Subject: Stunted growth/concentric circles

Jennifer D. Philips (
Sun, 01 Nov 1998 17:49:13 -1000

>Dear Jen,
>      I would like to know if whales could have a stunted growth.  I am in
>6th grade and this is a homework assignment for my science class.  I
really am
>interested in this answer.  I once went on a whale watch myself and the
>who was on there with us said that you could tell if the whale was there
>because you could see the concentric circles.   Please write back. I am
>interestded in the answer.
>                                          thank you,
>                                         Alexandra ( Alex)

Alex - 

I'm afraid I'm not quite sure what your question is!  I think you are
asking if the growth of whales could ever be stunted while they are growing
up.  Meaning, similar to what could happen in humans, might there be adult
whales much smaller than they should normally be.  Well, I would guess that
definitely yes, the development of whales could be stunted at some point,
either before or after birth.  I don't know of any definite sightings of
whales with stunted growth, but that does not mean it doesn't exist.  

If this was not your questions, please email me again and clarify!  

You're guide was right, whales do leave that marking when they dive
underwater.  Often its called a footprint, an area of flat, smooth water
where the pressure of the whales body swimming away has caused unusual
currents in the water.  

Write again anytime!

Jen Philips

Jennifer D. Philips

Marine Mammal Research Program
HIMB, University of Hawaii at Manoa
PO Box 1106			
Kailua, HI  96734
voice:  (808) 247-5063
fax: (808) 247-5831