Re: why do whales jump out of the water?

From: Mike Williamson (
Date: Fri Feb 20 2004 - 09:43:15 EST

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    Since we can't read a whale's mind our answers as to why whales jump is
    all speculation based on years of observations and experience. It seems
    that at least some jumping, especially in calves, is play/fun.
    Sometimes a whale will beach a number of times and then defecate so it
    my be caused by indigestion or digestion in some cases. There is breach
    feeding techniques for some individual whales, and some researchers think
    that breaching might be a form on communication technique using the sound
    of landing in some manner, maybe location as in "here I am."

    I equate trying to define why a whale jumps to why humans make a fist. We
    make a fist in threats, triumph, excitment, play, etc. Whales most likely
    do NOT breach for only one reason.

    I hope that this helps.

    Mike Williamson

    On Thu, 19 Feb 2004, Abhilash . Jacob wrote:

    > I saw a commercial the other day and it showed a whale jumping out of
    > the water. I want to know why they jump out of the water. Is there a
    > specific reason? Or is it just fun for them? If someone could answer
    > this for me that would be cool.
    > Thanks,

                          J. Michael Williamson
    Principal Investigator-WhaleNet <>
                       Associate Professor-Science
      Wheelock College, 200 The Riverway, Boston, MA 02215
                 voice: 617.879.2256
                fax:    617.879.2417, or 978.468.0073

    "Mother, Mother Ocean, I have heard your call, Wanted to sail upon your waters, since I was three feet tall" Jimmy Buffett ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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