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Fish vs. Whale: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sawaira Riaz || By Sumera Saeed || Published on December 5, 2023
"Fish are diverse, water-dwelling vertebrates with gills, usually with scales; whales are large marine mammals, part of the cetacean family, breathing air through lungs."

Key Differences

Fish are aquatic vertebrates that use gills to breathe underwater, possessing a variety of shapes and sizes. Whales, on the other hand, are large marine mammals that breathe air through lungs, showcasing significant size differences compared to fish.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 05, 2023
The body structure of fish is adapted to their aquatic lifestyle, often covered in scales with fins for swimming. Whales, distinct from fish, have streamlined bodies with flippers and a tail fluke, adapting them for efficient movement in water.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 05, 2023
Reproduction in fish varies widely, ranging from laying eggs to live-bearing, depending on the species. In contrast, whales give birth to live young and are known for their extensive care and nurturing of their calves.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 05, 2023
Fish are cold-blooded, meaning their body temperature varies with their environment. Whales, however, are warm-blooded mammals, maintaining a constant body temperature regardless of the surrounding water.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 05, 2023
The sensory systems of fish are often highly specialized for underwater life, including lateral lines for detecting movement and vibrations. Whales use sophisticated echolocation for navigation and hunting, a trait not found in fish.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 05, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Classification

Vertebrates with gills
Marine mammals with lungs
Sumera Saeed
Dec 05, 2023

Body Temperature

Cold-blooded
Warm-blooded
Sumera Saeed
Dec 05, 2023

Reproduction

Mostly egg-laying; some live-bearing
Live-bearing, nurturing young
Sumera Saeed
Dec 05, 2023

Breathing

Underwater through gills
Air-breathing through blowholes
Aimie Carlson
Dec 05, 2023

Sensory Systems

Lateral lines, varied per species
Echolocation, highly developed hearing
Aimie Carlson
Dec 05, 2023
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Fish and Whale Definitions

Fish

Fish refers to the flesh of aquatic creatures, often consumed as food.
For dinner, we're having fish with lemon and herbs.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 29, 2023

Whale

A large marine mammal with a streamlined body, part of the cetacean family.
The blue whale is the largest animal known to have ever existed.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2023

Fish

To fish means to catch or attempt to catch fish, typically with a rod, line, and bait.
Every summer, we go to the lake to fish for bass.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 29, 2023

Whale

'Whale' can refer to investing or gambling heavily and recklessly.
He's known to whale at the casino, betting large sums of money.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 29, 2023

Fish

In poker, a 'fish' refers to an inexperienced or unskilled player.
He lost his money quickly, being a fish at the poker table.
Harlon Moss
Nov 29, 2023

Whale

A whale is also used metaphorically to describe something huge or immense.
That project was a whale of a task but we managed to complete it.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 29, 2023

Fish

A cold-blooded vertebrate living in water, typically with gills.
The trout is a common type of fish found in freshwater streams.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 29, 2023

Whale

In slang, 'to whale' means to hit or beat forcefully.
The baseball player whaled the ball out of the park.
Harlon Moss
Nov 29, 2023

Fish

'Fish out of water' describes someone feeling out of place or uncomfortable in a particular situation.
Without my phone, I feel like a fish out of water.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 29, 2023

Whale

In finance, a 'whale' refers to an individual or entity holding a large amount of a particular cryptocurrency.
The market fluctuated dramatically after a whale sold a significant amount of Bitcoin.
Janet White
Nov 29, 2023

Fish

Any of numerous cold-blooded aquatic vertebrates characteristically having fins, gills, and a streamlined body and including the bony fishes, such as catfishes and tunas, and the cartilaginous fishes, such as sharks and rays.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Whale

Any of various marine mammals of the order Cetacea; a cetacean.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Fish

Any of various jawless aquatic craniates, including the lampreys and hagfishes.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Whale

Any of various larger members of this order, including the blue whale, humpback whale, and right whale, in contrast to the porpoises and dolphins.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

FAQs

Do whales sleep?

Whales do sleep, but they remain conscious to breathe.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 05, 2023

Do fish have good eyesight?

Fish eyesight varies; some have excellent vision while others don't.
Janet White
Dec 05, 2023

What is the largest type of fish?

The whale shark is the largest fish species.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 05, 2023

Can fish feel pain?

Studies suggest fish can experience pain.
Harlon Moss
Dec 05, 2023

How long can whales live?

Some whale species can live over 100 years.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 05, 2023

Can whales communicate?

Yes, whales communicate using a range of sounds.
Harlon Moss
Dec 05, 2023

What's the smallest fish species?

The Paedocypris, a tiny freshwater fish, is among the smallest.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 05, 2023

What do whales eat?

Whale diets vary; some eat fish, while others consume plankton.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 05, 2023

Can all fish breathe underwater?

Yes, fish breathe underwater through gills.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 05, 2023

Are all whales endangered?

Not all, but several whale species are endangered or vulnerable.
Harlon Moss
Dec 05, 2023

Do whales have teeth?

Some whales have teeth, while others have baleen plates.
Janet White
Dec 05, 2023

Can whales hear underwater?

Whales have excellent underwater hearing.
Harlon Moss
Dec 05, 2023

Are fish cold-blooded?

Yes, fish are cold-blooded.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 05, 2023

Do whales migrate?

Many whale species migrate long distances for feeding and breeding.
Harlon Moss
Dec 05, 2023

How fast can whales swim?

Speed varies by species; the orca can swim up to 34 mph.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 05, 2023

How do fish breathe?

Fish breathe by passing water over their gills to extract oxygen.
Harlon Moss
Dec 05, 2023

How do fish reproduce?

Most fish lay eggs, but some give birth to live young.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 05, 2023

How do whales sleep without drowning?

Whales sleep by shutting down one half of their brain at a time.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 05, 2023

What's the most common fish?

Perch is among the most common freshwater fish.
Janet White
Dec 05, 2023

Can fish live in both salt and fresh water?

Some fish species can live in both, but most are either saltwater or freshwater fish.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 05, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.

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