Subject: Re: sperm whales stomachs

Courtney E. Stirling (
Tue, 26 Nov 1996 17:13:36 -0500 (EST)

I think what the book means is that a sperm whale stomach is able to
digest tissue from a living thing (that used to be alive).  The reason a
sperm whale stomach can digest tissue but won't digest itself is because
the whale's intestines are lined with mucous.  This mucous protects the
whale's insides from itself - that is, the digestive juices that it
produces to digest food.  Interestingly enough, this is the same manner in
which our stomach operates. 

Good Luck,

On Tue, 26 Nov 1996, mchs1 wrote:

> I was wondering how the stomach of a Sperm Whale really works.  I've 
> been reading the book, Year of the Whale.  In it, it states that the 
> stomachs are able to digest living things, such as a person.  But it 
> won't digest itself.  Curious and wondering.