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Current Baleen Whales News and Events, Baleen Whales News Articles.
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Scientists reveal new fundamental principles governing diving in animals
An international team of scientists has examined how metabolic constraints govern the diving performance of air-breathing aquatic species, all of which have evolved to maximise the amount of time they can spend underwater (2020-05-26)

Migratory secrets of recovering whale species
Scientists have discovered where a whale species that feeds around the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia breeds during the winter months. This understanding of where the animals migrate from will enable conservation efforts for their recovery from years of whaling. The results are published this week in the Journal of Heredity. (2020-05-19)

Humpback whales may risk collision with vessels in the Magellan Strait
By tagging and tracking migrating humpback whales that feed in the Magellan Strait in Chile, the scientists were able to provide policy recommendations to reduce the risk of collisions. (2020-05-13)

Last supper: Fish use sharp barbs and spines to fight off hungry seals
Research by Australia's Monash University reveals the steep price some marine mammals are willing to pay for food, after a stranded fur seal was discovered with more than a dozen facial wounds inflicted by its seafood prey. (2020-05-04)

The North Atlantic right whale population is in poor condition
New research reveals that endangered North Atlantic right whales are in poorer body condition than individual whales from the three well recovering populations of Southern right whales. This difference is alarming: poor body condition for North Atlantic right whales explains why too many of them are dying, and why they are not giving birth to enough calves to boost the population's recovery. The results has been published in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series. (2020-04-27)

Crabeater seal data used to predict changes in Antarctic krill distribution
The western Antarctic Peninsula is experiencing rapid environmental change, with warming temperatures and decreasing sea ice. How these changes will affect Antarctic krill is a crucial question, because this abundant crustacean is an important food source for a wide range of animals, from penguins to whales. Researchers have now used data from tracking studies of crabeater seals to infer the distribution of krill and project how it is likely to change in the future. (2020-04-27)

Three years of monitoring of Oregon's gray whales shows changes in health
Three years of 'health check-ups' on Oregon's summer resident gray whales shows a compelling relationship between whales' overall body condition and changing ocean conditions that likely limited availability of prey for the mammals. (2020-04-27)

Dramatic decrease in cold-water plankton during industrial era
There has been a dramatic decrease in cold-water plankton during the 20th century, in contrast to thousands of years of stability, according to a new UCL-led study. (2020-04-23)

North Atlantic right whales are in much poorer condition than Southern right whales
New research by an international team of scientists reveals that endangered North Atlantic right whales are in much poorer body condition than their counterparts in the southern hemisphere. (2020-04-23)

Surface feeding could provide more than just snacks for New Zealand blue whales
Feeding at the ocean's surface appears to play an important role in New Zealand blue whales' foraging strategy, allowing them to optimize their energy use. (2020-04-22)

Rare video captures humpback whale nursing behaviors in UH Mānoa research
UH Mānoa Marine Mammal Research Program captures rare video of humpback whales nursing off of Maui. (2020-04-20)

Using fiber optics to advance safe and renewable energy
Fiber optic cables, it turns out, can be incredibly useful scientific sensors. Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have studied them for use in carbon sequestration, groundwater mapping, earthquake detection, and monitoring of Arctic permafrost thaw. Now they have been awarded new grants to develop fiber optics for two novel uses: monitoring offshore wind operations and underground natural gas storage. (2020-03-30)

A small forage fish should command greater notice, researchers say
A slender little fish called the sand lance plays a big role as 'a quintessential forage fish' for puffins, terns and other seabirds, humpback whales and other marine mammals, and even bigger fish such as Atlantic sturgeon, cod and bluefin tuna in the Gulf of Maine and northwest Atlantic Ocean. But scientists say right now they know far too little about its biology and populations to inform 'relevant management, climate adaptation and conservation efforts.' (2020-03-25)

'Sushi parasites' have increased 283-fold in past 40 years
A new study led by the University of Washington finds dramatic increases in the abundance of a worm that can be transmitted to humans who eat raw or undercooked seafood. Its 283-fold increase in abundance since the 1970s could have implications for the health of humans and marine mammals, which both can inadvertently eat the worm. (2020-03-19)

