WorldWideScience

Sample records for whale berardius bairdii

  1. Passive acoustic monitoring using a towed hydrophone array results in identification of a previously unknown beaked whale habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yack, Tina M; Barlow, Jay; Calambokidis, John; Southall, Brandon; Coates, Shannon

    2013-09-01

    Beaked whales are diverse and species rich taxa. They spend the vast majority of their time submerged, regularly diving to depths of hundreds to thousands of meters, typically occur in small groups, and behave inconspicuously at the surface. These factors make them extremely difficult to detect using standard visual survey methods. However, recent advancements in acoustic detection capabilities have made passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) a viable alternative. Beaked whales can be discriminated from other odontocetes by the unique characteristics of their echolocation clicks. In 2009 and 2010, PAM methods using towed hydrophone arrays were tested. These methods proved highly effective for real-time detection of beaked whales in the Southern California Bight (SCB) and were subsequently implemented in 2011 to successfully detect and track beaked whales during the ongoing Southern California Behavioral Response Study. The three year field effort has resulted in (1) the successful classification and tracking of Cuvier's (Ziphius cavirostris), Baird's (Berardius bairdii), and unidentified Mesoplodon beaked whale species and (2) the identification of areas of previously unknown beaked whale habitat use. Identification of habitat use areas will contribute to a better understanding of the complex relationship between beaked whale distribution, occurrence, and preferred habitat characteristics on a relatively small spatial scale. These findings will also provide information that can be used to promote more effective management and conservation of beaked whales in the SCB, a heavily used Naval operation and training region.

  2. The Development of Automated Detection Techniques for Passive Acoustic Monitoring as a Tool for Studying Beaked Whale Distribution and Habitat Preferences in the California Current Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yack, Tina M.

    The objectives of this research were to test available automated detection methods for passive acoustic monitoring and integrate the best available method into standard marine mammal monitoring protocols for ship based surveys. The goal of the first chapter was to evaluate the performance and utility of PAMGUARD 1.0 Core software for use in automated detection of marine mammal acoustic signals during towed array surveys. Three different detector configurations of PAMGUARD were compared. These automated detection algorithms were evaluated by comparing them to the results of manual detections made by an experienced bio-acoustician (author TMY). This study provides the first detailed comparisons of PAMGUARD automated detection algorithms to manual detection methods. The results of these comparisons clearly illustrate the utility of automated detection methods for odontocete species. Results of this work showed that the majority of whistles and click events can be reliably detected using PAMGUARD software. The second chapter moves beyond automated detection to examine and test automated classification algorithms for beaked whale species. Beaked whales are notoriously elusive and difficult to study, especially using visual survey methods. The purpose of the second chapter was to test, validate, and compare algorithms for detection of beaked whales in acoustic line-transect survey data. Using data collected at sea from the PAMGUARD classifier developed in Chapter 2 it was possible to measure the clicks from visually verified Baird's beaked whale encounters and use this data to develop classifiers that could discriminate Baird's beaked whales from other beaked whale species in future work. Echolocation clicks from Baird's beaked whales, Berardius bairdii, were recorded during combined visual and acoustic shipboard surveys of cetacean populations in the California Current Ecosystem (CCE) and with autonomous, long-term recorders at four different sites in the Southern

  3. Sperm ultrastructure in Bathypolypus bairdii and B. sponsalis (Cephalopoda: Octopoda).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roura, Alvaro; Guerra, Angel; González, Angel F; Pascual, Santiago

    2010-02-01

    A morphological comparison of the spermatozoa of the octopods Bathypolypus bairdii and B. sponsalis has been carried out by electron microscopy. Although the mature spermatozoon of B. bairdii is longer and thinner than that of B. sponsalis, its general ultrastructure is similar except for some minor differences. Their characteristic acrosomes, described here for the first time, consist of a periodically banded cone surrounded by a double helix whose arrangement has been defined by a numeric expression. The plasma membrane of sponsalis that surrounds the acrosome has many projections filled with abundant granular cytoplasm, which appears as a star-shaped acrosome in cross-section. The mitochondrial sheath contains 9-11 mitochondria in bairdii but only 9 in sponsalis. A comparison with other Octopodidae shows that the nucleus of both species is the largest ever seen. Our results support the capability of sperm morphology to discriminate between species and could even discern at higher taxonomic levels.

  4. Book review: Unveiling the Whale: Discourses on Whales and Whaling

    Science.gov (United States)

    John Schelhas

    2012-01-01

    Whaling represents one of the most internationally controversial and highly polarized environmental issues of recent times. Arne Kalland, in Unveiling the Whale: Discourses on Whales and Whaling, examines the whaling issue from the perspective of a pro-whaling country with an emphasis on analysis of discourse in international arenas, primarily the International Whaling...

  5. Killer whales and whaling: the scavenging hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehead, Hal; Reeves, Randall

    2005-12-22

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) frequently scavenged from the carcasses produced by whalers. This practice became especially prominent with large-scale mechanical whaling in the twentieth century, which provided temporally and spatially clustered floating carcasses associated with loud acoustic signals. The carcasses were often of species of large whale preferred by killer whales but that normally sink beyond their diving range. In the middle years of the twentieth century floating whaled carcasses were much more abundant than those resulting from natural mortality of whales, and we propose that scavenging killer whales multiplied through diet shifts and reproduction. During the 1970s the numbers of available carcasses fell dramatically with the cessation of most whaling (in contrast to a reasonably stable abundance of living whales), and the scavenging killer whales needed an alternative source of nutrition. Diet shifts may have triggered declines in other prey species, potentially affecting ecosystems, as well as increasing direct predation on living whales.

