Subject: HOW DO WHALES, AND OTHER AQUATIC CREATURES, BREACH? (fwd)

Michael Williamson (pita@whale.simmons.edu)
Tue, 22 Oct 1996 18:33:29 -0400 (EDT)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: 18 Oct 96 10:49 EST
From: CLAPHAM.PHIL@SIMNH.SI.EDU
To: "G.ask [Private Mail Group]"@SIMNH.SI.EDU, "JMDRAKE@IBM.NET"@SIVM.SI.EDU
Subject: Copy of: HOW DO WHALES, AND OTHER AQUATIC CREATURES, BREACH?

Original message: "HOW DO WHALES, AND OTHER AQUATIC CREATURES, BREACH?"
From: <<jmdrake@ibm.net>>

I am a children's author writing a summer activity book called the Kids 
Summer Games Book. 
In the swim game section, I want to include a sidebar on how whales etc. 
are able to leap out of the water -- would help with H2O polo!!

Please advise and thanks!


Hi:

The short answer to your question about breaching is that a whale's tail
is so powerful that it can propel the animal out of the water quite
easily.  I have watched humpbacks breach probably thousands
of times in all, and sometimes I was actually at a high enough elevation
to actually see thw whale underwater as it rose to the surface.  I was
very surprised by how little effort it took the animal to get out
of the water, at least partway (full breaches, when the whale's tail
clears the surface too, obviously require a longer run-up, but from
what sort of depth I don't know).

There is an excellent popular article on breaching by Dr Hal
Whitehead, in Scientific American in 1985.  I dont know the month,
but it was volume 252, pages 84-93.  Your library should have it.

Phil Clapham