best whale to study

From: Pieter Folkens (animalbytes@earthlink.net)
Date: Tue Mar 25 2003 - 12:39:52 EST

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    > Helllo, my name is Rachel J. and I attend Thayer Academy and we have
    > just started researching Whales. Later on in the year, we will have to
    > choose a whale to research. Which Whale would you Suggest

    Where do you live, what have you seen (or have a chance to see)?
    Personalizing a subject is always great for a young researcher. Try to
    choose a local animal. If you live away from the coast, the
    opportunities are wide open for any of the 25 or so 'great whales.'

    If you want a species that is widely known with lots of information and
    videos available I'd suggest the humpback or gray whale. If you want
    the largest you'd select the blue whale. The smallest would be the
    dwarf sperm whale. If you want the least known (the greatest study
    challenge), that'd be the pygmy right whale (Caperea) or most of the
    beaked whales in the genus Mesoplodon. The most endangered would be the
    right whale.

    Here's a thought! Go the extra mile for your teacher and select the
    beaked whales as a group. They are unusual, fascinating, and not likely
    to be duplicated by others in your class. They are also in the news
    regarding the Navy's low frequency sound experiments. There are several
    books available which contain plenty of information for your research.

    Cheers,

    Pieter Folkens
    Alaska Whale Foundation



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