tech and geek stuff
Whales turn tail at ocean mining noise
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...
Whale kills rescuer after he helps free it
A Canadian man who had worked for years to free dozens of entangled whales was killed soon after helping cut one loose, the Canadian government said Tuesday.Joe Howlett, 59, was a founder of Campobello...
Whales sneak into shallow water to eat salmon from hatcheries
Easy pickingsDr Ellen Chenoweth/NOAA Fisheries permit #14122By Alexandra NistoroiuNo such thing as a free lunch? Not so for these whales. Humpback whales in south-east Alaska seem to have found their...
This is what's behind the rise in NYC whale sightings
New video shows a diver off the coast of Tasmania coming face to face with a whale recently in a once-in-a-lifetime encounter.But you don't have to travel to Australia to see these marine giants--they're...
High pregnancy failure, nutritional stress in southern resident killer whales
A multi-year survey of the nutritional, physiological and reproductive health of endangered southern resident killer whales suggests that up to two-thirds of pregnancies failed in this population from...
Extinct early whales listened like their relatives on land, fossil evidence shows
Whales show surprisingly vast differences in hearing ability. Baleen whales tune into infrasonic sounds to communicate over long distances. Toothed whales do just the opposite, relying on ultrasonic frequencies...
Killer whales chase down blue whale in rare footage
A rare sight was captured by a drone camera off the coast of Northern California a few weeks ago. The video shows a group of killer whales streaking through the glassy blue water chasing down a solitary...
Meals on the go: The physics of baleen whales' eating habits
Scientists hope that a greater understanding of how these aquatic mammals feed will shed light on how whales have evolved to the enormous sizes seen today. This new knowledge also will aid conservation...
Whales only recently evolved into giants when changing ice, oceans concentrated prey
A team of scientists have traced the evolution of whale size through more than 30 million years of history and found that very large whales appeared along several branches of the family tree about 2 to...
Trump’s budget jettisons ‘irreplaceable’ marine mammals agency
By Inga Vesper Design Pics Inc/REX/Shutterstock The US Marine Mammal Commission, an organisation charged with restoring mammal populations in the world’s oceans, is set for the chop in president Donald...
Baleen whales' ancestors were toothy suction feeders
Modern whales' ancestors probably hunted and chased down prey, but somehow, those fish-eating hunters evolved into filter-feeding leviathans. An analysis of a 36.4-million-year-old whale fossil suggests...
We may be underestimating whale-boat collisions
PORTLAND, Maine — A group of marine scientists says collisions of whales and boats off of the New England coast may be more common than previously thought.The scientists focused on the humpback whale population...
Japan and Norway set off on annual whale hunt despite opposition
Hundreds of whales will be killedGlenn Lockitch/Sea Shepherd GlobalTHE harpoons are out. Norway’s whaling fleet is setting sail this week, with a kill quota of 999 minke whales. The mammals will be caught...
Blowhole "breathalyzer" shows salmonella in killer whales
Unfortunately for biologists, it’s not really possible to get wild killer whales to come in for a checkup. But to test the health of orcas, you can apparently give the creatures a breathalyzer.That’s what...
Never-before-seen gatherings of hundreds of humpback whales
Did someone say dinner?Colin Marshall/FLPABy Mallory Locklear In a mysterious change to their normal behaviour, humpback whales are forming massive groups of up to 200 animals. Humpbacks aren’t normally...
First-ever underwater video of the elusive True’s beaked whale
Rarely at the surfaceRoland EdlerBy Chelsea WhyteThe sighting of a rare True’s beaked whale came literally out of the blue, and it’s been captured on video. The first underwater footage of this elusive...
Seaworld critics demand more details on orca's death
ORLANDO, Fla. — Animal welfare groups are pushing SeaWorld to release more information about how Tilikum, the orca that killed a trainer at the company’s Orlando park, died from an infection in January.SeaWorld...
400 pilot whales stranded on New Zealand’s ‘whale trap’ beach
Volunteers attend to the stranded whales at Farewell Spit in New Zealand’sAnthony Phelps/ReutersBy Andy CoghlanMore than 400 pilot whales beached themselves on Thursday in one of the worst whale stranding...
Largest ever shark was doomed by its taste for dwarf whales
In search of a snackAlberto GennariBy Richard GrayWith a jaw up to 3 metres wide that had the power to crush a small car, megalodon had a formidable bite. But it seems the largest shark to ever live preferred...
"Granny," oldest known Puget Sound orca, presumed dead at 105
FRIDAY HARBOR, Wash. - The oldest member of the small population of closely-watched endangered Puget Sound orcas has been missing for months and is now likely dead, bringing the toll of dead or missing...
