Subject: whales swallow people whole?

Leah Gerber (
Tue, 24 Mar 1998 22:38:53 -0800

At 07:32 PM 3/21/98 EST, you wrote:
>My daughter asked what kind of whale could swallow a person whole.  This was
>in reference to her wooden Jonah and the whale puzzle.
>I told her I didn't think any whale would have a throat large enough to do
>something like that.  As I understand them, most whales eat plankton or
>The only one I thought might be the exception is the sperm whale.
>Thanks for your help.


The large whales, or baleen whales do not even have teeth! Instead, they
have baleen plates (similar to our fingernails) which are used to filter
small fish and invertebrates.  The toothed whales are generally much
smaller than the baleen whales and are not known to attack humans. Orca
whales do eat mammals such as seals, sea lions and seabirds but I do not
think they could swallow a person whole!

Cheers, Leah