marine mammals

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Whale's Deep Dive Stuns: 'Not Supposed to Be Able to Do This'

Cuvier's beaked whale goes under for a record 3 hours, 42 minutes without coming up for air

(Newser) - It's a mystery how Cuvier's beaked whales go so long without a gulp of air. Based on its body size and metabolism, scientists originally thought the whale would need to resurface every 33 minutes. But one beaked whale just went seven times as long underwater—3 hours, 42... More »

Project Goes Higher to Keep an Eye on Whales

The plan is to monitor and protect them

(Newser) - An aquarium and an engineering firm in Massachusetts are partnering on a project to better protect whales by monitoring them from space. New England Aquarium of Boston and Draper of Cambridge say whale conservation needs new, higher-tech solutions to protect whales from extinction. So, the pair is working together using... More »

Out of Canada, 'News to Splash a Fin At'

'Free Willy' act, which would bar holding whales, dolphins in captivity, about to become law

(Newser) - "Breaking: Victory!" That was the exuberant message from Canada's Green Party on Monday, when the country's House of Commons passed a bill aimed at protecting marine life there. CNN reports on the "Free Willy" bill—named for the 1993 flick in which a boy "... More »

Off the West Coast, Gray Whales Are Starving to Death

At least 53 have washed up so far this year

(Newser) - Gray whales are starving to death in alarming numbers off the West Coast—and researchers aren't entirely sure why. So far this year, at least 53 dead gray whales have washed up on shores from San Diego to Washington state, a number only rivaled by a die-off in 1999... More »

Fossil of 4-Legged Whale Found in Peru

Scientists believe it swam like an otter

(Newser) - What's 13 feet long and has webbed feet with small hooves? It's a whale, according to researchers examining a 42.6-million-year-old fossil found near Peru's Pacific coast. The four-legged early whale, which could apparently move on land as well as in the sea, is the most complete... More »

1.1K Mutilated Dolphins Wash Up on French Shores

Deaths blamed on industrial fishing

(Newser) - The dolphins' bodies were horribly mutilated, the fins cut off. But what shocked French marine researchers wasn't just the brutality of the deaths of these highly intelligent mammals, but the numbers involved—a record 1,100 have landed on France's Atlantic coast beaches since January. The mass deaths,... 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 »

Today's Sperm Whales Descended From One 'Eve'

An ancient whale appears to be the mother of all modern sperm whales

(Newser) - While investigating samples of toxic levels of heavy metals found in sperm whales, researchers stumbled upon a surprising discovery: All of today's sperm whales appear to have descended from the same female, reports Hakai magazine. They've named her Eve and say she lived between 10,000 and 80,... 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 »

This Could Be World's Most Endangered Animal

Newly identified Gulf whale species lives in single canyon

(Newser) - A new species of whale has been identified in an underwater canyon in the Gulf of Mexico, but scientists fear they won't have long to get to know it: There are only about 50 of the unique species of Bryde's whale left in waters off the Florida Panhandle,... More »

After 50 Years, Mysterious Ocean Quack Identified

'Bio-duck' is actually minke whale

(Newser) - A mysterious quacking noise in the ocean that has baffled scientists for decades has finally been identified, researchers say. Acoustic recorders placed on Antarctic minke whales have produced what NOAA experts say is "conclusive evidence" that the sound is their chatter, the BBC reports. The sound was dubbed the... More »

Deepest-Diving Mammal on Planet Named

Study finds Cuvier's beaked whale swims down almost 2 miles

(Newser) - Cuvier's beaked whales are a rare sight—perhaps because they appear to be the deepest-diving mammals in existence. In a new study, researchers found that the creatures were able to reach a depth of nearly 1.9 miles, Reuters reports. In another record-breaking dive, a beaked whale was able... More »

Newly Discovered Dolphin Species Needs Name

Humpbacks live off northern Australia coast

(Newser) - A species of dolphin that lives off the coast of northern Australia is so new to science that it doesn't have a name yet. Scientists knew about the dolphin populations, but they were thought to be part of another humpback dolphin species until genetic testing revealed that they were... More »

Dolphins Have Astounding 'Social Memory'

Can recall whistles 20 years later

(Newser) - Dolphins not only have names for each other , their memories are so good that they can remember the "signature whistles" of friends—and enemies—for at least 20 years, according to a new study. Researchers studied scores of captive bottlenose dolphins that had been shifted around the US and... More »

Discovered: How Whales Can Hold Their Breath Underwater

And why you can't

(Newser) - How come some mammals—like whales—can hold their breath underwater for up to an hour, while others—like you—can't? British biologists have figured it out. Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found that deep sea diving mammals have more electrically charged proteins in their blood. The... More »

South Korea Plans to Resume Whale Hunt

Critics slam plan for 'scientific' whaling

(Newser) - South Korea has announced that it plans to join Japan in hunting whales for "scientific research." The country's delegation to the International Whaling Commission said the hunt for minke whales was needed "for the proper assessment of whale stocks," but anti-whaling countries and groups charged... More »

Louisiana's Rogue Dolphin Entertains ... and Bites

3 people who got too close have been bitten by Katrina survivor

(Newser) - Residents of an upscale New Orleans suburb have been warned to stay away from their friendly neighborhood dolphin. The young bottlenose dolphin, who arrived in a canal off the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain after Hurricane Katrina, is a big hit with boaters and swimmers, but has bitten at least... More »

Navy: Sonar, Blasts Way Harmful Than We Thought

1.6K whales, dolphins could face injury, hearing loss in year

(Newser) - The Navy's use of sonar and explosives could deal damage to some 1,600 marine mammals near California and Hawaii every year—a figure far higher than once believed. The whales and dolphins are at risk of hearing loss and other injuries, the AP reports. What's more, the... More »

Dolphin Rescue Video Makes a Splash

Brazilian beachgoers save pod after mass stranding

(Newser) - So long, and thanks for all the help. Beachgoers come to the rescue of some 30 stranded dolphins in a video racking up plenty of views on YouTube, AP reports. Dozens of shocked people at the beach near Rio de Janeiro look on as the pod suddenly beaches itself. They... More »

Dozens of Dolphins Die at Cape Cod

Rash of strandings puzzles experts

(Newser) - Volunteers in Cape Cod are scrambling to deal with an unusual spate of dolphin strandings. A solitary dolphin was found stranded last Thursday and dozens more followed in the days after. Nineteen were treated and released but eight others couldn't be saved, and another 32 washed ashore already dead,... More »

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