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WHALE ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY Presented by Kim Sandor Marine Mammals Keystone College.

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Presentation on theme: "WHALE ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY Presented by Kim Sandor Marine Mammals Keystone College."— Presentation transcript:

1 WHALE ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY Presented by Kim Sandor Marine Mammals Keystone College

2 Average 50 feet in length Skull forms more than 1/3 of the length SKELETAL SYSTEM:


4 SPINAL COLUMN: Consists of 44 vertebrae  Cervical Vertebrae  Dorsal Vertebrae  Terminal Vertebrae Spinal Cord is triangular in shape

5 CHEST REGION & FINS (skeletal): Ribs – 11 to 13 per side – 1-6 are directly attached to the sternum Sternum Scapula Humerus Radius Ulna Carpus  7 square bones Phalanges  5 bones

6 TEETH: Average of 40-56 Each average about 3 in. long Cutting lengthwise reveals lines to estimate their age Used to catch & crush prey/not to cut

7 TEETH: Baleen whales have sieve-like structures called Baleen instead of teeth

8 JAW: Considered weak Only moves in one plain


10 Food directly to pharynx Esophagus Stomach  Mechanical  Chemical  Pyloric Duodenal Ampulla Pylorus

11 ORGANS: Liver Pancreas Anus Kidneys Many small kidneys Bladder

12 RESPIRATORY SYSTEM: Blowhole  Voluntary Nasal Cavity Sphincter Larynx Trachea Lungs

13 RESPIRATORY SYSTEM: Renews 80% of its air in one breath Oxygen reserves in the blood & muscles  Hemoglobin  Myoglobin Diving at great depths

14 CIRCULATORY SYSTEM: Warm blooded Veins/Arteries Also used to conserve body heat Abundant with red blood cells Increases amount of oxygen carried

15 HEART: Heart rate about 60bpm at the surface Heart rate about 30bpm when diving Large whales it is a lot slower: 10-30bpm After a lengthy time under water, the right half of the heart stops beating and restricts blood flow to the lungs to allow the left side of the heart to send the oxygenated blood to the brain

16 THERMOREGULATION: Thick layer of blubber just underneath the skin Insulation & energy reserve Body temp. about 97.5 F Blubber composed of fat cells & fibrous connective tissue about 3-4 in. thick Increased metabolic rate generates body heat When diving blood is shut off from the surface to decrease circulation to conserve body heat Warm water/Exercise may cause the need to release excess heat to the flippers, flukes, or fins Their reduced limb sizes and body shape help them conserve body heat because of the decreased amount of surface area exposed

17 MUSCULAR SYSTEM: Great amounts of myoglobin rich in oxygen Tail is main source of forward movement Dorsal Fin source for rolling or changing position in water Flukes are used for steering and to aid in stopping Main source for oxygen storage

18 SKIN: Epidermis Stratum granulosum Stratum lucidum Shed rapidly while swimming Mitotic division rate about 290X that of the human epidermis

19 SENSES: Sight Hearing/Echolocation Sends out a sound that echoes of the object to determine the distance, size, shape, texture, and speed of the object Send to the brain through the auditory nerve Smell Taste Touch vibrissae/stubble-like whiskers Magnetism

20 WORKS CITED: AARLUK. Killer Whales Breathing,Killer Whales Digestion, & Thermoregulation, retrieved 4/11/11, http://www.aarluk.com Beale, Thomas. The Natural History Of The Sperm Whale, retrieved 4/6/11, Killer Whale Biology, retrieved, 4/6/11, Retrieved 4/8/11 Retrieved 4/8/11 Whale Anatomy and Physiology. Whale Senses., retrieved 3/31/11. Killer Whale Biology., retrieved 3/31/11. Cetaceans. physiology.html, retrieved 3/31/11. physiology.html

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