Subject: STOMACHS

Al Romero (romero@macalester.edu)
Sat, 13 Feb 1999 07:32:46 -0600

At 11:53 PM 2/12/99 -0500, you wrote:
>HELLO!
>RECENTLY, IN REGARDS TO A QUESTION CONCERNING THE AMOUNT OF STOMACHS
>THAT A WHALE HAS, YOU INFORMED ME THAT A WHALE DOES NOT HAVE MORE THAN
>ONE STOMACH.  HOWEVER, I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF THEY ARE ABLE TO HOLD
>FOOD IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF IT OR IF LIVE FOOD CAN REMAIN INSIDE OF IT,
>WITH OXYGEN, FOR A PERIOD OF TIME WITHOUT BEING DIGEST.
>
>THANK YOU AGAIN

The little we know about whales' digestion indicate that they are not that
much different from many other mammals (with the exception of the
ruminants). As soon as the food gets into their stomach it starts to be
slowly digested in the stomach while the nutrients will be absorbed in the
small intestine.  Organisms that have been consumed live by whales will die
as soon as they are exposed to the stomach's digestive acids.

Best wishes,


Aldemaro Romero, Ph.D.
Director and Associate Professor
Environmental Studies Program
Macalester College
1600 Grand Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55105-1899
(651) 696-8157
(651) 696-6443 (fax)
romero@macalester.edu