Posts tagged ‘No Teeth’

What does the blue whale eat?

As big as the blue whale is, it eats only the tiniest plants and creatures in the ocean.  A giant blue whale 100 feet long and weighing nearly 150 tons makes an elephant look small.

The blue whale is perhaps the biggest animal that ever lived.  But as big as the blue whale is, it eats the smallest bits of food it can find in the oceans.

Blue Whale

The blue whale has no teeth, so it can’t chew food, and its throat is so small that it can only swallow small fish.

So it eats mostly tiny plants and sea creatures called plankton that drift about in the ocean.

Instead of teeth, long stringy plates of whalebone hang like curtains from the top of the blue whale’s mouth.  They are used like a strainer.

To eat, the blue whale swims through the plankton with its mouth wide open.  The blue whale then squeezes the water out with its big tongue and swallows the plankton trapped on the whalebone.  It takes barrels of plankton to fill the blue whale’s big stomach.

There are other toothless whales, but some whales have strong teeth, such as the killer whale, and throats large enough to swallow chunks of food. – Dick Rogers

How do birds chew their food?

Birds don’t have teeth to chew with.  They grind their food up in their gizzards.  If you own a pet canary or live near a chicken farm then you may already know that birds have a very strange way of chewing their food.

Birds must swallow their food whole because they have no teeth to chew with.


Instead, the work of “chewing” is done by the gizzard, a special part of the bird’s stomach that grinds the food up.

Some birds that eat seeds and other hard food swallow small stones and gravel.  These pass into the gizzard with the food.  The strong muscles of the gizzard grind the gravel and food together.

The stones and gravel crush the hard seeds and help the bird digest the food.

It is sometimes easy to tell the kind of food a bird eats by the shape of its bill.  They chisel bill of the woodpecker is used to dig insects out of wood.  The long, spear-like bill of the heron is ideal for jabbing fish and frogs.

Finches an cardinals have short, strong bills for cracking hard shells of seeds.  And a hawk has a sharp hooked bill that is good for tearing apart the animals it catches for food. – Dick Rogers