Subject: Re: A whale question

Leah R. Gerber (
Thu, 7 Aug 1997 16:36:17 -0700

At 04:22 PM 8/5/97 +0000, Eric Lyons wrote:
>	Although this may seem a bit crass, I am very curious as to the size of a
>whale turd.  The largest recorded example would help settle an argument
>currently underway at my lab. 
>	 Thank you.
>	Eric Lyons
>	Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
>	University of California, Berkeley

Dear Eric,

The "turd" of a whale is very difficult to measure since it does not come
out in solid form.  The time between when a whale is done feeding and the
time it defecates is very short - 3 to 4 hours.  The stomach of a large
whale has a volume of 1000 liters, so you could imagine the size
of waste that comes out of an animal that fills its stomach 3 or 4 times
in one day.

Hope that helps settle the debate in your lab.

Cheers, Leah