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whales

This tag is associated with 10 posts

From Table to Tour Boat: How Our Perception of Large Marine Animals Has Changed Over Time

Whether they elicit feelings of awe, admiration, or fear, there’s just something fascinating about large animals. In the Western world, large marine animals (or marine megafauna as scientists call them) have experienced a polarizing shift in how human societies view them over the last 50-100 years. In their recent article, published in PLoS ONE this […]

Why don’t whales have strokes?

Whales can’t breathe underwater. But even though whale brains should be damaged by the lack of oxygen, they aren’t. Scientists have found out why. Anastasia YandulskayaI am a PhD candidate at Northeastern University in Boston. I study regeneration of the nervous system in water salamanders called axolotls. In my free time, I like to read […]

Arctic Unicorns: Understanding the past, present, and future of narwhals and their mysterious tusks

Why do narwhals have tusks that make them look like unicorns? As climate change continues, what is the fate of narwhals and their enigmatic tusks? Two recent studies of these unicorns of the sea start to answer questions about their past, present, and future. Julia ZehI am a PhD candidate at Syracuse University studying marine […]

Sinking Alligator Carcasses into the Deep Ocean to See What Eats Them

  The Deep Unknown The deep ocean is an alien world. Life here must contend with crushing pressures, near-freezing temperatures, and a complete absence of light. At more than a thousand feet deep, it’s also the least explored and least understood ecosystem on Earth. That’s a problem, because the deep makes up about 95% of […]

Protections with a bite: Are toothed whales sheltered by South African Marine Protected Areas?

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are often put into place to protect biodiversity and essential fish stocks, but toothed whales are rarely considered when deciding where to put an MPA. As South Africa looks to expand its protected areas, Jean Purdon and her colleagues set out to learn where the toothed whales are living off the […]

Threats to Cetaceans: There’s More than Meets the Eye

Researchers spent seven years specifically studying deceased, stranded cetaceans along the coastline of the Canary Islands in Spain to figure out what most likely caused their deaths. They found that while human activity accounted for a large portion, something else was responsible for a much larger percentage of cetacean death. Rishya NarayananRishya is a multimedia […]

Can you hear me now? Investigating sound across the Atlantic Ocean

The ocean is full of sounds, ranging from marine mammal conversations to man-made noises used to investigate the seafloor.  Ocean noise pollution makes it hard for marine mammals to communicate with each other. Read more to learn how scientists measure sound in the Atlantic Ocean. Victoria TreadawayI am a PhD candidate at the Graduate School […]

a Whale’s tale

Age estimations of marine mammals are traditionally made with a single tooth. A group of scientists from Australia think they can improve the traditionally method by adding more teeth into the equation. Anne M. HartwellHello, welcome to Oceanbites! My name is Annie, I’m a marine research scientist who has been lucky to have had many […]

Elastic nerves make rorqual whales the Mister Fantastic of the ocean

A team of researchers have discovered extremely elastic nerves in the mouth and tongue of rorqual whales. This is highly unusual considering nerves in nearly all other animals are quite rigid and sensitive to damage by overextension. Irvin HuangA recent convert to oceanography, I’m studying under Dr. Anne McElroy at Stony Brook University’s School of […]

Baleen whales have a bone to pick with noise pollution

CT scans of the skull of a beached whale has helped a pair of researchers figure out how baleen whales hear. Through computer modeling, they found that baleen whales, in addition to using soft tissue in their head like antennas, also use the bones in their skull to pick up sounds from their environment. Irvin […]

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