Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

Antarctic killer whales may seek spa-like relief in the tropics

October 27, 2011

NOAA researchers offer a novel explanation for why a type of Antarctic killer whale performs a rapid migration to warmer tropical waters in a paper published this month in the science journal Biology Letters. One tagged Antarctic killer whale monitored by satellite traveled over 5,000 miles to visit the warm waters off southern Brazil before returning immediately to Antarctica just 42 days later. This was the first long distance migration ever reported for killer whales.

"The whales are traveling so quickly, and in such a consistent track, that it is unlikely they are foraging for food or giving birth," said John Durban, lead author from NOAA's Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, California. "We believe these movements are likely undertaken to help the whales regenerate skin tissue in a warmer environment with less heat loss."

As evidence, the researchers point to the yellowish coating on Antarctic killer whales caused by a thick accumulation of diatoms or algae on the outer skin of the animals. The coloring is noticeably absent when they return from warmer waters indicating the upper epidermis of the skin has been shed.

The scientists tagged 12 Type B killer whales (seal-feeding specialists) near the Antarctic Peninsula and tracked 5 that revealed consistent movement to sub-tropical waters. The whales tended to slow in the warmest waters although there was no obvious interruption in swim speed or direction to indicate calving or prolonged feeding.

"They went to the edge of the tropics at high speed, turned around and came straight back to Antarctica, at the onset of winter", said Robert Pitman, co-author of the study. "The standard feeding or breeding migration does not seem to apply here".

Researchers believe there are at least three different types of killer whales in Antarctica and have labeled them Types A, B and C. http://swfsc.noaa.gov/textblock.aspx?Division=PRD&ParentMenuId=210&id=9606

NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service



More Antarctic Killer Whale Current Events and Antarctic Killer Whale News Articles

Swimming with Orca: My Life with New Zealand's Killer Whales

Swimming with Orca: My Life with New Zealand's Killer Whales
by Ingrid Visser (Author)




Killer Whales (Scary Creatures)

Killer Whales (Scary Creatures)
by John Malam (Author), David Salariya (Creator)


Leaping lizards and quivering blobs of poisonous jelly! There's no telling what you'll encounter inside these thrilling books, with special “X-ray” pages that let kids peer clear through to the animal's skeleton, colourful “call-out” illustrations, and myth-busting “Did You Know” questions—everything kids need to safely get to know some real-life scary creatures!

Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?

Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?
by Frans de Waal (Author)


A New York Times Bestseller

From world-renowned biologist and primatologist Frans de Waal, a groundbreaking work on animal intelligence destined to become a classic.What separates your mind from an animal’s? Maybe you think it’s your ability to design tools, your sense of self, or your grasp of past and future―all traits that have helped us define ourselves as the planet’s preeminent species. But in recent decades, these claims have eroded, or even been disproven outright, by a revolution in the study of animal cognition. Take the way octopuses use coconut shells as tools; elephants that classify humans by age, gender, and language; or Ayumu, the young male chimpanzee at Kyoto University whose flash memory puts that of humans to shame. Based on research involving...

The Black Knight (Warner & Lopez) (Volume 4)

The Black Knight (Warner & Lopez) (Volume 4)
by Dean Crawford (Author)


Manhattan, USA, 1899: Electrical engineer Nikola Tesla detects strange signals coming from an object orbiting the Earth at a high velocity, fifty years before mankind’s first satellite is launched into space. The signal is again detected by radio operators in Norway twenty years later and is confirmed by the United States Air Force. Then, silence…, until now. Ethan Warner and Hannah Ford of the Defense Intelligence Agency are called in to investigate a sudden resurgence of the signal, and unveil a tremendously classified operation by NASA and the USAF to conceal the evidence from the rest of the world. Tracking the decaying orbit of the object, code-named Black Knight, they discover that it is about to descend to Earth for the first time in 13,000 years – and that it is homing in...

Endurance

Endurance
by Frank Arthur Worsley (Author)


The legendary tale of Ernest Shackleton's grueling Antarctic expedition, recounted in riveting first-person detail by the captain of HMS Endurance. You seriously mean to tell me that the ship is doomed?" asked Frank Worsley, commander of the Endurance, stuck impassably in Antarctic ice packs. "What the ice gets," replied Sir Ernest Shackleton, the expedition's unflappable leader, "the ice keeps." It did not, however, get the ship's twenty-five crew members, all of whom survived an eight-hundred-mile voyage across sea, land, and ice to South Georgia, the nearest inhabited island. First published in 1931, Endurance tells the full story of that doomed 1914-16 expedition and incredible rescue, as well as relating Worsley's further adventures fighting U-boats in the Great War, sailing the...