Lehigh University engineers unlock secrets to swimming efficiency of whales, dolphins
Lehigh University MechE professor Keith Moored is PI on a recent Journal of the Royal Society Interface paper on work examining the fluid mechanics of cetacean propulsion by numerically simulating their oscillating tail fins. His team developed a model that, for the first time, could quantitatively predict how the motions of the fin should be tailored to its shape in order to maximize its efficiency. The research could influence the design of next-gen underwater robots. (2020-03-19)

New research sheds light on the unique 'call' of Ross Sea killer whales
New Curtin University-led research has found that the smallest type of killer whale has 28 different complex calls, comprising a combination of burst-pulse sounds and whistles, which they use to communicate with family members about the changing landscape and habitat. (2020-02-26)

Solar storms may leave gray whales blind and stranded
A new study reported in the journal Current Biology on February 24 offers some of the first evidence that gray whales might depend on a magnetic sense to find their way through the ocean. This evidence comes from the discovery that whales are more likely to strand themselves on days when solar storms disrupt Earth's magnetic field. (2020-02-24)

Solar storms could scramble whales' navigational sense
When our sun belches out a hot stream of charged particles in Earth's general direction, it doesn't just mess up communications satellites. It might also be scrambling the navigational sense of California gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus), causing them to strand on land, according to a Duke University graduate student. Gray whales were 4.3 times more likely to strand when a lot of radio frequency noise from a solar outburst was hitting the Earth. (2020-02-24)

Why do whales migrate? They return to the tropics to shed their skin, scientists say
Whales undertake some of the longest migrations on earth, often swimming many thousands of miles, over many months, to breed in the tropics. The question is why? In a research paper in Marine Mammal Science, scientists propose that whales that forage in polar waters migrate to low latitudes to maintain healthy skin. (2020-02-21)

A better pregnancy test for whales
To determine whale pregnancy, researchers have relied on visual cues or hormone tests of blubber collected via darts, but the results were often inconclusive. Research from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) points to a weakness of previous testing and evaluation methods and provides a new hormone testing regime that offers better results. (2020-02-20)

Earthquakes disrupt sperm whales' ability to find food, study finds
Otago scientists studying sperm whales off the coast of Kaik?ura have discovered earthquakes affect their ability to find food for at least a year. The University of Otago-led research is the first to examine the impact of a large earthquake on a population of marine mammals, and offers new insight into how top predators such as sperm whales react and adapt to a large-scale natural disturbance. (2020-02-19)

Marine biology: Whales coordinate deep dives to evade predators
Groups of beaked whales reduce predation risk through extreme diving synchronization, according to a study in Scientific Reports. This behavior has not been observed in other deep diving whales and the underlying reasons have remained unclear. (2020-02-06)

Scientists listen to whales, walruses, & seals in a changing arctic seascape
A year-round acoustic study of marine mammals in the northern Bering Sea is providing scientists with a valuable snapshot of an Arctic world already under drastic pressure from climate change, according to WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society), Columbia University, Southall Environmental Associates, and the University of Washington. (2020-02-03)

Blind as a bat? The genetic basis of echolocation in bats and whales
Scientists reveal that similar genetic mutations led to the establishment of echolocation in both bats and whales. (2020-01-29)

Study connects marine heat wave with spike in whale entanglements
Climate change is increasing the frequency and severity of marine heat waves -- warm water anomalies that disrupt marine ecosystems -- and this is creating new challenges for fisheries management and ocean conservation. A new study shows how the record-breaking marine heat wave of 2014 to 2016 caused changes along the US West Coast that led to an unprecedented spike in the numbers of whales that became entangled in fishing gear. (2020-01-27)

'Blob' research shows ecological effects that halted fishing and hiked whale entanglements
An ecological pileup of unprecedented changes in the ocean off the West Coast beginning about 2014 led to record entanglements of humpback and other whales, putting the region's most valuable commercial fishery at risk, new research shows. (2020-01-27)