  6. Parásitos del tapir centroamericano Tapirus bairdii (Perissodactyla: Tapiridae en Chiapas, México

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Epigmenio Cruz Aldán

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Se recolectaron 19 muestras de excretas del tapir centroamericano (Tapirus bairdii en la Reserva "La Sepultura" (marzo a julio de 1999, así como un muestreo directo a un tapir macho de la Reserva "Montes Azules" (Chiapas, México. Se analizaron con cinco técnicas (flotación, MacMaster, micrometría, sedimentación de Ritchie y cuantitativa de Ferreira. Además se recolectaron muestras en piel de animales capturados en en las dos reservas y en una pareja de zoológico proveniente de Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas. Se hallaron nematodos y protozoarios: Agriostomun sp., Lacandoria sp., Neomurshidia sp., Trichostrongylus sp., Strongylus sp., Brachylumus sp., y un ancilostomaideo aun por identificar. Además se informa la presencia de Eimeria sp., y Balantidium coli. Los ácaros hallados fueron; Dermacentor halli, Dermacentor latus, Amblyomma cajannense, Amblyomma coelebs, Amblyomma ovale, Anocentor nitens e Ixodes bicornis.Parasites of the Central American tapir Tapirus bairdii (Perissodactyla: Tapiridae in Chiapas, Mexico. We analyzed 19 samples of Baird´s tapir feces from La Sepultura Biosphere Reserve, collected between March and July 1999. We also took samples directly from a male tapir captured at the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve. Both reserves are in Chiapas, Mexico. We used five techniques: flotation, MacMaster, micrometric, Ritchie’s sedimentation and Ferreira´s quantitative. In addition, we collected ectoparasites from animals captured in both reserves and from a captive couple from Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas. These nematodes and protozoans were found: Agriostomun sp., Lacandoria sp., Neomurshidia sp., Trichostrongylus sp., Strongylus sp., Brachylumus sp, and an unidentified species of ancilostomaide. We also found Eimeria sp. and Balantidium coli, as well as the mites Dermacentor halli, Dermacentor latus, Amblyomma cajannense, Amblyomma coelebs, Amblyomma ovale, Anocentor nitens and Ixodes bicornis. Rev. Biol. Trop. 54(2: 445

  7. Phenotypic plasticity in skull and dental morphology in the prairie deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus bairdii).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers, P; Lundrigan, B L; Gillespie, B W; Zelditch, M L

    1996-08-01

    Morphologists and systematists have long suspected that dietary consistency can affect skull and dental form in mammals. We examined plasticity of skull shape and tooth morphology in prairie deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus bairdii) by feeding mice diets that differed in consistency but not nutritional quality. Shape differences were analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively, using both landmark-based morphometrics and traditional distance measurements. Mice fed a gruel made of laboratory chow soaked in water differed from those fed hard blocks of chow by a slight anterior shift in the incisor tips, a narrowed zygomatic plate, a reduction in size of the masseteric tubercles, an overall decrease in skull size in lateral view, and an increase in overall size in ventral view. Disparities between our results and previous studies may be due to the differences in behavior between the inbred, relatively inactive laboratory strains commonly used in experimental studies and the outbred, constantly active species used here. Also, in contrast to previous studies, the statistical analysis employed here took into account both family relationships of the animals and the large number of statistical comparisons performed. Failure to consider these factors would have resulted in an exaggerated estimate of the effects of diet on skull form and may taint other studies that have explored the same aspects of plasticity.

  8. Whale Identification

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-01-01

    R:BASE for DOS, a computer program developed under NASA contract, has been adapted by the National Marine Mammal Laboratory and the College of the Atlantic to provide and advanced computerized photo matching technique for identification of humpback whales. The program compares photos with stored digitized descriptions, enabling researchers to track and determine distribution and migration patterns. R:BASE is a spinoff of RIM (Relational Information Manager), which was used to store data for analyzing heat shielding tiles on the Space Shuttle Orbiter. It is now the world's second largest selling line of microcomputer database management software.

  9. Adición a los registros de tapir centroamericano (Tapirus bairdii en Oaxaca, México Addition to the records of Baird's Tapir (Tapirus bairdii in Oaxaca, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Alejandro Delfín-Alfonso

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available En el mes de febrero de 2007, en el municipio de Santo Domingo Ingenio, distrito de Juchitán, Oaxaca, obtuvimos el registro de un ejemplar de tapir centroamericano (Tapirus bairdii mediante una fotografía proporcionada por los habitantes del sitio. La foto que fue tomada en el 2005, durante la época de lluvias, muestra un tapir adulto cazado a 1.5 km al norte de Santo Domingo. Es el registro más reciente de tapir en Oaxaca y sugiere que éste probablemente se desplazó de la zona montañosa de Los Chimalapas hacia el istmo de Tehuantepec.In February 2007, in the municipality of Santo Domingo Ingenio, Juchián District, Oaxaca state, we obtained the record of an individual of Baird's Tapir (Tapirus bairdii from a photograph provided by the inhabitants of the site. The photograph was taken in 2005 during the rainy season, showing a dead adult tapir which was hunted at only 1.5 km north from Santo Domingo town. This is the most recent record of Baird-Tapir in the state of Oaxaca and suggests that this individual probably moved from the mountainous zone of Los Chimalapas towards the Itsmus of Tehuantepec.

  10. Whale Teaching Unit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peninsula Humane Society, San Mateo, CA.

    Materials in this teaching unit are designed to foster an interest in whale preservation among intermediate grade and junior high school students. Several readings provide background information on various types of whales and the economic value of whales. Student activities include a true and false game, a crossword, and a mobile. A resource list…

  11. [Relative abundance, population structure, habitat preferences and activity patterns of Tapirus bairdii (Perissodactyla: Tapiridae), in Chimalapas forest, Oaxaca, Mexico].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lira-Torres, Iván; Briones-Salas, Miguel; Sánchez-Rojas, Gerardo

    2014-12-01

    Baird's tapir (Tapirus bairdii) is endangered primarily because of habitat loss and fragmentation, and overhunting throughout its distribution range. One of the priority land areas for the conservation of this species is the Northern part of its range in the Chimalapas forest, Oaxaca. The aim of this research was to determine the relative abundance, population struc- ture, habitat preferences and activity patterns of Baird's tapir (Tapirus bairdii) in the Chimalapas forest, Oaxaca, Mexico, through the non-invasive technique of camera-trap sampling. A total of five sampling sessions were undertaken among 2009-2013, and used a total of 30 camera-traps in each period. The determinant factor of the sampling design was the hunting between two study areas. A total sampling effort of 9000 trap-days allowed to estimate an index of relative abundance (IRA) of 6.77 tapir photographs/1,000 trap-days (n = 61). IRA varied significantly between sampling stations (Mann-Whitney, p habitats showed higher photo frequency than expected from random (χ2, p < 0.5). Considering population structure, a 95.08% of adult animals was obtained in photographic records (n = 58). Three types of activity pattern were observed, with more nocturnal records (88.33%; Kruskal-Wallis, p < 0.05). The Chimalapas forest appears to be the second most important terrestrial priority ecoregion, just after the Mayan Forest (Campeche, Chiapas, Quintana Roo), for the conservation of tapir populations, not only for Mexico but also for Central America.

