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Latest Marine mammals Stories

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2008-03-13 07:00:00

Britain's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) believes a device it developed to guide warships through mine fields may also have applications in reducing the estimated 300,000 small whales and dolphins caught in fishing nets each year. Although originally designed to mark underwater locations such as channels that have been cleared of explosives, developers of the new believe a smaller version could be fitted to fishing nets to reduce numbers of cetaceans (whales, dolphins and...

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2008-03-07 06:15:00

A white killer whale was spotted last month for the first time in Alaska since 2001. The whale, sighted by scientists aboard the Oscar Dyson, was in Alaska's Aleutian Islands. Holly Fearnbach, a research biologist with the National Marine Mammal Laboratory in Seattle, photographed the almost mythic whale. She claimed that although she had heard of the whale, she had never seen one. "It was quite neat to find it."When the whale appeared, the Oscar Dyson's crew was conducting an acoustic survey...

2008-02-16 14:24:50

Hunted to near extinction, sea otters are making a steady comeback along the Pacific coast. Their reintroduction, however, is expected to reduce the numbers of several key species of commercially valuable shellfish dramatically, such as sea urchins and geoducks. Despite of this potential conflict, Kai Chan, an NSERC-funded researcher at the University of British Columbia, believes there is a way to ensure Canadian First Nations fishers can benefit from the otters' presence. "Efforts to...

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2008-01-25 15:42:59

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Service released its final recovery plan for Puget Sound's killer whales today, saying the plan to help restore the population of the region's iconic marine mammals to healthy levels will be a long-term effort requiring community support. The Puget Sound killer whale population was listed for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act in late 2005, and the agency's recovery plan is a requirement of that...

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2008-01-14 18:24:38

SANTA CRUZ, CA -- Ecologists have long observed that when food becomes scarce, animal populations exploit a wider range of food sources. So scientists studying southern sea otters at different sites in California's coastal waters were not surprised to find that the dietary diversity of the population is higher where food is limited. But this diversity was not reflected in the diets of individual sea otters, which instead showed dietary specialization in response to limited food. The new...

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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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2007-12-14 18:50:00

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- In what some scientists see as another alarming consequence of global warming, thousands of Pacific walruses above the Arctic Circle were killed in stampedes earlier this year after the disappearance of sea ice caused them to crowd onto the shoreline in extraordinary numbers. The deaths took place during the late summer and fall on the Russian side of the Bering Strait, which separates Alaska from Russia. "It was a pretty sobering year - tough on walruses," said Joel...

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2007-11-07 12:15:00

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Endangered humpback and fin whales swam hundreds of miles north of their usual habitat this summer in what environmentalists say is another sign of the effects of global warming and the shifting Arctic ecosystem. Humpbacks were spotted over the summer in the Beaufort Sea east of Barrow, the northernmost community in the United States, and last year in the Chukchi Sea, west of the Beaufort and north of the Bering Strait, said Robin Cacy, a spokeswoman for the federal...

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2007-08-29 11:53:54

BEIJING - A white dolphin native to China's Yangtze River that scientists declared extinct last year has possibly been spotted swimming in the wild, offering a small shred of hope for its revival, a researcher said Wednesday. Wang Ding, a researcher with the Institute of Hydrobiology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said a man saw and shot a video of what appears to be a baiji or white flag dolphin in central China's Anhui province on Aug. 19. The white flag dolphin survived for...

2007-06-15 23:34:05

LOS ANGELES -- Four dead dolphins have washed ashore with fatal bullet wounds and fifth with lacerations on its pectoral fin, said authorities who have offered a reward for information on the slayings. The long-beaked common dolphins were all discovered between Carlsbad State Beach and Oceanside Harbor between May 29 and June 5. Photos showed their normally sleek gray skin mottled and stained with blood from the bullet wounds. "It's a horrendous thing that happened," said Mark Oswell,...


Latest Marine mammals Reference Libraries

Marine Otter, Lontra feline
2012-12-28 15:09:41

The marine otter (Lontra feline) is a member of the weasel family, and can be found in South America. It prefers a habitat in rocky coastal areas, with a range that includes the entire coastline of Chile and extends to southern Peru and Argentina. It has been found on the Falkland Islands, but individuals here do not represent a constant population. Unlike other species of otter, the marine otter chooses to live near waters with high winds and swells. It may use caves and crevices as dens,...

Crabeater Seal, Lobodon carcinophagus
2012-06-26 14:40:11

The crabeater seal (Lobodon carcinophagus) is a true seal that can be found around the whole of Antarctica. Its range also includes small areas in South America, New Zealand, Africa, and Australia. It resides on the pack ice zone for the entire year, even as it shifts seasonally, and prefers to stay in the continental shelf area in water with a depth of less than 1,968 feet. Because the populations are so wide spread and are sufficiently mixed, there have been no subspecies found. Because...

Mediterranean Monk Seal, Monachus monachus
2012-06-23 10:50:34

The Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) is a rare pinniped, or “fin-footed mammal” that can be found in areas of the Mediterranean Sea, as well as in the Atlantic waters of the Tropic of Cancer. Not much is known about the chosen land habitats of this seal, but until the 20th century, it could be seen relaxing or pup rearing on open beaches. It now dwells in underwater caves and caverns in order to escape human actions including tourism and expansion. The Mediterranean monk...

Profilicollis
2014-01-05 00:00:00

Profilicollis is a genus of acanthocephalan parasites that are found in crustaceans and shorebirds. Profilicollis parasites use decapod crustaceans as intermediate hosts and species of shorebirds as definitive hosts. The parasite first develops in mole crabs of North and South America. After it infects a mole crab, it becomes dormant until the crab is eaten by a suitable bird, such as a Surf scoter or Herring Gull. Once the parasite has passed through the stomach of the bird, it develops...

Chinese White Dolphin, Sousa chinensis chinensis (known as rare pink dolphins)
2012-05-25 11:45:30

The Chinese white dolphin, otherwise known as the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin, is a species of humpback dolphin that can be found in the waters of Southeast Asia. When breeding, they will travel to the waters around South Africa to Australia.  There are currently two recognized subspecies of the Chinese white dolphin. The coloring of the Chinese white dolphin can vary due to age and location. When born, calves are actually black, but will change to grey, then pink with white spotting,...

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Word of the Day
call-note
  • The call or cry of a bird or other animal to its mate or its young.
'Call-note' is newer than 'bird-call,' which originally referred to 'an instrument for imitating the note of birds' but now also refers to 'the song or cry of a bird.'
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