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Latest Megafauna Stories

Humpback Whales Learn Hunting Techniques From Each Other
2013-04-26 08:03:57

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online New research, led by the University of St. Andrews, has found humpback whales are able to pass on hunting techniques to each other, just as humans do. A new feeding technique has spread to 40 percent of a humpback whale population, the team discovered. Their findings have been published in a recent issue of Science. After herring stocks — their preferred food — crashed in the 1980s, a community of humpback whales off...

1972 Law Has Done Well To Protect Sea Mammals In US Waters
2013-04-12 13:41:54

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online In October 1972, Congress passed the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), a landmark law that enacted a moratorium on the import, export, and financial transaction of any marine mammal or their parts within the United States. To mark the 40th anniversary of its passage, a team of American biologists has published an analysis of the law´s effectiveness in the latest edition of the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS)....

Food Scavengers: Great White Sharks Don't Just Kill For Food
2013-04-11 06:34:37

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Great whites have long been known as cold-blooded killers and man-eaters. But new research shows that these sharks actually scavenge whale carcasses for food from time to time. A team wrote in the journal PLoS ONE about how they documented as many as 40 different sharks scavenging on a carcass over the course of a single day. The study summarized observations based on four scavenging events over a 10-year period. During each...

Detailing The Evolution Of Echolocation In River Dolphins
2013-04-05 13:51:23

Alan McStravick for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A new study by researchers from researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) and Aarhus University in Denmark is focusing on one of the most endangered animal species currently known: the river dolphin. The Ganges river dolphin, after having diverged from other toothed whale species some 30 million years ago, is thought to be one of the oldest species of aquatic animals to employ the technique of echolocation, or...

Ice Age Was No Match For The Dwarf Baleen Whale
2013-04-05 05:29:28

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online According to new research published in the journal Naturwissenschaften, the dwarf baleen whale lived well into the Ice Age. Researchers from New Zealand's University of Otago found that the fossil of a dwarf baleen whale from Northern California, or Herpetocetus, is thought to be the last survivor of the primitive baleen whale family, dating just 700,000 years old. Otago Department of Geology PhD student Robert Boessenecker said the...

Chimps May Be Able To ‘Think About Thinking’
2013-04-04 07:50:22

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Metacognition, or the ability to think about thinking, is not an ability solely limited to humans according to a new study. Scientists at Georgia State University and the University of Buffalo recently revealed that chimpanzees, humans' closest relatives, also appear to have the ability. The study, published in the journal Psychological Science, is the work of Michael J. Beran and Bonnie M. Perdue of the Georgia State Language...

Vervet Monkeys Use A Little Patience When Solving Social Dilemmas
2013-03-28 16:21:47

Cell Press People could learn a lot from vervet monkeys. When vervets need to work together, they don't tell each other what to do or punish uncooperative behavior. But according to evidence reported on March 28 in the Cell Press journal Current Biology, they do get by, with a little patience. "The vervets show us that tolerance towards group members and patience while others are learning how they can improve things individually can go a long way in solving coordination problems," said...

Risk To Endangered Whales From Ship Traffic Off Southern California Analyzed In New Study
2013-03-26 13:12:04

Southwest Fisheries Science Center: NOAA Researchers have identified areas off southern California with high numbers of whales and assessed their risk from potentially deadly collisions with commercial ship traffic in a study released today in the scientific journal Conservation Biology. Scientists from NOAA Fisheries, the Marine Mammal Commission and Cascadia Research Collective analyzed data collected over seven years by NOAA on marine mammal and ecosystem research surveys in the...

Giant Squid, One Global Population
2013-03-21 05:59:05

[ Watch the Video: Giant Squid All One Big Happy Family ] Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online An international team of researchers say they have discovered that the giant squid's DNA stretches across the globe, meaning the ocean beasts intermingle and mate throughout the world. The team wrote in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B that no matter where the elusive animals are found, they are so closely related at the genetic level that they represent a...


Latest Megafauna 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...

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...

North Atlantic Right Whale, Eubalaena glacialis
2013-08-26 11:17:56

The North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis), also known as the black right whale or the northern right whale, is one of three right whales in the Eubalaena genus. It can be found in a small population of about 396 individuals in the western North Atlantic. If it does occur in the eastern North Atlantic, experts assert that it only numbers in the tens, making it nearly extinct in that area. This species migrates into the western North Atlantic to feed in the spring, summer, and fall...

Con Rit
2013-08-26 07:37:45

The con rit is a mythical creature of the oceans around southeast Asia, mainly off the coast of Vietnam. It is considered to be a type of sea serpent but with a strange appearance. Vietnamese folklore considers the con rit as a water dragon. In Vietnamese, the word con rit translates to millipede. Resembling a giant millipede, it is said to be about 50 feet long with jointed and armored segments, each being two to three feet in length with a pair of legs attached. The coloration of this...

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...

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Word of the Day
lambent
  • Licking.
  • Hence Running along or over a surface, as if in the act of licking; flowing over or along; lapping or bathing; softly bright; gleaming.
This word comes the Latin 'lambere,' to lick.
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