Subject: Re: whales/dolphins eyelids

Al Romero (aromero@ACC.FAU.EDU)
Thu, 17 Apr 1997 13:12:51 -0500 (EST)

At 11:25 AM 4/17/97 -0400, you wrote:
>Hi, I'm a freelance writer who has been assigned questions asked by kids
>to a Cdn. science magazine called OWL Magazine.  One question was: do
>whales and dolphins have eyelids.  The more I look, the more complicated
>this answer seems to get.  So far: they don't have eyelids like humans,
>but they are able to close their eyes, using muscles above and below
>their eyes.  They also rely on the oily jelly-like substance that coats
>their eyes to protect the eye.  I'd love for this answer to be verified
>or corrected by someone who knows whales.  I'd apppreciate any help, you
>could give me.  Thanks Linda McAvoy

Dear Linda:

Cetaceans do have eyelids.  What happens is that they are so swollen with
fatty matter that they are practically immobile.

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