whales

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How Whale Rescuer Was Killed by Whale He'd Just Freed

'He probably didn't feel anything'

(Newser) - "He was really happy at his very last moment," Philip Hamilton tells the CBC . "I take some comfort in that." The research scientist was the only person not employed by Canada's Fisheries and Oceans department to witness the July 10 death of volunteer whale rescuer... More »

New Study Claims the Sun May Have Caused 29 Whales to Die

Researchers say changes to Earth's magnetic field may be to blame

(Newser) - In the first weeks of 2016, 29 sperm whales were found stranded and dead off the coasts of Britain, France, the Netherlands, and Germany, the BBC reports. The whales had been generally healthy, and scientists were confounded as to what had caused them to enter the dangerously shallow waters of... More »

After Whale Kills Man Who Rescued It, NOAA Reacts

US, Canada temporarily suspend right whale rescue operations

(Newser) - The US and Canada are suspending their official efforts to free North Atlantic right whales tangled in fishing lines after the death of a rescuer during an operation Monday. NPR reports former Canadian fisherman and whale rescue expert Joe Howlett had just cut a right whale free from fishing lines... More »

Innovative Whales Discover Easy New Food Source

Study finds humpbacks hang out near hatcheries to feast on young salmon

(Newser) - The hatcheries of southeast Alaska spend months raising juvenile salmon until they're ready for life on their own in the wide-open ocean. The big day comes, the young fish are released, and they're ... immediately eaten by a hungry whale that's been waiting for this exact moment. A... More »

Whale Kills Fisherman Who Rescued It

Canada's Joe Howlett had spent the past 15 years saving whales in trouble

(Newser) - Joe Howlett had just tapped into his extensive knowledge of knots to free yet another whale off the coast of New Brunswick on Monday, part of his job with Canada's Campobello Whale Rescue Team, and then: "Some kind of freak thing happened and the whale made a big... More »

Wily Orcas Are Tormenting Alaska Fishermen

Whales are stealing thousands of pounds of their fish from boats

(Newser) - They're like pirates of sorts, but very, very large ones. Alaskan fishermen say they’re increasingly missing out on scores of fish they rely on to make a living because killer whales are making off with their catch. A few years ago, orca sightings in the Bering Sea were... More »

There's a Simple Reason Blue Whales Got So Huge

They pigged out on fish: study

(Newser) - Scientists think they've figured out why the biggest whales—those of the baleen variety, including blue whales—got so big. As they explain in a study in Proceedings of the Royal Society B , the researchers found that these behemoths didn't really become behemoths until about 4.5 million... More »

'Unprecedented' Orca Hunting Frenzy Caught on Film

In just seven days, the orcas have killed four whales in Monterey, California

(Newser) - A pod of killer whales off the coast of Monterey, California, has intrigued biologists by going on a frenzied hunting spree that’s killed four gray whales in just seven days. Nancy Black, a local marine biologist and co-owner of Monterey Bay Whale Watch, caught the latest attack on camera... More »

Baby Humpback Whales 'Whisper' to Their Moms

And that could be a sign of high intelligence

(Newser) - Baby humpback whales "whisper" to their mothers, according to a paper published Tuesday in Functional Ecology . And that could speak volumes about the intelligence of these aquatic giants. NPR reports scientists—for the first time ever—attached recording devices directly to humpback calves. "It's like a squeaky... More »

Whale Trapped in Ice 'Crying Like a Baby'

A 'very, very sad' scene, neighbor says

(Newser) - A humpback whale trapped in ice off Newfoundland is likely doomed unless weather conditions change in the coming days. Residents noticed the whale stuck in shallow water on Friday near Old Perlican. Hemmed in by ice, the creature cannot escape. "You can see the blood on the ice where... More »

Japan Kills 333 Whales During Annual Hunt

Activists have long called for an end to the practice

(Newser) - Japan's annual Antarctic whale hunt killed 333 whales this year, the AFP reports. The five-ship whaling fleet set out in November and returned to port Friday with the minke whale carcasses. The country's Fisheries Agency says the mission was necessary for "research for the purpose of studying... More »

New Habit of Humpbacks Puzzles Researchers

Scientists have spotted them in groups as big as 200 for first time

(Newser) - Humpback whales, which humans have long observed to be solitary creatures, are gathering in large groups to feed, and it's kind of astounding the scientists who study them. Typically living alone or in pairs, a group of 10 to 15 is considered big, but research crews have now spotted... More »

Underwater Video From 2013 Ended Up Being a Big Deal

The whales filmed were actually True's beaked whales

(Newser) - A group of students got an unforgettable science lesson in May 2013—but just how unforgettable is only now coming to light. While on an expedition in the Azores some 950 miles west of Portugal, as many as four beaked whales surfaced and spent about 10 minutes near a small... More »

Near Ocean's Deepest Spot, a 3.5-Second Symphony

Scientists believe it comes from minke whales

(Newser) - The 3.5-second symphony covers nearly half of the sound range that humans can hear, rising from a frequency as low as 38 hertz to an 8,000-hertz "metallic finale." But unless you make a detour to waters above the deepest spot in the ocean, you might never... More »

Beached Whale Free After Calf Seen Nudging Her

Both make it back to deeper waters

(Newser) - Workers in Australia's Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services were saved some work Wednesday morning, and they've apparently got a young humpback whale to thank. Responding to help an adult whale beached on a sandbar, the workers found that she had managed to free herself before they got there.... More »

Scientists Might've Accidentally Killed an Endangered Orca

Tracking dart possibly led to fungal infection

(Newser) - Scientists hoping to protect endangered orcas might have inadvertently killed one instead. A killer whale tagged by NOAA researchers in Washington state in February turned up dead in British Columbia five weeks later, reports the CBC . On Wednesday, US researchers released a report suggesting the 20-year-old whale, known as L95,... More »

Clever Seal Goes to Desperate Lengths to Dodge Killer Whales

'Most intense epic experience ever': boat owner

(Newser) - Seals are cute, curious, and apparently quite resourceful when they're trying to avoid becoming someone's dinner, per a story out of British Columbia. The CBC reports on the adventures of a survival-minded seal who, desperately trying to escape the clutches of the ravenous orcas pursuing it, hopped aboard... More »

Whale as Old as the Titanic Spotted in the Pacific

'Granny' spotted leaping near the coast of Washington

(Newser) - Whale watchers off the coast of Washington saw a welcome sight last week—a killer whale nicknamed "Granny" who is believed to be an astonishing 105 years old, reports the San Francisco Chronicle . Granny's more formal name among scientists who have studied her for decades is J2, and... More »

Humpbacks Save Other Animals From Orcas

The 'why' part is unclear

(Newser) - Whale researchers say they've collected enough evidence to make a remarkable assertion: Humpback whales deliberately save other creatures from killer whales. The scientists collected 115 accounts between 1951 and 2012, they write in Marine Mammal Science . Maine ecologist Robert Pitman got the idea for the survey after seeing an... More »

There's a New Whale Species, and It's a Big One

24-foot 'raven' beaked whale found in Alaskan waters led to discovery of new species

(Newser) - When a 24-foot whale carcass washed up on the beach of a remote Alaskan island in 2014, a researcher was pretty sure it was a dark version of a Baird's beaked whale, National Geographic reports. But per a new study published in Marine Mammal Science , it was an entirely... More »

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