Insulating properties of whale blubber

From: Erich Hoyt (
Date: Sat Feb 16 2002 - 18:58:52 EST

-------------------- Begin Original Message --------------------

Message text written by

Dear Dr. Hoyt:

My daughter is a junior at Western School of Technology and Environmental
Science Magnet School in Baltimore County. She has taken on a
regarding the insulating properties of whale blubber and has been searching

the Internet. The main issue seems to be the sale of blubber by Norway to
Japan, not exactly the information she needs.

She has been looking for information that would indicate an insulating
of whale blubber, similar to an "R" value for home insulation. Also,
information as to what makes this possible.

We would really appreciate any information you could share regarding this
any websites that you feel may be able to provide this information.

We are looking forward to any help that you can give Katie regarding this

Ken Myers

We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop
-------------------- End Original Message --------------------

Dear Ken and Katie,

I would suggest two reference books that could give you information on the
insulating properties of whale blubber in wonderful detail.

You'll find some good stuff on thermoregulation and blubber on pages 19-21,
22, 101-102, 182 and 327 in Biology of Marine Mammals, edited by John E.
Reynolds III and Sentiel A Rommel, Smithsonian, Washington, DC, 1999.

Even more accessible and well-rounded, if you can get it, is the article
entitled "Blubber" by Sara J. Iverson on pp. 107+ in the Encyclopedia of
Marine Mammals, edited by William F. Perrin et al, Academic Press, 2002
(just published!)

The first book should be in a reasonable size university library and maybe
in some large public library systems or through interlibrary loan. The
second will probably get even wider circulation but because it is so hot
off the press, you may have to search a little more. Or maybe you can even
find it in a university or academic book store! Highly recommended.

Best regards,

Erich Hoyt

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon Aug 19 2002 - 10:33:04 EDT