Popular Baleen Whales News and Current Events

Popular Baleen Whales News and Current Events, Baleen Whales News Articles.
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Alligators on the beach? Killer whales in rivers? Get used to it
Sightings of alligators and other large predators in places where conventional wisdom says they 'shouldn't be' have increased in recent years, in large part because local populations, once hunted to near-extinction, are rebounding. A new Duke-led paper finds that far from being outliers, these sightings signify the return of highly adaptable predators to prime hunting grounds they occupied long ago -- a trend that opens new opportunities for future conservation. (2018-05-07)

Good genes
A team of scientists from NAU, Arizona State University, the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, the Center for Coastal Studies in Massachusetts and nine other institutions worldwide to study potential cancer suppression mechanisms in cetaceans, the mammalian group that includes whales, dolphins and porpoises. Their findings, which picked apart the genome of the humpback whale, as well as the genomes of nine other cetaceans, in order to determine how their cancer defenses are so effective, were published today in Molecular Biology and Evolution. (2019-05-09)

New species of ancient whale identified and named by Otago paleontologists
University of Otago paleontologists are rewriting the history of New Zealand's ancient whales by describing a previously unknown genus of baleen whale, alive more than 27.5 million years ago and found in the Hakataramea Valley, South Canterbury. (2018-04-18)

Diverse and abundant megafauna documented at new Atlantic US Marine National Monument
Airborne marine biologists were dazzled by the diversity and abundance of large, unusual and sometimes endangered marine wildlife on a recent trip to the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Marine Monument, about 150 miles southeast of Cape Cod. (2018-05-16)

Molting bowhead whales likely rub on rocks to facilitate sloughing off skin
Bowhead whales molt and rub on large rocks -- likely facilitating exfoliation -- in coastal waters in the eastern Canadian Arctic during late summer, according to a study published Nov. 22, 2017, in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Sarah Fortune from University of British Columbia, Canada, and colleagues. (2017-11-22)

Conservation endocrinology in a changing world
The BioScience Talks podcast (http://bioscience.libsyn.com) features discussions of topical issues related to the biological sciences. (2017-05-10)

Recently discovered fossil shows transition of a reptile from life on land to life in the sea
Using modern research tools on a 155-million-year-old reptile fossil, scientists at Johns Hopkins and the American Museum of Natural History report they have filled in some important clues to the evolution of animals that once roamed land and transitioned to life in the water. (2017-12-06)

Video tags reveal surprising details of blue whale feeding behavior
The lunge feeding of blue whales is an extraordinary biomechanical event in which the largest animal on Earth accelerates and opens its mouth under water, expanding its enormous throat pouch to engulf a huge volume of water, then filtering out its prey. A new study of blue whale feeding strategies reveals surprising preferences with respect to how much and which direction they roll during lunge feeding in order to maximize efficiency. (2017-11-20)

Largest Chinook salmon disappearing from West Coast
The largest and oldest Chinook salmon -- fish also known as 'kings' and prized for their exceptional size -- have mostly disappeared along the West Coast, according to a new University of Washington-led study. (2018-02-27)

Humpback whale population on the rise after near miss with extinction
A new study finds that the western South Atlantic humpback population has grown to 25,000 whales. Researchers believe this new estimate is now close to pre-whaling numbers. (2019-10-21)

The blue whale genome reveals the animals' extraordinary evolutionary history
For the first time, scientists of the German Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Center, Goethe University and the University of Lund in Sweden have deciphered the complete genome of the blue whale and three other rorquals. Surprisingly, the genomes show that rorquals have been hybridizing during their evolutionary history. In addition, rorquals seem to have separated into different species in the absence of geographical barriers. This phenomenon, called sympatric speciation, is very rare in animals. The study has just been published in (2018-04-06)

Tracking data reveal the secret lives of marine animals
Tracking devices deployed on wild animals have revealed unexpected behaviors and migratory patterns in marine animals ranging from sharks and seals to turtles and albatrosses. Researchers from around the world have now pooled their data on the movements of a wide array of marine animals, enabling them to look for common features in how animals move throughout the world's oceans. (2018-02-26)

Marine animals explore the ocean in similar ways
Marine animals of different body size, shape and mode of movement, move through the ocean in similar ways. (2018-02-26)

