Dolphin, Bear Studies Have Paved The Way To Improved Population Forecasting

2017-12-13T13:30:06+00:00 December 13, 2017|

A new article by a UNSW Sydney-led team challenges the validity of current methods for forecasting the persistence of slow-growing species for conservation purposes, and provides a better approach to reducing the threat of extinction. (From Science Daily) -- Previous research on wild dolphins in Australia and wild bears in North America has revealed that [...]

Stressed-Out Narwhals Don’t Know Whether To Freeze Or Flee, Scientists Find

2017-12-08T14:12:41+00:00 December 8, 2017|

(Credit: Flip Nicklin/ Minden Pictures/Getty Images) Narwhals — the unicorns of the sea — show a weird fear response after being entangled in nets. Scientists say this unusual reaction to human-induced stress might restrict blood flow to the brain and leave the whales addled. (From NPR/ by Nell Greenfieldboyce) -- The narwhals swim hard and dive [...]

See What Happens At A ‘Day Spa’ For Whales

2017-12-04T17:37:28+00:00 November 28, 2017|

To graduate student Sarah Fortune, the rocky crags off Baffin Island were just part of its stark beauty. Then, she saw a group of eight bowhead whales rubbing their bodies against the large boulders. Using aerial drones to watch the whales, she saw that they were using the rocks to help remove loose, dead skin.

Drilling For The Future

2017-11-30T15:26:38+00:00 November 13, 2017|

The Strengthening the Economy with Critical Untapped Resources to Expand (SECURE) American Energy Act (H.R. 4239) was discussed in a hearing by the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. The next day, it was marked up by the full committee, passing along a nearly party line vote (19-14).

Hundreds Of Humpback Whales Are Massing In A Tiny Spot Of Ocean. Here’s Why.

2017-10-27T17:34:27+00:00 October 27, 2017|

HALIFAX, CANADA—In the fall of 1990, a few humpback whales showed up off the coast of western South Africa where they had rarely been seen before. Over the next couple years, a few more showed up, then a few more. Today, nearly 200 of the giant ocean mammals mill around a piece of ocean smaller than a U.S. football field for several months out of the year.

Avoiding Clashes Between Ocean Researchers And Indigenous Communities

2017-10-17T15:26:48+00:00 October 17, 2017|

The University of Alaska has produced a procedure for what scientists on research vessels should do to avoid disrupting Indigenous communities’ traditional hunts. The university’s Brenda Konar hopes that other vessels will adopt codes of conduct. The Arctic Ocean is rapidly changing, and researchers are rushing to understand those changes. That means more research expeditions are coming into more frequent contact with Indigenous communities and the marine animals they depend on. To avoid those conflicts, a recent paper by researchers at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks lays out a “Community and Environmental Compliance Standard Operating Procedure,” or CECSOP.

Trump Administration Denies Endangered Species Protection To Pacific Walruses

2017-11-30T15:51:02+00:00 October 11, 2017|

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has moved to remove Endangered Species Act protections from Pacific Walruses, citing their ability to adapt and persist during changes in their climate and environment. "The Pacific walrus population has persisted through past climate change events however, the ability of the Pacific walrus population to adapt to ...

A Little Giant

2017-09-22T09:17:20+00:00 September 22, 2017|

A fossil skull might indicate the location of a prehistoric whale breeding ground. Found in Hiroshima, Japan, the roughly 16 million year old fossil is of an extinct baleen whale Parietobalaena yamaokai. It’s not the only one of its kind. Multiple specimens of the Miocene mysticete have been found in this place. But what makes this cranium stand out, paleontologist Cheng-Hsiu Tsai notes, is an open suture at the back of the skull. Skulls can be a rough way to tell a mammal's age. In younger mammals, the skull bones haven’t fused together yet. There may be gaps between them, bridged by cartilage, or the sutures running between each piece are easily visible.

Whales Turn Tail At Ocean Mining Noise

2017-08-22T16:28:06+00:00 August 22, 2017|

A new international study has measured the effect of loud sounds on migrating humpback whales as concern grows as oceans become noisier. Scientists have said one of the main sources of ocean noise was oil and gas exploration, due to geologists firing off loud acoustic air guns to probe the structure of the ocean floor in search of fossil fuels.

Will The Great American Eclipse Make Animals Act Strangely? Science Says Yes

2017-08-11T10:13:25+00:00 August 11, 2017|

It’s not just humans who will be affected by the Great American Eclipse coming on Aug. 21 — expect animals to act strangely too. Anecdotal evidence and a few scientific studies suggest that as the moon moves briefly between the sun and the Earth, causing a deep twilight to fall across the land, large swaths of the animal kingdom will alter their behavior.

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