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Monday, June 10, 2013

6-10-13 What Is the Body Temperature of a Killer Whale?

Monday, June 10th
...a few days ago, when returning to the harbor after watching the whales, Capt. Spencer (owner of Legacy Charters) driving the Peregrine for Capt. Jim of Maya's Westside Charters...spotted an overturned kayak!
...yikes!...two men in the water, one guide in her kayak and one other kayak with two people in it...
...Capt. Spencer leaped into action - everyone cleared the deck, he got the boat into position, communicated all along with the kayak guide, the emergency frequency, and the passengers on our boat...Spencer had our two male passengers position themselves to lift the two men out of the water as they appeared to be beyond ability to get out on their own... 
...a link to the story posted on San Juan Islander

...water temperature at this time of year is approximately 49 degrees...

...I looked up cold water survival and here's one site that had some interesting information that I would not have expected to find...
...the other passengers got the men out of their life jackets, etc., got them wrapped up in blankets and 'hugged' them the whole way back to the harbor...
...the paramedics met us at the dock, did their thing and eventually the two rescued men were able to walk off the boat...they said next time they'd go on a boat to see whales - their spirits and humor were back :)

Heat loss in water is 27 to 32 times faster than in air (number varies according to source)

...the next day a friend asked me, "what is the body temperature of a killer whale."...good question...
...after doing some searching on-line, the most information I could find came from Killer Whales: Adaptations for an Aquatic Environment by SeaWorld. ...scroll down to the section listed as Thermoregulation...
-a few of many interesting facts:
...the body temperature of a killer whale is very close to that of a human...I wouldn't have thought that.
...compare the bullet like shape of a killer whale to the shape of a human, it's the extremities...you know how your hands and feet can get cold when the rest of you isn't?...well, killer whales don't have that issue...
...there are many other factors as well - their thick blubber layer, intervals of their breathing and more...very interesting...you can read more on the link above and possibly by doing an on-line search...

1 comment:

Robyn said...

Interesting stuff, Jeanne. Thanks, you have made me curious for more. I'll be checking out the link.