Blue whales

From: Orca Network (howard@orcanetwork.org)
Date: Thu May 22 2003 - 09:09:44 EDT

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    My name is Oscar Marroquin. I am in 2nd grade. I have a whale project. I
    have some questions on blue whales. Please answer them. Thank you.
    What do Blue Whales eat?
    Do the Blue Whales live on the bottom or top of the ocean?
    Do whales migrate when the seasons change?
    What are some interesting facts about the Blue Whale?
    Thank you.

    Thank you for your friendly questions.
    Their food is interesting because even though Blue whales are the largest
    animals to live on Earth, they eat very small animals, usually a type of
    shrimp called krill. Krill are very numerous in very cold waters during
    summer months, so blue whales race through massive swarms of krill and fill
    their expandable throats with water filled with krill. Then they push the
    water out through their baleen plates and swallow down more than a hundred
    pounds of krill with each gulp.

    You could say they live on the top of the ocean because they don't dive
    very deep, compared to many other whales. In fact, all of the baleen whales
    stay within a few hundred feet of the top of the water, whereas most
    toothed whales dive many hundreds of feet deep to catch fish and squid one
    at a time.

    Blue whales migrate to the cold, productive waters during the warmer months
    of the year. The problem is that nobody knows where most of the blue whales
    go in the colder months. That's amazing when you consider they are the
    largest animal on Earth.

    Another interesting fact is that the vocalizations of blue whales cannot
    heard by humans because their frequency is below our range of hearing. We
    would feel them as a vibration in the water. But at that frequency blue
    whales can hear each other more than a thousand miles away from each other.

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



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