Subject: Blue whale defense mechanisms

Mike Williamson (
Sat, 20 Sep 1997 2:22:29 GMT+1200

Dear Bill, 

You asked what kind of defense mechanisms a blue whale has.

Well, when faced with a fast catcher boat armed with a harpoon gun, not many, 
and humans are this animal's main threat in the ocean. In the early days of
pelagic whaling the whale may have stood a chance, by ramming the small 
wooden whaling boats or outrunning them, but against modern technology....

Killer whales and sharks may also attack blue whales especially if they are 
weak and sick, and really the only way for it to escape would be to outswim
its predators.  A few tailslaps could discourage those who follow closely,
but over all these animals are gentle giants.

Hope that answers your question


Ms. Merel Dalebout
Ecology & Evolution Research Group
Thomas Building, Level 1
School of Biological Sciences
University of Auckland
Private Bag 92-019
Wellesley Street
Auckland, N.Z.
Ph:09-373-7599 ext. 4588
Fax: 09-373-7417