UEA research paints underwater pictures with sound
Silent marine robots that record sounds underwater are allowing researchers to listen to the oceans as never before. While pilot whales make whistles, buzzes and clicks, pods of hunting dolphins create high-pitched echolocation clicks and larger species such as sperm whales make louder, slower clicks. As well as eavesdropping on marine life, the recordings can be used to measure sea-surface wind speed and monitor storms. The research will be presented at the General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union, Vienna. (2018-04-10)

It's all in the ears: Inner ears of extinct sea monsters mirror those of today's animals
A new study led by Oxford University Museum of Natural History has revealed that an extinct group of marine reptiles called sauropterygians evolved similar inner ear proportions to those of some modern day aquatic reptiles and mammals. The research is published in Current Biology today. (2017-12-07)

Explaining differences in rates of evolution
Scientists look to fossils and evolutionary trees to help determine the rate of evolution -- albeit with conflicting results. A new model by ETH researchers has helped to resolve these contradictions. (2018-12-18)

Feces from entangled North Atlantic right whales reveals 'sky-high' stress levels
In a new study published this week in Endangered Species Research, North Atlantic right whale scientists found that whales who undergo prolonged entanglements in fishing gear endure 'sky-high hormone levels,' indicating severe stress, which researchers discovered using a pioneering technique of examining scat from live, entangled, and dead whales over 15 years. (2017-11-29)

Mysterious river dolphin helps crack the code of marine mammal communication
The Araguaian river dolphin of Brazil was thought to be solitary with little social structure that would require communication. But researchers from the University of Vermont and the University of St. Andrews have discovered the dolphins actually are social and can make hundreds of different sounds, a finding that could help uncover how communication evolved in marine mammals. (2019-04-19)

Shrimp-inspired camera may enable underwater navigation
The underwater environment may appear to the human eye as a dull-blue, featureless space. However, a vast landscape of polarization patterns appear when viewed through a camera that is designed to see the world through the eyes of many of the animals that inhabit the water. (2018-04-04)

Migrating squid drove evolution of sonar in whales and dolphins, researchers argue
Sperm whales, dolphins and other (2007-09-05)

Pesticides are accumulated in the fat tissue
Pesticides are accumulated in bodies with high fat content. This conclusion was made by the scientists from the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) that have been studying seabirds and marine mammals of the Sea of Okhotsk and the Bering Sea for several years. The cycle of studies is supported by the Russian Science Foundation (No. 14-50-00034). (2018-02-28)

Whale study links genetics and reproductive success
A recent study focusing on the humpback whales of the Gulf of Maine revealed that differences in reproductive success of whale mothers may play a significant role in changing genetic variation in the population, according to scientists. Specifically, certain maternal lines of whales have produced more calves than other lines in the past decade, a finding that uncovers the often-complex role of genetics and environment in the makeup of this population of long-lived mammals. (2003-04-22)

Snapping shrimp may act as 'dinner bell' for gray whales off Oregon coast
Scientists have for the first time captured the sounds of snapping shrimp off the Oregon coast and think the loud crackling from the snapping of their claws may serve as a dinner bell for eastern Pacific gray whales, according to new research being presented at the Ocean Sciences Meeting here today. (2018-02-13)

Killer whales share personality traits with humans, chimpanzees
Killer whales display personality traits similar to those of humans and chimpanzees, such as playfulness, cheerfulness and affection, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association. (2018-11-15)

Bowhead whales, the 'jazz musicians' of the Arctic, sing many different songs
Four winters of audio recordings of bowhead whales singing under the ice off Greenland show a surprise variety in this animal's repertoire. Bowhead whales' vocalization patterns are very different from the only other whale known to make distinct songs, the humpback. (2018-04-03)

How do marine mammals avoid the bends?
Deep-diving whales and other marine mammals can get the bends -- the same painful and potentially life-threatening decompression sickness that strikes scuba divers who surface too quickly. A new study offers a hypothesis of how marine mammals generally avoid getting the bends and how they can succumb under stressful conditions. (2018-04-25)

How ancient whales lost their legs, got sleek and conquered the oceans
An international team of scientists says the gradual shrinkage of the whales' hind limbs over 15 million years was the result of slowly accumulated genetic changes that influenced the size of the limbs and that these changes happened sometime late in development, during the fetal period. However, the actual loss of the hind limb occurred much further along in the evolutionary process, when a drastic change occurred to inactivate a gene essential for limb development. (2006-05-22)

