whale mucous

From: Orca Network (howard@orcanetwork.org)
Date: Sun Jan 12 2003 - 14:16:18 EST

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    Dear Howard,
    What is the substance that the whale secretes that is so valuable that
    jewelry (?) can be made out of it? I heard something about the mucous of
    the whale being valuable and I want to know what this is and why it is
    valuable.
    Avraham Geron
    ageron@msn.com

    I don't know of any whale mucous that may be used for jewelry, but you are
    probably referring to ambergris, which is secreted in the stomachs of sperm
    whales. Ambergris adheres to squid beaks, forming them into a harmless ball
    of wax. This substance was once used as a fixitive for perfumes, because it
    binds to scent molecules rather than allowing them to dissipate rapidly.

    Howard Garrett
    Orca Network
    Greenbank WA
    (360) 678-3451
    www.orcanetwork.org
    howard@orcanetwork.org



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