Subject: Whale questions

S. Jones (
Fri, 20 Nov 1998 10:44:47 -0800 (PST)

On Wed, 18 Nov 1998 wrote:

> Hi, 
> With my science teacher, Patty Klewans from Norfolk Academy in Virginia, I
> participated in the distance learning program asking Professor Williamson
> about saving whales and other mammals.  We didn't get to ask all of our
> questions in the chat room so i want to ask you one or two.  My first question
> is: What whale can stay underwater for the least amount of time?  My second
> question is a question for you or anyone that works in this program: Were you
> part of the filming of Free Willy? 
> i hope you can answer these questions.  
> Sincerely,
> Louise
Dear Louise,

The answers to your questions follow:
1.  All whales must come to the surface to breathe.  Different species of
whales have adapted to life underwater depending upon where their prey
are, how they communciate with other whales, and the distances they
travel.  A lot of information is not known about the diving patterns of
whales.  But, scientists do know that blue, fin and sperm whales stay down
for longer periods of time than, for example, the gray whale.  Also,
whales stay underwater for different periods of time during different
activities.  For example, a whale may stay down longer when it is feeding
than when it is travelling.  Out of the large whales, I would say the gray
whale stays underwater for the least amount of time.

2.  No, I was not involved in the filming of Free Willy, nor was anyone I

Hope this informaiton helps.