Questions from the public
A selection of answers to your questions.
2019 / 07 / 11
What is ambergris?
Sperm whales are known and have been hunted for their production of ambergris, a substance of great value that has historically been used notably in the perfume industry. It is estimated that ambergri...
2019 / 07 / 05
Do humpback whales have friends?
Since arriving in the Marine Park area, Tic Tac Toe has been observed multiple times with another female nicknamed Snowball. At the end of last summer, it was with Gaspar that Tic Tac Toe spent all he...
2019 / 05 / 16
Do whales suffer from sunburn?
Unlike other mammals, whales do not have hair to protect their skin. Even if they spend little time at the surface, can whales get sunburn? Mechanism of sunburn Sunburn is caused by ultraviolet (UV) r...
2019 / 05 / 03
Are whales’ bones adapted to their diving?
Several species of whales have traits that are well suited to their diving behaviour. For example, the relatively small size of their lungs relative to their body allows them to carry less air when th...
2019 / 04 / 12
What is a laryngeal sac?
The laryngeal sac is a structure found in baleen whales, but also in many other mammals, including primates (but not humans!). Lying between the mouth and the trachea, it is a cavity associated with t...
2019 / 03 / 15
A diver caught in a whale’s mouth?
While feeding at the surface, a Bryde’s whale accidentally snatched up a diver, who found himself, from the waist up, inside the whale’s mouth! At the time of the events, the diver was working...
2019 / 02 / 06
Do whales have baby teeth?
Humans have two generations of teeth: deciduous teeth (from the Latin “to fall”) – also called “baby teeth” – and permanent teeth. Known as diphyodontia, this phenomenon is...
2019 / 02 / 06
How do they determine the age of whales?
Estimating the age of marine mammals is more complex than one might think. Few reliable techniques exist to determine the age of whales, at least in the case of living specimens. Yet it is an essentia...
2019 / 01 / 23
Which whale species has the largest testicles?
North Atlantic right whales have the largest testicles in the animal kingdom. They can exceed 900 kg, which corresponds to about 2% of the animal’s total weight. Harbour porpoises have nothing to be...
2019 / 01 / 17
How do calves manage to follow their mothers?
After birth, a calf remains with its mother at a minimum for the duration of nursing, which varies from a few months to a few years, depending on the species. Since calves only drink breast milk early...