Subject: Blue whale excrement (fwd)

Mike Williamson (
Thu, 8 Oct 1998 21:29:37 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: Re: Blue whale excrement

Dear Bob,
     Blue Whale excrement is generally soft, small, mushy, "stinky" and
looks like an orange-red dye marker (atleast in the Gulf of St. Lawrence,
Quebec, Canada) in the water as it mostly liquid.  It breaks up and sinks,
but we have been fortunate enough to gather some "scat" in the Gulf of St.
Lawrence to assist us in determining the prey comsumed by blue whales.
It is only a hazard to your "nose", if you know what I mean.

Thanks for your question.

Frederick Wenzel
Research Administrator

On Fri, 2 Oct 1998, Bob Luedeka wrote:

> Following up on the previous query, do you an idea of the size and
> weight of such floating waste? Does it present a hazard to small craft?
> (We assumed it would sink.)
> Thanks,
> Bob Luedeka
> San Diego
> > Feces of whales will contain undigested materials like fish eyes, squid
> > beaks - depending on the diet of the particular species.  From my
> > experience, the feces can float for a while and then sink while dissolving
> > in the water.
> > Martine
> >
> > At 09.33 PM 14-05-1998 EDT, you wrote:
> > >This may sound like a strange question, but my friend and I are having a
> > >debate about whether whale excrement (BM - #2) floats.  My friend claims that
> > >since it is made up of so much fat, it in fact does float and that birds eat
> > >it.  Could you help us out?  Thank you very much.
> > >
> > >
> > Martine Berube
> >