RE: Whales Travelling in Pods

Date: Sun Jan 19 2003 - 16:11:38 EST

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    Dear June,

    There are two very different types of whales, the toothed whales
    (odontocetes) and the baleen whales (mysticetes). The only kinds of whales
    that travel in true "pods" are the toothes whales such as sperm whales,
    pilot whales, orca or killer whales and all of the dolphins and porpoises.
    By definition, a pod is a very cohesive social group, and extended family
    group that can stay together for the lifetime of the individuals within it.
    Baleen whales do not stay in such cohesive groups for long periods of time.

    Overall, as I understand their structure the pods have a hierarchy in that
    the oldest female in the group is the "lead" whale. The pods can change for
    periods of time when two pods (or more) come together, or when certain of
    the whales (or dolphins)within the pod might split off and go their
    separate way for a short period of time.
    Overall, the pod is lead by the matriarch - the oldest female.

    Thank you for your question.


    Lisa J. Foerster
    Center for Oceanic Research and Education

    Original Message:
    Date: Sun, 19 Jan 2003 12:15:55 PST
    Subject: Whales Travelling in Pods

    Dear Dr. Garrett

    My name is June and I am working on a performance project for school in
    Canada on simulating a whale pod.
    My question is how do the whales travel in the pods? Do they have a
    hierarchy where one whale leader leads everyone? Or they just follow one
    another in the flow with no distinctive pattern?

    Thank you for you time.

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