Bowhead whales: jazz artists of the deep whose calls rival birdsong

How do bowhead whales in the unbroken darkness of the Arctic’s polar winter keep busy during breeding season? They sing, of course. From late autumn to early spring, off the east coast of Greenland, some 200 bowheads, hunted to the edge of extinction, serenade each other with compositions from a vast repertoire of song, according […]

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Icelanders Don’t Like Whale Meat – So Why the Hunts?

When it comes to commercial whaling, Japan is in the limelight. The country has been widely accused of using a scientific research program as a guise for hunting hundreds of whales a year and selling their meat. Last year, an international court agreed that the program isn’t scientific and ordered Japan to shut it down—to […]

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Minke Whales Feast Under Antarctic Ice, Study Finds

Minke whales have been discovered feasting furiously under Antarctic sea ice in a hunting strategy not seen before, scientists report. Tracked using digital tags, the whales gulped mouthfuls of krill nearly every 30 seconds-the fastest “lunge” rate ever observed in filter-feeding baleen whales, according to the new findings. The study, published in the August 13 […]

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Video: Massive Fin Whale Delights Onlookers with Rare Breach

Late last month, a playful fin whale gave a lucky group of spectators the experience of a lifetime as he breached from the Strait of Gibraltar, a narrow strait that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. Fortunately, a research assistant for Conservation, Information and Research on Cetaceans (CIRCE) happened to have her camera […]

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Gigantic Rats Will Rule the Earth When Other Animals Go Extinct

University of Leicester academic predicts rats will continue to grow and fill a ‘significant chunk’ of Earth’s emptying ecospace. When Reggae band UB40 famously asked, ‘There’s a rat in my kitchen what am I going to do?” in their 1986 hit single, they were looking for a practical solution to rid them of a pesky […]

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Buried in every whale’s earwax resides a record of their lifetime exposure to pollutants

In addition to the amazing revelation that whales have earwax (!!), we learn that a team of researchers in the United States just published a paper detailing a new method that they developed for measuring a whale’s lifetime exposure to a wide variety of chemicals — by studying their earwax. In this study, the team […]

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Whales Get Sunburns, Too

If you head to the beach without sunscreen, you’ll probably return home with a scarlet, painful sunburn. That’s because you’ve exposed your skin to several hours of UV rays, which damage DNA within your skin cells. But did you know that whales can get sunburned, too? Researchers discovered that blue, sperm, and fin whales also […]

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Forgotten species: the arapaima or ‘dinosaur fish’

Everyone knows the tiger, the panda, the blue whale, but what about the other five to thirty million species estimated to inhabit our Earth? Many of these marvelous, stunning, and rare species have received little attention from the media, conservation groups, and the public. This series is an attempt to give these ‘forgotten species’ some […]

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Iceland’s fin whales are endangered. Stop this bloody cull

Last night, Hvalur 8 and 9, two whaling vessels owned by millionaire entrepreneur Kristjan Loftsson, left Reykjavik harbour in Iceland, bound on a north-westerly course for the open Atlantic. Hvalur 8 was last logged at 64 degrees latitude, 23 degrees longitude before it went out of range of commercially available data. Together with its sister […]

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Japanese firm stops selling endangered whale pet treats

A Japanese firm has stopped selling luxury pet food made from endangered fin whales, following a campaign by conservation groups. Michinoku Farm, based in Saitama prefecture, north of Tokyo, had advertised jerky-like snacks for dogs made from North Atlantic fin whales imported from Iceland. The treats were removed from its website hours after protests from […]

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