Whales, strand

From: Dagmar Fertl (dagmar_fertl@hotmail.com)
Date: Thu Mar 15 2001 - 15:33:15 EST


Dagmar,

 

First of all, thank you for the feedback, I really appreciate it. Now, are False killer whales and Pilot whales the same whales? Can you elaborate more on the idea of the magnetic fields...I'm a little confussed on how a whale would function based on magnetic fields. Does all marine life use magnetic fields? Is it possible for whales to strand in other parts of the globe even if it doesn't have the magnetic fields? Are whales that smart that they would stand themselves if they had some type of disease, as not to infect the rest of the marine life? ...and do they respect the leader of their pod that much to strand themselves?

I'm sorry to bother you with so many questions, but it seems the more questions you ask, the more knowledge you gain, and with that knowledge you create more questions...so thank you for your time in answering these questions.

Student

******

Pilot whales are a different species from false killer whales. They are both, however, in the dophin family.

Many animals have biomagnetite in their brains...even humans. There has been speculation why animals have it. Perhaps for orienting. I hope not...I have the worst sense of direction. As for which critters have it, that would be a lot of moving critters. I know that sea turtles and whales and dolphins have it. I can't speak for the rest...it's been a long time since I've researched this topic.

As for reasons for stranding, I can only once again point you to the books I previously mentioned and suggest that you read the sections on strandings. I would not stay that the animals are 'smart' enough to remove themselves from the population and not infect others. Humans are supposed to be smart and don't even do that. As for mass stranding situations and following a 'leader' into shore...well, that probably has more to do with those species being highly social and very dependent on living in groups. It could be like the lemming effect...one does it, they all follow. How smart is that?

All very complicated.



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