Science Questions

Sat, 9th Oct 2004

Part of the show Spinal Injuries, and Brain Repair

Question

asked:

How do whales hunt and eat prey without swallowing gallons of water?

Answer

They filter the water. If you've ever seen a baleen whale, they have a big floppy sack under their jaw, called a baleen, which works like a giant tea strainer. The whale takes a mouthful of water and then squirts it out again through the baleen, trapping all the plankton they want to eat in there so they swallow just plankton and not mouthfuls of water.

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