Subject: Whales, Dolphins, Seals, and Whale strandings

Jen Philips (jphilips@soest.hawaii.edu)
Tue, 9 Dec 1997 17:27:21 -1000 (HST)

On Tue, 9 Dec 1997, Sue Shirley wrote:

> Jen, 
> 
> These questions are from my fifth grade science students. 
> 
> >From Natalie, Maddy and Kaitlinn: How thick are the ribs of a whale?
> 
> >From Sam and Toby: How many strandings have you been to?
> 
> >From Bobby and Justin: How do you feel after you save a stranded whale?
> 
> >From Mike M. and Sean: Do whales lose molecules when they get
> sunburned?  How many molecules in a humpback whale?  What's it like
> saving a stranded whale?
> 
> >From Melissa and Nina: How long have humans been studying dolphins?
> 
> >From Eric Adam and Rob : What do seals sound like?
> 
> >From Torie and Liz : Is it scary when you go and see them beach?
> 
> >From Kaitlan, Maddy, and Natalie: What is the best way to realease a
> whale?
> 

Natalie, Maddy and Kaitlinn: How thick are the ribs of a whale? - good
questions, and I have to say that I don't know for sure!  But I used to
work at a lab that had a large skeleton of a blue whale on display.  I
remember the ribs of that whale were about 4 inches wide each.  Pretty
big!

Sam and Toby: How many strandings have you been to? - Lets see, I've been
to about  15 strandings with dolphins and 2 stranding with whales.

Bobby and Justin: How do you feel after you save a stranded whale? -
I've been able to save many stranded dolphins, but unfortunatley we could
not save the whales.  You feel very happy, like you have accomplished
something very special, when you save a dolphin or a whale.  They come to
the shore when they are sick, and if we can help them and send them back
to sea, that is quite an accomplishment.

Mike M. and Sean: Do whales lose molecules when they get
> sunburned?  How many molecules in a humpback whale?  What's it like
> saving a stranded whale?  The same thing that happens to you also
happens to whales when they get sunburned.  Their skin gets red, injured,
and peels.  I'm not sure how many molecules they loose, but whales are
less protected from the sun than we are.  Since they spend most of their
time under water, they are protected from the direct sunlight, and so when
they strand, they are much much more in danger from the sun.  

Melissa and Nina: How long have humans been studying dolphins? -  People
have been studying dolphins for at least 100 years, and going further
back, there were those who were naturalists.  They discovered animals
around the world, gave them names and began studying their natural
behavior.  Even Aristotle (you know, the greek philosopher), was
interested in animals.  

Eric Adam and Rob : What do seals sound like? - Some sea lions make sounds
like barking dogs, and others makes growls, grunts, snorts, or gurggles.
You can probably do a search on the web for seal sounds and find pages
where you can hear the sounds that seal make.  

Torie and Liz : Is it scary when you go and see them beach?  Always.  I do
not like to see an animal suffer.  But what makes me happy is the
knowledge that we are there to help them.

Kaitlan, Maddy, and Natalie: What is the best way to realease a
> whale? - I have never been able to release a whale, but I have been
involved in a release of a dolphin after it had stranded.  This dolphin,
named Bob by those of us who took care of him, was taken out in a boat
into the ocean, until we found a pod of dolphins of the same species as
him.  Then we just put him in the water, and hoped that he would find his
way.  That's really the best way to do it.  


Aloha from Hawaii!
Jen Philips
_________________________________________________________________________

Jennifer D. Philips				jphilips@soest.hawaii.edu

Marine Mammal Research Program - HIMB		(808) 236-4001
University of Hawaii, Manoa          
Honolulu, HI  96822	      "First, there were some amoebas. Deviant
			       amoebas adapted better to the environment,
			       thus becoming monkeys..."       - S.Adams
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