Naomi Mathew

Naomi Mathew is a PhD student at University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She works on bioacoustics in marine mammals from the Gulf of Mexico. She is the co-founder of Whale Scientists. You can read more about her here

Got balls? Not like the Southern Right Whale!

In our world, we say size does not matter. However, we find animals in the wild kingdom with various large parts: elephants have large trunks, baboons have oversized butts … and male southern right whales have massive testes. This article will explain the unique features of whales’ reproductive systems and explore the potential reasons for …

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Barataria Bay Bottlenose Dolphins — March 2022

This month we shine a light on a very specific population of bottlenose dolphins. We can encounter them right off the coast of Louisiana, in Barataria Bay. The Barataria Bay dolphins are not much different than other populations found off the Gulf of Mexico coastline. However, they face specific stresses that threaten the survival of …

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Pass the sunscreen: do whales get sunburnt?

Whales and dolphins spend a good chunk of their time close to the surface, especially when they are resting or socializing. With no shade around, do whales get sunburnt? Do they have a natural defense against UV radiation? In this article, we come to the surface of the ocean to see how UV radiation affects …

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The harbor porpoise – December 2021

Happy holiday season! This month, we decided to highlight a shy little odontocete, the harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena). They are not known for grand displays in the water, but we wanted to do them justice this month because we believe they do not get enough love! These shy little guys face various human threats, so …

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Sizing them up! Scientists use sound to measure sperm whales

Studying large creatures, like whales can be difficult. Especially when they spend most of their time deep underwater. But scientists have become pretty creative in their approach to studying them, especially when it comes to quantitative attributes. In this post, we will discuss how scientists can measure the size of sperm whales by using their …

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Dorudon, an ancient whale – October 2021

We like to focus on a fossil whale every October since we are close to Halloween. This month we look back at the cetacean evolutionary tree and talk about the Dorudon (Dorudon atrox). This primitive cetacean swam the ancient Eocene oceans of what is now Egypt and the United States, along with the Basilosaurus. Just …

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Baby, it’s Cold Outside! Thermoregulation in marine mammals

how do arctic marine mamamls stay warm

Polar oceanic water can get as cold as about –2°C! Even temperate or tropical waters might drop as low as –1°C if deep enough. This makes you think, how do marine mammals survive arctic temperatures? In this post, we’ll take the artic plunge into thermoregulation in marine mammals. Let’s Talk Ratios: Size matters! One way …

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