WHALES

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WHALES

seriál :: Language corner

Some 78 species of whale inhabit the world ´s oceans. Their streamlined bodies show little trace of their terrestrial ancestry, with front limbs converted into flippers and hind limbs replaced by flukes.

Whales breathe through a blowhole at the top of the head, which has evolved from the nasal passage, and they keep warm with an insulating layer or blubber. Whales form two groups: the toothed whales, including sperm whales and dolphins, which hunt fish, squid and seals, and have a single blowhole; and the baleen whales, which have two blowholes, and feed on fish or crustaceans, filtering them through fibrous baleen plates. Whales are widely classed as predators, but their food ranges from microscopic plankton to very large fish. Males are called bulls; females, cows. The young are called calves.

Whales can communicate with each other using lyrical sounds. Being so large and powerful these sounds are also extremely loud and can be heard for many miles. They have been known to generate about 20,000 acoustic watts of sound at 163 decibels.

Many people, particularly in the West, believe that cetaceans in general and whales in particular are highly intelligent animals. This belief has become one of a central argument against whaling (killing whales for commercial reasons). Proponents of whale and dolphin intelligence cite the social behavior of whales and dolphins and their apparent capacity for communication as evidence of a sophisticated intellect, though scientists often carefully point out the difference between the social traits and intelligence of animals, which laymen often confuse. Given the radically different environment of whales and humans, and the size of whales compared to dolphins or chimpanzees, for instance, it is extremely difficult to test these views experimentally.

If you want to see whales, the best is to go to the “warm oceans” (where the females give birth to young calves – but usually only once per two years). They live practically in all oceans, in the Atlantic Ocean or the Pacific one, but the most closely to the equator you go, the minor appearance of whales you can find.

And what is the most famous whale? I am sure that the majority of you replies – THE BLUE WHALE - sometimes also called “angel of the oceans”. Blue whales may be larger than any other living or extinct animal and can reach average lengths of 21m and the largest individuals alive today probably measure about 26m. The record size for a blue whale is 34m. What about the average weight? For an adult blue whale it is about 64,348kg. And the record is unbelievable 172,330kg!!!

Zdroje:
Časopis 21. století
Wikipedia - otevřená encyklopedie
Oxford dictionary, 1999

alive = živý, na živu
ancestry = původ

average = průměrný

apparent = zjevný, zřejmý, patrný

appearance = výskyt

baleen = velrybí kostice

baleen whales = kostitovci

behavior = chování

belief = domněnka, přesvědční, mínění, víra

blowhole = nozdry velryby, větrací otvor

blubber = tuk

bull whale = velrybí samec (bull = vůl, býk, tažné zvíře)

calve whale = velrybí mládě (calve = tele)

cetacean = kytovec

cite = uvádět, citovat, odkazovat

confuse = splést, mást, poplést, zaměňovat

converted = přeměněný

cow whale = velrybí samice (cow = kráva)

crustacean = korýš

equator = rovník

evolve = vyvinout se

extinct = vyhynulý

feed on = živit se něčím

fibrous = vláknitý, žilkovitý, vazivový, šlachovitý

flippers = ploutve

fluke = dráp

for instance = třeba, na příklad

front = přední

give birth to = porodit

hind = zadní

hunt = lovit

in particular = zvláště, především, hlavně

inhabit = bydlet, obývat

insulating = izolační

layer = vrstva

layman = laik

length = délka

limbs = končetiny, údy

majority = většina

measure = měřit

minor = menší

nasal = nosní

particularly= zvláště, obzvlášť, především

point out = upozornit, zdůraznit, vyzdvihnout, poukázat na

plate = destička

proponent = zastánce, navrhovatel

range = rozsahovat, být v rozsahu od do

replace = nahradit, vyměnit

reach = dosáhnout

reply = odvětit, odpovědět

seal = tuleň, lachtan

species = druhy

sperm whale = vorvaň

squid = chobotnice

streamlined = zaoblený

terrestrial = zemský, pozemský

toothed = zubatý, ozubený

trace = stopa, známka čeho

trait = zvláštnost, povahový rys, charakter, znak, povaha

unbelievable = neuvěřitelný

weight = váha

whaling = lov velryb, velryb



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