Subject: Re: fin names and reproduction in whales

Dagmar_Fertl@smtp.mms.gov
Tue, 01 Oct 96 06:16:41 EST

     Dear Bendu,
     
     Hi to you and your classmates.  Those are two very good questions 
     you've asked about whales.
     
     1.  Fin name depends on where they're located on the body.  We'll 
     start at the top, which is the dorsal part of the body...hence the 
     name "dorsal fin".  The dorsal fin usually has notches out of it, or 
     unusual shapes to it, that help scientists identify individual whales 
     and dolphins.  Did you know that there are some cetacean species 
     (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) that don't even have a dorsal fin?  
     
     The fins at the lower front part of the body, that would be where your 
     arms are, are the "pectoral fins" (do you know where your pectoral 
     muscles are?).  These fins are not used for paddling, but help the 
     animal steer its away thru the water.
     
     The last fins are part of the tail.  The whole tail is called 
     "flukes", with each half being a "fluke".  The tail area is where all 
     the power for moving the animal is located.
     
     
     2.  Whales are mammals.  What characteristics do humans, dogs, and 
     cats have in common have whales?  Mammals are warm-blooded, have fur 
     or hair (yes, even a whale or dolphin has hair...hair can be seen on 
     the fetus' snout), give birth to live young, nurse their young with 
     milk from their mammary glands (the mammary glands of a whale or 
     dolphin are tucked away in the mammary slits), and breathe air with 
     lungs (the whale breathes air through its nose, which is on top of its 
     head - the blowhole).
     
     
     Thank you for your great questions.  Have fun in school.
     
     
     Dagmar
     


______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Bendu's Whale Question.
Author:  bobcat@feist.com at ~smtp
Date:    9/30/96 6:15 PM


I want to know about whales. 
     
1. I would like to know what are the names of the fins on the whale?
     
2. Do whales lay eggs?
     
Thank you very much,
       Bendu
       Mr. Niessen's 2nd Grade Class