blubber questions

From: Phil Clapham (pclapham@whsun1.wh.whoi.edu)
Date: Wed Mar 05 2003 - 16:02:28 EST

  • Next message: Phil Clapham: "Whale strandings"

    Hi Katrina:

    >>1.Are blubber and fat the same thing?
    >>
    Not strictly speaking. Blubber is composed mostly of fat but also some
    other tissue.
    >> 2.How many whales on average die from lack of food, energy, and warmth?
    We have no idea. But animals that are stressed by illness or which have a
    problem finding food will have less blubber and that will make them more
    likely to have other health problems.

    >>3.Do some whales have different 'types' of blubber?
    Actually, you need to ask Michael Moore of the Woods Hole Oceanographic
    Institution this question, since he has studied blubber more than I
    have. His email is mmoore@whoi.edu.

    >> 4.Is blubber thicker in the winter than in the summer?
    In the big baleen whales, it is usually thickest at the beginning of the
    winter (at the end of a summer feeding season), and then becomes thinner
    through the winter as the animals use it. Many baleen whales fast
    during the winter and rely on blubber stores for energy. So by the end
    of the winter the blubber is at its thinnest for the year.

    >> 5.Do other types of animals have blubber works for the same purposes?
    >>
    Well, other animals have fat that is used for both insulation and for
    energy storage during times when they dont eat. Bears are an example.
    But it is called "blubber" only in whales.

    >>6.Can blubber be toxic when used in certain chemical formulas after
    >>mixing with nontoxic chemicals?
    Again, ask Michael Moore. He is also an expert on pollutants.

    >> 7.Can lipsticks and other products with blubber be dangerous if mixed
    >>with certain chemicals?
    I dont know of anything that is made from blubber these days; it is
    eaten in some places, but not used for any products.

    >> 8.Do chemical reactions occur often?
    Sorry, dont know what you mean.

    >>9.Do products made from blubber like lipstick and rogue affect the whale
    >>population?
    Again, I'm not sure what you mean. Products dont affect whales, though
    killing whales for various things obviously had a huge effect on the
    population, especially in the 20th century.

    >>
    >>10.Could whales become extinct if the killing, poaching, and waste being
    >>dumped into the water doesn't stop?
    It depends on the species. Some whales are abundant and doing very
    well, while others are endangered. None of the critically endangered
    whales are hunted today, but some may suffer from other problems like
    entanglements in fish gear, ship collisions and perhaps habitat
    degradation. The most endangered whale populations today are North
    Atlantic and North pacific right whales, Atlantic bowhead whales,
    western gray whales (not the California gray whale, which is doing
    well), and most blue whale populations.

    Phil Clapham

    >>
    >> Please remember that I need these on the 10th so please reply by the
    >>7th.
    >> Thank you,
    >> Katrina
    >>
    >>________________________________________________________________
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    >>
    >> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    >>
    >> Subject:
    >> Re: My Science Project
    >> From:
    >> Katrina Stahl <hot_tomolee_babie@juno.com>
    >> Date:
    >> Tue, 4 Mar 2003 20:06:00 -0800
    >> To:
    >> information@whsun1.wh.whoi.edu
    >>
    >>
    >>Mr. Clapham,
    >> My name is Katrina. I attend Life Christian Academy and am in 6th
    >>grade. I am doing a
    >> Science Fair and my topic is whales. My question is 'How can whales
    >>survive in the
    >> sea'. I have been researching for several months and have come up with
    >>the following questions. I would appreciate it if you would reply and
    >>send them back by March 7th if you have time to answer. If you have any
    >>ideas on how to change my question to make it fit the following 10
    >>questions, it would be greatly appreciated, considering that you are a
    >>professional.
    >>
    >>1.Are blubber and fat the same thing?
    >>
    >> 2.How many whales on average die from lack of food, energy, and warmth?
    >>
    >>3.Do some whales have different 'types' of blubber?
    >>
    >> 4.Is blubber thicker in the winter than in the summer?
    >>
    >> 5.Do other types of animals have blubber works for the same purposes?
    >>
    >>6.Can blubber be toxic when used in certain chemical formulas after
    >>mixing with nontoxic chemicals?
    >>
    >> 7.Can lipsticks and other products with blubber be dangerous if mixed
    >>with certain chemicals?
    >>
    >> 8.Do chemical reactions occur often?
    >>
    >>9.Do products made from blubber like lipstick and rogue affect the whale
    >>population?
    >>
    >>
    >>10.Could whales become extinct if the killing, poaching, and waste being
    >>dumped into the water doesn't stop?
    >>
    >>
    >> Please remember that I need these on the 10th so please reply by the
    >>7th.
    >> Thank you,
    >> Katrina
    >>
    >>________________________________________________________________
    >>Sign Up for Juno Platinum Internet Access Today
    >>Only $9.95 per month!
    >>Visit www.juno.com
    >

    -- 
    

    Phillip J. Clapham, Ph.D. Large Whale Biology Program Northeast Fisheries Science Center 166 Water Street Woods Hole, MA 02543, U.S.A.

    tel. 508 495-2316 fax 508 495-2066 email: pclapham@whsun1.wh.whoi.edu



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