Re: Whale Questions

From: Peter M Scheifele (acousticp2@juno.com)
Date: Sun Mar 05 2000 - 17:03:07 EST


Dear Rageen

There are a number of extinct whales but most are primitive. They are
collectively known as "Archeoceti." There are a number of cetaceans that
are endangered, most especially the Northern Right Whale. I'm not really
sure of how whales would help humans short of teaching us tolerance. We
don't really know enough about whales to understand how they might affect
us. There are certainly stories of dolphins helping swimmers and such
and there is a core of scientists who believe that dolphins can provide
therapy for autism and such.

The Narwhal (male only) has what appears to be a tusk which is actually
its left-front tooth that6 grows outward. It is believed that males duel
with their tusk.

The largest known animal on earth is the Blue Whale. The Blue Whale is
about as long as 3 school buses parked bumper to bumper!

The smallest whale (I think) is the Boutu, a river dolphin.

I don't know that whales are "smart." When we say that someone or
something is smart we are usually relating them to ourselves. Consider
this, dolphins have a great capacity to learn and they are perceptive.
We know of cases where dolphins have accomplished tremoundous feats of
mimicry and intuitiveness. On the other hand dolphins in the Eastern
Tropical Pacific who encounter nets will almost always swim into the net
and get entangled. And yet, we know that these animals are capable of
jumpong some 15 to 20 feet in the air routinely and without problem! Is
this a "smart" animal? So I'm going to leave the answer to this question
up to you to decide. Remember also, we dn't know very much about most
species of whales. Most of what we do know comes from what we learn from
animals in capptivity which only cover a very few species and certainly
no baleen whales.

Good luck!
Peter

On Fri, 03 Mar 2000 22:36:11 -0500 Selladurai Rajendram
<rajendram@sympatico.ca> writes:
> Hi! I'm Rageen and I am doing this research project on whales at
> school
> so I thought I might get some information from an actual Marine
> scientist. So here are my question's:
> What species of whales are extinct or nearly extant?
> What were the whales early ancestors?
> Is it possible that whales can actualy help humans?
> Why does the Narwal whale have a long tooth like thing on it's
> mouth.
> What is the biggest whale?
> What is the smallest whale?
> Which whale is the smartest?
>
> It would be realy helpfull if you could answer most of my questions.
>
> Thanks alot!!!!!!!!!!
>

Peter M. Scheifele
129 Hunters Road, Norwich, CT 06360
860-405-9103; acousticp2@juno.com
www.nurc.uconn.edu
http://geocities.com/athens/atlantis/3957/frontpage.html



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