Subject: taste: question about humpback whales (fwd)

Mike Williamson (
Thu, 22 Oct 1998 08:37:23 -0400 (EDT)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 21 Oct 1998 16:50:03 -0400
From: Greg Early <>
Subject: Re: question about humpback whales

At 12:45 PM 10/17/98 -0500, you wrote:
>How does it tast or does it not tast?

Taste and whales?...Having never tasted a whale a bad
joke.  No one knows for sure if large whales have a sense of taste.  We
know that they have no sense of smell.  (Try that sometime and see what it
would be like.  Try tasting some food while holding your nose.)  Smaller
relatives of large whales (bottlenosed dolphins) have been tested to see if
they can taste, and it looks like they can, but they can only taste certain
things.  One of the things they do not seem to be able to taste is sweet.
They can taste bitter,and salt.

Greg Early
Edgerton Research Laboratory				
New England Aquarium
Central Wharf
Boston, Mass 02110
617-973-5246 (phone)
617-723-6207 (FAX)