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Interesting things about cetaceans

 
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Lilly
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Joined: 19 Jan 2005
Posts: 784
Location: God's land

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 3:01 am    Post subject: Interesting things about cetaceans Reply with quote

Do whales and dolphins sleep?
Source: http://science.howstuffworks.com/question643.htm


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"Whales and dolphins are mammals, so in a lot of ways, they are just like human beings. Among other things, they have similar bone structure, are warm-blooded and give birth to "live young." The biggest differences between these animals and human beings are related to our respective environments. Whales and dolphins have a unique respiratory system that lets them spend long periods of time (sometimes 30 minutes or longer) underwater, without taking in any oxygen.
On land, human beings and other mammals breathe involuntarily: If we don't make a decision to breathe or not to breathe, our body will take in air automatically. Because of their undersea environment, whales and dolphins must be conscious breathers: They have to actively decide when to breathe. Consequently, in order to breathe, they have to be conscious. This presents a problem, since mammalian brains need to enter an unconscious state from time to time in order to function correctly (see How Sleep Works to find out why this might be).

There's plenty of time for a dolphin to catch a catnap between trips to the ocean surface, of course, but this isn't a viable option. When you're a conscious breather, it's just not feasible to be completely unconscious -- what if you don't wake up in time? The solution for whales and dolphins is to let one half of the brain sleep at a time. In this way, the animal is never completely unconscious, but it still gets the rest it needs.

Scientists have studied this phenomenon in dolphins, using electroencephalography. In this process, electrodes hooked up to the head measure electricity levels in the brain. The resulting electroencephalograms (EEGs) of dolphin brains demonstrate that in the sleep cycle, half of the dolphin's brain does indeed "shut down" while the other half is still active. Researchers have observed that dolphins are in this state for approximately eight hours a day.

We can't really know what this rest state feels like, but we can make a good guess. It is probably something like the semi-conscious state we experience as we begin to fall asleep. We're pretty close to unconsciousness, but are aware enough of our surroundings to wake up completely if we need to.

And where do dolphins and whales sleep? They could probably sleep anywhere, but it makes sense that they would do it near the surface of the ocean so they can come up for air easily. It's not uncommon to see dolphins "logging," swimming slowly along the surface, with very little movement. Presumably, these are dolphins at rest. "
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Last edited by Lilly on Sat Nov 11, 2006 6:46 am; edited 2 times in total
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Lilly
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Joined: 19 Jan 2005
Posts: 784
Location: God's land

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

- -
Photo courtesy Iain Kerr, Ocean Alliance


This southern right whale is actually snoring!!!

Click here to listen in!

Source: http://science.howstuffworks.com/whale2.htm
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alicia
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Joined: 02 Feb 2006
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Location: San Diego, California

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 3:30 am    Post subject: A Whale story to warm your hearts. Reply with quote

from Dr. Stephen Blake website
http://www.thepetwhisperer.com/whales.html

A Whale Story to Warm Your Hearts



If you read the front page story of the SF Chronicle Thursday, 15 Dec 2005 -- you read about a mature, female humpback whale who had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines. She was weighted down by many hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle ceaselessly just to stay afloat. She had hundreds of yards of line (rope) wrapped around her body - her tail, her torso, and a hefty nylon line tugging in her mouth. A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farralone Islands (outside the Golden Gate) and radioed an environmental group for help. Within a few hours the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off that the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her - a very dangerous proposition -- as a single slap of the tail could kill a few rescuers. They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her. When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles. She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushing them gently around. Some of the divers say it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives. The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth says her eye was following him the whole time, and that he will never be the same.

www.wylandfoundation.org
Wyland Foundation. Dr. Blake is a big admirer of Wyland and his work. He is one of the best friends the seaworld kingdom has on this planet. Helping his work helps all living things on the planet earth.

www.savethewhales.org
Save the Whales Foundation is a wonderful organization that needs all the help it can get to promote its work to preserve one of man's biggest friends, the whale.

http://www.webdirectory.com/Wildlife/Whales/ Amazing Environmental Organization WebDirectory! is the result of a group of hard working people dedicated to helping others keep in touch and informed on the World Wide Web. With thousands of sites, it is the largest exclusively environmental organization directory on the Web and includes sites from over 100 countries

http://www.pacificwhale.org/index.html Our mission at Pacific Whale Foundation is to inspire and promote appreciation, understanding and protection of whales, dolphins, coral reefs and our planet's oceans. We accomplish this through public environmental education, by supporting and conducting responsible marine research, and by addressing marine conservation issues through activism and education. To save whales from extinction -- that was the dream of Greg Kaufman, the founder of Pacific Whale Foundation.

http://www.thepetwhisperer.com/whales.html
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alicia
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Location: San Diego, California

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 4:58 am    Post subject: Whales, The Ambassadors of Peace. Reply with quote

from Dr. Stephen Blake website
http://www.thepetwhisperer.com/whales.html

Whales, The Ambassadors of Peace





Dr. Blake in Baja Mexico with his new Friend Louie, the Gray Whale

It was while I was in Baja observing these magnificent beings that I got the idea to refer to my new friends as, "The Ambassadors of Peace." The fact that they are so friendly to people, after centuries of being murdered by people, made me feel they are here to teach us about caring for each other instead of killing each other. I was humbled by their generosity in sharing their lives with us and allowing us to be close to them.


The whales have inhabited the Earth for millions of years and are here to teach us about how to live in harmony with our planet and our fellow beings. On my trip to Baja Mexico I learned a great deal about the Gray Whales and then began to study the other species of whales that are just as amazing as their brothers and sister the Gray Whales.

There are 10 species of Mystieti or baleen whales and 65 species of Odontoceti or toothed whales. All of these mammals are exceptionally intelligent and are great teachers about life and living.

The sound you heard when you opened my site (click here to hear it again) is that of the singing of the Humpback Whale. It is the sound that is most often associated with whales. Their songs are magificient and extremely complicated, some times lasting over and hour in length. A great deal of research has gone into trying to understand the complexity and meaning of these beautiful songs. You cannot help but be touched by the feeling of love in their voices and know that they have feelings for each other and for living. It is their song that I wish to share with you and have you all experience the peace that they can bring us all.

Touching the whales was a magical experience I will never forget and will return again and again to replenish my inner feelings of contentment when in their world. Giants who have inhabited this planet for millions of years, larger than any diansaour and as gentle a being as you will encounter. Their survival is essential for our survival. Without them we are ships without rudders, wandering aimlessly on the sea of time.

The message I was given by these bahemathes of Peace was to walk gently on the earth, control our numbers and do not worry about time. These are but three of their vurtues and lessons the human species must learn or perish. Living as a communittee as the whales have done for millenia, is what all animals wish us to learn and most importantly apply in our daily lives.



I have listed the following websites as sites to learn more about the plight of the whales and what each and every one of can do to preserve them for generations to come. Each and every one of us makes a difference on this planet and the power of one is limitless."The person who says it cannot be done should not be interrupted by the person doing it. "

http://www.thepetwhisperer.com/whales.html
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