whales: eat; located where

From: Dagmar Fertl (dagmar_fertl@hotmail.com)
Date: Mon Oct 30 2000 - 11:31:37 EST


Dear Dagmar,
Just a few questions to help my son out with a school project. Firstly,
what do whales in general like to eat. We can only find information on
specific whales, but we need just a general answer.
Secondly, where are the most common places around the world would you find
most whales?

We thank you greatly for your assistance with these questions.
kind regards,
Toni
**************************************************************
Hi Toni,

Speaking about whales in a general sense is a difficult thing to do since
there are over 70 species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises. These animals
are divided into two groups - toothed whales and baleen whales. Toothed
whales, depending on the species you're talking about, may eat fishes,
squids, and shrimps. Baleen whales, depending on the species, eat
zooplankton (like krill) and small schooling fishes.

Whales, dolphins, and porpoises are found throughout the world. I would say
that in general, the greatest diversity of whales and dolphins would be
found in temperate and tropical waters. Also, the largest amounts of
dolphins and whales will be found where there is the most food. These
animals may concentrate in areas with deep waters that also have
upwellings...waters being pushed up to the surface that are rich in
nutrients and good food (such as plankton) for squid and fishes which the
whales like to eat.

These are very simplified answers, and as you already know from the research
that you've done, making sweeping statements for this collective group of
animals is often difficult. If you have additional questions, feel free to
write back.

Good luck,
Dagmar

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