  12. Estimating the impact of whaling on global whale watching

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    H-I. Kuo (Hsiao-I); C-C. Chen (Chi-Chung); M.J. McAleer (Michael)

    2009-01-01

    textabstractAfter the commercial whaling moratorium was enacted in 1986, whale watching became one of the fastest growing tourism industries worldwide. As whaling was regarded as an activity incompatible with whale watching, the possible resumption of commercial whaling caused an urgent need to

  13. Peromyscus maniculatus bairdii as a naturalistic mammalian model of obsessive-compulsive disorder: current status and future challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolmarans, De Wet; Scheepers, Isabella M; Stein, Dan J; Harvey, Brian H

    2017-12-06

    Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a prevalent and debilitating condition, characterized by intrusive thoughts and repetitive behavior. Animal models of OCD arguably have the potential to contribute to our understanding of the condition. Deer mice (Permomyscus maniculatus bairdii) are characterized by stereotypic behavior which is reminiscent of OCD symptomology, and which may serve as a naturalistic animal model of this disorder. Moreover, a range of deer mouse repetitive behaviors may be representative of different compulsive-like phenotypes. This paper will review work on deer mouse behavior, and evaluate the extent to which this serves as a valid and useful model of OCD. We argue that findings over the past decade indicate that the deer mouse model has face, construct and predictive validity.

  14. New beaked whales from the late Miocene of Peru and evidence for convergent evolution in stem and crown Ziphiidae (Cetacea, Odontoceti

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giovanni Bianucci

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The Ziphiidae (beaked whales represent a large group of open-ocean odontocetes (toothed cetaceans, whose elusive and deep diving behavior prevents direct observation in their natural habitat. Despite their generally large body size, broad geographical distribution, and high species number, ziphiids thus remain poorly known. Furthermore, the evolutionary processes that have led to their extreme adaptations and impressive extant diversity are still poorly understood. Here we report new fossil beaked whales from the late Miocene of the Pisco Formation (southern Peru. The best preserved remains here described are referred to two new genera and species, the Messinian Chavinziphius maxillocristatus and the Tortonian Chimuziphius coloradensis, based on skull remains from two marine vertebrate-rich localities: Cerro Los Quesos and Cerro Colorado, respectively. C. maxillocristatus is medium sized retains a complete set of functional lower teeth, and bears robust rostral maxillary crests similar to those of the extant Berardius. By contrast, C. coloradensis is small and characterized by large triangular nasals and moderately thickened premaxillae that dorsally close the mesorostral groove. Both species confirm the high past diversity of Ziphiidae, the richest cetacean family in terms of the number of genera and species. Our new phylogenetic and biogeographical analyses depart markedly from earlier studies in dividing beaked whales into two major clades: the Messapicetus clade, which, along with other stem ziphiids, once dominated the southeastern Pacific and North Atlantic; and crown Ziphiidae, the majority of which are found in deep-water regions of the Southern Ocean, with possible subsequent dispersal both globally (Mesoplodon and Ziphius and to the cooler waters of the northern oceans (Berardius and Hyperoodon. Despite this relatively clear separation, both lineages seem to follow similar evolutionary trends, including (1 a progressive reduction of

  15. New beaked whales from the late Miocene of Peru and evidence for convergent evolution in stem and crown Ziphiidae (Cetacea, Odontoceti).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bianucci, Giovanni; Di Celma, Claudio; Urbina, Mario; Lambert, Olivier

    2016-01-01

    The Ziphiidae (beaked whales) represent a large group of open-ocean odontocetes (toothed cetaceans), whose elusive and deep diving behavior prevents direct observation in their natural habitat. Despite their generally large body size, broad geographical distribution, and high species number, ziphiids thus remain poorly known. Furthermore, the evolutionary processes that have led to their extreme adaptations and impressive extant diversity are still poorly understood. Here we report new fossil beaked whales from the late Miocene of the Pisco Formation (southern Peru). The best preserved remains here described are referred to two new genera and species, the Messinian Chavinziphius maxillocristatus and the Tortonian Chimuziphius coloradensis, based on skull remains from two marine vertebrate-rich localities: Cerro Los Quesos and Cerro Colorado, respectively. C. maxillocristatus is medium sized retains a complete set of functional lower teeth, and bears robust rostral maxillary crests similar to those of the extant Berardius. By contrast, C. coloradensis is small and characterized by large triangular nasals and moderately thickened premaxillae that dorsally close the mesorostral groove. Both species confirm the high past diversity of Ziphiidae, the richest cetacean family in terms of the number of genera and species. Our new phylogenetic and biogeographical analyses depart markedly from earlier studies in dividing beaked whales into two major clades: the Messapicetus clade, which, along with other stem ziphiids, once dominated the southeastern Pacific and North Atlantic; and crown Ziphiidae, the majority of which are found in deep-water regions of the Southern Ocean, with possible subsequent dispersal both globally (Mesoplodon and Ziphius) and to the cooler waters of the northern oceans (Berardius and Hyperoodon). Despite this relatively clear separation, both lineages seem to follow similar evolutionary trends, including (1) a progressive reduction of dentition; (2

  16. War of the Whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blok, Anders

    2011-01-01

    to map out a ‘‘cosmogram’’ of Japanese pro-whaling enactments of abundant and ‘‘killable’’ whales. Following the political ecology of Bruno Latour, the global-scale situation is conceptualized as one of cosmopolitics, the politics of forging a common world across divergences in nature-cultures....

