Questions from the public
A selection of answers to your questions.
2018 / 07 / 06
Since Whales and Ungulates Share a Common Ancestor, Are the Former Able to Ruminate?
Whales are carnivores that feed on small shrimp-like crustaceans. Yet their digestive systems do not resemble those of carnivorous mammals. Surprisingly, their stomachs are most similar to those of co...
2018 / 07 / 03
Can Whales Be Deaf or Blind?
Sound travels much faster through water than through air. Whales have taken advantage of this phenomenon thanks to their highly developed hearing. This sense is critical for communication, feeding, sp...
2018 / 05 / 15
Would it be possible to fit more whales with location transmitters in order to prevent collisions?
If ships knew exactly where the whales were, could we reduce the number of collisions? A number of you have asked us this question. In light of the current state of technology, we would have to say th...
2018 / 03 / 30
How can a live stranded whale die of asphyxiation?
Ocean water exerts pressure that allows cetaceans to support their mass. Animals such as fin whales and humpback whales can weigh 40-50 tonnes and 25-35 tonnes, respectively. The blue whale – which ...
2018 / 01 / 18
Have Whales Ever Gotten Trapped by the Ice in the St. Lawrence Estuary?
To date, no such incident has ever been recorded within the boundaries of the St. Lawrence Estuary. The Estuary extends from Île d’Orléans, where the fresh water of the St. Lawrence River and ...
2017 / 11 / 24
Do whales use tools?
This week, a video was swirling around several social media in which a male dolphin could be seen bringing a sponge to a female. This curious behaviour has raised many questions not only amongst scien...
2017 / 11 / 03
How do we measure the length of a whale?
When we see a whale from shore, or even from a boat, it looks quite small. Even if it does not appear so big, a beluga can nevertheless measure up to 4.5 metres long! How can we go about calculating t...
2017 / 10 / 18
Are the pilot whales of the St. Lawrence the same as those in the Caribbean?
The differences between certain species are sometimes so imperceptible that they may be mistaken for one another. Pilot whales in particular resemble each other with a few key differences. Are the pi...
2017 / 10 / 06
At what age do female belugas stop having offspring?
Female belugas reach sexual maturity between the ages of 8 and 14 and can live between 60 and 80 years. When do they stop having young? Do they go through menopause? According to Robert Michaud, Scien...