FAQ

What kind of whale does Dario meet?
Dario’s friend is a North Atlantic right whale.

Have you ever seen a whale?

I have! In fact, I have seen a bunch. I’ve seen them from a beach or close up on a whale watch. I’ve seen their plumes or sprays as they breath through their blowholes, and their fins and tails. But my most amazing whale sighting occurred early in the morning one April when I took my dog, Chief, for a walk on Race Point beach in Provincetown. As we walked along the sand, a juvenile right whale breached, meaning he raised his head above water to breath. He was so close-only fifteen feet away, and skimming for his breakfast-swimming along the surface with his mouth open. When I saw the whale, my mouth fell open. When Chief saw the whale, he barked. The whale raised his head even farther out of the water to see who or what was making all the fuss. For a moment, we three stayed completely still, connecting. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life, and it’s where I got the idea for the story of Dario and his friend, the whale.

What are some of your favorite facts about whales?

I think the most important fact about whales is that they are endangered. A long time ago, people all over the world used to hunt whales. Because of this, the whale population fell to dangerously low levels. To help the population rebound (a fancy word for: to get back to the level it used to be), many countries banned hunting or hurting whales. The best way to help whales today is to conserve and protect their habitat, so that someday, they can enjoy the ocean freely again.

Some awesome facts about whales are:

  • The biggest whale, the blue whale, is also the biggest animal on earth. The biggest blue whale ever recorded was over 30 meters long!
  • Blue whales are not only the biggest animal, they are also the loudest! Their calls are 60 decibels louder than what is considered dangerous for human ears.
  • Male whales are substantially smaller than female whales and tend to have much shorter life spans.
  • Even though whales live in the ocean, they are actually mammals. They take in huge breaths when they come up to the surface and then can remain underwater for over an hour.
  • Baleen whales, unlike toothed whales, don’t chew their foods. Where their teeth would be are thousands and thousands of thin string-like membranes, called their baleen, that let them filter food from the water around them.

To learn more about whales and how to help them, check out these awesome sites:

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/right-whale/
http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/whales/north-atlantic-right-whale.html
http://www.defenders.org/north-atlantic-right-whale/basic-facts
http://www.listenforwhales.org/page.aspx?pid=451
http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/endangered_species/cetaceans/about/right_whales/north_atlantic_right_whale/
http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/whales/species/Rightwhale.shtml
http://www.softschools.com/facts/animals/right_whale_facts/960/

Like with all sites, check with an adult before visiting any of these links!

My advice for young writers?

Write, write, write, and share, share, share. Write anything. Write often. Write funny. Write sad. Write happy.The only way to get good, or great, at anything is to do it, a lot. So if you want to be a good, write! And then share your stories with your parents, families and friends. And me! I’d love to hear your stories.

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