Subject: Re: Hurricanes effect on whaless and other marine life

Rui Prieto (rprieto@dop.uac.pt)
Fri, 18 Sep 1998 16:34:37 -0000

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Hello,

Sorry about the delay answering your question, but we had a problem in the
computer caused by a thunder storm and went off-line.

Now, about your question:


>   What effect do hurricanes have on whales and other marine animals ??
How
>do they weather the stormes ??   Do we know ??


God question, by the way...

The problem we face with hurricanes when in the sea is the wind and high
waves. But beneath the surface, the water becomes comparatively calm at
depths that depend on the size of the waves. So, if we have waves of 18 ft
in deep sea, the water will become calmer at a depth of more than 18 ft. On
the other hand, when under the surface, the wind stops to be a problem. As
you know, most marine mammals can stay considerable amounts of time
underwater, and dive at several feet, therefore avoiding the turbulence at
the surface. They only have to come to the surface from time to time and
breath, diving again to calmer depths.
Other question is if they mind rain or not. I know some people in an
oceanarium, who are sure that the dolphins there avoid the rain, staying
more time underwater, when it's raining hard. But some people I know in the
whale watching, assured me that the dolphins breach more often when it's
raining!! So, the conclusion I take from there, is that we actually don't
know that. Maybe each animal behaves differently... just like us!

Cheers,

Rui

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