Subject: Re: SIZE

Kim Marshall (kim@whale.org)
Mon, 7 Sep 1998 11:53:03 -0400

Question:
>I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW THE SIZE OF THE SPECIFIC PARTS OF THE WHALE SUCH AS THE
>DORSAL FIN, FLANK, PECTORAL FIN, BODY ETC.  IT COULD BE THE SIMPLE RANGE IN
>SIZE.  IT DOESN'T NECESSARILY HAVE TO BE A SPECIFIC TYPE OF WHALE.  I'M
>LOOKING FOR GENERAL INFORMATION.

Reply:
To answer you question on anatomical size of whale body parts I will use
the humbpack whale which is a baleen (toothess) whale that reaches 40-55
feet in length at maturity.  The dorsal fin is located about 2/3 of the
body length from the nose or snout.  This dorsal fin varies in size and
shape on each animals and grows from a fatty pad lying atop the most
acutely curved portion of its back, the profile of pad and dorsal fin it
what makes the effect of the bowin back or hump look when the whales dive.

The humpback whale has long slender flippers and can reach over 14 feet in
length - in comparison they are much longer and thinner than the right
whales paddle shaped flippers.  Their scientific name "Megaptera
novaeangliae means large winged New Englander" .  These flippers act as
cooling planes to lose heat making it possible for humpbacks to keep cool
in waters too warm for other species of whales.

For examples of other animals I suggest searching WhaleNet's reference
pages at http://whale.wheelock.edu/whalenet-stuff/ed_resources.html#biblio
or to learn how to do a more complete search via WhaleNet try
http://whale.wheelock.edu/howtofind.html .

Thank you.  Kim

Kim Marshall-Tilas                                   (781) 259-0423
Whale Conservation Institute                          fax: 259-0288
191 Weston Road                      website: http://www.whale.org/
Lincoln, MA  01773
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