Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Whale info
Name: Albert Y Kim
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 


Question:
I am a 5th grader and 11 years old. I would like to find anything about whales especially on humpbacks. My class is doing a newspaper on whales and we need info.



Replies:
There are more than 82 different kinds of whales that we know of. Humpback whales are special for many different reasons. The following are some of the special features of the Humpbacks:

* their pectoral flippers are about 1/3 of their body length, no other whale has pects this long, so they're easy to identify!

* humpbacks, like many other whales, catch their food with long baleen,, that hangs from the roof of their mouth, but they are special because humpbacks cooperate when hunting, some will hunt together in a line and lunge through a school of small fish , krill or shrimp, making sure that they get the whole school. Others, together or alone, will circle UNDERNEATH a school of prey, letting out bubbles as they swim, which float up forming a "BUBBLENET" around the prey. This scares the animals into a smaller, dense school, and then the whale simply swims through with with its big mouth open, swallowing the entire school at once! Because humpbacks hunt in several different ways, and because they cooperate when they hunt, we think they are probably very intelligent.

* humpbacks make some of the longest and (to humans) most beautiful songs of all the whales. (All whales make their sounds in their blowholes - they don't have vocal cords like we do)

Tom F Ihde



Click here to return to the Biology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory