whale spout

From: Greg Early (gearly1@earthlink.net)
Date: Wed Jun 04 2003 - 14:31:55 EDT

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    When a whale is under water it is holding it's breath. When it comes to
    the surface it exhales through it's blowhole (actually the whale's nose).
     The air from the whale's lungs is warm, full of moisture and comes out
    under pressure. When that breath hits the outside air it condenses into a
    cloud of mist in much the way that your breath makes a cloud on a cold day.
     A common mistake is to think that a whale is spouting water. That would
    be about the same as a person shooting water out their nose. Not something
    you would like to do every day. If you go on a whale watch (or see some
    good pictures of whales spouting) you can often tell the type of whale by
    the shape of the cloud it blows.


    -----Original Message-----
    From: Nicola & Bernd Julicher [SMTP:julichers@mweb.co.za]
    Sent: Wednesday, June 04, 2003 9:00 AM
    To: gearly1@earthlink.net; pita@whale.wheelock.edu
    Subject: whales

    Why does a whale spout?

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