December 9th, 2010 by J.H. Soeder
BECAUSE THEY CAN!
Women who have gone through menopause are not alone in living far past their ability to reproduce. This trait also been documented among killer whales and pilot whales.
You see, whales and humans live in family groups, and, over time, females develop an increasing stake in helping raise the offspring of others in their community.
The work, provides a supplemental explanation to the grandmother hypothesis (Cant & Johnsone), which suggests that evolution favored older women who used their knowledge and experience to benefit their relatives’ children.
But once a female has offspring and those offspring have bred their own, all within the same community, it becomes more advantageous for the female to help raise those offspring than to continue having her own children, Cant and Johnstone said.
Their new work will be published in the Dec. 22 issue of the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
The whales’ story…
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Category: Whales | 621 Comments »
October 15th, 2010 by J.H. Soeder
A recent newspaper article in the SPOKESMAN REVIEW, noted that a lone female humpback whale has confounded scientists by traveling a route completely opposite to the normal migration patterns of the species:
“While humpbacks normally migrate along a north-to-south axis to feed and mate, this one – affectionately called AHWC No. 1363 – made the unusual decision to check out a new continent thousands of miles to the east.
Marine ecologist Peter Stevick says it probably wasn’t love that motivated her – whales meet their partners at breeding sites, so it’s unlikely that this one was following a potential mate.
“It may be that this is an extreme example of exploration,” he said. “Or it could be that the animal got very lost.” Read the rest of this entry »
Category: Whales | 299 Comments »
October 12th, 2010 by J.H. Soeder
I just found a site which listens and records whale songs going on at this very minute! And you can listen to them right now, too!
The cool thing is that you can listen to whales right from your computer desktop, thanks to a new website.
The LIDO (Listening to the Deep Ocean Environment) site offers a live feed to 10 hydrophones sprinkled around European waters, and one in Canada. Several more are scheduled to come soon in Canada and in Asia.
The network’s primary aim is to record and archive long-term subsea noise so that researchers can study the effects of human activity on whales and dolphins. Read the rest of this entry »
Category: Whales | 733 Comments »
October 4th, 2010 by J.H. Soeder
The prosperity of the early American colonies and its Industrial Revolution was no doubt fueled by incredible massacres of whales: I million sperm whales, 384,000 blues, 275,000 humpbacks, 92,000 bowheads and 10,000 North Atlantic Right Whales. This does not include Japanese whaling.
The above numbers of remaining whales are staggering when one considers what is now left in our oceans today: 500-1,000 North Atlantic Right Whales, 8,000 Bowhead, 12,000 Blue Whales, 10,000 humpbacks and 200,000 sperm whales. When one considers the quantities of whales prior to 1900, one can actually see why ALL whales are endangered.
During that time, whales were hunted for their oil, wax and baleen. However, with the discovery of petroleum, whale hunting is no longer advancing at a rapid pace. That may seem favorable; not when one compares the populations of whales before the 1900’s.
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