From: Tom Ford (tjfketos@rcn.com)
Date: Fri Mar 18 2005 - 11:22:21 EST

  • Next message: Tom Ford: "Re: questions about blue whales"

    Dear Ms Jan Ford and class,

     Whales and dolphins almost never drink sea water. There is too much salt in
    sea water for their kidneys to process. They can generate all the fresh
    water they need internally by metabolizing fats. It is possible for a marine
    mammal to generate one ounce of fresh water internally for each ounce of fat
    metabolized. This is done by fixing carbon dioxide to the fats.

    So to be more plain about it whales can make fresh water from the food they

    Sorry for my tendency to make things too complex,

    Dr. Tom Ford

    > From: jan ford <jford@arlington.k12.ma.us>
    > Reply-To: jford@arlington.k12.ma.us
    > Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2005 10:28:06 -0500
    > To: tjfketos@rcn.com, pita@whale.wheelock.edu
    > Subject: drinking?
    > We are studying whales in our 2nd grade class. One of my students
    > raised a question we've never had
    > come up before: How do whales get water? We know that baleen whales
    > take in water with
    > food but then spit it out. Is there enough water in their food? It
    > seems like this would be the
    > answer but we wanted to check. Thanks for your help. Jan Ford and
    > the students in Room 27.

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