Do colds cause blocked blowholes for whales?

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Shee Hong

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Do colds cause blocked blowholes for whales?
« on: 16/10/2011 07:30:03 »
Shee Hong  asked the Naked Scientists:
Thanks Chris,
Anyways, I have another question. Do whales get cold? what happened if they have a blocked nose? will they drown?
It's a funny one, but hope you can answer them.

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 16/10/2011 07:30:03 by _system »


Offline Airthumbs

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Do colds cause blocked blowholes for whales?
« Reply #1 on: 16/10/2011 09:44:42 »
From what I understand of this a Whales blowhole is essentially its nostril that has migrated to the position it now holds.  To make the assumption that this is the only place a Whale can breathe through is down to a little misunderstanding.

As Whales are mammals they probably do suffer from colds and their immune system might respond in the same way to ours causing there nose to become blocked.  All this would do is force the animal to breathe through its mouth.

Of course the best people to ask on this would be the Japanese as they slaughter thousands of Whales each year in the name of scientific research! I don't know of any other animal that is used for scientific research and then sold to the food industry, but we all know what the game is here don't we Japan!!
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (Einstein)