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Latest Whale Stories

Deep Breaths: The Evolution Of Diving Mammals
2013-06-14 07:14:57

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A new study led by the University of Liverpool sheds new light on how diving mammals, such as the sperm whale, have evolved to be able to submerge for long periods underwater without breathing. The international team, led by Dr. Michael Berenbrink, from the University's Institute of Integrative Biology, identified a distinctive molecular signature of the oxygen-binding protein myoglobin in the sperm whale and other diving mammals....

High-Pitched Echolocation Helps Harbor Porpoises Avoid Killer Whales
2013-06-12 14:17:20

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Researchers from the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) have determined why harbour porpoises are doing so well in coastal and busy waters. The team wrote in the journal Frontiers in Physiology that these animals are able to thrive through the Northern Hemisphere due to their sophisticated echolocation abilities. Coastal waters like the ones harbor porpoises live in can be challenging for whales due to the risk of beaching and...

Whale’s Slow Death Caused By Fishing Gear
2013-05-22 11:06:50

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online While bans against whale hunting have greatly reduced the direct threat fishermen pose to the marine mammals, a new study in the journal Marine Mammal Science points to a deadly indirect threat — potential entanglement in fishing lines. Using a patented monitoring device, marine biologists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts were able to observe how an entangled whale called Eg 3911...

World's First: Researchers Discover Northern Pacific Gray Whale In Southern Hemisphere
2013-05-17 07:25:36

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Scientists from the Namibian Dolphin Project working off the coast of Namibia in southwest Africa have spotted a North Pacific gray whale there, marking the first time the giant mammal has ever been observed south of the equator. In 2010, a North Pacific gray whale was confirmed to have wandered into the Mediterranean Sea, but scientists speculated it had arrived via the increasingly ice-free Northwest Passage. The significance...

Fin Whales Being Tracked Via Earthquake Sensors
2013-05-14 09:37:14

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The second largest, and one of the least understood, animals to ever live on the Earth is the fin whale. The animal has a huge body and a global range that makes its movements and behavior hard to study under normal circumstances. This spring, a fin whale carcass washed up on a Seattle-area beach, reminding researchers that the sleek animals, sometimes called the “greyhounds of the sea,” are vulnerable to collision when...

Humpback Whale Song Patterns Tracked Using Passive Acoustic Tracking
2013-04-30 07:17:28

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Humpback whales are known for their songs that can be heard from miles away and new research from a team of American biologists has detailed the whales singing habits as they roam the feeding grounds of the northwest Atlantic. The study´s findings, which were published in the open access journal PLOS ONE, emphasize the usefulness of passive acoustics listening techniques in monitoring animal activity. “We have monitored...

Male Monkeys Conform Behavior To Local Customs
2013-04-26 11:42:01

Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Human beings are sophisticated creatures equipped with opposable thumbs and higher brain functions than any of our fellow creatures. Yet as Mike Snow sings, “I´m still an animal,” and many human behaviors and tendencies have been observed in the animal kingdom as well. For instance, our herd-like mentality to follow the crowd and do what those around us are doing has been observed in wild vervet monkeys living in...

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...

Seismic Ocean Surveys For Gas And Oil Could Kill 140,000 Marine Mammals
2013-04-18 08:52:07

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Blasting sound waves through the ocean to the seafloor in search of fossil fuels may do more harm than good, according to environmentalists. But the US Department of Interior has been considering giving large oil and gas companies permission to do just that. According to estimates, scores of  marine mammals would be injured and possibly killed along the east coast if these companies follow through with their dangerous sonar...


Latest Whale 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...

Giglioli’s Whale, Amphiptera pacifica
2013-08-19 13:14:53

The Giglioli’s Whale was discovered by zoologist Enrico Hillyer Giglioli on September 4, 1867, 1200 miles of the coast of Chile. He did not recognize the whale as any known species. It was observed for 15 minutes swimming close to his ship. Giglioli described the whale as being 60 feet long with an elongated body and having two dorsal fins 6.5 feet apart. No other known species of whale has two dorsal fins. It had long sickle-shaped flippers and lacked furrows under the throat....

Antarctic Minke Whale, Balaenoptera bonaerensis
2013-06-22 16:21:07

The Antarctic minke whale (Balaenoptera bonaerensis), also known as the southern minke whale, is one of two minke whales within the Mysticeti suborder, which contains baleen and rorqual whales. It can be found in every ocean in the southern hemisphere, residing in Antarctic waters in the summer months and northern waters in the winter months, where its range overlaps that the smaller common minke whale. The Antarctic minke whale was once classified with the common minke whale as a single...

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Word of the Day
lunula
  • A small crescent-shaped structure or marking, especially the white area at the base of a fingernail that resembles a half-moon.
This word is a diminutive of the Latin 'luna,' moon.
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