Do whales drink water? Do they get thirsty?

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Do whales drink water? It may seem like an odd question, and many people might not even know the answer. Those familiar with this aquatic animal may have heard that they do not need to drink water since they live in it, but is this true?

In reality, whales are mammals and, therefore, must consume fresh or salt water every day for hydration, just like us; however, their process for obtaining liquid could be vastly different than our own. To explore how these creatures quench their thirst despite living underwater, let’s closely examine their habits.

Here’s the answer: Do whales drink water?

The answer is yes! Whales may not drink water as humans do, but it is still essential for them to get enough hydration each day. Without access to liquid, these creatures can quickly become dehydrated and suffer from serious health issues. Fortunately, a whale’s unique filtration system allows them to obtain the water they need without taking sips like ours.

Do Whales Drink Water!

Do whale calves drink water?

Yes, even whale calves need to drink water to stay hydrated and healthy. Although they may not consume it as often as adults, young whales still have the same needs for getting their daily liquid intake. Whale calves will usually get their water from the milk produced by their mother or from eating small fish that contain high levels of liquid. This ensures the young whale gets enough hydration to stay healthy and develop properly.

Do whales get thirsty?

Whales do not require as much water consumption when compared to land mammals since they are surrounded by the salty waters of their natural habitats. With less exposure to the sun, whales don’t become dehydrated and thus need far fewer fluids than animals that dwell on solid ground. As such, these majestic sea creatures can remain immersed in saltwater without ever feeling thirsty!

How much do whales drink per day?

The exact amount of water that whales drink per day is difficult to pinpoint as it can vary depending on the species, habitat, and even the season. Generally speaking, most whales will consume between 10-30 liters of water each day to stay hydrated. This includes both freshwater and saltwater sources, depending on their environment.

How much do baleen whales drink per day?

Baleen whales swallow water when they consume large amounts of krill or fish at once and inadvertently ingest some sea water too. They can drink up to 30 liters of water per day. This is because baleen whales have adapted to their environment by developing a filtration system that helps them feed on plankton without drinking too much salty seawater each day.

How much do toothed whales drink per day?

Toothed whales, which primarily inhabit the river and coastal waters, can consume up to 20 liters of water per day. Due to their habitat preference, these whales tend to prefer freshwater sources over saltwater, so they are likely to drink more fresh water than other whale species. Additionally, these whales may also obtain some of their liquid through the food they consume, such as fish and squid.

How do whales drink water?

Do Whales Drink Water!

Contrary to popular belief, whales (including toothed and baleen species) do not consume water deliberately. Instead, they ingeniously create their own “water” from their food by transforming it into a liquid form! Fascinating. They obtain their fluids by eating a variety of marine creatures such as krill, squid, and other fish. When these animals digest their food, they extract the necessary nutrients and pass the rest through their system; part of this waste matter includes water, which is absorbed and used by the whale’s body.

How do whales consume seawater and still remain hydrated? The answer is that they don’t willfully drink it- their bodies efficiently filter the salt from the salt water. A whale’s kidney is incredibly equipped to regulate salt intake from the ocean. Not only are whales, seals, and sea lions exquisitely adapted to their aquatic habitat because they have no choice but to consume salt water for sustenance.


In conclusion, whales do drink water; although they are aquatic animals, they still need to consume liquid to survive. Mostly, their body obtains hydration through their diet and sea spray at the surface but some species may also take sips from freshwater sources if needed. Understanding this behavior helps us understand the importance of preserving these majestic creatures and their habitats.

By appreciating the complexities of whale consumption, we can help create a healthier environment for them and other marine wildlife to thrive in. With this knowledge, we can continue to make strides in protecting our oceanic friends and their homes.

See our article How do whales sleep? to explore more about whales’ world.