Research paper - part II

From: Greg Early (
Date: Thu Oct 16 2003 - 11:14:48 EDT

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    OK one (well I guess this is really three) more questions.

    1. People or predators? This is one of those questions that seems simple but is actually pretty complicated. Here is why. Some scientists think that one of the reasons that whales evolved to be so big, is that the larger you are the better your advantage over predators. So really large whales (and whales that live in really large schools) are probably pretty safe from predators. People, in this case would probably be more of a threat. However some dolphins and porpoises appear to have many more run ins with natural predators (some scientists think that up to 25% of young bottlenose dolphins may have scars from sharks). In this case it looks like natural predators may also be a big (maybe bigger) threat. People often assume that natural predators and their prey manage to live in a nice balance, where neither group is likely to disappear completely and people are about the only species that could wipe out another species. The more this has been studied, however, the less true it appears to be and the
    re are studies where either predator or prey populations have been wiped out. Natural extinctions occur. So as I said ... it gets complicated. For sure people have wiped out some species (Seller's Sea Cow). However, in other cases people have tried to wipe out some species (gray seals) and not been able to (and for the most part they are doing quite well now), and despite some of our best efforts, some species (North Atlantic Right Whales) are still in trouble from a combination of human and natural problems.

    2. I went to Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. Not exactly known for whale research but a good place to learn basic biology (I actually spent a lot of time under water in lakes and quarrys). Most of my marine and aquatic experience came after that and somehow I still only have a BA in biology. For me ... a basic biology background has been very useful, but I am not a specialist, I ran a basic biology lab for many years. If you are looking to name some species, you will probably have to be a better taxonomist than I am.

    WhaleNet has some good suggestions for how to find the type of college program you might want.

    good luck,


    -----Original Message-----
    Sent: Oct 15, 2003 5:47 PM
    Subject: Re: Research paper

    <HTML><FONT FACE=arial,helvetica><FONT COLOR="#000080" SIZE=2 FAMILY="SANSSERIF" FACE="Arial" LANG="0"><B>Mr. Early,<BR>
    thanx sooooo much! Yeah I thought it had a nice ring myself!! lol! well I've thought of one more if you wouldn't mind answering it.<BR>
    7. Which is more dangerous to such species....humans or their natural predators?<BR>
    Thanks again sooo much this information will be very helpful to my paper!!! <BR>
    I'm also curious where did you attend college and what degree do you have....I'm looking for a good college because I want to get a Dr. degree in Marine Biology. Thanks again soooooooooo much! <BR>

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