Question: What is the body temperature of whales and dolphins?
Ans: Like other mammals, cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porps.) maintain a
body temperature of 98 deg. F to 100 deg. F.
Ques.: How much does it vary from species to species?: I am not able, in my
library, to find a break down by species. That's a good question. You might
find some information on the WhaleNet archives, if someone has previously
asked a similar question. Or, if you have a chance sometime on WhaleNet, or
in person, ask a marine mammal veterinarian or trainer. They might have a
good idea as to whether there is a variation between species.
Ques.: In waters colder than what they are used to, do whales shiver?
Ans.: I would guess that they don't. The thick layer of fat (blubber) that
may be 12" to 18" on a large whale, would insulate them sufficiently. For
most whales, staying cool and dispersing body heat is an issue. When whales
are ill, and begin losing the blubber layer, or on the fasting end of a
migration, and experience a dramatic loss of insulation, there may be a
physiological reaction. Again, a trainers or mar mam vets may have witnessed
shivering. I certainly haven't
Ques.:Do whales migrate to find more comfortable water, or are they following
a food source?
Ans.: Some species of whales, most famously humpbacks and grey whales,
migrate to warmer waters to give birth, and breeding activity takes place in
or near those same waters. Other species breed in one place, and give birth
in warmer waters. That's a specific cause for moving on out.
Whales do migrate from less productice breeding/calving waters to highly
productive, colder feeding grounds.
Whales would also move around feeding grounds, sometimes hundreds of miles,
in search of prey species. In the Gulf of Maine, we commonly see individual
humpback whales move from the southern end of the Gulf where they have been
feeding on sand launce (Ammodytes americanus), 400 miles across the Gulf to
the Bay of Fundy where they feed voraciously on herring (Clupea harengus).
Ques: Do whales get fevers?
Hope that helps
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat Aug 04 2001 - 10:40:13 EDT