Beluga Whales

From: Tom Ford (tjfketos@rcn.com)
Date: Tue Nov 02 2004 - 21:46:17 EST

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    Date: Tue, 2 Nov 2004 19:46:29 -0500
    To: <tjfketos@rcn.com>
    Subject: URGENT! Beluga Whales

    Dear Dr. Ford,

    I am in Grade 2 and I have a science project that I am working on about
    Beluga Whales. I need to use different sources like books, movies or
    interviews. I have lots of information but I need to interview someone.
    Would you please answer the these questions for me? I hope you can help me.
    I need to get answers really fast because my project is due this week.

    Thank you!

    Sincerely,

    Melisa Trojanovic

    Grade 2

    Pineland Public School

    Burlington, Ontario

    Canada

    1. If mammals are animals that have fur or hair and give birth to live
    babies and feed them milk from their mothers, then why are Beluga Whales not
    hairy?

    2. What is the lifespan of a Beluga if it is healthy?

    3. What is a Baby Beluga called?

    4. What are two facts about a Beluga's eating habits?

    5. Do Belugas have enemies or threats?

    6. How do Beluga whales adapt to their environment?

    7. Can you tell me something really cool about Beluga Whales that I could
    include in my mobile presentation on Belugas?

    dear Melisa,

    All whales have some hair. No species of whale are hairy. Beluga whales
    (Delphinaptera leuca) have small hairs on the tip of the chins , and around
    te blowhole.

    Belugas live about 40 years.

    Baby belugas are babies.

    Beluga whales catch fish by suction. They do not chew the fish but swallow
    them whole.

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) are very threatening to belugas.

    Belugas have adapted to their arctic environment by having lots of blubber
    to stay warm. They have also "lost" their dorsal fins , perhaps to keep
    from bumping those fins on the sea ice.

    Funny you should ask your last question. There is a paper in progress on an
    adaption in belugas. Belugas whales do not have dorsal fins. However they
    can wrinkle their abdomen to form a pair of bulges that work like a fin ,
    on their tummies.

    Good Luck,

    Tom Ford



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