Thursday, April 16, 2009

Delicate whale skin

When you think of large mammals you would normally think of elephants and rhinos. As land mammals their skin is rather tough and thick. Now think about whales. Their skin has to be smooth to help them slide through the water.

Whales are victims of whale lice that live on their skin. Their bodies also are host to barnacles that attach themselves to the whales. A mystery in my mind is "how do barnacles catch a swimming whale?"

How do whales rid themselves of their unwanted guests? They can't use skin care products like Willy's lice remover and barnacle cream. What they will do is swim into the mouths of large rivers where the water is less salty. The salinity of the water will often kill or dislodge those parasites.

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