  17. The International Whaling Commission – Beyond Whaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew John Wright

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Since its establishment in 1946 as the international body intended to manage whaling, the International Whaling Commission (IWC has expanded its areas of interest to ensure the wider conservation of whales. Several key conservation topics have been taken forward under its auspices including climate change, chemical and noise pollution, marine debris and whale watching. Work on each of these topics at the IWC has grown substantially since the 1990s and remains ongoing. Important developments were the establishment of the Standing Working Group on Environmental Concerns in 1996 and the IWC’s Conservation Committee in 2003. Trying to address this diverse set of issues is obviously a challenge but will be necessary if the long term conservation of cetaceans is to be achieved. Through research, workshops, resolutions and collaboration with other organisations, the IWC has advanced both the understanding of the various issues and the means to manage them with increasing effectiveness. The IWC is likely to remain on the forefront of continuing efforts to address these, and other, conservation concerns and ensure the continued viability of cetacean populations around the globe.

  18. Right Whale Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for Right Whale as designated by Federal Register Vol. 59, No. 28805, May 19, 1993, Rules and Regulations.

  19. Large whale incident database

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Large whale stranding, death, ship strike and entanglement incidents are all recorded to monitor the health of each population and track anthropogenic factors that...

  20. Gray Whale Calf Production Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Gray whale calf production is estimated from data collected during the northbound migration as whales return to their feeding grounds in the Arctic. Counts of adult...

  1. The Gray whale: Eschrichtius robustus

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Jones, Mary Lou; Leatherwood, Stephen; Swartz, Steven L

    1984-01-01

    .... Section II documents historical aspects of gray whale exploitation and the economic importance of these whales to humans, beginning with aboriginal societies in Asia and North America, and leading...

  2. Arteriovenous Patterns in Beaked Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Arteriovenous patterns in beaked whales Alexander M...picture of the vascular anatomy in beaked whale heads that will enhance our understanding of the basic biology of beaked whales and act as a baseline...The objective was to describe and better understand the gross morphology of the blood vessels in the heads of beaked whales . Gross anatomical

  3. Counting whales in a challenging, changing environment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Williams, R.; Kelly, N.; Boebel, O.; Friedlaender, A.; Herr, H.; Kock, K.H.; Lehnert, L.S.; Maksym, T.; Roberts, J.; Scheidat, M.; Siebert, U.; Brierley, A.

    2014-01-01

    Estimating abundance of Antarctic minke whales is central to the International Whaling Commission's conservation and management work and understanding impacts of climate change on polar marine ecosystems. Detecting abundance trends is problematic, in part because minke whales are frequently sighted

  4. Listening to Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allchin, Douglas

    2015-01-01

    Playing the sounds of whales during a class period can initiate the awareness of the role of wonder in education. Students are inspired to avidly collect fascinating facts to pique their interest and open the door to learning science. Indeed, when asked, teachers typically identify their foremost practical challenge as trying to motivate…

  5. Whales: Incredible Ocean Mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devona, Henry

    1992-01-01

    Describes an integrated thematic unit for children from kindergarten to third grade. Explains that the unit incorporates reading, speaking, writing, science, mathematics, social studies, and art into the study of whales. Suggests learning activities on echolocation, migration, measurement, scrimshaw, history, and human interaction with the…

  6. Whales Are Big With Little People.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dommers, John J.

    1981-01-01

    Presented is a discussion on why people should study whales. Background information, learning activities appropriate for different subject areas, and whale-related teaching materials are included. (DC)

  7. Rafinesque's Sicilian whale, Balena gastrytis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodman, Neal; Mead, James G.

    2017-01-01

    In 1815, the naturalist Constantine S. Rafinesque described a new species of cetacean, Balena gastrytis, from Sicily, based on a whale that stranded on Carini beach near Palermo. In comparing the characteristics of his new whale with known species, Rafinesque also took the opportunity to name a new genus, Cetoptera, to replace Balaenoptera Lacépède, 1804. Unfortunately, few of Rafinesque's contemporaries saw his article, which appeared in Il Portafoglio, a local journal that he published and distributed. The journal remains rare, and awareness of the whale remains minimal, despite its relevance to cetacean taxonomy and understanding of whale diversity and distribution in the Mediterranean. We describe the circumstances of the stranding of the Sicilian whale and provide Rafinesque's original description of the whale, as well as an evaluation of its reported characteristics and its current identity.

  8. A whale of an opportunity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laidre, Kristin L.; Heide-Jørgensen, Mads Peter; Logsdon, Miles L.

    2010-01-01

    column, (2) to examine the relationships between whale foraging areas and productive zones, and (3) to examine the correlation between whale-derived in situ values of Chl-a and those from concurrent satellite images using the NASA MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) EOS-AQUA satellite...... not always target patches of high concentrations of Chl-a in the upper 50 m. Five satellite images were available within the periods whales carried fluorometers. Whales traversed 91 pixels collecting on average 761 s (SD 826) of Chl-a samples per pixel (0-136 m). The depth of the Chl-a maximum ranged widely...

  9. Whales from space: counting southern right whales by satellite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fretwell, Peter T; Staniland, Iain J; Forcada, Jaume

    2014-01-01

    We describe a method of identifying and counting whales using very high resolution satellite imagery through the example of southern right whales breeding in part of the Golfo Nuevo, Península Valdés in Argentina. Southern right whales have been extensively hunted over the last 300 years and although numbers have recovered from near extinction in the early 20(th) century, current populations are fragmented and are estimated at only a small fraction of pre-hunting total. Recent extreme right whale calf mortality events at Península Valdés, which constitutes the largest single population, have raised fresh concern for the future of the species. The WorldView2 satellite has a maximum 50 cm resolution and a water penetrating coastal band in the far-blue part of the spectrum that allows it to see deeper into the water column. Using an image covering 113 km², we identified 55 probable whales and 23 other features that are possibly whales, with a further 13 objects that are only detected by the coastal band. Comparison of a number of classification techniques, to automatically detect whale-like objects, showed that a simple thresholding technique of the panchromatic and coastal band delivered the best results. This is the first successful study using satellite imagery to count whales; a pragmatic, transferable method using this rapidly advancing technology that has major implications for future surveys of cetacean populations.

