More whale questions

From: Erich Hoyt (
Date: Sat Dec 06 2003 - 06:40:44 EST

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    Here's part II. I'll put more answers after the questions below. Good luck
    in your research.


    Erich Hoyt

    >From: "Sue Shirley" <>
    >Subject: more whale questions
    >Date: Tue, Dec 2, 2003, 8:55 PM

    > Hi,
    > Below are a few more questions from the other half of my science students.
    > They are a curious bunch! How's the weather in Scotland? It's snowing here
    > in Boston!
    EH: We are on the sunny, dry east coast of Scotland and only get snow once
    every 4 or 5 years....I miss the snow.
    > From Shay, Timmy and Peter: How many orcas are there around the world? Why
    > do you live in Scotland if you're a citizen of the US and Canada?
    EH: No one knows how many orcas there are worldwide, but it's probably in
    the low tens of thousands.
    EH: I love Scotland and live here with my wife (who is English) and my four
    children aged 5 to 14. They have all been born here except the oldest who
    was born in Boston when we lived there in the late 1980s. My children have 3
    passports and citizenships, one from their British mother, too, so they will
    be able to live and work anywhere in North America or in the UK or Europe
    because of the European Union.
    > From John Fi. and Dylan: How many orcas are there around the world?
    EH: No one knows how many orcas there are worldwide, but it's probably in
    the low tens of thousands.

    > From Rebecca and Cassie: How many teeth does an orca have? How long does
    > an orca live?
    EH: Orcas have 10-13 pairs of teeth in each jaw, usually about 48 in all
    EH: Female orcas live on average 50 years, up to 80 or 90; male orcas on
    average 30 years, up to 50 or 60.
    > From Eva and Kim: What is your favorite type of deep sea fish? Why? What
    > is your favorite species of whale and why?
    EH: It's not a fish, but I like some of the odd squid and ctenophores, such
    as the vampire squid and the bloody-belly ctenophore. I wrote about these in
    my book Creatures of the Deep. They have only been seen alive by a handful
    of people. I love the shapes and colours and the mysterious behavior which
    we are just learning about.
    My favorite whale is orca because of the families and the complex social
    > From Allie and Mariah: Which book that you wrote is your favorite?
    EH: At the moment, Creatures of the Deep...but also of course Orca: The
    Whale Called Killer, my first book, and one I did on ants called The Earth
    > From Michael B. and Scott: What was it like being with orca whales?
    EH: Magic. You just feel in awe of such raw power. And because it's often a
    family, many orcas at once, it presents a powerful scene. Not just the
    visual, but the sound of their blows, the smell sometimes of what's on their
    breath (fish), the water vapor on your face.... Magic.
    > Many thanks again,
    > Sue Shirley

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