Threats

The Humpback Whale – March 2021

Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) are fascinating marine mammals; they are among the largest whale species on the planet. They are found in almost every ocean and might also be the nicest animals in the world. They also happen to have one of the longest migrations of any mammal. In this post, we’ll learn more about …

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How can snot-collecting drones help with whale conservation?

When we think about whale conservation, we can picture researchers frantically taking photos of surfacing whales, dangling over the edge of a research boat collecting biopsy samples or elbow deep into a carcass. However, recently, some whale scientists are on a mission to collect a less conventional sample: whale snot! What is whale snot, and …

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Sirenians: manatees and dugongs – January 2021

This month, we will talk about the sirenians: manatees and dugongs. These slow and peaceful “herbivores”, also called sea cows, have elephants as their closest land relatives. In this post, we highlight some mostly unknown facts about the sirenian family and hope to raise awareness about the threats they face today. They are not strict …

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Will whales be hunted for profit in the future?

Commercial whaling is a complicated topic. Almost everybody has a strong opinion about it, and discussions can get heated quickly. So let’s take a deep breath and try to keep the blood pressure low. Nowadays, three countries openly conduct commercial whaling: Japan, Norway, and Iceland. Indigenous people in various parts of the world, e.g., Alaska …

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The Northern Bottlenose Whale – December 2020

We are wrapping this year with a lesser-known, but very well studied ziphiid, or beaked whale, the northern bottlenose whale (Hyperoodon ampullatus). The northern bottlenose whale is the largest member of the beaked family found in the North Atlantic Ocean. They have a bottle-shaped beak and a hooked dorsal fin, hence the “bottlenose” in their …

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The Sei Whale – November 2020

Whalecome to our new whale of the month, the sei whale, Balaenoptera borealis! This mysterious baleen whale is the third largest of the rorqual family. It is also an endangered species that was hunted to near extinction and is now slowly recovering. Here are a couple of cool facts about the sei whale. Sonic whale …

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Vaquita, the most endangered cetacean in the world

Vaquita porpoises have puzzled scientists since their discovery in 1958. Regrettably, their populations have gotten much smaller over time due to illegal fishing practices. In this post, we highlight that while these “little cows” may be difficult to protect, we should try everything we can to save them.  The Mysterious Nature of the Vaquita Vaquita …

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The Irrawaddy dolphin – September 2020

Irrawaddy dolphin

This little (2m – 2.8m / 6-9 feet) dolphin looks like a baby beluga whale. Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) have a super cute and expressive face. In this post, we list a couple of interesting facts about these shy and endangered dolphins. 1 — Small geographical range Irrawaddy dolphins live in coastal areas in South …

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Protecting the Canary Islands’ sea and its sperm whales

This post talks about the future of sperm whales and other deep-divers in the Canary Islands. Sperm whales are such amazing animals. These whales are the world’s largest toothed whales, living up to 70 years. These giant whales are quite similar to submarine: they can deep-dive while holding their breath for about 45 minutes below …

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The whale with no tail – Fluker is dying

Whale no tail

Here is the story of Fluker, the fluke-less fin whale. This female whale became famous in the Mediterranean Sea because she lost her tail about a year ago. Through this post, we would like to raise awareness on boat strikes and drifting nets that injure/kill many whales everywhere, every year. Today, Fluker, the whale with …

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