  10. Whales from space: counting southern right whales by satellite.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter T Fretwell

    Full Text Available We describe a method of identifying and counting whales using very high resolution satellite imagery through the example of southern right whales breeding in part of the Golfo Nuevo, Península Valdés in Argentina. Southern right whales have been extensively hunted over the last 300 years and although numbers have recovered from near extinction in the early 20(th century, current populations are fragmented and are estimated at only a small fraction of pre-hunting total. Recent extreme right whale calf mortality events at Península Valdés, which constitutes the largest single population, have raised fresh concern for the future of the species. The WorldView2 satellite has a maximum 50 cm resolution and a water penetrating coastal band in the far-blue part of the spectrum that allows it to see deeper into the water column. Using an image covering 113 km², we identified 55 probable whales and 23 other features that are possibly whales, with a further 13 objects that are only detected by the coastal band. Comparison of a number of classification techniques, to automatically detect whale-like objects, showed that a simple thresholding technique of the panchromatic and coastal band delivered the best results. This is the first successful study using satellite imagery to count whales; a pragmatic, transferable method using this rapidly advancing technology that has major implications for future surveys of cetacean populations.

  11. Sperm whale clicks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møhl, Bertel; Wahlberg, Magnus; Madsen, Peter T.

    2000-01-01

    . A sound generator weighing upward of 10 tons and with a cross-section of 1 m is expected to generate high-intensity, directional sounds. This prediction from the Norris and Harvey theory is not supported by published data for sperm whale clicks ~source levels of 180 dB re 1 mPa and little, if any...... of the continental shelf off Andenes, Norway, in the summers of 1997 and 1998. With this system, source levels up to 223 dB re 1 mPa peRMS were recorded. Also, source level differences of 35 dB for the same click at different directions were seen, which are interpreted as evidence for high directionality....... This implicates sonar as a possible function of the clicks. Thus, previously published properties of sperm whale clicks underestimate the capabilities of the sound generator and therefore cannot falsify the Norris and Harvey theory....

  12. Whales from space: counting southern right whales by satellite

    OpenAIRE

    Fretwell, Peter T.; Staniland, Iain J.; Jaume Forcada

    2014-01-01

    We describe a method of identifying and counting whales using very high resolution satellite imagery through the example of southern right whales breeding in part of the Golfo Nuevo, Península Valdés in Argentina. Southern right whales have been extensively hunted over the last 300 years and although numbers have recovered from near extinction in the early 20(th) century, current populations are fragmented and are estimated at only a small fraction of pre-hunting total. Recent extreme right w...

  13. Killer Whale Genetic Data - Southern resident killer whale pedigree analysis

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — In this project, we are using genetic variation to infer mating patterns in the southern killer whale community. In Canada, this population was listed as threatened...

  14. Gray Whale Population Count Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Gray whale abundance is estimated from data collected during the southbound migration from feeding grounds in the Arctic to breeding grounds in the lagoons of...

  15. Walrus and whale interactions: An eyewitness account

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — An attack by killer whales, (Orcinus orca) on a group of walruses (Odobenus rosmarus) at Cape Peirce, Alaska, is described. The killer whales surrounded, isolated,...

  16. Beaked Whale Habitat Characterization and Prediction

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ward, Jessica A; Mitchell, Glenn H; Farak, Amy M; Keane, Ellen P

    2005-01-01

    The objective of this study was to characterize known beaked whale habitat and create a predictive beaked whale habitat model of the Gulf of Mexico and east coast of the United States using available...

  17. Changes in dive behavior during naval sonar exposure in killer whales, long-finned pilot whales, and sperm whales

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sivle, L.D.; Kvadsheim, P.H.; Fahlman, A.; Lam, F.P.A.; Tyack, P.L.; Miller, P.J.O.

    2012-01-01

    Anthropogenic underwater sound in the environment might potentially affect the behavior of marine mammals enough to have an impact on their reproduction and survival. Diving behavior of four killer whales (Orcinus orca), seven long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas), and four sperm whales

  18. Severity of Expert-Identified Behavioural Responses of Humpback Whale, Minke Whale, and Northern Bottlenose Whale to Naval Sonar

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sivle, L.D.; Kvadsheim, P.H.; Cure, C.; Isojunno, S.; Wensveen, P.J.; Lam, F.P.A.; Visser, F.; Kleivane, L.; Tyack, P.L.; Harris, C.M.; Miller, P.J.O.

    2015-01-01

    Controlled exposure experiments using 1 to2 kHz sonar signals were conducted with 11 humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), one minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), and one northern bottlenose whale (Hyperoodon ampullatus) during three field trials from 2011 to 2013. Ship approaches without

  19. Tagging and Playback Studies to Toothed Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-30

    stranding has not been elucidated. We now know that beaked whales react strongly to sonar, killer whale , and bandlimited noise by ceasing echolocation and...a more complete picture of pilot whale baseline behavior and vocalization rates in different social contexts, as well as calculating more exact...follows and attempts at tagging these animals, no tags were successfully deployed. In 2011, playbacks of both mammal-eating killer whale calls and

  20. Spatial and seasonal distribution of American whaling and whales in the age of sail.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Tim D; Reeves, Randall R; Josephson, Elizabeth A; Lund, Judith N

    2012-01-01

    American whalemen sailed out of ports on the east coast of the United States and in California from the 18(th) to early 20(th) centuries, searching for whales throughout the world's oceans. From an initial focus on sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) and right whales (Eubalaena spp.), the array of targeted whales expanded to include bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus), humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), and gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus). Extensive records of American whaling in the form of daily entries in whaling voyage logbooks contain a great deal of information about where and when the whalemen found whales. We plotted daily locations where the several species of whales were observed, both those caught and those sighted but not caught, on world maps to illustrate the spatial and temporal distribution of both American whaling activity and the whales. The patterns shown on the maps provide the basis for various inferences concerning the historical distribution of the target whales prior to and during this episode of global whaling.

  1. Spatial and seasonal distribution of American whaling and whales in the age of sail.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim D Smith

    Full Text Available American whalemen sailed out of ports on the east coast of the United States and in California from the 18(th to early 20(th centuries, searching for whales throughout the world's oceans. From an initial focus on sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus and right whales (Eubalaena spp., the array of targeted whales expanded to include bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus, humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae, and gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus. Extensive records of American whaling in the form of daily entries in whaling voyage logbooks contain a great deal of information about where and when the whalemen found whales. We plotted daily locations where the several species of whales were observed, both those caught and those sighted but not caught, on world maps to illustrate the spatial and temporal distribution of both American whaling activity and the whales. The patterns shown on the maps provide the basis for various inferences concerning the historical distribution of the target whales prior to and during this episode of global whaling.

