Subject: Class Questions

Kim Marshall (kim@whale.org)
Thu, 2 Nov 1933 18:11:07 -0400

Question:>Dear Kim,
>
>We are fifth graders in Mrs. Shirley's science class (Group A) at
>Dedham Country Day School in Dedham, MA.  Today is our first day of
>school.
>
>We have the following questions: (ANSWERS IN CAPITAL LETTERS)
>
>>From Molly and Rebekah:  How many different species of whales are
>there?  Why do whales have three stomachs?
THERE ARE APPROXIMATELY 78 SPECIES OF WHALES AND DOLPHINS AND PORPOISES
(SMALL WHALES).  THEY HAVE THREE STOMACHS TO HELP THEM DIGEST THEIR FOOD,
THE ALSO ARE DISTANT RELATIVES OF COWS AND COWS ALSO HAVE THREE STOMACHS.>

>>From Ariana and Danielle: What is the most common species of whales?
>What kind of whale has lived the longest?  What type of college did you
>go to to learn about whales?
THE MOST COMMON SPECIES OF WHALE ARE THE DOLPHINS - AN EXAMPLE WOULD BE THE
COMMON DOLPHIN THAT CAN BE SEEN IN LARGE GROUPS OF A THOUSAND OR MORE
DOLPHINS.  THE LARGER BALEEN WHALES LIVE THE LONGEST, IT IS BELIEVED THAT
THEY CAN LIVE 60 OR MORE YEARS BUT RECENT STUDIES MAY PROVE THAT THEY MAY
LIVE WELL PAST 100 YEARS OLD.  I STUDIED BIOLOGY AT REGIS COLLEGE IN
WESTON, MASS.
>
>>From Alicia and Caroline: Some whales have growths on their heads.
>What are they?RIGHT WHALES HAVE CALLOSITES OR HARDENED PATCHES OF SKIN ON
>THEIR HEADS AND THESE MARKINGS ACTUALLY ARE UNIQUE TO EACH WHALE MAKING IT
>POSSIBLE TO INDIVIDUALLY NAME THEM.  ON TOP OF THE BUMPS LIVES LICE THAT
>GET TO EAT THE SKIN.
>
>>From Alex and Amar: How long do humpbacks live?IT IS BELIEVED THAT THEY
>>LIVE AROUND 60 YEARS OR MORE.  SCIENTISTS CAN TELL THE AGE BY THE RINGS
>>OR LAYERS THAT GROW IN THE EAR PLUGS OF THESE WHALES, WHICH CAN BE
>>STUDIED WHEN A WHALES DIES AND THE EAR SECTION CAN BE CUT OUT FOR
>>EXAMINATION.
>
>>From Carlos and Andrew:  What is the most well know whale?  How many
>different species of whales are there?  PLEASE READ THE ABOVE ANSWERS FOR
>YOUR ANSWERS.
>
THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR QUESTIONS - PLEASE TAKE CARE OF THE
ENVIRONMENT BY CONTINUING TO LEARN AS MUCH AS YOU CAN!  KIM


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