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 »

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 »

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 »

Killer Whales Are Conceiving, but the Pregnancies Are Failing

Study says orcas on West Coast are struggling due to salmon supply

(Newser) - Endangered killer whales that frequent the inland waters of Washington state are having pregnancy problems because they cannot find enough fish to eat, according to a new study. Researchers analyzed hormones in excrement collected at sea and found that more than two-thirds of orca pregnancies failed over a seven-year period.... 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 »

Little Mermaid Statue Doused With Paint ... Again

It appears to be a protest against hunting whales

(Newser) - Danish officials on Tuesday hosed down Copenhagen's famed Little Mermaid after the statue was found doused with red paint, the AP reports. On the ground in front of the statue was written in red, in English, "Denmark defend the whales of the [Faeroe] Islands"—likely a reference... 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 »

After Whales Refloated, a Devastating Setback

240 whales from new pod now stranded on NZ beach

(Newser) - A new pod of 240 whales swam aground at a remote New Zealand beach on Saturday just hours after weary volunteers managed to refloat a different group of whales following an earlier mass stranding . In total, more than 650 pilot whales have beached themselves along a 3-mile stretch of coastline... More »

'Utterly Heartbreaking' Scene on Remote Beach

400 whales stranded; New Zealanders scramble to rescue survivors

(Newser) - Volunteers are scrambling to rescue scores of whales after one of the worst strandings in New Zealand's history. About 275 of the pilot whales were already dead when magazine writer Cheree Morrison and two colleagues found them early Friday on Farewell Spit, a remote beach at the tip of... More »

One 2-Ton Whale Was No Match for 30 Plastic Bags

Bags, other waste found in stomach of euthanized whale in Norway

(Newser) - Norwegian zoologists have found about 30 plastic bags and other plastic waste in the stomach of a beaked whale that had beached on a southwestern Norway coast, the AP reports. The visibly sick, 2-ton goose-beaked whale was euthanized, Terje Lislevand of Bergen University said Friday. "The [whale's] stomach... More »

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