RE: Questions about whales for "Ask A Scientist"

From: Greg Early (mailgearly@yahoo.com)
Date: Wed Jan 12 2005 - 16:53:07 EST

  • Next message: Greg Early: "Re: marine mammal question"

    Ms. Edwards,

    There are some pictures on WhaleNet that you can use
    (on the ASK page and in one of the slideshows).

    Wish me luck.

    How do you rescue an injured whale that is still in
    the ocean and how many people does it take?

    Good question but not an easy one to answer. I have
    picked up some small whales (pilot whales) using
    people. We had to do this because the whales were far
    from a place where we could get anything like a crane
    (which would have been better). It took about twenty
    people to lift one average (about 15-17 feet long)
    pilot whale.

    A whale in the water, a big whale, that may be 40-50
    feet long is a whole other problem. In fact there is
    not any good way to catch and move it - or even
    convince it to stop moving long enough to help it.
    Usually a lot of people try using boats, airplanes,
    and other equipment, but most times there is not much
    we can do.

    What is your favorite marine mammal and why?
    Depends what you mean by "favorite". I like a lot of
    marine mammals in general, but my favorite type
    (species) would probably be hooded seals. They are
    big, nasty seals that live in the arctic, dive real
    deep and can turn part of their nose inside out and
    blow it up like a red balloon - no kidding - look for
    some pictures.

    Because I worked at an aquarium, I got to know a lot
    of animals that we took care of quite well. Probably
    my favorite stranded animal was a small whale called a
    Grampus. Her was named "Lou".

    Why do some whales have bumps on their mouths?

    I'm guessing what you are thinking of are bumps that
    are actually on the "upper lip" and sometimes around
    the mouth of humpback whales. People used to call
    these "stove bolts" because they look like the rivets
    in a cast iron stove. They are actually hair
    follicles and there is a single hair growing out of
    each one. You would have to be very close to see it.

    ge

    --- "Edwards, Karen E" <kedward5@jefferson.k12.ky.us>
    wrote:

    >
    > Mr. Early,
    >
    > Thank you so much for your answers. The kids are
    > very excited about having
    > a chance to ask you questions and are looking
    > forward to your replies.
    > Kenwood Elementary has almost 600 students (only the
    > 2nd and 3rd graders are
    > asking questions), 89% are on free/reduced lunch.
    >
    > I plan on using your answers in class, on a
    > bulletin board and on
    > our morning
    > broadcast. I will be sure to have each class ask
    > only 2-3
    > questions. If you haveaphotograph of yourself that
    > you feel comfortable
    > sending I would love to be glad to put it on the
    > board.
    >
    > The next class with a question is Ms. Burt's second
    > graders: How do
    > you rescue an injured whale that is still in the
    > ocean and how many people
    > does it take?
    >
    > Ms. Strawters 3rd grade class would like to know:
    > What is your
    > favorite marine mammal and why? Why do some whales
    > have bumps on their
    > mouths?
    >
    > Thank You,
    > Karen Edwards
    >
    >
    >



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