Mysterious metallic sound in ocean finally identified
An otherworldly noise that was recorded near the Mariana Trench could be a never-before-heard whale call.Dubbed the “Western Pacific Biotwang,” this newly discovered call might be from a minke whale —...
Orcas seen hunting and killing rare whales for the first time
Rebecca WellardBy Michael Le Page Killer whales off Australia have been seen killing and eating rare beaked whales – a behaviour never observed before. Since 2014, a small team including Rebecca Wellard...
Whales talk to each other by slapping out messages on water
Let’s try to eavesdropMichael Weber/Imagebroker/FLPA RMBy Alice KleinIt’s something all whale-watchers yearn to see. The sight of whales breaking the surface and slapping their fins on the water is a...
Fossil solves evolution mystery
The skull of Alfred, the whale fossil. Picture: Ben Healley/Museums Victoria THIS 25 million-year-old fossil answers questions about why whales are the biggest creatures in the world and shows just how...
Scientists discover a new element of whale songs
The “songs” of humpback whales are very distinct long, mournful calls. A new study from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) looks at a previously unknown element of the sounds that could unlock...
Massive sea lizards once hunted dinosaur whales in Antarctica
Place of discovery : University of Chile/PA WireBy New Scientist staff and Press AssociationAntarctica was once home to a 10-metre long sea monster that hunted the reptilian equivalent of whales at the...
Whale song 'GPS system': Previously unknown component of whale songs discovered
Researchers have known for decades that whales create elaborate songs, sometimes projecting their calls for miles underwater. A new study, however, has revealed a previously unknown element of whale songs...
Last-ditch effort to save the worldâs smallest porpoise agreed
Endangered catchOmar Vidal/NOAABy Andy CoghlanThe vaquita, the world’s smallest porpoise, may be saved from extinction thanks to measures agreed yesterday at a meeting of the International Whaling Commission....
‘Whaling has no place in the 21st century’
This January 2014 photos shows three dead minke whales on the deck of the Japanese whaling vessel Nisshin Maru in the Southern Ocean. Picture: Tim Watters, Sea Shepherd Australia WARNING: Graphic images...
Inside the "CSI" probe into dozens of unexplained deaths
LONDON -- A team of scientists examines the body in a windowless lab, trying to establish a cause of death. They lean over the gurney, measuring wounds and abrasions, taking photos, and scribbling notes....
Whales’ dung is the real reason we need to stop hunting them
A valuable contributionReinhard Dirscher/WaterFrame/GettySometimes it’s pink, sometimes greeny-brown. But whatever the colour, whale dung could be the unlikely catalyst for ending whaling. The role of...
Sound blasts could keep whales away from wind farm construction
Abundant in areas earmarked for wind powerPaul Holman / Alamy Stock PhotoBy Laura HamptonWarning signals that deter minke whales from wind farm construction sites are being tested in Iceland. It’s the...
Unique feeding habits of whales revealed
Whales are the biggest animals to ever have existed on Earth, and yet some subsist on creatures the size of a paper clip. It's a relatively common factoid, but, in truth, how they do this is only just...
How baby beluga whales dive deeper and longer than any others
The roots of their precocious diving abilities are becoming clearBrandon Cole/Naturepl.comBy Monique BrouilletteBaby beluga in the deep blue sea, Swim so wild and you swim so free… So go the words of...
Most humpback whales taken off endangered species list by feds
HONOLULU -- Federal authorities took most humpback whales off the endangered species list Tuesday, saying their numbers have recovered through international efforts to protect the giant mammals. 28 Photos...
Boom time for whales in the Arctic driven by the loss of sea ice
Bowheads are feastingFlip Nicklin/FLPABy Laura HamptonIt’s boom time for large whales in the Arctic – an unexpected benefit of the unprecedented sea ice reduction seen in the region over the past 30 years....
Drone Captures Footage Of Rare White Whale Calf
Only about 5% of calves are born white, and they darken to grey in their first year.Researchers hope the survey of the south right whales will help conservation efforts. "Drones are allowing us to non-invasively...
Video catches seal using creative tactic to escape killer whales
A YouTube user caught a dramatic escape on video.In the video, posted below (WARNING: some users may find language used in the video offensive) a small seal is seen scrambling up onto the rear deck of...
Whales dive slower and feed less in response to shipping noise
Can’t stand the noiseChris Radburn/PA WireBy New Scientist staff and Press AssociationIncreased shipping noise is disrupting the foraging behaviour of humpback whales in the North Atlantic, and this could...
Humpback whales rescue seals from orca attacks
The photo is extraordinary. In waters near the Antarctic peninsula, an enormous humpback whale floats on its back, cradling a Weddell seal on its chest and elevating it above the ocean surface. Only moments...
