Subject: Re: Pilot Whale Questions

Daniel K. Odell (odell@pegasus.cc.ucf.edu)
Mon, 10 Feb 1997 12:14:54 -0500 (EST)

Dear David,

My answers to your questions are in BOLD type in between the questions.


On Sun, 9 Feb 1997 MHOMON@aol.com wrote:

> Dear Mr. Odell,
>  I am a Second Grade kid in Camarillo, California, and I am studying the
> Pilot Whale.  I would like some questions.
> 
> How fast can a Pilot Whale swim?
  I DON'T KNOW. 

> Why do they have those long fins?
LONG FINS - THE FLIPPERS - ARE USED FOR STEERING.

> Why are they all black?
THEIR COLOR IS PROBABLY FOR CAMOUFLAGE.  WHEN YOU LOOK DOWN ON TOP OF THEM
THEY BLEND IN WITH THE OCEAN.  THEIR BELLIES ARE WHITE AND WHEN VIEWED
FROM BENEATH THEY BLEND IN WITH THE SKY.
> 
> Why are they called Pilot whales?
I DON'T KNOW FOR SURE BUT SOME WHALES AND DOLPHINS RIDE THE PRESSURE WAVE
IN FRONT OF SHIPS.  THIS IS SIMILAR TO A SHIP FOLLOWING A PILOT BOAT INTO
PORT.

 > 
> What's the difference between a Southern Pilot whale and a regular Pilot
> whale ( this is my most important question)?
THERE ARE TWO KINDS OF PILOT WHALES - SHORT FINNED AND LONG FINNED.  THIS
REFERS TO THE LENGTH OF THEIR PECTORAL FINS OR FLIPPERS.  THE SHORT FINNED
PILOT WHALE IS FOUND IN WARMER WATERS AND MAY BE REFERRED TO AS THE
'SOUTHERN' PILOT WHALE.  IN CALIFORNIA WATERS YOU SEE SHORT FINNED PILOT
WHALES.

> 
> Thank you fo taking the time to read these letters and answering them.
> 
> Signed, David.
> 

Dan Odell
Sea World