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Reply #56: Sperm whales often float after death, since the blubber makes them buoyant [View All]

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petronius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-17-10 07:18 PM
Response to Reply #27
56. Sperm whales often float after death, since the blubber makes them buoyant
Other whales even more so - right whales are particularly buoyant and got their name because they were the 'right' whales to hunt due to the floating after being killed.

However, I think you're partly on the right track: whales that die of natural causes are more likely to be nutritionally-deprived and thus less buoyant, while a healthy whale killed by a ship-collision or a toxic environment would be more buoyant. However, the floating doesn't really imply anything about this particular whale's death.

Carcasses that do sink are major sources of deep-sea nutrients, and there are some awesome videos of bottom scavengers picking clean dead whales...
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