For the first time, scientists spot humpback whales riding a ship’s wake | Science

Two years ago, a team of marine biologists was fast asleep on a research vessel off the coast of Brazil when the captain woke them up with a harried announcement: There was a “huge animal” following the ship. The bleary-eyed scientists made their way to the stern, where they found a trio of humpback whales … Read more

Scientists off the West Coast watch for whales — and their food

Your browser does not support the audio element. High up on NOAA’s Bell M. Shimada’s flybridge – the very top deck, around 13 meters above the water line – the scientists did not take their eyes off the water. The scientists were searching for signs of whales. Whales need a healthy, functioning ecosystem, which means … Read more

Citizen science program uses artificial intelligence to track thousands of humpback whales

“Old Timer” may be the oldest known humpback, first sighted Lynn Canal, Southeast Alaska 1972. Also sighted as PWF-NP1117 and HIHWNMS-2017-2-25WWG01A01 (Photo by Jim Nahmens, courtesy of Happy Whale) It’s a special moment, watching a gigantic humpback going for a deep dive. The whale’s back arches and the tail swings up, disappearing below the surface … Read more

Researchers Surprised by Unusually Fast Beaked Whale’s Deep-Sea Hunting Strategy

Sowerby’s beaked whale. Credit: NOAA Fisheries An international team of biologists has successfully used biologists to reveal insights into the lifestyle and hunting behavior of the little-known species Sowerby’s beaked whale. The least first results show that these whales (which resemble dolphins) have a surprisingly different, much faster lifestyle than related species. The research was … Read more

Meet the WHOI robots that keep an ear out for whales

About 20 miles offshore from Martha’s Vineyard, a yellow robotic buoy is bobbing in place just above the waves. Like most data-collection buoys, this moored robot is eavesdropping on the world under the waves. But unlike most buoys, which function like floating weather stations, this one from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is listening … Read more

The Secret Story Hidden in the Mouths of Toothless Whales

Baleen whale feeding. Scientists from UNSW Sydney have uncovered the secrets locked in the jawlines of humpback and southern right whales. Baleen plates – the signature bristle-like apparatus toothless whales use to feed – reveal how these large aquatic mammals adapt to environmental changes over time. Baleen from filter-feeding whales – that is, the bristle-like … Read more

Early killer whales ate fish — not other marine mammals – BIOENGINEER.ORG

Only two species of cetaceans (dolphins, whales, and porpoises), prey on other marine mammals: the true killer whale, or orca, and the false killer whale, which has a skeleton similar to the orca but gray coloring vs. black and white. Both predators are members of the oceanic dolphin family, with pods of orcas even known … Read more

Sound Provides New Insight Into the Lives of Blue Whales – The Largest Animal To Ever Inhabit Our Planet

The blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is the largest animal to ever inhabit our planet. Despite its gargantuan size, many aspects of its biology, behavior, and ecology still elude us. This magnificent mammal spends most of its time below the ocean’s surface, out of sight from scientists seeking to unlock its mysteries. But even when we … Read more

How Vacation Photos of Zebras and Whales Can Help Wildlife Conservation

Scientists use AI to analyze images of wildlife for crucial data. Vacation photos of zebras and whales that tourists post on social media may have a benefit they never expected: helping researchers track and gather information on endangered species. Scientists are using artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze photos of zebras, sharks, and other animals to … Read more

Orca whales off Australia brutally attack blue whales

Orca whales are known to be powerful predators, but the ones off the coast of Western Australia might be the most ruthless of their species. The individuals in this region are genetically distinct from other populations around the world — and they seem to stand out with their hunting prowess as well. In a just-published … Read more