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Whales’ ... bodies supported by water have been able to grow into the biggest animals the world has ever seen. David Attenborough: Life on Earth: Mammals (revised series), BBC 1979
Killer Whale: No other whale deliberately beaches itself in this way or has perfected its method of getting back to the sea. David Attenborough, The Trials of Life IV: Hunting and Escaping, BBC 1990
Dwarfed by the vast expanse of the open ocean the biggest animal that has ever lived on our planet. The Blue Whale – thirty metres long, and weighing over two hundred tons ... Its tongue weighs as much as an elephant. David Attenborough, The Blue Planet I: Introduction, BBC 2001
In late June and July narwhals arrive. David Attenborough, The Blue Planet IV: Frozen Seas, BBC 2001
The majestic humpback whales are also summer visitors. ibid.
A population of some 500 killer whales that specialise in hunting north Atlantic herring. David Attenborough, The Blue Planet V: Seasonal Seas
Finback whales ... During the summer as many as five hundred of these magnificent whales hunt here every day. David Attenborough: The Blue Planet VII: Tidal Seas
For the [killer] whales, the hunting season is a short one. David Attenborough: The Blue Planet VIII: Coasts
The seas along the Pacific coast of North America can be some of the richest on the planet. These coastal waters create the perfect conditions for the greatest explosion of life on Earth. David Attenborough, Nature’s Great Events VI: The Great Feast, BBC 2002
Which in turn provide food for ever larger hunters. ibid.
The humpbacks have arrived. After three thousand miles mother and calf have finally made it to the coast of Alaska. ibid.
As few as a hundred humpbacks have learned how to feed as a team like this. ibid.
The Blue Whale is a hundred feet long. Thirty metres. Nothing like that can grow on land ... That magnificent creature. David Attenborough, The Life of Mammals VII: Return to the Water, BBC 2002
Home to the biggest animals that exist or has ever existed: the blue whale. Some weigh nearly two hundred tons, twice the size of the largest dinosaur ... The largest animal on Earth feeds almost exclusively on one of the smallest: krill. David Attenborough, Planet Earth e11: Ocean Deep, BBC 2006
Killer whales – they eat a lot of salmon. And so do Steller sea lions. Salmon sharks are here too. David Attenborough, Nature’s Great Events II: The Great Salmon Run, BBC 2009
Short-tailed shearwaters have travelled ten thousand miles from Australia to be here. Eighteen million visitors darken the skies, the largest gathering of sea-birds on the planet. Humpback whales have come all the way from the Equator to feed in these rich polar waters. David Attenborough, Frozen Planet I, BBC 2011
Over forty million penguins take to the southern ocean to feed. They’re joined by thousands of whales. ibid.
Belugas: the white whales of the north. David Attenborough, Frozen Planet IV: Autumn
Two animals whose extraordinary body-shapes are determined by their diets: the blue whale grows enormous by feeding on tiny shrimp-like creatures while flamingos spend their lives eating with their heads upside down, and yet both ways are curiously similar. Attenborough’s Natural Curiosities s3e4: Curious Feeders, BBC 2013
The blue whale weighs almost two hundred tons; it’s the largest animal on Earth. ibid.
They were indeed mammals that had taken to living in the sea. ibid.
The largest hunter of them all – the Blue Whale. Weighing two hundred tons and thirty metres long these are the biggest animals ever to have lived. David Attenborough, The Hunt IV: Hunger at Sea (Oceans), BBC 2015
Orca: up to a thousand of them ... fish-hunting specialists. They work as a team. David Attenborough, Blue Planet II e1, BBC 2017
Humpback whales: they move in on the action. They approach the shoal from beneath and then lunge upwards gathering up to a 100 kgs of herring in a single mouthful. ibid.
Sperm whale … the biggest brain on the planet … down they go … She’s now using sonar to hunt down shoals of squid. David Attenborough, Blue Planet II e4: Big Blue
Relatively little is known about sperm whales. Sperm whales dive for up to forty minutes at a time. Oceans: Sea of Cortez, BBC 2012
The whales are socialising: this is a rare sight. ibid.
Male sperm whales have the largest brain of any animal that’s ever lived. ibid.
There are about thirty [Beluga whales] swimming around the boat. Oceans VIII: Arctic Ocean
Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,
Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.
But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.
But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. Jonah 1:1-4
Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. Jonah 1:17
Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish’s belly,
And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.
For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me. Jonah 2:1-3
And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land. Jonah 2:10
An Arabian humpback whale. There are less than 100 left on the planet. Wild Arabia II: The Jewel of Arabia, BBC 2013
Arctic whaling lasted three hundred years. James Burke, Connections s2e9: High Times, BBC 1994
The American biologist Roger Payne has calculated that there is a deep sound channel in the ocean at these frequencies through which two whales could communicate with each other essentially anywhere in the world. Professor Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan, Cosmos: The Persistence of Memory, PBS 1980
We have cut off the whales from themselves. ibid.
Who is the more monstrous, whales … or humans? ibid.
Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale ... from hell’s heart I stab at thee. Herman Melville, Moby Dick, 1851
I went whale-watching, and I was really looking forward to that, but when you see it on TV and you see other programs do it, you’re seeing close-ups of these massive creatures, and the music that’s added gives you a certain feeling. But in reality, you’re stuck on a boat that’s bobbing up and down, you feel sick, the whale isn’t there on demand. Karl Pilkington
Whales are killed today to supply the limited demand for whale meat or to be used in pet foods or as fodder for fur-bearing animals used in the fur trade. Paul Watson
On my second swim at Deception Island, the water was very clear and I was looking at hundreds of whale bones beneath me. It was a graveyard from the whaling some time in the 1920s-30s. Lewis Gordon Pugh