National Geographic 125 Years: Legendary Photographs, Adventures, and Discoveries That Changed the World

National Geographic 125 Years: Legendary Photographs, Adventures, and Discoveries That Changed the World
by Mark Collins Jenkins (Author)


Featuring show-stopping imagery and thrilling behind-the-scenes tales, National Geographic 125 Years captures the heart of National Geographic's fascinating history, from its earliest days as a scientific club to its growth into one of the world's largest geographic organizations. The book reveals how much we've come to know about our fascinating world through the pages and unforgettable imagery of National Geographic, and taps key voices from the forefront of ocean and space exploration, climate science, archaeology, mountaineering, and many other disciplines to peer with us over the horizon and see where we are heading in the future.

Ecology of Australian Temperate Reefs: The Unique South

Ecology of Australian Temperate Reefs: The Unique South
by Scoresby Shepherd (Editor), Graham J. Edgar (Editor)


Ecology of Australian Temperate Reefs presents the current state of knowledge of the ecology of important elements of southern Australian sub-tidal reef flora and fauna, and the underlying ecological principles.

Preliminary chapters describe the geological origin, oceanography and biogeography of southern Australia, including the transitional temperate regions toward the Abrolhos Islands in the west and to Sydney in the east. The book then explains the origin and evolution of the flora and fauna at geological time scales as Australia separated from Antarctica; the oceanography of the region, including principal currents, and interactions with on-shelf waters; and the ecology of particular species or species groups at different trophic levels, starting with algae, then the...

Introduction To The Biology Of Marine Life

Introduction To The Biology Of Marine Life
by John Morrissey (Author), James L. Sumich (Author)


The Tenth Edition of Morrissey and Sumich’s classic text, Introduction to the Biology of Marine Life continues to enlighten and engage students on the many wonders of marine organisms and the remarkable environments in which they live. This updated edition includes coverage of recent breakthroughs in research and technology, and maintains the accessible student-friendly style for which it is known. A Student Companion Website provides resources to expand the scope of the textbook and makes sure students have access to the most up-to-date information in marine biology. Students will benefit from a variety of study aids, including chapter outlines, an interactive glossary, animated flash cards, and review questions. Carefully chosen links to relevant Web sites enable students to explore...

Shackleton's Forgotten Expedition: The Voyage of the Nimrod

Shackleton's Forgotten Expedition: The Voyage of the Nimrod
by Beau Riffenburgh (Author)


Shackleton’s Forgotten Expedition is the story of Ernest Shackleton’s epic journey toward the South Pole. Lacking funds and plagued by hunger, cruel weather, and unpredictable terrain, Shackleton and his party accomplished some of the most remarkable feats in the history of exploration. Not only were members of the expedition the first to climb the active volcano Mount Erebus and the first to reach the South Magnetic Pole, but Shackleton himself led a party of four that trudged hundreds of miles across uncharted wastelands and up to the terrible Antarctic Plateau to plant the Union Jack only ninety-seven miles from the South Pole itself. Based on extensive research and first-hand accounts Riffenburgh makes the expedition vivid while providing fascinating insight into the age of...

Here Be Dragons: How the Study of Animal and Plant Distributions Revolutionized Our Views of Life and Earth

Here Be Dragons: How the Study of Animal and Plant Distributions Revolutionized Our Views of Life and Earth
by Dennis McCarthy (Author)


Why do we find polar bears only in the Arctic and penguins only in the Antarctic? Why are marsupials found only in Australia and South America? In a book that Science News called "fascinating and revelatory," Dennis McCarthy tells a story that encompasses two great, insightful theories that together explain the strange patterns of life across the world--evolution and plate tectonics. We find animals and plants where we do because, over time, the continents have moved, separating and uniting in a long, slow dance; because sea levels have risen, cutting off one bit of land from another; because new and barren volcanic islands have risen up from the sea; and because animals and plants vary greatly in their ability to travel, and separation causes the formation of new species. This is the...

© 2016 BrightSurf.com