Subject: Humpback Whales

Kim Marshall (
Sat, 3 Jan 1998 13:40:40 -0500

Dear Amy, forgive me if this is the second time you recevied a response.
Humpback whales  the the curious acrobats that people see mostly from
boats.  They can reach 18-19 meters and have long, white flippers of arms.
Their scientific name (Megaptera novaeangliae) means big wing and New
England where we see them in great numbers off the coast of New England,

Humpbacks do not have teeth but rather fringes of long hairlike baleen that
strains small fish and plankton from the water.  They use low frequency
pulses to communicate and find their way around the ocean and they can
compose songs to remember things and find mates.  Their brain size is
larger than ours but I am not sure how big.

We can't measure their intelligence like we do our own but we can study
their behaviors and abilities like singing songs and jumping and how they
take care of their young for one year to better understand their
intelligence.  They also kknow how to feed in groups and share food which
could be considered a sign of intelligence.

Here are the anwers to your interview questions:  Good Luck!
>1.	Why do you think they are interesting? Because they are the largest
>creatures that ever lived on the earth and yet they are so gentle, curious
>and trusting of humans.  I beleive they are very intelligent.
>2.	How old were you when you saw your first whale? I was around 6 yrs
>old and I want to the aquarium .
>3.	What was your favorite sighting? Seeing a single right whale very
>close to shore one night and then waking up to see the same whale with a
>calf next to her in Patagonia, Argentina.
>4.	When did you first become interested in whales? I became interested
>when I was 6 and have always pursued a career w ith whales since this day.
>5.	What kind of job do you have working with whales? I am Director of
>Ocean Studies and my job includes studying whales from boats like right
>whales, humpback whales, sperm whales and dolphins, I also have to write
>papers and anwer many questions.
>6.	What kind of schooling did you need to get this job?  You need to
>take as many science courses as possible and work on degrees in biology
>and environmental sciences.
>I am a fifth grader at Cottonwood Point.  I am doing a project called the
>Great Brain.  We got to choose anything to do a report on.  I chose
>Humpback Whales. I am fascinated in whales, but I do not know much about
>them. If you could please send me some information I would be delighted.  I
>need this information as soon as possible.   I also need to do a interview
>with somebody who knows about this topic (of course that is you). So, could
>you please answer these questions?

Kim Marshall-Tilas                              (617) 259-0423
Whale Conservation Institute                   fax: 259-0288
191 Weston Road                                 website:
Lincoln, MA  01773		Are you a member of WCI yet?