Subject: Food habitat of whales

Jennifer D. Philips (jphilips@soest.hawaii.edu)
Fri, 01 May 1998 10:01:14 -1000

Shun Hayashi - 

The food habitat of whales should be a good topic for a project.  Baleen
whales, also called the great whales (which includes all whales with baleen
instead of teeth, such as humpbacks, fins, blues, grays, minkes, etc.) are
well known for the long migrations they take every year.  They spend the
winters in warmer waters near tropical regions, and they spend the summers
in colder waters feeding.  They are prompted to move around like this by
the rich source of food available to them in the colder water regions.  But
not all of the whale species are so good at maintaining this schedule every
year.  Some, like the sei whales or the right whales, either do not migrate
between such extremes or they just do not migrate every year.  But
regardless, the food habitat of most whales is located nearer the polar
waters of the earth.  During the summers at the poles, the numbers of fish
and krill explodes, and the area becomes very rich with 'diversity'. Baleen
whales feed by filtering tiny fish and krill through their baleen, so these
areas offer the best swarms of food for them to feed on.   The Antarctic
Ocean, for example, becomes very populated with animals of all shapes and
sizes coming there to feed during the summer.  Other 'whales', such as
sperm whales and killer whales, will be found there too. 

I hope this is the information you hoped for.  Write back if you need more
help.  

Aloha!

Jen


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Jennifer D. Philips		
jphilips@soest.hawaii.edu

Marine Mammal Research Program
HIMB, University of Hawaii at Manoa
PO Box 1106			
Kailua, HI  96734
voice:  (808) 247-5063
fax: (808) 247-5831
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