  2. Whaling: will the Phoenix rise again?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, Sidney J

    2007-08-01

    It is argued that Japan's authorities and entrepreneurs involved in whaling and the whale-meat trade have a long-term goal of rebuilding a large and profitable industry of pelagic whaling, particularly in the Southern Hemisphere, in the next 20 years or so. They have made large investments in this enterprise since the so-called moratorium on commercial whaling was adopted by the International Whaling Commission in 1982. These include, but are not confined to, state subsidizing of an expanding and diversifying 20-year programme of commercial whaling under provisions in all relevant international agreements since 1937 that permit unlimited and unilaterally decreed whaling, supposedly for scientific purposes, provided that the commodities from the whales killed are fully utilized. The context of this is the monopoly of technical knowledge, special skills and the market for valuable whale-meat that Japanese enterprises acquired in the post-world war II period, having broken - in 1937 - the strongly defended de facto Anglo-Norwegian monopoly of technology, skills, access to Antarctic whaling grounds and the market for whale-oil that had existed until then. The attraction of 'scientific whaling' is not only that it by-passes any internationally agreed catch-limits but that it also circumvents all other rules - many dating fr/om the League of Nations whaling convention of 1931 - regarding protected species, closed areas, killing of juveniles, less inhumane killing methods, etc. The groundwork is being laid to justify that resumed whaling on partially recovered whale stocks will be at the unsustainable levels that will be profitable again. This justification is based on spurious assertions that numerous and hungry whales threaten the world's fisheries, and that the abundance and possible increase in some whale species is impeding the recovery of other, severely depleted, and potentially more valuable species such as the blue whale. If the scenario presented here is correct

  3. The world's smallest whale population?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wade, Paul R.; Kennedy, Amy; LeDuc, Rick; Barlow, Jay; Carretta, Jim; Shelden, Kim; Perryman, Wayne; Pitman, Robert; Robertson, Kelly; Rone, Brenda; Salinas, Juan Carlos; Zerbini, Alexandre; Brownell, Robert L.; Clapham, Phillip J.

    2011-01-01

    The North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica) was heavily exploited by both nineteenth century whaling and recent (1960s) illegal Soviet catches. Today, the species remains extremely rare especially in the eastern North Pacific. Here, we use photographic and genotype data to calculate the first mark–recapture estimates of abundance for right whales in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands. The estimates were very similar: photographic = 31 (95% CL 23–54), genotyping = 28 (95% CL 24–42). We also estimated the population contains eight females (95% CL 7–18) and 20 males (95% CL 17–37). Although these estimates may relate to a Bering Sea subpopulation, other data suggest that the total eastern North Pacific population is unlikely to be much larger. Its precarious status today—the world's smallest whale population for which an abundance estimate exists—is a direct consequence of uncontrolled and illegal whaling, and highlights the past failure of international management to prevent such abuses. PMID:20591853

  4. Sperm whales and killer whales with the largest brains of all toothed whales show extreme differences in cerebellum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ridgway, Sam H; Hanson, Alicia C

    2014-01-01

    Among cetaceans, killer whales and sperm whales have the widest distribution in the world's oceans. Both species use echolocation, are long-lived, and have the longest periods of gestation among whales. Sperm whales dive much deeper and much longer than killer whales. It has long been thought that sperm whales have the largest brains of all living things, but our brain mass evidence, from published sources and our own specimens, shows that big males of these two species share this distinction. Despite this, we also find that cerebellum size is very different between killer whales and sperm whales. The sperm whale cerebellum is only about 7% of the total brain mass, while the killer whale cerebellum is almost 14%. These results are significant because they contradict claims that the cerebellum scales proportionally with the rest of the brain in all mammals. They also correct the generalization that all cetaceans have enlarged cerebella. We suggest possible reasons for the existence of such a large cerebellar size difference between these two species. Cerebellar function is not fully understood, and comparing the abilities of animals with differently sized cerebella can help uncover functional roles of the cerebellum in humans and animals. Here we show that the large cerebellar difference likely relates to evolutionary history, diving, sensory capability, and ecology. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  5. Abundancia relativa, estructura poblacional, preferencia de hábitat y patrones de actividad del Tapir Centroamericano Tapirus bairdii (Perissodactyla: Tapiridae), en la Selva de Los Chimalapas, Oaxaca, México

    OpenAIRE

    Lira-Torres, Iván; Briones-Salas, Miguel; Sánchez-Rojas, Gerardo

    2014-01-01

    El tapir centroamericano (Tapirus bairdii) está en peligro de extinción debido principalmente a la pérdida y fragmentación de su hábitat, y a la cacería sin control en toda su área de distribución. Una de las regiones terrestres prioritarias para la conservación de esta especie en la zona norte de su distribución se encuentra en la Selva de los Chimalapas, Oaxaca. Por lo que el objetivo de la presente investigación fue determinar la abundancia relativa, estructura poblacional, preferencia de ...

