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Current Baleen Whales News and Events, Baleen Whales News Articles.
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Endangered whales react to environmental changes
Some 'canaries' are 50 feet long, weigh 70 tons, and are nowhere near a coal mine. But the highly endangered North Atlantic right whale is sending the same kind of message about disruptive change in the environment by rapidly altering its use of important habitat areas off the New England coast. (2019-11-19)

Early dispersal for quadrupedal cetaceans: amphibious whale from middle Eocene
Lead author, Olivier Lambert, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Bruxelles, Belgium, presented the team's findings at this year's annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology held this year in Brisbane, Australia. (2019-11-08)

Detection dogs and DNA on the trail of endangered lizards
Detection dogs trained to sniff out the scat of an endangered lizard in California's San Joaquin Valley, combined with genetic species identification, could represent a new noninvasive sampling technique for lizard conservation worldwide. (2019-10-30)

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)

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)

Stranded whales detected from space
A new technique for analysing satellite images may help scientists detect and count stranded whales from space. Researchers tested a new detection method using Very High Resolution (VHR) satellite images from Maxar Technologies of the biggest mass stranding of baleen whales yet recorded. It is hoped that in the future the technique will lead to real-time information as stranding events happen. (2019-10-17)

Monkeys can also thank their body for vocal development, not only their brain
Development of vocal behavior during maturation is typically attributed to the brain. But the body itself is also capable of guiding this development. New experiments with marmoset monkeys show that we should not ignore the body's own amazing capabilities. (2019-10-15)

Groundbreaking video captures whale bubble-net feeding in University of Hawaii research
University of Hawai'i at Mānoa's Marine Mammal Research Program (MMRP) researchers and key collaborators captured amazing whale's-point-of-view and aerial drone video of humpback whale bubble-net feeding. It's one component of a project investigating causes of a possible decline in humpback whale numbers. (2019-10-13)

Right whale mothers 'whisper' to their calves to avoid attracting predators
As new moms, North Atlantic right whales tone down their underwater vocalizations and 'whisper' to their young calves to avoid attracting predators, a new study by scientists at Syracuse University, Duke University and NOAA Fisheries' Northeast Fisheries Center finds. The study is the first to record examples of this acoustic behavior by mother right whales. (2019-10-10)

Hush, little baby: Mother right whales 'whisper' to calves
A recent study led by Syracuse University biology professor Susan Parks in Biology Letters explores whether right whale mother-calf pairs change their vocalizations to keep predators from detecting them. (2019-10-09)

Stanford scientists uncover genetic similarities among species that use sound to navigate
Insect-eating bats navigate effortlessly in the dark and dolphins and killer whales gobble up prey in murky waters thanks in part to specific changes in a set of 18 genes involved in the development of the cochlear ganglion -- a group of nerves that transmit sound from the ear to the brain, according to a study by researchers at Stanford University. (2019-10-03)

Researchers use drones to weigh whales
Researchers from Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS) in Denmark and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in the US devised a way to accurately estimate the weight of free-living whales using only aerial images taken by drones. The innovative method, published in the British Ecological Journal Methods in Ecology and Evolution, can be used to learn more about the physiology and ecology of whales. (2019-10-02)

Genes 'lost' in whales and dolphins helped their ancestors transition to life underwater
When cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) transitioned from life on land to life in the sea about 50 million years ago, 85 genes became inactivated in these species, according to a new study. While some of these gene losses were likely neutral, others equipped cetaceans with ''superpowers'' for surviving in the open ocean, facilitating deep dives and paving the way for (2019-09-25)

A mouse or an elephant: what species fights infection more effectively?
Hamilton College Assistant Professor of Biology Cynthia Downs led a study with co-authors from North Dakota State University, University of California, Davis, Eckerd College, and University of South Florida that investigated whether body mass was related to concentrations of two important immune cell types in the blood among hundreds of species of mammals ranging from tiny Jamaican fruit bats (~40 g) to giant killer whales (~5,600 kg). (2019-09-25)

How long does a whale feed? New data gives insight into blue and fin whale behavior
Researchers using electronic tags were able to monitor blue and fin whales off the coast of Southern California over multiple weeks, providing new insight into the feeding behaviors of the two largest whale species. (2019-09-11)

New whale species discovered along the coast of Hokkaido
A new beaked whale species Berardius minimus, which has been long postulated by local whalers in Hokkaido, Japan, has been confirmed. (2019-09-03)

Mastering metabolism for shark and ray survival
Understanding the internal energy flow -- including the metabolism -- of large ocean creatures like sharks and rays could be key to their survival in a changing climate, according to a new study. University of Queensland PhD candidate Christopher Lawson led a team of researchers investigating the bioenergetics of sharks and rays; data which may reveal how they will fare in a drastically changing ocean. (2019-07-31)

Lobster organs and reflexes damaged by marine seismic surveys
A new study of the impact on marine life of seismic air guns, used in geological surveys of the seafloor, has found that the sensory organs and righting reflexes of rock lobster can be damaged by exposure to air gun signals. (2019-07-24)

Modeling predicts blue whales' foraging behavior, aiding population management efforts
Scientists can predict where and when blue whales are most likely to be foraging for food in the California Current Ecosystem, providing new insight that could aid in the management of the endangered population in light of climate change and blue whale mortality due to ship strikes. (2019-07-17)

Hear them roar: How humans and chickadees understand each other
Is there something universal about the sounds we make that allows vocal learners -- like songbirds -- to figure out how we're feeling? Sounds like it, according to new research by University of Alberta scientists. (2019-07-12)