What's in Puget sound? New technique casts a wide net for concerning chemicals
Using a new 'non-targeted' approach, UW and UW Tacoma researchers screened samples from multiple regions of Puget Sound to look for potentially harmful compounds that might be present. (2020-01-22)

Shark and ray vision comes into focus
Until now, little has been known about the evolution of vision in cartilaginous fishes, particularly sharks and their genetic cousins, the rays. In a new study, it has been shown that all cartilaginous fishes, similar to the marine mammals, have lost the SWS1 and SWS2 opsin genes. Sharks and rays do contain both rod and cone photoreceptors; however rays possess two cone opsin genes whereas sharks have only one cone. Sharks therefore were found to have lost the ability to see colors. (2020-01-09)

A 'pivotal' moment for understanding whale evolution
We could be getting closer to understanding how feeding behaviors in whales and dolphins have evolved over time. (2020-01-09)

eDNA expands species surveys to capture a more complete picture
Tiny bits of DNA collected from waters off the West Coast allowed scientists to identify more species of marine vertebrates than traditional surveys with trawl nets. They also reflect environmental shifts such as unusual ocean temperatures that affect the organisms present, new research shows. (2019-12-31)

Stanford study finds whales use stealth to feed on fish
Researchers combined field studies, lab experiments and modeling to figure out how whales manage to capture fish. They found that whales may avoid triggering anchovies' escape because the fish are more used to fleeing from smaller predators. (2019-12-23)

The limits of ocean heavyweights: Prey curb whales' gigantic size
Scientists collected data from hundreds of feeding whales, allowing them to determine how much energy species of different sizes invest to capture their prey and which of these species reap the greatest rewards for their efforts. Their findings reveal that body size in all whales is limited by the availability of their prey, but only filter-feeding whales have evolved a feeding strategy that drives them to achieve the largest body sizes to have ever evolved. (2019-12-12)

Why whales are so big, but not bigger
Whales' large bodies help them consume their prey at high efficiencies, a more than decade-long study of around 300 tagged whales now shows, but their gigantism is limited by prey availability and foraging efficiency. (2019-12-12)

Newly described fossil whale represents intermediate stage between foot-powered and tail-powered swimming
A newly described fossil whale represents a new species and an important step in the evolution of whale locomotion, according to a University of Michigan paleontologist and his colleagues. (2019-12-11)

Killer whale grandmothers boost survival of calves
The study found that grandmothers who were no longer able to reproduce had the biggest beneficial impact on the survival chances of their grand-offspring. This may be because grandmothers without calves of their own are free to focus time and resources on the latest generation, the researchers suggest. (2019-12-09)

Whales may owe their efficient digestion to millions of tiny microbes
A study by researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) shows that the microbial communities inside whales may play an important role in the digestion of one of the ocean's most abundant carbon-rich lipids, known as a wax ester. (2019-12-05)

Characterizing whale vocalization can help map migration
Killer whale pods each have their own set of calls they use to communicate, sometimes referred to as the pod's 'dialect.' By characterizing a pod's calls, researchers can track its seasonal movements, gaining a better understanding of the whales' lives. Jessica Sportelli at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography studies a pod of relatively unknown killer whales in Pond Inlet, Nunavut, Canada and she will describe their repertoire of calls at the 178th ASA Meeting. (2019-12-03)

Whaling and climate change led to 100 years of feast or famine for Antarctic penguins
New research reveals how penguins have dealt with more than a century of human impacts in Antarctica and why some species are winners or losers in this rapidly changing ecosystem. (2019-12-02)

Whales stop being socialites when boats are about
The noise and presence of boats can harm humpback whales' ability to communicate and socialise, in some cases reducing their communication range by a factor of four. The discovery was made by Dr Rebecca Dunlop from The University of Queensland's Cetacean Ecology and Acoustics Laboratory, who monitored the acoustics and social behaviour of humpback whales off Queensland's Peregian Beach. (2019-11-28)

Researchers report first recording of a blue whale's heart rate
With a lot of ingenuity and a little luck, researchers monitored the heart rate of a blue whale in the wild. The measurement suggests that blue whale hearts are operating at extremes -- and may limit the whale's size. (2019-11-25)

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