Whale Science

You can stop calling North Atlantic killer whales type 1 and type 2

north atlantic killer whales

A new paper by Dr. Andy Foote just came out; it encourages people to stop calling North Atlantic killer whales “type 1” and “type 2”. These two types were defined by Dr. Foote himself during his PhD research. Let’s find out why we should stop talking about two types in the North Atlantic. How the two …

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How Long Do Whales Live?

How long do whales live? Whales have some of the longest life spans in the mammal kingdom. In fact, several whale species have been recorded to live over 100 years old! Which whale lives the longest? Do captive whales live longer than their wild counterparts? How can we calculate the age of wild whales? Let’s …

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Science is a marathon: what long-term opportunistic data can tell us about New Zealand sperm whales

We all have in mind these targeted and organized research projects, where scientists go into the field and collect specific data. But not everything in the scientific realm is as predictable as that. Some events, such as cetacean strandings, are unexpected and may only happen a few times per year. Still, there can be a …

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Are humpback whales really not threatened anymore?

humpback whales threatened

Happy World Oceans’ Day, everybody! To celebrate, we are reflecting today on the humpback whales’ recovery and current threats. On this site, we’ve previously discussed both Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) and international conservation efforts to protect whale populations after their decimation by the commercial whaling industry. Today, I wanted to bring these two together and …

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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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New research suggests dolphin infanticide in Japan

dolphin infanticide

Our friend Leanne Rosser from Japan just made a disturbing yet fascinating discovery: she observed a potential dolphin infanticide event (the killing of an infant) in the population of Pacific white-sided dolphins she studies in Mutsu Bay, Japan. In this post, she tells us about this event she witnessed, as well as the reasons behind …

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Scientists develop a model to reveal wild killer whales’ diets

A new study presented a method to reconstruct killer whales’ diets using the lipid composition of their blubber. By measuring these lipids, called fatty acids, in the killer whales’ fat and those in their potential prey, scientists can estimate the abundance of each prey species in the whales’ diet. This new method may hold the …

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Scientists Found Microplastics In Baleen Whale Poop Off New Zealand

Ever since the creation of synthetic plastic in 1869, plastic has become an inescapable part of life on Earth. From large, bulky items to the invisible-to-the-naked-eye pieces, plastic circulates in the air, water, and even our blood and lungs. Today we are focusing on a new study that looked at microplastics in baleen whales off …

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The largest heart in the animal kingdom belongs to the blue whale

At the start of this year, we talked about the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus). Today we wanted to dive deeper into a specific part of their giant anatomy: their heart! It’s no surprise that blue whales have huge hearts since they are one of the largest animals ever to exist. Not only are these organs huge …

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Whale watching can do so much good but can sometimes get out of hands

This month, we decided to focus on whale watching and have prepared three posts to tell you all about it: What are good places to go whale or dolphin watching?  What are things to keep in mind? And what should you look for in a good whale watching operator? Keep reading to find out more …

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