Current Whales News and Events

Current Whales News and Events, Whales News Articles.
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Blue whales return to South Georgia after near extinction
An international research team led by UK scientists has revealed the return of critically endangered Antarctic blue whales to the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia, 50 years after whaling all but wiped them out. The new study follows recent research that humpback whales are also returning to the region. (2020-11-19)

Study improves ability to predict how whales travel through their ocean habitat
Scientists at the New England Aquarium's Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life recently published a study that could help researchers learn where protections are needed the most for bowhead whales. (2020-11-17)

Male fin whales surprise scientists by swapping songs
The world's second largest mammal varies its song structure and picks up songs from other whale groups, a new study suggests. Understanding the complexity of their song improves scientists' understanding of how fin whale populations change over time, allowing them to better manage these endangered giants. (2020-10-29)

International study uncovers secret surfing life of remoras hitchhiking on blue whales
A new int'l study of blue whales off the coast of California has given researchers the first ocean recordings of their famous hitchhiking partner -- the remora -- revealing the suckerfish's secret whale-surfing skills as well as their knack for grabbing the most flow-optimal spots while riding aboard the world's largest vertebrate. (2020-10-28)

Blue whales change their tune before migrating
While parsing through years of recorded blue whale songs looking for seasonal patterns, researchers were surprised to observe that during feeding season in the summer, whales sing mainly at night, but as they prepare to migrate to their breeding grounds for the winter, this pattern reverses and the whales sing during the day. This finding, published October 1 in the journal Current Biology, may explain known inconsistencies in whale song patterns. (2020-10-01)

Pattern in whale songs predicts migration
Through the use of two advanced audio recording technologies, a collaboration of Monterey Bay researchers has found that blue whales switch from nighttime to daytime singing when they are starting to migrate. (2020-10-01)

Vessel noise present year-round at Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary
The environment in the Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of San Francisco is not a refuge from the noise generated by ship traffic, the first underwater marine acoustic study of the region has shown. (2020-09-29)

Placing barthelonids on the tree of life
Researchers at the University of Tsukuba have clearly defined the phylogenetic position of barthelonids, a group of microscopic free-living anaerobic biflagellates. Their findings suggest that the Barthelona spp. represent a clade of metamonads that branched off early in evolutionary history. Additionally, phylogenomic data confirmed their specific commonality and transcriptome analysis outlined the likely evolutionary history of their ATP-generating organelles. (2020-09-23)

Animals' magnetic 'sixth' sense may come from bacteria, new paper suggests
A University of Central Florida researcher is co-author of a new paper that may help answer why some animals have a magnetic ''sixth'' sense, such as sea turtles' ability to return to the beach where they were born. The researchers recently authored an article in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B that proposes a hypothesis that the magnetic sense comes from a symbiotic relationship with magnetotactic bacteria. (2020-09-14)

Study finds high levels of toxic pollutants in stranded dolphins and whales
Researchers examined toxins in tissue concentrations and pathology data from 83 stranded dolphins and whales from 2012 to 2018. They looked at 11 different animal species to test for 17 different substances. The study is the first to report on concentrations in blubber tissues of stranded cetaceans of atrazine, DEP, NPE and triclosan. It also is the first to report concentrations of toxicants in a white-beaked dolphin and in Gervais' beaked whales. (2020-08-06)

Tracking humanity's latest toxins in stranded whales and dolphins
As humanity develops new types of plastics and chemicals, researchers are constantly trying to keep up with understanding how these contaminants affect the environment and wildlife. A new study gives a first look at the presence and potential effects of these pollutants in stranded dolphins and whales along the coast of the southeastern United States. (2020-08-05)

Ocean heatwaves dramatically shift habitats
Marine heatwaves across the world's oceans can displace habitat for sea turtles, whales, and other marine life by 10s to thousands of kilometers. They dramatically shift these animals' preferred temperatures in a fraction of the time that climate change is expected to do the same, new research shows. (2020-08-05)

Underwater robots reveal daily habits of endangered whales
Research led by the University of East Anglia (UEA) has revealed the daily habits of the endangered Mediterranean sperm whale. The recordings confirmed the whales' widespread presence in the north-western Mediterranean Sea and identified a possible hotspot for sperm whale habitat in the Gulf of Lion, as well as different foraging strategies between different areas. (2020-07-29)

Whale 'snot' reveals likely poor health during migration
UNSW researchers have linked the burden of humpback whales' annual migration to depleted microbial diversity in their airways - an indicator of overall health. (2020-07-29)

Baleen whales have changed their distribution in the Western North Atlantic
Researchers using passive acoustic recordings of whale calls to track their movements have found that four of the six baleen whale species found in the western North Atlantic Ocean -- humpback, sei, fin and blue whales -- have changed their distribution patterns in the past decade. The recordings were made over 10 years by devices moored to the seafloor at nearly 300 locations from the Caribbean Sea to western Greenland. (2020-07-17)

Wonders of animal migration: How sea turtles find small, isolated islands
One of Charles Darwin's long-standing questions on how turtles find their way to islands has been answered thanks to a pioneering study by scientists. (2020-07-16)

Like humans, beluga whales form social networks beyond family ties
A groundbreaking study is the first to analyze the relationship between group behaviors, group type, group dynamics, and kinship of beluga whales in 10 locations across the Arctic. Results show that not only do beluga whales regularly interact with close kin, including close maternal kin, they also frequently associate with more distantly related and unrelated individuals. Findings will improve the understanding of why some species are social, how individuals learn from group members and how animal cultures emerge. (2020-07-10)

15-foot-long skeleton of extinct dolphin suggests parallel evolution among whales
A report in the journal Current Biology on July 9 offers a detailed description of the first nearly complete skeleton of an extinct large dolphin, discovered in what is now South Carolina. The 15-foot-long dolphin (Ankylorhiza tiedemani comb. n.) lived during the Oligocene--about 25 million years ago--and was previously known only from a partial rostrum (snout) fossil. (2020-07-09)

Dolphins learn foraging skills from peers
Dolphins can learn new skills from their fellow dolphins. That's the conclusion of a new study reported in the journal Current Biology on June 25. The findings are the first to show that dolphins are not only capable of learning new ways to catch prey, but they are also motivated to learn from peers, not just from their mothers, the researchers say. (2020-06-25)

High-tech CT reveals ancient evolutionary adaptation of extinct crocodylomorphs
New insights into the anatomy of the inner ear of prehistoric reptiles, the thalattosuchians, revealed details about the evolutionary adaption during the transition into the ocean after a long semiaquatic phase. These new findings of an international research team were made possible by the use of a Canon high-tech computed tomography (CT) scanner from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW). (2020-06-18)

Shhhh, the whales are resting
A Danish-Australian team of researchers recommend new guidelines for noise levels from whale-watching boats after having carried out experiments with humpback whales. They exposed the whales to different levels of boat-engine noises while observing the current guidelines for whale-watching - keeping 100 metres distance, for instance - while monitoring the whales' behavior closely with a drone camera. The researchers concluded that the noise level from a boat's engine should stay below 150 decibels. (2020-06-16)

New Zealand blue whale distribution patterns tied to ocean conditions, prey availability
Oregon State University researchers who recently discovered a population of blue whales in New Zealand are learning more about the links between the whales, their prey and ocean conditions that are changing as the planet warms. (2020-05-28)

Fishing less could be a win for both lobstermen and endangered whales
A new study by researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) found that New England's historic lobster fishery may turn a higher profit by operating with less gear in the water and a shorter season. (2020-05-27)

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)

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