Subject: Re: whale defense

Al Romero (aromero@ACC.FAU.EDU)
Sun, 13 Apr 1997 18:47:47 -0500 (EST)

At 06:14 PM 4/13/97 -0400, you wrote:
>I'd like to know how do whales protect themselves from other predators in the
>Thanks.  E.P.

Dear E.P.:

There few are observations that can help us to fully understand the
defensive behavior by whales.  There is, however, a well documented instance
that could give us an idea of how that happens.

In July, 1971, five killer whales (Orcinus orca) attacked two southern right
whales (Eubalaena glacialis australis) in the Golfo de San Jose (South
America). After reaching the right whales, the killer whales were in a
frenzy, lunging over, between, and under their quarry. Right whale defense
consisted of continuous and violent slashing with flukes and flippers and
rolling and twisting in tight maneuvres. After the attack, which lasted 25
minutes, the right whales moved to a shallow water location where they
stayed overnight. No signs of physical damaged (blood, bits of skin in the
water) were detected.

Best wishes,


Aldemaro Romero, Ph.D.		
Florida Atlantic University	(954)236-1125	
College of Liberal Arts		(954)236-1150 (F)
Department of Biology
2912 College Ave.,
Davie, FL 33314