Subject: Re: Whale learning, talking, and eating

Dagmar_Fertl@smtp.mms.gov
Thu, 03 Oct 96 09:58:52 EST

     More good questions from Mr. Niessen's Room!
     
     1.  Mothers don't have to teach their calves (babies) to swim.  They 
     are born able to swim around and see things around them.  Sometimes 
     the bigger problem for moms is that the babies want to swim around all 
     over the place and the mom sometimes has to chase them so that they 
     stay together!
     
     2.  Animals can communicate information in a bunch of different ways.  
     Whales can "talk" to each other with sound (for example, clicks, 
     whistles, and squawks), which is isn't produced by the mouth (like you 
     do), but thru the nose (the blowhole area).  Studies are still looking 
     at whether dolphins can communicate information through taste 
     (chemical signals in the water).  Dolphins can also communicate 
     information through body language.  Dolphins spend a lot of time 
     touching each other, so depending on how you're being touched, would 
     give you a lot of information (for example, there's a difference for 
     people if someone hugs you or kicks you).  Visual communication is 
     also important.  Color patterns on the body would help dolphins 
     recognize each other as species, or even as individuals.  Body shape, 
     movement, or posture also provide information (for example, when a 
     dolphin moves its jaws as if it's trying to talk, it's actually a mad 
     dolphin).
     
     3.  The only whales that eat sharks are killer whales (actually the 
     largest member of the dolphin family, which is part of the toothed 
     whale suborder).  Killer whales are known to eat a variety of sharks 
     including blue, basking, reef shark, and even the whale shark (for 
     more information on the whale shark, look at one of the questions from 
     earlier this week on WhaleNet).  
     
     4.  There are a number of whale and dolphin species that eat squid, so 
     there are probably those that also eat an octopus.  Stomach contents 
     of some Gulf of Mexico bottlenose dolphins show an occasional octopus 
     having been a meal.


______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: More whale questions from Mr. Nieesen's Room :  )
Author:  bobcat@feist.com at ~smtp
Date:    10/2/96 6:32 PM


We have some more questions about Whales.
     
1.Do mama whales teach ther babys to swim. 
2.How do  whales talk.
3. Do whales  eat sharks? If so, which whales do? 
4. Do whales eat  octpis ?