Bowhead whales are by far the oldest whale species, living up to 200 years! Cetacean stranding, commonly known as beaching, is a phenomenon in which whales and dolphins strand themselves on land, usually on a beach.Beached whales often die due to dehydration, collapsing under their own weight, or drowning when high tide covers the blowhole. . Fun fact, whales die of old age by being unable to surface. My inexpert opinion says that by the time they are ready to die of old age, something will come along and kill it since it can no longer defend itself. ... Entanglements kill whales in many ways, from drowning that may take an hour to slow, agonizing deaths over months by infection or starvation. (2002). Answer Save. That . . When whales die in the ocean, their bodies eventually sink to the bottom. The smaller dolphins and porpoises generally live a few decades. So called natural deaths, due to old age, for example, are thought to occur but little is known about such events. There are a number of ways that whales can meet the end of their lives. I think dying of old age is something that is more likely to happen to humans than very many animals (in the wild at least). Whales generally live long lives, sometimes even surpassing humans’ lifespans. Scientists in Australia have discovered that many mammals may live far longer than expected, meaning the bowhead whale has an average 268-year life expectancy. - #201123234 added by knightgiver at Uh-Oh Right whales no longer die of old age. As they are confused, they just starve to death or get struck by shipping. Cetacean stranding has occurred since before recorded history.. Several explanations for why cetaceans strand themselves … Whales will suffocate before drowning, simply because they won't inhale while underwater. Whales tend to die of the same things that we do. Beached Whales (Most common Pilot Whales) tend to be due to disease or infection. "But how many turn into whale falls I just don't know." If they loose their family and get confused, they just give up! "Given the number of whales alive and how long they live, there would have to be hundreds or thousands that die each year," says Friedlaender. Once the body comes to rest, biologists refer to this as a whale fall.As you would guess, other fish and sea animals initially eat the meat off the carcass. Most other baleen whales’ lifespans range from 50 to 100 years. However, what came as a surprise to ocean researchers was the finding that dead whales support entire ecosystems. They are completely in control of their breath, and must think about it every time they inhale and exhale, much like you have to actively do something like move your limbs. They straight up die drowning and sinking t ok the ocean floor. That kind of is old age, you dont die by "old age" you die by living so long that you cannot repair the damage, and something slips through the cracks and finally ends you. 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