Orcasound: A citizen science tool for whale research
Computer algorithms are playing a growing role in analyzing hydrophone audio data when monitoring marine life, but human listeners can complement and enhance these algorithms. A project known as Orcasound has produced a web application that will enable citizen scientists to listen to livestreaming audio from hydrophones near the San Juan Islands. Researchers will describe the new web app and the value of citizen science at the Acoustical Society of America's 176th Meeting, Nov. 5-9. (2018-11-06)

Genetics reveal pacific subspecies of fin whale
New genetic research has identified fin whales in the northern Pacific Ocean as a separate subspecies, reflecting a revolution in marine mammal taxonomy as scientists unravel the genetics of enormous animals otherwise too large to fit into laboratories. (2019-10-28)

Fish's use of electricity might shed light on human illnesses
African weakly electric fish, commonly called baby whales, use incredibly brief electrical pulses to sense the world around them and communicate with other members of their species. Part of that electrical mechanism exists in humans -- and by studying these fish, scientists may unlock clues about conditions like epilepsy. (2018-06-21)

Remarkably preserved fossil sea reptile reveals skin that is still soft
The remains of an 180 million-year-old ichthyosaur (literally 'fish-lizard') have been analysed, and the fossil is so well-preserved that its soft-tissues retain some of their original pliability. The study, published in Nature, contributes to our understanding on how convergent evolution works, and shows that ichthyosaurs adapted to marine conditions in a way that is remarkably similar to that of modern whales. (2018-12-06)

Recovery of West Coast marine mammals boosts consumption of chinook salmon
The researchers estimate that from 1975 to 2015, the yearly biomass of chinook salmon consumed by pinnipeds (sea lions and harbor seals) and killer whales increased from 6,100 to 15,200 metric tons, and from five to 31.5 million individual salmon. (2017-11-20)

Meals on the go: The physics of whales' eating habits
Saint Louis University professor of physics Jean Potvin, Ph.D., and colleagues detail for the first time how baleen whales use crossflow filtration to separate prey from water without ever coming into contact with the baleen. (2017-06-06)

Stanford researchers learn why aquatic mammals need to be big, but not too big
Examining body sizes of ancient and modern aquatic mammals and their terrestrial counterparts reveals that life in water restricts mammals to a narrow range of body sizes -- big enough to stay warm, but not so big they can't find enough food. (2018-03-26)

Monitoring bacteria on whale skin
Just like with humans, the skin on marine mammals serves as an important line of defense against pathogens in their environment. A new study sheds light on the skin microbiome--a group of microorganisms that live on skin--in healthy humpback whales, which could aid in future efforts to monitor their health. (2018-02-14)

Study shows whales dine with their own kind
Researchers from MIT, Northeastern University, the Institute of Marine Research in Norway, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, have found that as multiple species of whales feast on herring, they tend to stick with their own kind, establishing species-specific feeding centers along the 150-mile length of Georges Bank. (2016-03-02)

Ancient skull shows early 'baleen whale' had teeth
Today's baleen whales (Mysticetes) support their massive bodies by filtering huge volumes of small prey from seawater using comb-like baleen in their mouths. But new evidence reported in the journal Current Biology on May 10 based on careful analysis of a 34-million-year-old whale skull from Antarctica -- the second-oldest 'baleen' whale ever found -- suggests that early whales actually didn't have baleen. Their had well-developed gums and teeth, which they apparently used to bite large prey. (2018-05-10)

Mammals diversified only after dinosaur extinction left space
Humans' early mammal relatives likely diversified 66 million years ago, after the extinction of dinosaurs opened up space for animals such as big cats, horses, elephants and eventually apes to evolve. (2016-07-04)

Climate driving new right whale movement
New research connects recent changes in the movement of North Atlantic right whales to decreased food availability and rising temperatures in Gulf of Maine's deep waters. Right whales have been showing up in unexpected places in recent years, putting the endangered species at increased risk. The study, which was published in Oceanography and conducted by scientists from more than 10 institutions, provides insights to this key issue complicating conservation efforts. (2019-05-29)

Baleen whales' ancestors were toothy suction feeders
Modern whales' ancestors probably hunted and chased down prey, but somehow, those fish-eating hunters evolved into filter-feeding leviathans. An analysis of a 36.4-million-year-old whale fossil suggests that before baleen whales lost their teeth, they were suction feeders that most likely dove down and sucked prey into their mouths. The study published in Current Biology also shows that whales most likely lost the hind limbs that stuck out from their bodies more recently than previously estimated. (2017-05-11)

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