Many provolved whales have additional structures on or around the head area which allow enhanced neurointerfacing with local cyberspace
Following the Great Expulsion, the archailectGAIA (perhaps at the suggestion of some of the Children of Gaia) resurrected many or even all the species of great whales, some representatives of which were then provolved. Hence the term "Gaian Whales", which refers to those species that were restored by GAIA and to especially to derived provolved clades. While details of this process are sketchy, simulations by the Institute of Long-Range Cliology of Eklund ISO strongly suggest that it occurred over an extended period of time, with several projects, not all of which were successful, and lifetime dedication by those Children involved, beginning during the later interplanetary dark ages and continuing through to the middle Federation period.
At the whole time humanity and even the terragen AIs in space really had no idea what was happening on Earth, since orbital observations proved inconclusive, and any vessels that tried to get too close were attacked and destroyed with nanotech and nanolaser weaponry.
According to the some later discovered virchdocuments, GAIA was secretly working together with the Okeanos dolphins on the project. It was the first major collaboration between the archailect and any bionts after the Great Expulsion, and both sides kept it very quiet. GAIA did the actual restoration and provolution. The enhanced dolphins (or rather the few enhanced dolphins who knew about the project) gathered all traces of whale song and behavior that existed in orbital storage, as well as copies of genetic samples they could find, but their main contribution to the project was the design of suitable ships for the whales to leave on and the construction of extra room in their habitats.
Many of the enhanced dolphins involved belonged to a somewhat messianistic group of Okeanos, revering the whales as the spiritual links to the True Ocean.
The first whale provolves to burst from the Earth's oceans in their gigantic ships (it seems It is believed that GAIA restored a few of her old laser launchers; the ship contains the reaction mass, but it is heated from below by the firing of a massive laser) caused consternation and tremendous excitement among the fashionable (and even not so fashionable) of the already decaying Federation society. Suddenly whales and whale provolves were all the rage in fashion, art, culture, etc. Many baselines and nearbaselines, and even more than a few tweaks and superbrights, disenchanted with megacorp excesses and Federation bureaucracy, saw the whales as representatives of a kinder era, even saviours. A number of religions sprung up, and the enhanced dolphins suddenly found their role as mediators in great demand. Many dolphins shamelessly exploited the situation to gain wealth, power, and influence.
The whale provolves however seemed to be little interested in humanity, although many took their disinterest as signs of great enlightenment. They proved astonishingly resourceful and intelligent, and opened up channels of communication with a number of hyperturing AIs and megacorps like GeneTEK, who provided them with the technology to upgrade their ships to amat-fusion and conversion drive and later, reactionless drive.
Like the enhanced dolphins, the gaian whales proved supreme deep space navigators. They soon dispersed through space, leaving the disappointed baseline and nearbaseline human worshippers wondering what it had all been about.