Label: Whales

April 24, 2012


Scientists studying Orcas in the seas off eastern Russia have spotted an all-white killer whale, and have named him "Iceberg." 

Baby white orcas have been spotted in the past, including in Iceberg’s pod, but no one has ever seen one that grew to adulthood. Iceberg was photographed while he was swimming with 12 members of his pod off Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula.

"In many ways, Iceberg is a symbol of all that is pure, wild and extraordinarily exciting about what is out there in the ocean waiting to be discovered," said Erich Hoyt, co-director of the Far East Russia Orca Project. "The challenge is to keep the ocean healthy so that such surprises are always possible."


Photo: E. Lazareva/FEROP via AFP 


Posted by: Seymour Simon

(13) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, Oceans, Cool Photo, Conservation, Exploration, Marine Life, whales   •  Permalink (link to this article)

March 5, 2012

I am going to visit a school in Menands, NY later this week, and in preparation for my visit, Ms. Sposito and her first grade class have been reading my books. What a nice surprise to find the lovely photographs and notes that they have been uploading today!

Abbi and Sabrina wrote: We loved your KILLER WHALES book Seymour Simon. We liked the part about the blowhole.  The picture of the pod looks like a group of whales huddling together to have a meeting. How did you get the photo under the water?


Toby and Varun are fans of AMAZING BATS: We like how you added all the facts about the different kinds of bats. How do you know this much about the gigantic flying fox?


Leilah and Mady learned some surprising things from BABY ANIMALS: We loved your Baby Animals book. We were amazed when we read that a humpback whale is 12 feet long at birth.  We were also surprised to find out that baby garter snakes don’t live with their mothers. 



Alicia, Roshni and Brody wrote: We read your book AMAZING BATS. We loved it! There were some parts we really liked. We thought it was disgusting but cool when we read that the ghost bat eats rats. We wondered, does the little brown bat’s stomach hurt when it eats 600 bugs an hour? We think it is silly to sleep upside down!



LaTrell and E-Sonne wrote: We loved your book KILLER WHALES. Whales are cool because they swim really fast and are so huge! We learned that killer whales eat fish. 



Jayden, Lyam and Alyssa liked the same book: We think the Killer Whale book was amazing! We did not know that whales can breathe on top of the water. We think it is cool that whales use flippers to steer and turn. How did you make the book? 


Alexa and Reem wrote: Hi Seymour Simon. We are glad that you are coming this week because we love your Seymour Simon books! We love to read your BABY ANIMALS book. We liked learning about ducklings. We hope you make more books. See you on Thursday. 



Aditi, Shafe, Alexis and Kamellia like BABY ANIMALS, also. They asked: How do you know so much about baby animals? We are so amazed by your books! We want people to read your books. We found out that baby animals are surviving all over the world. They are living things. Have a nice trip coming all the way to Menands. 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(8) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, Animal Books, School Visits, Kids Write, whales, SeeMore Readers   •  Permalink (link to this article)

July 20, 2011

If you’ve ever seen pictures of whales, chances are you’ve seen a sperm whaleThese great creatures of the oceans have massive heads (that are typically one-third of the animal’s entire length!) and are known to have the largest brain of any animal on Earth. (That doesn’t mean, however, that they could beat you on a math test. Just because they have larger brains, it doesn’t mean that they are more intelligent than humans (but we’ll talk about that in another post)). 


Like most animals, sperm whales have found a way to communicate with each other. They do so through a series of "clicks" and in fact, these sounds are the loudest sounds produced by any animal. Whales can hear them even when they are miles apart. Recently a bunch of marine biologists (scientists that study animals and other organisms of the ocean) suggested that each sperm whale communicates in a very unique way. Since the communication is so unique, the scientists think that these clicks are a way of identifying each whale - much like the way your name identifies you!


The marine biologists analyzed the sounds and found that there are differences in the timing of these clicks. This is what they think sets one whale apart from the other. It makes sense that the whales should be able to figure out who’s "speaking" without actually seeing them - especially because there are times when the water in the ocean can get quite murky and hard to see through! As exciting as this discovery is, the scientists need to study many more sperm whales to confirm that these creatures each have a unique way of communicating.


Now that you’ve got sperm whales on the brain, I thought I’d leave you with my favorite whale cartoon: The Whale Who Sang at the Met. (It’s   a You-Tube video about a sperm whale who just loves to sing…) Enjoy!


whales jacketWant to know more about whales in general? Check out Seymour Simon’s book here.



Image: NOAA 


Posted by: Liz Nealon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: science news, Animals, Oceans, whales   •  Permalink (link to this article)