Pygmy Right Whales
Episode:101Te Papa Collection:Natural Environment
Suggested curriculum levels:3 – 7
Description:Half the world's species of whales come to play around New Zealand's coast. Sadly, some get stranded and never leave, but there's a silver lining for scientists. The remains of stranded whales give them clues about the private life of the ocean's heavyweights.
Questions for students
- Why does Te Papa collect dead whales?
- How did scientists work together to find out more about pygmy right whales? What does this tell you about the nature of science?
- What special feature of the whale's ribs has surprised scientists? What are pangolins and armadillos? How might they be similar to a pygmy right whale?
- List the features of whales that are mentioned in the Tale. Which features are specific to the pygmy right whale?
- Select another kind of whale to research. Use the 'Comparisons' response template to compare the pygmy right whale with another whale.