Subject: whales vs. fish

Bete Jones (
Mon, 22 Nov 1999 11:08:10 -0800

>Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999 11:07:40 -0800
>To: <>
>From: Bete Jones <>
>Subject: whales vs. fish
>In-Reply-To: <>
>At 01:10 AM 11/19/99 EST, you wrote:
>>Dear Bete,
>>Could you help my nephew with some info re: individual and shared 
>>characteristics of whales and fish?  He's in 5th grade and in very
>>in marine life.  
>>Specifically, we know whales breathe through nostrils, but do they have 
>>lungs?  We know fish breathe through gills, but do they have lungs?  
>>What about tail fins for whales and fish?
>>Do some fish lay eggs, while others have live births? 
>>Are all fish cold-blooded and all whales warm-blooded?
>>We'd appreciate the answers to these questions and any additional info you 
>>could send our way.
>>Much thanks,
>>Patrick and Dana
>Dear Patrick and Dana,
>Here are the answers to your questions:
>1.  Whales actually breathe through structures called blowholes and they
do have lungs, as all mammals do.  Most species of fish do not have lungs,
although some species of freshwater fish do.
>2.  Whales have a tail fin structure called a fluke which is used for
propulsion.  Fish have a caudal fin that appears in a variety of shapes,
sizes, and kinds.  Swimming habits may be deduced to some extent from the
caudal fin.  For example, fish that have a crescent shaped caudal fin are
often the speediest of fish, capable of rapid, sustained motion.
>3.  Most fish lay eggs.
>4.  Yes, all fish are cold-blooded (exotherms) and all whales are
warm-blooded (endotherms)
>Hope this information helps you.