  6. Sex and dose-dependent effects of developmental exposure to bisphenol A on anxiety and spatial learning in deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus bairdii) offspring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jašarević, Eldin; Williams, Scott A; Vandas, Gregory M; Ellersieck, Mark R; Liao, Chunyang; Kannan, Kurunthachalam; Roberts, R Michael; Geary, David C; Rosenfeld, Cheryl S

    2013-01-01

    Bisphenol A (BPA) is a widely produced, endocrine disrupting compound that is pervasive in the environment. Data suggest that developmental exposure to BPA during sexual differentiation of the brain leads to later behavioral consequences in offspring. Outbred deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus bairdii) are an excellent animal model for such studies as they exhibit well-defined sex- and steroid-dependent behaviors. Here, dams during gestation and lactation were fed with a phytoestrogen-free control diet, the same diet supplemented with either ethinyl estradiol (0.1 ppb), or one of the three doses of BPA (50 mg, 5 mg, 50 μg/kg feed weight). After weaning, the pups were maintained on control diet until they reached sexual maturity and then assessed for both spatial learning capabilities and anxiety-like and exploratory behaviors. Relative to controls, males exposed to the two upper but not the lowest dose of BPA demonstrated similar impairments in spatial learning, increased anxiety and reduced exploratory behaviors as ethinyl estradiol-exposed males, while females exposed to ethinyl estradiol, but not to BPA, consistently exhibited masculinized spatial abilities. We also determined whether dams maintained chronically on the upper dose of BPA contained environmentally relevant concentrations of BPA in their blood. While serum concentrations of unconjugated BPA in controls were below the minimum level of detection, those from dams on the BPA diet were comparable (5.48±2.07 ng/ml) to concentrations that have been observed in humans. Together, these studies demonstrate that developmental exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of BPA can disrupt adult behaviors in a dose- and sex-dependent manner. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. A preliminary assessment of the effectiveness of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor for protecting potential Baird's tapir (Tapirus bairdii) habitat in Southern Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendoza, Eduardo; Fuller, Trevon L; Thomassen, Henri A; Buermann, Wolfgang; Ramírez-Mejía, Diana; Smith, Thomas B

    2013-03-01

    Baird's tapir (Tapirus bairdii) is one of the most emblematic mammals of Mesoamerica, but like other large-bodied animals, it is facing an increasing risk of extinction due primarily to habitat loss. Mexico's 'ortion of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor (MBC-M) is located in one of the main strongholds for Bairds tapir. To assess the MBC-M's effectiveness for tapir conservation, we estimated the distribution of the species' potential habitat by applying 2 modelling approaches (random forest and Maxent) to a set of uncorrelated environmental variables and a 157-point presence dataset. We calculated the extent of tapir habitat in within the MBC-M and modelled new corridors and conservation areas, which we compared to the MBC-M. Moreover, we assessed deforestation patterns in the region. Twenty-seven percent of highly suitable tapir habitat occurred in protected areas, 15% in corridors and 58.3% was outside the MBC-M and associated reserves. The spatial configuration of the MBC-M was partially concordant with the modelled set of conservation areas and corridors. The main dissimilarity was that the modelled corridors traversed forests in Belize and Guatemala to connect conservation areas. Analyses of deforestation since 1993 and human population density in the vicinity of the MBC-M indicated that future conservation efforts should give particular attention to the Montes Azules-El Triunfo Corridor due to greater habitat threat. The MBC-M has a great potential to play a prominent role in the conservation of tapir habitat but there is an urgent need to implement management plans that reinforce and complement this conservation initiative. © 2012 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd, ISZS and IOZ/CAS.

  8. Ancient DNA analysis of northeast Pacific humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)

    OpenAIRE

    Arndt, Ursula Maria

    2011-01-01

    The main goal of this ancient DNA-based study was to analyze archaeological whale skeletal remains from the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia to investigate population genetic diversities of humpback whales pre-dating industrial whaling. This study also examined whale hunting practices of early indigenous people by revealing potential species selections. Nuu-chah-nulth people are believed to have hunted whales for millennia and numerous whale bones have been recovered from arch...

  9. Keiko, Killer Whale. [Lesson Plan].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Discovery Communications, Inc., Bethesda, MD.

    This lesson plan presents activities designed to help students understand that Keiko, the killer whale, lived for a long time in an aquarium and had to be taught to live independently; and that computer users can get updates on how Keiko is doing. The main activity of the lesson involves middle school students working in small groups to produce a…

  10. Attitudes of Nunavut Inuit toward Killer Whales (Orcinus orca)

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    KRISTIN H. WESTDAL; JEFF W. HIGDON; STEVEN H. FERGUSON

    2013-01-01

    .... Interviews provided data on interactions between Inuit and killer whales, physical descriptions and nature of killer whales in this region, overall opinion of interviewees with respect to killer...

  11. Changes in dive behaviour during naval sonar exposure in killer whales, long-finned pilot whales, and sperm whales.

    OpenAIRE

    Sivle, Lise D; Kvadsheim, Petter H; Fahlman, Andreas; Lam, Frans Peter; Tyack, Peter Lloyd; Miller, Patrick

    2012-01-01

    Anthropogenic underwater sound in the environment might potentially affect the behavior of marine mammals enough to have an impact on their reproduction and survival. Diving behavior of four killer whales (Orcinus orca), seven long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas), and four sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) was studied during controlled exposures to naval sonar [low frequency active sonar (LFAS): 1–2 kHz and mid frequency active sonar (MFAS): 6–7 kHz] during three field seasons (2...

  12. Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) Predation on Beaked Whales (Mesoplodon spp.) in the Bremer Sub-Basin, Western Australia

    OpenAIRE

    Wellard, Rebecca; Lightbody, Keith; Fouda, Leila; Blewitt, Michelle; Riggs, David; Erbe, Christine

    2016-01-01

    Observations of killer whales (Orcinus orca) feeding on the remains of beaked whales have been previously documented; however, to date, there has been no published account of killer whales actively preying upon beaked whales. This article describes the first field observations of killer whales interacting with, hunting and preying upon beaked whales (Mesoplodon spp.) on four separate occasions during 2014, 2015 and 2016 in the Bremer Sub-Basin, off the south coast of Western Australia.

  13. Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) Predation on Beaked Whales (Mesoplodon spp.) in the Bremer Sub-Basin, Western Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wellard, Rebecca; Lightbody, Keith; Fouda, Leila; Blewitt, Michelle; Riggs, David; Erbe, Christine

    2016-01-01

    Observations of killer whales (Orcinus orca) feeding on the remains of beaked whales have been previously documented; however, to date, there has been no published account of killer whales actively preying upon beaked whales. This article describes the first field observations of killer whales interacting with, hunting and preying upon beaked whales (Mesoplodon spp.) on four separate occasions during 2014, 2015 and 2016 in the Bremer Sub-Basin, off the south coast of Western Australia.

