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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Why Should Early-career Scientists Engage in Science Communication?

Science communication (also called #scicomm) is a skill. It involves sharing science with a larger audience, beyond Academia, in an understandable way. Effective science communication relies on a delicate balance between too few details and too much information, which can confuse a non-expert audience. Above all, it should be entertaining and tell a story.  With...

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Scientists Found Microplastics In Baleen Whale Poop Off New Zealand

Ever since the creation of synthetic plastic in 1869, plastic has become an inescapable part of life on Earth. From large, bulky items to the invisible-to-the-naked-eye pieces, plastic circulates in the air, water, and even our blood and lungs. Today we are focusing on a new study that looked at microplastics in baleen whales off...

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Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins — April 2022

We’ve all heard about humpback whales. They are probably the most famous baleen whale species. But did you know humpback dolphins existed? There are actually four different species of humpback dolphins, all grouped in the genus Sousa. This month, we cover Sousa chinensis, the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin. This coastal dolphin needs our help; let’s find...

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Barataria Bay Bottlenose Dolphins — March 2022

This month we shine a light on a very specific population of bottlenose dolphins. We can encounter them right off the coast of Louisiana, in Barataria Bay. The Barataria Bay dolphins are not much different than other populations found off the Gulf of Mexico coastline. However, they face specific stresses that threaten the survival of their population. Let’s find out about these threats! These dolphins hang out in Barataria Bay Barataria Bay is a sheltered…

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The largest heart in the animal kingdom belongs to the blue whale

At the start of this year, we talked about the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus). Today we wanted to dive deeper into a specific part of their giant anatomy: their heart! It’s no surprise that blue whales have huge hearts since they are one of the largest animals ever to exist. Not only are these organs huge and efficient, but they also serve an important ecological purpose even after death. A blue whale heart can be 5ft…

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