Subject: whales in the rain

roman (jroman@GNV.IFAS.UFL.EDU)
Wed, 03 Mar 1999 10:12:26 +0100

>My son is trying to find out how whales breathe in heavy rains.  He
>wants to know if rain doesn't enter their blowhole and make it
>dificult.  Thanks for your response.  Bill Reusch

Dear Bill:

Heavy rain and accompanying heavy seas probably are tough on whales (I say
probably because such weather is also tough on researchers, so there isn't
much information out there on this).  In rainy weather, whales must breathe
in some moisture and raindrops from the air.  But to my knowledge, it's not
enough to interfere with their getting enough air at each surfacing.  And
with every exhalation, or "blow," whales probably get rid of some excess
water in their lungs.

Hope this helps.

Best,

Joe

Joseph Roman
University of Florida
Wildlife Ecology and Conservation
PO Box 12253
Gainesville, FL 32604
(352) 379-8096
jroman@ufl.edu