Overheating in stranded whales

From: Jennifer Philips (jphilips@hawaii.edu)
Date: Tue May 08 2001 - 00:09:58 EDT

I'm am doing a school project, and came across a
website that could help me with this questions that I
have. Why is a beached whale more likely than a
beached dolphin to die by overheating? If you can
answer this and any other information, that would be
very helpfull. Thank you


Without help from people, beached whales and beached dolphins are actually
equally likely to overheat when they strand. Toothed whales, including
dolphins, porpoises, and all other whales with teeth instead of baleen,
beach more frequently than baleen whales. When they strand, they often do so
in large groups, many of which are seemingly healthy individuals. Because
toothed whales are much smaller than baleen whales, people are much more
able to help beached toothed whales by preventing them from overheating,
treating their illnesses, and even attempting to return them to the sea.
Unfortunately because baleen whales are so large, when they strange there is
usually nothing we can do to help. Perhaps that is why, as you asked, baleen
whales die from overheating more often than toothed whales?

Thank you for your question,
Jen Philips

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