porpoise

11 Stories

Navy-Trained Dolphins Tapped for Rescue Mission

Fewer than 40 vaquita porpoises are left in the world

(Newser) - Your mission, dolphins, should you choose to accept it: Rescue a rare porpoise threatened with extinction. That's the assignment for a group of US Navy-trained dolphins that Mexican officials hope will save the endangered vaquita, the BBC reports. The plan is for the dolphins to find the pint-size porpoises,... More »

Fishermen Threw Away a 'One-in-a-Billion' Catch

Conjoined twin porpoises found for first time

(Newser) - In all the time humans have been exploring the ocean, there have until now been just nine recorded sightings of conjoined aquatic mammals. That's only partly why the Washington Post calls a recent catch in the North Sea "a one-in-a-billion discovery." Dutch trawlers on May 30 discovered... More »

Why This One Dead Sea Creature Is Such a Big Deal

Only about 30 vaquita are left, with another carcass found in Gulf of California

(Newser) - Not even military dolphins could save this vaquita. The carcass of one of the endangered porpoises, whose Spanish name translates to "little cow," was discovered floating near the Baja California shoreline Sunday in the latest blow to a rapidly diminishing population, NBC Los Angeles reports. The vaquita was... More »

As 'Smirking' Porpoise Nears Extinction, US Sends in Military Dolphins

The vaquita, or 'little cow,' is caught up in fishing nets and insatiable thirst from China

(Newser) - The world's smallest porpoise is also ever smaller in number, its population decimated in recent decades thanks to what the Washington Post describes as "a cruel mixture of fishing nets and economics." The vaquita, or "little cow," has gotten tangled up in fish nets since... More »

Say Goodbye to Earth's Smallest Porpoise

Vaquitas are illegally fished in the Gulf of California

(Newser) - Fishermen are on the verge of eradicating a porpoise known for its little body and distinctive smirk—and only a massive effort by three world governments can save it, scientists say. The vaquita, also known as "little cow," was already the most endangered marine mammal on Earth. Now... More »

Porpoises Use Sound Like a Flashlight

They can adjust the beam as they zero in on prey

(Newser) - Porpoises have the amazing ability to not only locate prey with a beam of sound, but adjust the field of clicks and buzzes as they move in for the kill, preventing the fish from slipping away, a new study finds. The lead researcher from Denmark's Aarhus University tells the... More »

Porpoise May Have Died From Too Much Mating

Old male likely died of starvation after devoting most of his energy to sex

(Newser) - A 5-foot-long, 110-pound elderly male porpoise—which likely washed up on Worthing beach south of London before being dumped more than a mile inland—appears to have devoted so much of its energy to mating that it ultimately died of starvation and hypothermia. "The male porpoise was in a... More »

Dolphins Killing SF Bay Porpoises

Attackers are young, male, sexually frustrated: experts

(Newser) - Corpses of battered porpoises are turning up on beaches along the San Francisco Bay. The culprit, experts say, is the bottlenose dolphin. "I've lived here 15 years, and I've never seen anything like that," says one biologist who witnessed a porpoise killing while jogging on the... More »

Dick Van Dyke: I Was Saved by Porpoises

Poppins star says school saved him when he found himself adrift on surfboard

(Newser) - Dick van Dyke says he owes his life to a helpful school of porpoises. The Mary Poppins and Diagnosis: Murder star recently told an interviewer that he fell asleep on a surfboard and woke up adrift at sea and out of sight of land, the Telegraph reports. "I started... More »

Wind Farms Scaring Off Porpoises

'Bubble curtains' could be the solution

(Newser) - Renewable energy from wind farms comes at the cost of scaring off porpoises, according to a German study of the country's first offshore wind farm. The marine mammals—who depend on their acute hearing for communication, orientation, and finding food—fled the area 30 miles off the German coast while... More »

Humpbacks No Longer in Danger

Spectacular success for conservation

(Newser) - Humpback whales, once feared to be on the verge of extinction, have made such a dramatic comeback that the International Union for Conservation of Nature has removed them from its list of vulnerable species. A ban on humpback whaling in the 1960s has allowed their numbers to grow to 55,... More »

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