Subject: Beached whales

Dagmar Fertl (Dagmar_Fertl@mms.gov)
Tue, 17 Feb 1998 07:53:42 -0500

     
Sarah,

There are many reasons a whale might beach.  Sometimes it's because they're 
sick.  Heavy parasite infections in the brain have been noted for some standed 
whales, which might affect the sense of balance or sonar abilities of the whale.
 Many strandings are of animals damaged by boat propellers, drowned in nets, or 
new or recently born young that presumably wre ailing or had lost their mothers.

In the case of a mass stranding, it often is a species that travels in tight 
social groups.  Perhaps if the leader of the group strands, the whole group 
follows.

Navigation by sonar could be confused by shallow sandbanks, magnetic anomalies 
or unfamiliar topographic features.

There are many books on whales and dolphins that talk about why animals might 
strand.  I suggest you look in your local library.

Good luck with the paper!

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: beached whales
Author:  dlbrown@Morgan.EDU at ~smtp
Date:    2/13/98 1:11 PM


     I'm trying to research why whales beach themselves.  I have a
theory that whales follow instinctive migration routes and when the land 
masses changed over the centuries the whales just "ran aground".   I 
have to write a paper for my 7th grade science class and I'd appreciate 
it if you could help me.
    Where do whales beach themselves and why? Are there any other
theories like mine?  Where can I go for more information?
    Please respond, if you can to my mom's E-mail address :
jlang@morgan.edu.
     
    Thanks!
     
Sarah Lang
     
    P.S.  I have to find at least one reasearch by the end of this
month.