sperm whales, functions of flippers

From: Kim Marshall-Tilas (kimm@oceanalliance.org)
Date: Wed Dec 13 2000 - 08:21:09 EST

>1) How does sperm whales sleep?

Sperm whales like all whales have to think about every breath of air
they take so sleeping like humans do is not possible, instead they
rest in an almost sleep like state keeping their brains alert at all

>2) How do theme parks get the whales that they use in their shows?
> Theme parks obtain permits to catch wild whales from different
>countries that allow for certain species to be captured, or they
>breed the whales and dolphins they already have at the parks.

>3) What are two organizations that help to protect whales...?
>How do they protect them? How are they funded?

Ocean Alliance, where I work is an organization that protects whales
but there are many others. Please see WhaleNet's links page for a
complete listing. Organizations like mine work hard to study whales
and their environment to learn what they need to live safely, then we
take what we learn and teach it to people like you. The information
we gather also helps create laws that protect whales.

>4) What are the functions of the sperm whale body parts,such as...
>the flippers?, the flukes? and the notch?

The main function of sperm whale flippers are to help to steer the
whale like paddles, whereas the flukes are the power source to propel
the whale through the water. The notch in the fluke I believe gets
deeper with age but I am not sure if there is a specific function.

Please use the resources of WhaleNet for more information on these
questions at http://whale.wheelock.edu.
Thank you and happy holidays!

Kim Marshall-Tilas
Senior Director
Ocean Alliance/Whale Conservation Institute
191 Weston Road, Lincoln, MA  01773
781.259.0423 or fax 259.0288

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