|Released: September 8, 2008|
Welcome to the VFK Merfolk Enchantment Epic Quest, Day 2!
This is the second day of your epic quest for merfolk enchantment!
One of the largest creatures in the ocean is the whale. Whales have been around for over 50 million years, and their sheer size has inspired awe and fear and much speculation about their habits and lives. On this second day of our epic quest, we will explore some of the facts and mystery behind the great whales of the sea!
Your reward for completing the second stage of this Epic Quest will be 1,000 credits and your second Merfolk Pin, the Whale Pin!
|1000 Credits||Released: May 22, 2008|
|MerFolk - Humpback Whale Pin||Quest Prize||Quest for Merfolk Enchantment Day 2||Released: September 8, 2008|
1. Whales are air breathing mammals that inhabit the oceans of the world. The Blue Whale is the largest mammal that has ever lived and is currently the largest living animal in the world. What is the scientific name for whales?
- Chelonia mydas
2. A whale's body type is known as "fusiform" and is a streamlined fish-like shape. It has forelimbs that are paddle shaped flippers, and a tail that has what are known as "flukes" , which are similar to fins. They move their flukes up and down for propulsion, rather than side to side like a fish. Go to the inside of the Sheriff's office in Wild West and say "Do you know where I would go to find some whales?"
3. There are two main forms of whales: Baleen whales and Toothed whales. The baleen whales feed on plankton which they filter from the water using a sieve type of structure made from keratin in their upper jaw. Even though baleen whales feed on some of the smallest prey in the ocean, they are the largest of the whales. Like their name says, the toothed whales have teeth and eat fish and squid. The toothed whales have the ability to sense their environment using a process that involves sound, what is the name of this sensing ability?
- Echo Navigation
- Neural Sensing
- Range Sonar
4. The echolocation used by toothed whales is similar to the biological sonar used by other animals such as bats and shrews, as well as dolphins. Animal sonar works differently than man-made sonar devices, which use a narrow beam of sound. Instead, the animal makes a specific series of sounds and then listens for any echos. The difference in time and loudness of the echo between the animals two ears is what it uses to locate the position of the object returning the echoes. Go to the front of the Sydney Opera House and say "There is a lot of echo out here."
5. Whales breathe air through what are known as "blowholes", which are located on the top of their heads. The Baleen whales have two blowholes, and the toothed whales have only one blowhole. They can stay underwater for long periods of time due to the design of their respiratory system. The whales must rise to the surface, exhale their breath and then inhale before submerging again. They exhale with such force, that their breath causes a spout. The shape of the spout varies by whale species. In the case of some whales, they can hold their breath for a very long time. How long can a Sperm Whale hold its breath?
- For over 5 minutes
- For at least 10 minutes
- Almost an hour
- As long as two hours
6. Because whales live under the ocean, yet breathe air, they are conscious breathers. This means that they have to choose to breathe. So what do they do when they sleep? Since they need to be conscious to breathe, they cannot fall completely asleep. It is theorized that whales may only have one hemisphere of their brain go to sleep at a time. This assures that their brain gets the sleep it needs, yet the whale never loses consciousness. Go to the Main Crossroads outside your back yard, and say "Breathe in and breathe out.."
7. Whales, dolphins and porpoises all belong to the order "Cetacea" but they belong to different families. What well known cetacean which everyone thinks of as a whale is actually a member of the dolphin family?
- Right Whale
- Beluga whale
- Orca (killer whale)
- North Pacific Bottlenose Whale
8. Because of the Orca's size and its name, it is easily mistaken for a whale instead of a dolphin. Another dolphin which is also easily mistaken for a whale is the Pilot Whale. The Pilot Whale exhibits a type of behavior where it rests at the surface for about 15 minutes at a time. It has this resting phase usually in the morning after a night of foraging. A whole herd of Pilot Whales may gather together showing little activity and resembling a raft or a line of whales in the water. Just their blowhole will be exposed and their dorsal fin. Go to the waterfall room of the Audubon's Wildlife Adventure game and say "Are there any whales in here?"
9. Biologists can estimate the age of certain whales by studying changes in the levels of an amino acid found in the eye lens and teeth called "aspartic acid". The scientists say they can tell a whale's age by the amount of acid, which increases in quantity over the years. Their studies have revealed the age of whales quite accurately. The estimated age of a Bowhead whale discovered in 2007 was determined by a harpoon tip embedded in its shoulder, which closely matched the age that scientists were able to estimate based on "aspartic acid". What was the estimated age of this whale?
- 130 years
- 80 years
- 50 years
- 100 years
10. The "Balaena mysticetus" or Bowhead whales which live in the cold northern waters of the Atlantic and Arctic oceans and have been found to live up to 211 years old. A study of 48 Bowhead whales revealed that one of the whales had lived to an exceedingly ripe old age of 211 years old. Allowing for errors, the whale could have lived anywhere from 177 to 245 years old. Very old points from harpoons have been found in whales which date back over a century to Victorian times. These whales can reach a size of 60 feet long and weigh 120,000 pounds. The oldest blue whale on record is 110 years old and the oldest fin whale is 114 years old. The oldest elephant that was ever recorded was 78 years old and the oldest human being with a birth certificate was 122. Go to Stonehenge and say "I wonder how old these stones are?"
2. Go to the inside of the U.S. Marshalls in Wild West and say "Do you know where I would go to find some whales?"
4. Go to the front of the Sydney Opera House and say "There is a lot of echo out here."
5. As long as two hours
6. Go to the Main Crossroads outside your back yard, and say "Breathe in and breathe out.."
7. Orca (killer whale)
8. Go to the Tranquil Waterfall room of the Audubon's Wildlife Adventure game and say "Are there any whales in here?"
9. 130 years
10. Go to Stonehenge and say "I wonder how old these stones are?"