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Under the Sea


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By Ngaire Somerville
Every year at April a Japanese fleet of ships
come into ports with hundreds of whale
carcasses ready to go to the supermarkets
for human consumption. This Has
happened every year for the last 15 years.
These whales are protected species. The
population of these whales has gone down
                    Why do they do it
                        to us?

• They do this whaling only for money. They
  don’t care about the scientific research.
  Each year they make US$10 million.
• The International Whaling Commission
  have tried and tried to get Japan to stop
  whaling but it hasn’t work and Japan’s
  whaling has increased since.
• There are many things that people can take
  from whales to sell and make money out of,
  such as whale meat, whale oil, whalebone, and
  ambergris (grey waxlike substance found in
  tropical seas and intestines of sperm whale. It’s
  used for perfumery).
• Being able to use and sell so much of the whale
  is what made the whaling industry grow.
• Japan can get away with whaling because they say
  they are doing scientific research. They say that
  whales may be declining in numbers because of
  the change of climate and pollution.
• From there research Japan has found out that the
  minke schools have the highest number ever and
  that they could hunt four times more whales.
• The IWC have also found out that the once
  estimate of 760,000 minke whales is no longer so
  and the current population could be less than half.
• Cetaceans are the mammals that live their whole
  life in the sea. They are the only mammal that
  lives their entire lives in the sea.
• Whales, dolphins and porpoises are all cetaceans.
• There are 75 different species of cetaceans.
• Cetaceans are not fish. They do not have gills.
  They breathe air through blow holes which are on
  top of their head. The air goes into their lungs just
  like humans and other mammals.
  There are three different kinds of whales.
• Archaeoceti: these are already extinct.
• Mysticeti: which are baleen (have no teeth). Some
  Mysticeti whales are the gray, right, rorqual,
  humpback and blue whales.
• Odonteceti: these whales have teeth. Some
  Odonteceti whales are the sperm, bottle-nosed,
  beaked, killer, beluga, and pilot whales.
• Instead of teeth baleen whales have a whalebone or a
  baleens, which is a dense fringe of blade-shaped, plates that
  hangs down from the roof of their mouth. Baleen whales
  eat plankton (organic life the human eye cannot see), small
  crustaceans and other tiny sea life.
• They eat by swimming with their mouth open or by gulping
  a whole heap of water. The baleen stops anything going
  down their rather small throat that shouldn’t ought to.
• They have 2 blowholes.
• The toothed whales have teeth that can slice
  through meat and a throat large enough to
  swallow large chunks of all different kinds
  of fish.
• They have only 1 blowhole.
• Some whales can be bigger than the largest
  dinosaurs. The biggest whale is the blue whale.
  It can grow up to 33.6m long (which is the
  height of a 9-story building) and weigh more
  than 163,000kg.
• Blue whales are baleen, they eat 4 tons of krill
• Blue whales have no predator except humans.
• The smallest whale is the dwarf sperm whale.
  It grows to 2.6m long.
• Every year many cetaceans, mostly baleen
  whale, travel long distances. They normally
  go in pods from cold feeding waters to
  warm breeding waters.
• The longest migration of any whale is the
  Gray whale. They travel for about 12,500
  miles every year.
                     • Cetaceans have very strong social ties.
                       The strongest is between the mother and
                       the calf.
                     • The social group is called a pod.

• Baleen whales travel alone or in small pods but
  toothed whales travel in big pods.
• The toothed whales hunt their pray in groups,
  travel together and help look after the calf’s.
• Whales are streamlined and most their hair
  falls out when they are adults because it would
  slow them down.
• The fastest whales are the Killer whale and the
  Shortfin Pilot. They can swim with speeds up
  to 30mph.
• To swim whales move their tale up and down.
  Fish move their tails left and right to swim.
• Killer Whales are social and live in groups of
  a few to about 50.
• They eat fish, cephalopods, penguins, and
  marine mammals such as seals, dolphins, and
  whales. They are made perfectly for hunting
  because of their build, teeth, and strong jaw
  muscles and its behaviour when hunting in
• They have been put in captivity and trained to
  do shows at the oceanaria.
• There is no record of a killer whale ever
  attacking and killing a human.
• Whales make two kinds of underwater
  sounds. The low-pitched signal such as
  barks, whistles, screams and moans
  which humans can hear are used for
  social communication.
• The clicks of high-intensity sound which
  humans are unable to hear are used for
  navigation and food sources.
• Whales use all the available aquatic
  habitats. Such as the oceans and the seas
  connected with them, as well as estuaries
  and rivers.
• They mostly live in the Antarctic Ocean
  because it has a lot of plankton and other
  marine life.
In the late 20th
century the IWC was
trying to save the
whales. It tried to
limit the sizes, kind,
location and seasons
of catches. In 1986
IWC tried to band
commercial whaling.
But this only had a
little success.
In 1994 the IWC
permanently band
whaling in the waters
of Antarctica.
• They are small, streamlined whales. They have a
  well-defined beaklike snout. Dolphins are recognised
  for their grace, intelligence, playfulness and
  friendliness to humans. The most well known species
  are the bottle-nosed dolphins. They live in warm seas.
• There are about 32 species of dolphins throughout the
  world’s oceans. Most are grey, blackish, or brown
  above and lighter below and most are about 1-4
  metres long.
• The biggest dolphin is the Grampus. The males get to
  9.5m long and weighs about 5000kg. The female is
  usually much smaller.
• Dolphins are social. They live in groups of a
  few to several hundred. Some species are
  attracted to moving ships and swim and leap
  along side them. The bottlenose dolphin has
  become a famous performer in the oceanaria.
• It is used in scientific research. They are
  interested in it’s intelligence, and it’s ability to
  communicate with a range of sounds.
• The platanistidae are the river dolphins.
  They are small mainly fresh water dolphins
  found in South America and Asia. They
  have long slender beaks and bad eye sight.
• The Stenidae also known as long-snouted
  dolphins have 8 species but very little is
  known about them. They live in tropical
  rivers and oceans.
• Dolphin and Porpoise hunting was done before
  whale hunting. People around the Mediterranean
  ate dolphins in the ancient times. They continued
  to eat dolphin until it was banned with the hope to
  keep the dolphins alive for biologic research.
• Dolphins are still hunted in large numbers by
  tropical islanders. People hunt freshwater
  dolphins in many of the world’s famous rivers.
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