1. Label a diagram of external features of a whale and a fish. Compare and contrast.
Whale Fish   whales
eye eye  
ear ear  
blowhole gill  
dorsal fin dorsal fin  
flippers pectoral fin  
ventral pleats ventral fin  
fluke caudal fin  
melon    
rostrum    
peduncle     Bonus: can you name the types of whales in the above diagram?
Answer below!
  1. Solicit suggestions from students to construct a list on the board of similarities and differences (or give the students pieces of the following list and let them fill in blanks):
Whale Fish
classified as Mammals classified as Pisces
warm blooded cold blooded
swim in pods swim in schools
take care of young no care-giving after birth
smooth skin scaly skin
take oxygen from air take oxygen from water
blowhole on top of head gills on sides of head
swims with up and down movement of tail swims with side to side movement of tail
internal fertilization external fertilization
live birth hatch from eggs
terrestrial ancestors aquatic ancestors
sense by echolocation, hearing , eyesight sense by lateral line, hearing, eyesight
found in fresh water and salt water found in fresh water and salt water
threatened by humans threatened by humans
some make sounds some make sounds
die if out of water too long die if out of water too long
  1. Create a Venn Diagram that group similarities and differences between whales and fishes.

Answer to Bonus question: From top to bottom, these are blue whale, fin whale, right whale, humpback and minke whale.