Whale Information

From: Kim Marshall (kimm@oceanalliance.org)
Date: Fri Dec 13 2002 - 18:28:09 EST

  • Next message: Kim Marshall: "Whale Communication"

    Question:

    Hi Kim, I was just wondering if you could tell me a lot about whales??? If
    you could, I would like it if you did one page or more of why they are so
    important to our environment and to you. I am 8 years old and in 2nd grade
    in GA. I you could that would be great!!!

    Reply:
    Hi Ethan, Thank you for your question. Please open the document ³All About
    Whales² and if you can¹t open it let me know.
     
    Importance of whales;
    All of earth¹s creatures, including plants, rely on the delicate balance of
    nature to provide a secure habitat for growth, nutrition, and survival. As
    the planet is mostly covered by water, it is critical that we learn to
    preserve aquatic ecosystems. The food web, or food chain, is one way of
    demonstrating how each group of plants and animals are interconnected. If
    you imagine a pyramid, at the bottom you will have the smallest of
    creatures, the primary producers called diatoms (microscopic algae).
    Primary producers are the basis of the food chain and supply hundreds of
    millions of tons of food to higher-order plants and animals. The pyramid
    ascends with krill and other types of zoo-plankton that provide millions of
    tons of food to all of the higher levels, and keeps rising with fish, squid,
    seals, and filter feeding baleen whales. At the top of the pyramid, eating
    the fish, squid, and some seals, are the toothed whales, birds, and even
    humans! (Based on Southern Ocean food web, ³The Natural History of Whales
    and Dolphins² Evans, P., Facts on File, Inc. New York, 1987, pp.246.)
     
     All food webs require balance, meaning that if you remove the diatoms there
    will be no krill, and no food for higher order animals. If you remove
    squid, there might not be enough other types of food for squid-eating sperm
    whales. If you remove all the fish, there will be an overabundance of
    plankton, yet not enough food for birds, seals, whales, and yes, for us
    seafood loving humans. It is imperative that we take care of the oceans.
    In many ways nature can take care of itself, as seen in habitat recoveries
    after oil spills and natural disasters.

    Happy Holidays!

    Kim

    Kim Marshall
    Executive Director
    Ocean Alliance (Whale Conservation Inst. & the Voyage of the Odyssey)
    191 Weston Road, Lincoln, MA 01773
    781.259.0423 ext. 14 fax 259.0288
    www.oceanalliance.org www.pbs.org/odyssey
    Please support our efforts to conserve whales and their ocean environment
    through research and education :)





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