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whale

This tag is associated with 28 posts

Are marine mammals susceptible to COVID-19?

Humans aren’t the only ones susceptible to COVID-19 and as the virus continues to spread, concern for wildlife is growing. Julia ZehI am a PhD candidate at Syracuse University studying marine mammal communication. My research focuses on analyzing underwater recordings of whale calls in order to better understand whale behavior. I’m also interested in education, […]

How to Stay Alive without Oxygen: Marine Mammals, Diving, and COVID-19

The unique deep diving ability of marine mammals may give researchers a clue into the damaging effects of COVID-19 on humans. Elena GadoutsisI’m not the typical marine biologist – I started my career as a nurse working in intensive care, clinical research, and community outreach. However, I was always a scientist at heart – spending […]

Surprising fin whale songs in Hawaii

After sifting through thousands of hours of recordings, a team of naval researchers is bringing the previously hidden complexities of fin whale song to light. Julia ZehI am a PhD candidate at Syracuse University studying marine mammal communication. My research focuses on analyzing underwater recordings of whale calls in order to better understand whale behavior. […]

Surf’s Up: Suckerfish Have a Whale of a Time

Remoras use the powerful suctioning organ on their heads to attach to different animals. For the first time scientists reveal how remoras surf blue whales, which could inspire new technology. Elena GadoutsisI’m not the typical marine biologist – I started my career as a nurse working in intensive care, clinical research, and community outreach. However, […]

Is Noise Pollution Causing Marine Mammals to Starve?

Noise surrounds our daily lives, and the oceans are no exception. Sonar is used by the Navy and oil industry, and the waves travel under the ocean’s surface. How does sonar impact marine mammals? Read on to find out how scientists are studying the consequences of sonar testing on the swimming behavior of dolphins and […]

Bowhead Whales Threatened by a ‘Killer’

The Arctic is experiencing dramatic changes in sea ice. How will this warming affect the marine life? Scientists find there may be an increasing threat to the already endangered bowhead whale. What it is may surprise you. Elena GadoutsisI’m not the typical marine biologist – I started my career as a nurse working in intensive […]

The view from a sperm whale’s nose

What happens if you place a microphone on the tip of a sperm whale’s nose? Putting anything on the nose of a 50-foot (15-meter) giant is no easy task, but the reward is a glimpse of how the world’s largest toothed predator sees the world. Julia ZehI am a PhD candidate at Syracuse University studying […]

An ancient dolphin gives a glimpse of the past

What can fossilized dolphin skeletons tell us about how whales transitioned from land to sea millions of years ago? New research describes Ankylorhiza tiedemani, an extinct species of dolphin that hunted large prey in the ancient seas of South Carolina. Julia ZehI am a PhD candidate at Syracuse University studying marine mammal communication. My research […]

Minke Boings: A 50-year mystery and the science of listening in the ocean

Whale sounds are weird and fascinating, but for a long time scientists weren’t even sure that whales made sounds. The history of the study of sounds made by marine animals starts with naval submarine recordings, World War II, and mysterious sounds like the minke boing. Julia ZehI am a PhD candidate at Syracuse University studying […]

Tagging the deepest diving mammal: the Cuvier’s beaked whale

A few years ago, the Cuvier’s beaked whale set the record as the deepest diving mammal. At the time, not much else was known about their diving abilities. Check out what Shearer’s team has done to study these elusive divers off the coast of North Carolina. Constance SartorConstance is a graduate student at the University […]

Zombie worms in whale bones

Looking for a cool Halloween costume? Dress up as a zombie worm that lives under the sea and injects acid into whale bones! These exist – and scientists have just discovered a new species deep in the Atlantic Ocean near the Brazilian coast. Anastasia YandulskayaI am a PhD candidate at Northeastern University in Boston. I […]

Humpback Whales Harmonize with Changing Environments

A recent study explores how the occurrence of humpback whale song is associated with shifts in their environment, including the abundance of food, concentration of neurotoxic algal blooms, and even sea levels. Rishya NarayananRishya is a multimedia science communicator with an MS in Media Advocacy from Northeastern University, specializing in Environmental Science Communications and Policy. […]

There’s No Such Thing as Free Lunch: Observing the Foraging Behavior of Sharks Feeding on a Sperm Whale Carcass

All species in the animal kingdom must find food to survive. For some species, finding food can be difficult and energetically taxing. Sharks, in particular, expend large amounts of energy when chasing and procuring prey. In some instances, sharks will resort to scavenging on dead prey, such as whale carcasses, to fill up and restore […]

The Biological Big Bang: Testing the hypothesis that sperm whales use auditory bursts to stun prey and other proposed feeding strategies.

Article Fais, A., Johnson, M., Wilson, M., Soto, N. A., & Madsen, P. T. (2016). Sperm whale predator-prey interactions involve chasing and buzzing, but no acoustic stunning. Scientific reports, 6, 28562. Background Sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) are big. To put it in perspective, an adult or bull sperm whale is longer on average (52 ft.) […]

After the Phase Out: Can Banning Toxic Chemicals Rescue Pilot Whales?

When it comes to persistent pollutants, all roads lead to the ocean. Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) is a chemical that has recently gained attention due to its toxic effects and widespread presence in drinking water. PFOS from human products has also become widespread in ocean waters and the creatures who live in them. PFOS was banned […]

What killer whales tell us about menopause

Killer whales, or orcas (Orcinus orca), are amazingly intelligent and social animals. What can they tell us about the evolution of menopause? Brittney G. BorowiecBrittney is a PhD candidate at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada, and joined Oceanbites in September 2015. Her research focuses on the physiological mechanisms and evolution of the respiratory and […]

Let’s Ghost Fishing for Halloween!

Ghost fishing is ghastly because it creates underwater graveyards for wildlife. The authors covered here wrote a new review of gear entanglement among mammals, reptiles, and sharks. Find out what they discovered by reading today’s post! Rebecca FlynnI am a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (B.S.) and the University of Rhode Island (M.S.). […]

Do algal blooms kill whales?

Since 2005, southern right whale calves have been found dead in historic numbers off the Patagonian coast in Argentina. Scientists investigate whether harmful algal blooms may be to blame. Brittney G. BorowiecBrittney is a PhD candidate at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada, and joined Oceanbites in September 2015. Her research focuses on the physiological […]

Young whales build baleen out of ribs

Juvenile bowhead whales put off gaining length and undergo severe bone loss to invest in growing their massive heads and baleen plates. Brittney G. BorowiecBrittney is a PhD candidate at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada, and joined Oceanbites in September 2015. Her research focuses on the physiological mechanisms and evolution of the respiratory and […]

If You Must, Adjust? Polar Bears Leaving Sea Ice in the Arctic

Everyone knows that polar bears have become the poster children for species threatened by climate change. And it’s for good reason that they are. Polar bears rely on sea ice for access to prey, finding mates, and creating dens. The persistence of the species depends on the state of sea-ice and more generally a healthy […]

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