From: Orca Network (howard@orcanetwork.org)
Date: Fri May 16 2003 - 22:41:32 EDT

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    i would like to know an experiment on a mammal one at least i am doign it
    fro shcool and there isn't anything on it and i would just like to know if
    there was one that i can use like do something with water or rubber to show
    it is a whale or something like that please e- mail me back at least
    something thank you

    Here's something you can do to show that when whales lost the hair that
    their ancestors had about 50 million years ago, it helped them to swim in
    the water.

    Find two pieces of material a few inches in diameter. One piece should be
    made of smooth rubber like an inner tube and the other piece should be
    something like a shaggy carpet or a fluffy towel. Make sure they are the
    same size.

    Tie a string a few inches long through a hole in each of the pieces of
    material and tie the string from the material to either end of a stick,
    possibly a 12" ruler. Make sure the strings are tied exactly the same
    distance from the center of the stick.

    Then tie another string to the center of the stick and put the two pieces
    of material in a tub of water or a large sink.

    When you pull on the string tied to the center of the stick, you will see
    that the shaggy piece of material drags behind the rubbery material. That
    demonstrates that when whales lost the hair that was on their ancestors who
    lived on the land, they were able to swim faster and with less energy.

    Howard Garrett
    Orca Network
    Greenbank WA
    (360) 678-3451

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