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ALL ABOUT WHALES!
What is a Whale? Whale Information Sheets Anatomy and Behavior Extreme Whales Whale Myths Whale Evolution Whale Classification Whale Glossary Whale Activities Whale Index
Whale Glossary
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U-Z

K


Keratin

Keratin is the stiff substance that baleen, hooves, hair, horns, and fingernails are made of.


Killer whale

Killer whales, or orcas, (Orcinus orca) are toothed whales, powerful carnivores that eat fish, squid, and marine mammals. They grow to be about 27 feet long (8 m) and weigh about 8,000 - 12,000 pounds (3600-5400 kg).

Kingdom

In classification, a kingdom is the highest grouping of similar organisms. A kingdom contains one or more phyla (plural of phylum). Life on Earth is divided into five kingdoms: Animalia (animals), Plantae (plants), Fungi, Protista (protozoans and eucaryotic algae), and Monera (blue-green algae).

knot

A knot is a unit of speed used on the water, and is defined as one nautical mile per hour. A knot is equal to about 1.15 miles per hour (6,080 feet per hour). For example, 20 knots is about 23 mph.


Krill

Krill are tiny animals, euphasiids, that float in the oceans. They are shrimp-like crustaceans that are found in vast amounts in the cold waters of the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans. Baleen whales eat krill that they sieve through their baleen. Blue whales can eat about 4 tons of krill each day.


K-T Extinction

The K-T extinction was the mass extinction that occurred 65 million years ago, at the boundary of the Cretaceous and Tertiary periods.

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