Re: Whale Questions

From: Phil Clapham (pclapham@mercury.wh.whoi.edu)
Date: Fri Oct 08 2004 - 12:28:51 EDT

  • Next message: Phil Clapham: "whales"

    Hi:

    tyhanks for the questions. here are some answers for you...

    > Q. What are some of the main features of a Humpback Whale, other than
    > it¢s hump on its back/
    Probably the most obvious thing about the humpback whale is its huge
    flippers. These are one third the length of the body, which is much
    bigger than those of any other whale, and can be 15 feet long.

    > Q. Do whales only migrate to Antarctica, or do they migrate to The
    > Arctic as well?
    Not all whales migrate, but those that do migrate to both places.
    Northern Hemisphere whales spend their winters in tropical waters in the
    North Atlantic and North Pacific and go to colder waters up north in
    summer to feed. In the Southern Hemisphere, migratory whales breed and
    calve in warm waters in the South Atlantic, South Pacific and Indian
    Oceans, and migrate to the Antarctic to feed during the southern summer.
    There's a population of humpback whales in the Arabian Sea which is the
    exception to all this... they stay the entire year in the Arabian Sea,
    feeding and breeding there.

    > Q. Hervey Bay, in Queensland, is Australia¢s best place to observe the
    > whales. What is Canada¢s best spot?
    It depends on what kind of whales you want to see. The Gulf of St
    Lawrence has humpback, blue, fin and minke whales (as well as dolphins and
    porpoises); that's probably the best place overall. Nova Scotia,
    including the Bay of Fundy, has humpback fin, minke and North Atlantic
    right whales, as well as some other species in some areas.

    > Q. How much does a Sei Whale weigh when it is born and how long is it?
    > How heavy is a full grown Sei Whale and how long is it?
    A sei whale calf is around 17-18 ft long at birth and will weigh probably
    1-2 tons. A full-grown sei whale can reach 70 feet in length and probably
    as many tons in weight.

    > Q. How many bones does a Humpback Whale have?
    Ooooh, I don't know the answer to that and no one has ever asked me
    before! You might ask my friend Dr Jim Mead at the Smithsonian
    Institution in Washington DC (mead.james@nmnh.si.edu) - he is a very good
    anatomist and will probably know.

    > My class and I are going to Hervey bay for an excursion next week to go
    > Whale Watching. I have previously been, and one of my ambitions is to be
    > a marine Biologist. Congratulations on becoming scientist of the week!
    Thanks very much. I hope you have a terrific time in Hervey Bay!

    Best wishes,

    Phil Clapham

    > I hope you can reply to my questions, it would be much appreciated!
    >
    > Yours sincerely,
    > Sandra



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