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Transcript of Blue Whale
Zack Edwards, Matthew Kehn, Shania Khoo
Geologic Time Scale
The current species of the blue whale is in the Phanerozoic Eon, Cenozoic Era, Quaternary Period, Holocene Epoch.
The earliest ancestors of blue whale originated in Phanerozoic Eon, Cenozoic Era, Tertiary Period, Eocene Epoch.
The present day species appeared approximately 40 million years ago.
The blue whale is found in all major oceans of the world, but the largest concentration is off the central California coast (approx. 2000). Significant feeding places include the Gulf of the Gulf of Farallones and Cordell Bank.
Blue whales are found along the edges of continental shelves and ice fronts, in cold and temperate waters. They prefer deeper ocean water to coastal waters.
Blue whales tend to feed in cool waters at high latitudes (krill-rich environments), and breed in warmer temperate and tropical waters.
Characteristics of the Blue Whale
Tropic Level: third (tertiary consumers)
Almost always a predator, although humans hunted blue whales for their oil, blubber, baleen, and meat during the 19th and 20th centuries, killing approximately 200,000.
This marine mammal is a consumer. Its primary food source is krill, of which it can eat 4-8 tons per day. Blue whales feed exclusively on these tiny crustaceans, making them carnivores.
Community Status: Blue whales usually travel as pairs or in groups of three, but pods of up to 60 have been reported.
Geologic Events during the Eocene Epoch
Early: The early Eocene Epoch was a state of global warming, with the highest annual mean temperatures of the Cenozoic era. Forests thrived and trees grew even in polar regions.
Middle: The Eocene became cooler and drier. Continental plates shifted into positions more similar to today's, such as India pushing up into the Eurasian continent and the Australia separating from Antarctica.
End: Due to the shift of continental plates, there was a new ocean circulation, which resulted a greater variability and seasonality.
Genetic (Biologic) Changes
Blue Whale. Digital image. Designeranimals2011.wikispaces.com. Wikispace Classroom, 2011. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. <http://designeranimals2011.wikispaces.com/file/view/blue-whale-pictures_3.jpg/238922483/480x360/blue-whale-pictures_3.jpg>.
Blue Whale. Digital image. Namepajr.net/. North American Marine Environment Protection Association, 2013. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. <http://www.namepajr.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/blue-whale.jpg>.
Blue Whale. Digital image. Wegeographers.files.wordpress.com/. Wordpress, 2013. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. <http://wegeographers.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/whale.jpg>.
Blue Whale. Digital image. Whales.findoutnow.org. Find Out Now, 2001. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. <http://whales.findoutnow.org/images/blue%20whale.jpg>.
"Deerlike Mammal Was Whale Ancestor?" National Geographic. National Geographic Society, n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. <http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/12/photogalleries/whale-pictures/images/primary/1_461.jpg>
"Evolutionary Treasures Locked in the Teeth of Early Whales | Science Blogs | WIRED." Wired.com. Conde Nast Digital, 01 Oct. 2011. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. <http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/wiredscience/2011/10/New-Mexico-and-California-2011-929-660x443.jpg>
"Evidences for Evolution, Part 2b: The Whales' Tale." BioLogos.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2014. <http://biologos.org/uploads/static-content/Figure_1.png>
"Evidences for Evolution, Part 2b: The Whales' Tale." BioLogos.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2014. <http://biologos.org/uploads/static-content/Figure_2.png>
Krill. Digital image. Krillfacts.org. Krill Facts, n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2014. <http://www.krillfacts.org/img/krill.jpg>.
Reed, Tim. Map showing the boundary of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary and adjacent sanctuaries. Digital image. Sanctuarysimon.org. Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network, n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. <http://sanctuarysimon.org/farallones/images/build/gf_overview_map.jpg>.\
Uhen, Mark. Cetacean Evolution. Digital image. Pbs.org. Public Broadcasting Station, 2012. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. <http://www-tc.pbs.org/wnet/nature/files/2012/02/CetaceanEvolution-2.png>.
Whales Migrate in Autumn. Digital image. Scholastic.com. Scholastic, Nov.-Dec. 1999. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. <http://teacher.scholastic.com/lessonrepro/reproducibles/images/whales.gif>.
In approximately 5-12 million years, the ancestors of the blue whale developed:
A Larger Brain
Adaptations the blue whale underwent in order to survive:
Bodies streamlined for efficient movement
Forelimbs modified into flippers (aid in steering)
Hind legs disappeared almost completely
Tail broadened horizontally to propel them through the water
Developed blubber in place of fat for buoyancy and insulation
Position of nostrils shifted to the top of their head, creating a blowhole
Blue whales still possess many of the same physiological systems (i.e. respiratory, circulatory, digestive, nervous) as their ancestors.
Evolution and adaptations of the blue whale is the result of "adaptive radiation." Adaptive radiation allow mammals as a group to effectively inhabit land, sea, or air through developments of adaptations needed to survive.
The evolution of whales was not triggered by geologic events, but by their food source. The blue whale's ancestors began feeding in the water and became more adapted to aquatic conditions over time.
"Blue Whale." Marinemammalcenter.org. The Marine Mammal Center. n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2014. <http://www.marinemammalcenter.org/education/marine-mammal-information/cetaceans/blue-whale.html>
"Blue Whale." Wwf.panda.org.World Wide Fund for Nature. n.d. Web. 09 Apr. 2014.<http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/endangered_species/cetaceans/about/blue_whale/>
"Blue Whales, Balaenoptera Musculus." MarineBio.org. Marine Bio. n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2014.<http://marinebio.org/species.asp?id=41>
"Deerlike Mammal Was Whale Ancestor?" National Geographic. National Geographic Society, n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. <http://news.nationalgeographic.co m/news/2007/12/photogalleries/whale-pictures/>
"EDGE :: Mammal Species Information." EDGE of Existence. EDGE. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. <http://www.edgeofexistence.org/mammals/species_info.php?id=88>
The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. "Eocene Epoch (geochronology)." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. "Eocene." Princeton University. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/189322/Eocene-Epoch>
"Evidences for Evolution, Part 2b: The Whales' Tale." BioLogos.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2014. <http://biologos.org/blog/evidences-for-evolution-part-2b-the-whales-tale>
"Evolutionary Treasures Locked in the Teeth of Early Whales | Science Blogs | WIRED." Wired.com. Conde Nast Digital, 01 Oct. 2011. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. <http://www.wired.com/2011/10/evolutionary-treasures-locked-in-the-teeth-of-early-whales/>
"Ocean Giants." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2014. <http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/ocean-giants/going-aquatic-cetacean-evolution/7577/>
"Whales, Antarctica Food Chains and Food Webs." Cool Antarctica. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Apr.2014. <http://www.coolantarctica.com/Antarctica%20fact%20file/wildlife/whales/food%20web.htm>