Whale Scientists Story – Erica Wirth

Erica Wirth is a 26-year-old American naturalist and captain working in California. She also is the founder of a successful podcast, Breaching Extinction. Here is her story. Erica earned a dual degree in Environmental Studies and Psychology I attended Eckerd College, earning a dual degree in 3.5 years. Eckerd was my dream college, and I...

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You can stop calling North Atlantic killer whales type 1 and type 2

A new paper by Dr. Andy Foote just came out; it encourages people to stop calling North Atlantic killer whales “type 1” and “type 2”. These two types were defined by Dr. Foote himself during his PhD research. Let’s find out why we should stop talking about two types in the North Atlantic. A male killer...

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Science is a marathon: what long-term opportunistic data can tell us about New Zealand sperm whales

We all have in mind these targeted and organized research projects, where scientists go into the field and collect specific data. But not everything in the scientific realm is as predictable as that. Some events, such as cetacean strandings, are unexpected and may only happen a few times per year. Still, there can be a...

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Hey Whale Scientists, You Can Now Access A New Free Cetacean Database For Research!

This week, we are partnering with the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), aka the public body that advises the UK Government and devolved administrations on UK-wide and international conservation. They just launched a new tool for conservation called the Joint Cetacean Data Program (JCDP). By accessing the portal, researchers can now obtain tons of sighting...

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Are humpback whales really not threatened anymore?

Happy World Oceans’ Day, everybody! To celebrate, we are reflecting today on the humpback whales’ recovery and current threats. On this site, we’ve previously discussed both Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) and international conservation efforts to protect whale populations after their decimation by the commercial whaling industry. Today, I wanted to bring these two together and...

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Got balls? Not like the Southern Right Whale!

In our world, we say size does not matter. However, we find animals in the wild kingdom with various large parts: elephants have large trunks, baboons have oversized butts … and male southern right whales have massive testes. This article will explain the unique features of whales’ reproductive systems and explore the potential reasons for...

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New research suggests dolphin infanticide in Japan

Our friend Leanne Rosser from Japan just made a disturbing yet fascinating discovery: she observed a potential dolphin infanticide event (the killing of an infant) in the population of Pacific white-sided dolphins she studies in Mutsu Bay, Japan. In this post, she tells us about this event she witnessed, as well as the reasons behind...

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Scientists develop a model to reveal wild killer whales’ diets

A new study presented a method to reconstruct killer whales’ diets using the lipid composition of their blubber. By measuring these lipids, called fatty acids, in the killer whales’ fat and those in their potential prey, scientists can estimate the abundance of each prey species in the whales’ diet. This new method may hold the...

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