Dozens of Whales Stranded in Indonesia's Java Island, 10 Die
More than 30 whales were stranded on a beach on Indonesia's main island of Java and 10 of them have died, an official said Thursday. A mass rescue operation managed to pull most of the stranded whales...
Humpbacks in San Francisco Bay give whale watchers a rare thrill
SAN FRANCISCO -- In San Francisco Bay, it's been a great week for whale watching thanks to some special visitors seldom seen in those waters.It is an unusual sight to be sure: Humpback whales frolicking...
One of world’s rarest creatures spotted
The head of a right whale peers up from the water as another whale passes behind in Cape Cod Bay in 2008. Picture: AP Photo/Stephan Savoia ONE of the rarest creatures on the planet — the endangered right...
Whales dine with their own kind: Predators feed in species-specific hotspots
Researchers have found that as multiple species of whales feast on herring, they tend to stick with their own kind, establishing species-specific feeding centers along the 150-mile length of Georges Bank....
Mystery surrounds multiple whale strandings in Europe
It's a mystery that's confounding marine biologists -- why are so many whales washing up dead on European shores? At the end of January, five sperm whales washed up on the beaches of Lincolnshire and...
Ship noise stops Orca whales from talking to each other
Because the noise occurs at the low frequencies used by baleen whales there is growing evidence it may impact their ability to communicate, and therefore their survival. But the team behind the new research...
All you need to know about whale strandings in the UK and Europe
knsnews.co.uk Are the stranded whales related? The five whales beached on England’s east coast this week are all juvenile males that were probably part of a bachelor pod, says Rob Deaville at the Institute...
Ocean species mix as sea ice melts
Melting Arctic ice is not only opening up new passageways for ships. Birds and marine species are also traveling to uncharted waters.Seabird McKeon, a marine biologist with the Smithsonian Institution's...
Two more sperm whales wash up dead on Dutch beach
People walk near a beached sperm whale on the Dutch island of Texel on January 13, 2016 Two more sperm whales became stranded and died on the Dutch coast a day after five others, likely from the same...
Dozens of whales wash ashore in south India
NEW DELHI -- More than 80 whales have washed ashore on India's southern coast, officials said Tuesday.The short-finned pilot whales began washing up on beaches Monday evening, said M. Ravi Kumar, the...
Dozens of whales die after southern India stranding
A pod of more than 50 small whales started beaching themselves on Monday near Tiruchendur on India's southernmost tip, with local media quoting officials as saying they were fin whales Dozens of whales...
Humpback whales slow to arrive in Hawaii
December usually marks the start of humpback whale season in Hawaii, but experts say the animals have been slow to return this year. The giant whales are an iconic part of winter on the islands and a...
West Coast marine mammals respond to shifting conditions, new research shows
Humpback whales off the West Coast consume thousands of pounds of krill, plankton and small fish each day. Research shows that humpback diets reflect their surroundings, with the truck-sized whales filter-feeding...
Loss of Arctic Sea Ice Presents Opportunities, Challenges
The recent extreme loss of sea ice has opened new migration gateways into the Arctic for whales that once headed to the far north only in the summer, researchers announced this week. Based on new hydrophone...
Rapid Arctic warming drives shifts in marine mammals, new research shows
New hydrophone surveys of migration gateways to the Arctic show that recent extremes in sea ice loss has opened new waters to humpback and fin whales that once ranged through the far north only in summer....
Don't Tell Ahab: Scientists Find Real Great White Whale
Don't call me Ishmael. Call me "Albicetus." Scientists on Wednesday said fossils unearthed in 1909 in Santa Barbara, California, that had been wrongly categorized for decades as belonging to a group of...
Whales entangled at alarming rate along California coast
In this Monday, Nov. 30, 2015 photo, Capt. David Anderson of Captain Dave's Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari in Dana Point, Calif., shows a net a whale was found entangled in. Anderson was among the...
Killer seagulls wreaking havoc from the sky
These seagulls give Angry Birds a whole new meaning. SCIENTISTS have been scratching their heads over hundreds of baby whales that perished off the coast of Argentina between 2013 and 2014. However, a...
Tiny new North Pacific fossil whale from 30 million years ago
A new species of fossil baleen whale that lived in the North Pacific Ocean 30 to 33 million years ago has been described. The whale, named Fucaia buelli by the researchers, is transitional between ancient...
Hundreds of whales beached on Chilean coast
SANTIAGO, Chile -- The coast of southern Chile has become a grave for 337 sei whales that were found beached in what scientists say is one of the biggest whale strandings ever recorded.Biologist Vreni...
I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its component fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers. That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark