Subject: whale extinction

Dr. Cathy Schaeff (
Tue, 24 Nov 1998 23:28:47 +0000 wrote:
> Dear Dr. Schaeff,
> What do you think would be the ultimate result on  the ocean ecosystem with
> a
> total extinction of the whale population?
> Also, what species depend on the whale's presence for survival?
> Thank you for your time,
> Kelly

Hi Kelly,

If cetaceans (whales and dolphins) were removed it would affect many
other species.  Toothed whales are in the upper portions of the food
webs and baleens are fairly close to the bottom but are the top
carnivore.  The large whales don't have many predators because of their
size but they have competitors for prey.  The smaller whales have some
predators and again would have competitors for prey. 

If you need more info, try searching the ask database:

good luck.
Cathy Schaeff, Ph.D.
Biology Department,
American University,
4400 Mass. Ave. NW,
Washington DC 20016.

(202) 885-2175 (phone)
(202) 885-2182 (fax) (email)