From: Dagmar Fertl (dfertl@geo-marine.com)
Date: Mon Nov 17 2003 - 09:13:22 EST

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    Hi there! Some friends and I were just watching Finding Nemo and for some
    reason we asked the question if whales have tastebuds? Or even tongues for
    that matter? Its a silly question, but also just a fun fact to know :)

    Whales do have tongues. Whales do have tastebuds, but they haven't been
    well-studied. We do know from observations of dolphins in captive situations
    or interacting with fishing boats, that there seems to be some preference
    for certain types of fish...if they have the opportunity to be choosy. It
    would be like if you are really hungry and someone puts something in front
    of you that you don't like to eat, you would probably eat it rather than
    starve. If you were in front of a buffet, however, you would pick and choose
    your favorite things to eat. In all likelihood, you would pick something
    fattening. For a dolphin or a whale who is not watching their figure, the
    fattening stuff is the good stuff, because it has the highest energy content
    to it (the most calories).

    By the way, "Nemo" rocks!

    Dagmar Fertl

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