whales

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200 Whales Die in New Zealand in the Past Week

There have been multiple mass strandings

(Newser) - Fifty-one pilot whales died Friday in another mass stranding in New Zealand, the AP reports, less than a week after 145 pilot whales and nine pygmy killer whales perished in two other, unrelated strandings. In the latest stranding, up to 90 pilot whales beached themselves late Thursday at Hanson Bay... More »

Scientists Just Discovered a Quirk of Whale Songs

Humpbacks sing an increasingly complex tune for years, then drop it for something simpler

(Newser) - Researchers studying the songs of humpback whales have discovered a quirk of the undersea music: The whales sing the same song for a few years, adding individual embellishments and making it increasingly complex all the while. And then, poof, they switch to a simpler tune and start the cycle over... More »

Dozens of Stranded Whales, a 'Heartbreaking Decision'

More than 140 pilot whales die after being stranded on New Zealand's Stewart Island

(Newser) - A hiker on a New Zealand island stumbled upon a distressing sight this weekend: dozens of pilot whales, dead on the beach after getting stranded there. Per the Guardian , the nation's Department of Conservation fielded a call Saturday from the hiker, who'd been camping on secluded Stewart Island,... More »

In Dead Whale's Belly, a Horrifying Collection of Plastic

Sperm whale found in Indonesia, world's No. 2 plastics polluter

(Newser) - A dead whale that washed ashore in eastern Indonesia had a large lump of plastic waste in its stomach, including drinking cups and flip-flops, reports the AP . The discovery caused concern among environmentalists and government officials in one of the world's largest plastic-polluting countries. Rescuers from Wakatobi National Park... More »

Illegal Russian 'Whale Jail' Investigated

Dozens of orcas, belugas seen in cramped pens

(Newser) - Some of the world's most majestic creatures are being kept in cramped conditions in an illegal "whale jail" in Russia, activists say. Prosecutors in the city of Vladivostok in Russia's Far East opened an investigation after drone video was released showing dozens of beluga whales and orcas... More »

A 'Gut-Wrenching' Mother's Grief in the Puget Sound

Orca won't let go of her calf, who died shortly after being born Tuesday off the Washington coast

(Newser) - What's being described as a "gut-wrenching" scene is playing out in Puget Sound, and it's been going on for at least three days. The Seattle Times reports on J35, an orca who gave birth on Tuesday only to witness her calf die 30 minutes later—and she'... More »

Ancient Romans May Have Had Thriving Whaling Industry

The discovery is reshaping historians' views of the Mediterranean Sea's past

(Newser) - Newly uncovered evidence suggests ancient Romans may have had a thriving whaling industry. Per the Guardian , archaeological excavations at three Roman-era fish processing sites near the Strait of Gibraltar, which connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea, found the ancient bones of two whale species not known to frequent... More »

Whale 'Struggled Fiercely' in Painful 5-Day Death

The poor creature had ingested 80 plastic bags

(Newser) - Going shopping today? Consider this: A whale died Friday in Thailand from having ingested 80 plastic bags weighing some 17 pounds, CNN reports. Thai officials say locals in Southern Thailand noticed the short-fin male pilot whale looking sick and floating oddly earlier this week, so government veterinarians and people from... More »

BP: An Oil Spill Would 'Boost' Local Economies

But Australia's regulators weren't convinced

(Newser) - Two years ago, BP applied to drill for oil off the Australian coast. Now government letters show that BP praised the "welcome boost" local economies could receive doing cleanup in an oil spill, the Sidney Morning Herald reports. Australia's National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority—or... More »

This 'Could Be the Beginning of the End' for Endangered Whale

No confirmed right whale births so far this year

(Newser) - The winter calving season for critically endangered right whales has nearly ended with zero newborns spotted in the past four months—a reproductive drought that scientists who study the fragile species haven't seen in three decades. Right whales typically give birth off the southeastern US coast between December and... More »

Over 140 Whales Die After Getting Stranded in Australia

'I've never seen anything like it'

(Newser) - At least 140 whales have died after becoming stranded on a beach overnight in Western Australia, the AP reports. Over 150 short-finned pilot whales were first spotted on the beach at Hamelin Bay by a fisherman on Friday morning. By Friday afternoon, all but 15 had died. According to the... More »

Orca Learns to Mimic 'Hello,' Other Words

Nice job, Wikie

(Newser) - Orcas don't just wave and whistle. They also have the ability to mimic words like "hello" and "bye bye," as one killer whale has just proven. After discovering orca pods with unique "accents" in their communications—which naturally come in the form of whistles, calls,... More »

Scientists Getting Worried About Endangered Whale

No newborn right whales seen as calving season peaks

(Newser) - Scientists have yet to spot a single newborn right whale off the Southeast US coast seven weeks into the endangered species' calving season, the AP reports. It's the longest researchers have gone without a calf sighting since comprehensive surveys started in 1989. More »

Officials Fear Whale Facing Extinction

Rare right whales' numbers are dwindling after 17 died this year

(Newser) - Scientists are raising a red flag over the future of endangered right whales after a high number died in 2017. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimates that there are only about 450 North Atlantic right whales left after 17 were reported dead this year, according to Phys.org... More »

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 »

These Whales Are Rarely Seen. Scientists Spotted 2

Pair of rare right whales photographed in Bering Sea

(Newser) - Federal researchers studying critically endangered North Pacific right whales sometimes go years without finding their subjects. Last weekend, they got lucky, per the AP . A research vessel in the Bering Sea photographed two of the animals Sunday and obtained a biopsy sample from one, says the National Oceanic and Atmospheric... More »

Cruise Ship Docks in Alaska, Makes Sad Find on Its Bow

A dead humpback whale

(Newser) - A cruise ship reached an Alaska port with a surprise on its bow: the carcass of a humpback whale. Per the AP , the Grand Princess, a 949-foot ship in the Princess Cruises fleet, pulled into Ketchikan Wednesday morning with the marine mammal lodged on its submerged, bulbous bow, a device... 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 »

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