Whales - food nourishment, organisms that control internal conditions.

From: Pita Admininstrator (pita@whale.wheelock.edu)
Date: Wed Sep 19 2001 - 13:56:36 EDT

On Wed, 19 Sep 2001 DBMilieu@aol.com wrote:

> I have a couple of questions regarding whales
> 1. How do whales get their food nourishment? ie the chemicals they need?
They eat prey. Different species of whales prefer different prey, but
they all get their fluids, minerals, calories, etc. from their prey.

> 2. How do whales control their internal conditions?
There are a number of different conditions to consider. Body temp - They
have the blubbler which helps maintain body temp. They minimize external
appendages. The flippers(arms) exit the body at the elbow rather than the
shoulder. They breathe infrequently to maintain heat. Their heart rate
is slwer than ours, and ir slows even more when they dive. And, they have
a counter current heat exchange systems whereby the outgoing arterial
blood heats the incoming veinous blood to help maintain the temp of the
body core.

> 3. How long do Gray whales take to grow? (weight changes, growth size)
I don;t study gray whales, I study mainly blue whales. When a blue whale
is born it is about 23 ft long and weighs about 3 tons. For the first six
months of their life they gain about 200 pounds a day just by
nursing. That is a main reason you never see twins.

A whale's gestation period is only about 12 months which is amazing
considering that a human is nine months, an elephant is about 23 months
and a whale is much larger than an elephant. In the case of a blue whale
and elephant is about the size of its tongue.

I hope that this helps.

Mike> >

         See the WhaleNet Humpback Whale Catalog CD-ROM 
    **  <http://whale.wheelock.edu/whalenet-stuff/CDROMintro.html>  **

J. Michael Williamson Principal Investigator-WhaleNet <http://whale.wheelock.edu> Associate Professor-Science Wheelock College, 200 The Riverway, Boston, MA 02215 voice: 617.879.2256 fax: 617.734.8666, or 978.468.0073

"Mother, Mother Ocean, I have heard your call, Wanted to sail upon your waters, since I was three feet tall" Jimmy Buffett ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon Feb 25 2002 - 21:06:00 EST