not sure why this whale has its mouth open! But the picture lets us
see something special.
- Look closely
at its mouth by clicking on the small picture, below. Describe what
you see. What does it remind you of? (A comb? A curtain?) It's called
a baleen. Here's how it works:
- When a
gray whale feeds at the bottom, it opens its mouth and gulps in mud,
water, and sea creatures. During the summer, an adult in the Arctic
can gulp a ton of food every day!
it partly closes its mouth and pushes the water and mud out through
its baleen. The food stays trapped inside.
- The whale
collects the food with its tongue (it has no teeth) and swallows it
— sort of like scraping peanut butter off the roof of your mouth!
for a larger picture of the whale's baleen.