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Latest Cetacea Stories

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2007-12-19 13:40:00

WASHINGTON -- It sounds like a stretch, but a new study suggests that the missing evolutionary link between whales and land animals is an odd raccoon-sized animal that looks like a long-tailed deer without antlers. Or an overgrown long-legged rat. The creature is called Indohyus, and recently dug up fossils reveal some crucial evolutionary similarities between it and water-dwelling cetaceans, such as whales, dolphins and porpoises. For years, the hippo has been the leading candidate for the...

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2007-02-28 12:09:07

Acoustics data help researchers account for worldwide population distributions; Recording tags, tissue samples and sightings help define context for whale calls Using a variety of new approaches, scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego are forging a new understanding of the largest mammals on Earth. In one recently published study on blue whales, Scripps researchers used a combination of techniques to show for the first time that blue whale calls can be tied to...

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2006-12-13 08:40:00

BEIJING -- A rare, nearly blind white dolphin that survived for millions of years is effectively extinct, an international expedition declared Wednesday after ending a fruitless six-week search of its Yangtze River habitat. The baiji would be the first large aquatic mammal driven to extinction since hunting and overfishing killed off the Caribbean monk seal in the 1950s. For the baiji, the culprit was a degraded habitat - busy ship traffic, which confounds the sonar the dolphin uses to find...

2006-08-23 07:46:25

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Rescuers have partially disentangled a curtain of fishing net from the tail of a humpback whale in a waterway southeast of Juneau, officials said Tuesday. The gillnet is still wrapped around the whale's tail, however, the cetacean is not in imminent danger, said Sheela McLean, spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The crew followed the whale around Stephens Passage, southeast of Juneau, using a satellite tracking device and managed to...

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2006-02-25 10:19:50

HONOLULU -- Rain falling on the surface of the ocean can be heard more than a mile deep, and at some frequencies it's louder than passing ships, according to oceanographer Jeff Nystuen. Nystuen, of the Applied Physics Laboratory at the University of Washington, is one among scientists studying how sound travels through the ocean, to better understand how loud, man-made noises might affect marine creatures. "We don't really know what is too loud underwater, and we need to know what the...

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2006-02-10 06:25:00

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Sperm whales in the Gulf of Alaska are likely using the sounds of fishing boat engines as underwater dinner bells to hone in on longlines hung with valuable sablefish, scientists said. The engines make loud, erratic bubbling noises as fishermen maneuver their boats while winching up hundreds of bottom-dwelling sablefish. "That's the whales' cue," said Jan Straley, an assistant professor at the University of Alaska Southeast who since 2002 has helped lead an ongoing...

2006-02-03 11:10:00

JOHANNESBURG -- Ten dead Irrawaddy dolphins have been found in Cambodia's Mekong river, eight of them calves, pushing one of the rarest cetaceans nearer extinction, the environmental group WWF International said on Friday. The deaths mean a 10 percent drop in the number of Irrawaddy dolphins living in the Mekong, previously thought to be between 80 and 100. They are restricted to a 190km (115 mile) stretch of the river in the Cambodia/Laos border area. There are believed to be about 1,000 of...

2006-01-22 13:23:42

LONDON -- A marine mammal expert conducted a necropsy Sunday on the whale that wandered into the River Thames, hoping to determine what caused the 20-foot-long animal to veer off course and splash through central London before dying during Saturday's rescue attempt. The Zoological Society of London said it hoped preliminary results on what killed the Northern bottlenose whale would be available Wednesday. Paul Jepson, who has conducted government-funded research into why dolphins and...

2005-11-24 04:48:02

Please read in first paragraph ... oceans are a new factor among many threatening ... instead of ... are threatening ... A corrected story follows: By Nita Bhalla NAIROBI (Reuters) - Naval maneuvers and submarine sonars in oceans are a new factor among many threatening dolphins, whales and porpoises that depend on sound to survive, the United Nations and marine experts said on Wednesday. A U.N. Environment Program (UNEP) report included underwater sonar and military maneuvers as...

2005-11-24 04:50:00

By Nita Bhalla NAIROBI (Reuters) - Naval maneuvers and submarine sonars in oceans are a new factor among many threatening dolphins, whales and porpoises that depend on sound to survive, the United Nations and marine experts said on Wednesday. A U.N. Environment Program (UNEP) report included underwater sonar and military maneuvers as the smallest factor on a list of major threats to some 71 types of small marine mammals, known as cetaceans, at risk. "While we know about other threats such as...


Latest Cetacea Reference Libraries

Cetology
2013-10-02 11:21:29

Cetology is a branch of marine mammal science that studies about eighty species of dolphins, whales, and porpoise, all of which are classified within the Cetacea order. Cetologists, who practice cetology, work to understand the distribution, development, behavior, and other aspects of cetaceans. The study of cetaceans began in the Classical era. About 2,300 years ago, Aristotle documented details about some cetacean species, calling them mammals, while traveling on the Aegean Sea with...

Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin, Tursiops aduncus
2013-09-19 11:24:25

The Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) is one of three recognized species of bottlenose dolphin that can be found in the waters near southern Australia, South China, and India. Its range also includes the Red Sea and the eastern coastal areas of Africa. All bottlenose dolphins were classified as one species, the common bottlenose dolphin or T. truncates, until 1998 when the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin was found to be distinct. This species is distinct from other bottlenose...

Dall’s Porpoise, Phocoenoides dalliz
2013-08-29 10:15:35

Dall’s porpoise (Phocoenoides dalliz) can only be found in the North Pacific, with a range that includes the Sea of Japan and the Okhotsk and Bering Seas. This range extends to southern California in the east and to the southern waters of Japan in the west. When normal weather patterns change and waters become colder, this species can be found in in Baja, California, specifically in Scammon's Lagoon, and strays can occasionally be found in the Chukchi Sea. It prefers to reside in cold...

Blainville's Beaked Whale, Mesoplodon densirostris
2013-08-17 13:31:16

Blainville’s beaked whale (Mesoplodon densirostris), also known as the dense-beaked whale, can be found in a large range that includes the warm and tropical waters of all oceans. It prefers to reside at depths between 1,600 and 3,000 feet and does not migrate. This species received its common name from Blainville, the man who classified it as Delphinus densirostris after studying a description of a piece of one individual’s nose located in the Paris Museum. In 1846, John Edward Gray...

Hourglass Dolphin, Lagenorhynchus cruciger
2013-08-16 10:45:47

The hourglass dolphin (Lagenorhynchus cruciger) is a rare species that can be found in Antarctic and subAntarctic waters. Most sightings of this species have been made in the southern waters near the Shetland Islands, off the coast of Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, and in the southern waters near New Zealand. It is thought that this dolphin does not congregate in large numbers in any area of its circumpolar range. Qouy and Galmard first recognized the hourglass dolphin as a new species in...

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Word of the Day
malpais
  • The ragged surface of a lava-flow.
'Malpais' translates from Spanish as 'bad land.'