Whispering southern right whale mums and calves seek refuge in surf
How do southern right whale mothers protect their precious calves from killer whale attacks when the predators can listen out for their conversations? It turns out that the mothers and their offspring shelter in the noisy surf, stay in close proximity and effectively whisper, calling softly less than once per dive, to avoid attracting any unwanted attention. (2019-07-11)

New research helps predict locations of blue whales so ships can avoid them
A new model based on daily oceanographic data and the movements of tagged whales has opened the potential for stakeholders to see where in the ocean endangered blue whales are most likely to be so that ships can avoid hitting them. (2019-07-10)

Danish researchers confirm that narwhals and belugas can interbreed
A team of University of Copenhagen researchers has compiled the first and only evidence that narwhals and beluga whales can breed successfully. DNA and stable isotope analysis of an anomalous skull from the Natural History Museum of Denmark has allowed researchers to confirm the existence of a narwhal-beluga hybrid. (2019-06-20)

God doesn't play dice -- does cancer?
Colorado study suggests that changes to the tissue ecosystem and not necessarily mutations allows growth of cancer. (2019-06-20)

New sub-species of pilot whale identified in Pacific Ocean
Short-finned pilot whales are found over a wide swath of the world's oceans, with habitats in the Indian, and Pacific, and North Atlantic oceans. Despite this wide distribution, the whales have been recognized as a single species -- but a recent study has found that two unique subspecies actually exist. (2019-06-03)

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)

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)

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)

Ancient, four-legged whale with otter-like features found along the coast of Peru
Cetaceans, the group including whales and dolphins, originated in south Asia more than 50 million years ago from a small, four-legged, hoofed ancestor. Now, researchers reporting the discovery of an ancient four-legged whale -- found in 42.6-million-year-old marine sediments along the coast of Peru -- have new insight into whales' evolution and their dispersal to other parts of the world. The findings are reported in the journal Current Biology on April 4. (2019-04-04)

Compass orientation of a migratory bat species depends on sunset direction
A team of scientists led by the Leibniz-IZW in Berlin combined a mirror experiment simulating a different direction of the setting sun and a new test procedure to measure orientation behavior in bats to understand the role of the sun's position in the animals' navigation system. The results demonstrate for the first time that a migratory mammal species uses the sunset direction to calibrate their compass system. (2019-04-04)

In the tree of life, youth has its advantages
New research in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows younger groups of organisms, on average, accumulate diversity much more quickly than older groups. (2019-03-26)

Deep time tracking devices: Fossil barnacles reveal prehistoric whale migrations
Long-distance migrations are common for large whales, but when in their evolutionary past did whales begin to migrate and why? Scientists from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the University of California, Berkeley looked for these answers in fossil whale barnacles. (2019-03-25)

Fossil barnacles, the original GPS, help track ancient whale migrations
Whale barnacles add new shell throughout the year that has been shown to reflect, through oxygen isotope ratios, the conditions of the seas through which the whale traveled. UC Berkeley paleobiologists have now shown that fossilized whale barnacles retain this isotopic signature, revealing the ocean conditions through which whales traveled millions of years ago. This could help reveal details about whale evolution and ancient migration routes, and help anticipate whale adaptation to climate change. (2019-03-25)

Narwhals spend at least half time diving for food, can fast for several days after meal
Narwhals -- enigmatic arctic whales known for their sword-like tusk -- spend over half their time diving to find food but are also able to last up to three days without a meal, according to a study by Manh Cuong Ngô and colleagues from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, published in PLOS Computational Biology. (2019-03-14)

Review of noise impacts on marine mammals yields new policy recommendations
Marine mammals are particularly sensitive to noise pollution because they rely on sound for so many essential functions, including communication, navigation, finding food, and avoiding predators. An expert panel has now published a comprehensive assessment of the available science on how noise exposure affects hearing in marine mammals, providing scientific recommendations for noise exposure criteria that could have far-reaching regulatory implications. (2019-03-12)

Scientists find mystery killer whales off Cape Horn, Chile
In January 2019, an international team of scientists working off the tip of southern Chile got their first live look at what might be a new species of killer whale. Called Type D, the whales 'could be the largest undescribed animal left on the planet.' (2019-03-07)

Understanding the rich social lives of animals benefits international conservation efforts
An international group of researchers working on a wide range of species, from elephants and crows, to whales and chimpanzees, argues that animals' cultural knowledge needs to be taken into consideration when planning international conservation efforts. (2019-02-26)

Study confirms beaked whales' incredible diving abilities
A Duke-led study provides the first record of the diving behavior of Cuvier's beaked whales in US Atlantic waters. The species is Earth's deepest-diving mammal but spends very little recovery time at the surface. The new data, from 5,926 dives recorded off Cape Hatteras, N.C., shows them routinely diving more than a mile while holding their breath for over an hour. These whales push the limits of mammalian physiology. (2019-02-06)

Plastic in Britain's seals, dolphins and whales
Microplastics have been found in the guts of every marine mammal examined in a new study of animals washed up on Britain's shores. (2019-01-31)

UH marine mammal research captures rare video of newborn humpback whale
A rare video, captured by the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Marine Mammal Research Program (MMRP) in January 2019 shows a humpback whale calf so new that its dorsal fin and tail flukes appear soft and flimsy, and its mother is still excreting blood, while sometimes supporting the calf on her back. It was the closest the marine mammal researcher had been to a live birth in 25 years. (2019-01-31)

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