims typically near the coast and its appearance is related to the local availability of suitable prey. Apparently there is not so much fish for the Bottlenose Dolphin because we do not see him anymore, we miss him. After chasing fish they would come to see us and play a little before diving off. The Bottlenose Dolphin can reach 11 feet (3,5m)