  14. Killer Whale (Orcinus orca Predation on Beaked Whales (Mesoplodon spp. in the Bremer Sub-Basin, Western Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca Wellard

    Full Text Available Observations of killer whales (Orcinus orca feeding on the remains of beaked whales have been previously documented; however, to date, there has been no published account of killer whales actively preying upon beaked whales. This article describes the first field observations of killer whales interacting with, hunting and preying upon beaked whales (Mesoplodon spp. on four separate occasions during 2014, 2015 and 2016 in the Bremer Sub-Basin, off the south coast of Western Australia.

  15. Changes in dive behavior during naval sonar exposure in killer whales, long-finned pilot whales, and sperm whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sivle, L. D.; Kvadsheim, P. H.; Fahlman, A.; Lam, F. P. A.; Tyack, P. L.; Miller, P. J. O.

    2012-01-01

    Anthropogenic underwater sound in the environment might potentially affect the behavior of marine mammals enough to have an impact on their reproduction and survival. Diving behavior of four killer whales (Orcinus orca), seven long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas), and four sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) was studied during controlled exposures to naval sonar [low frequency active sonar (LFAS): 1–2 kHz and mid frequency active sonar (MFAS): 6–7 kHz] during three field seasons (2006–2009). Diving behavior was monitored before, during and after sonar exposure using an archival tag placed on the animal with suction cups. The tag recorded the animal's vertical movement, and additional data on horizontal movement and vocalizations were used to determine behavioral modes. Killer whales that were conducting deep dives at sonar onset changed abruptly to shallow diving (ShD) during LFAS, while killer whales conducting deep dives at the onset of MFAS did not alter dive mode. When in ShD mode at sonar onset, killer whales did not change their diving behavior. Pilot and sperm whales performed normal deep dives (NDD) during MFAS exposure. During LFAS exposures, long-finned pilot whales mostly performed fewer deep dives and some sperm whales performed shallower and shorter dives. Acoustic recording data presented previously indicates that deep diving (DD) is associated with feeding. Therefore, the observed changes in dive behavior of the three species could potentially reduce the foraging efficiency of the affected animals. PMID:23087648

  16. Changes in dive behaviour during naval sonar exposure in killer whales, long-finned pilot whales and sperm whales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lise Doksæter Sivle

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic underwater sound in the environment might potentially affect the behavior of marine mammals enough to have an impact on their reproduction and survival. Diving behavior of 5 killer whales (Orcinus orca, 7 long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas and 4 sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus were studied during controlled exposures to naval sonar (LFAS: 1-2 kHz and MFAS: 6-7 kHz during three field seasons (2006-2009. Diving behavior was monitored before, during and after sonar exposure using an archival tag placed on the animal with suction cups. The tag recorded the animal’s vertical movement, and additional data on horizontal movement and vocalizations were used to determine behavioral modes. Killer whales that were conducting deep dives at sonar onset changed abruptly to shallow diving during LFAS, while killer whales conducting deep dives at the onset of MFAS did not alter dive mode. When in shallow diving mode at sonar onset, killer whales did not change their diving behavior. Pilot and sperm whales performed normal deep dives during MFAS exposure. During LFAS exposures, long-finned pilot whales mostly performed fewer deep dives and some sperm whales performed shallower and shorter dives. Acoustic recording data presented previously indicates that deep diving is associated with feeding. Therefore, the observed changes in dive behavior of the three species could potentially reduce the foraging efficiency of the affected animals.

  17. Changes in dive behavior during naval sonar exposure in killer whales, long-finned pilot whales, and sperm whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sivle, L D; Kvadsheim, P H; Fahlman, A; Lam, F P A; Tyack, P L; Miller, P J O

    2012-01-01

    Anthropogenic underwater sound in the environment might potentially affect the behavior of marine mammals enough to have an impact on their reproduction and survival. Diving behavior of four killer whales (Orcinus orca), seven long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas), and four sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) was studied during controlled exposures to naval sonar [low frequency active sonar (LFAS): 1-2 kHz and mid frequency active sonar (MFAS): 6-7 kHz] during three field seasons (2006-2009). Diving behavior was monitored before, during and after sonar exposure using an archival tag placed on the animal with suction cups. The tag recorded the animal's vertical movement, and additional data on horizontal movement and vocalizations were used to determine behavioral modes. Killer whales that were conducting deep dives at sonar onset changed abruptly to shallow diving (ShD) during LFAS, while killer whales conducting deep dives at the onset of MFAS did not alter dive mode. When in ShD mode at sonar onset, killer whales did not change their diving behavior. Pilot and sperm whales performed normal deep dives (NDD) during MFAS exposure. During LFAS exposures, long-finned pilot whales mostly performed fewer deep dives and some sperm whales performed shallower and shorter dives. Acoustic recording data presented previously indicates that deep diving (DD) is associated with feeding. Therefore, the observed changes in dive behavior of the three species could potentially reduce the foraging efficiency of the affected animals.

  18. Studying Fin Whales with Seafloor Seismic Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilcock, W. S.; Soule, D. C.; Weirathmueller, M.; Thomson, R.

    2011-12-01

    Baleen whales are found throughout the world's oceans and their welfare captivates the general public. Depending on the species, baleen whales vocalize at frequencies ranging from ~10 Hz to several kilohertz. Passive acoustic studies of whale calls are used to investigate behavior and habitat usage, monitor the recovery of populations from whaling and assess the impacts of anthropogenic sounds. Since airguns are a significant source of sound in the oceans, the research goals of academic seismologists can lead to conflicts with those who advocate for whale conservation while being unwilling to consider the societal benefits of marine geophysical studies. In contrast, studies that monitor earthquakes with ocean bottom seismometers (OBSs) provide an opportunity to enhance studies of baleen whales and improve relationships with environmental advocates. The bandwidth of the typical high-frequency or intermediate-band ocean bottom seismometer overlaps the call frequency of the two largest baleen whale species; blue whales generate sequences of 10- to 20-s-long calls centered at ~16 Hz and fin whales produce long sequences of downswept 1-s-long chirps centered at ~20 Hz. Several studies have demonstrated the potential of OBS networks to monitor calling patterns and determine tracks for fin and blue whales. We will summarize the results from a study to track fin whales near the Endeavour hydrothermal vent fields on the Juan de Fuca Ridge and investigate a potential correlation between the density of whales and enhanced zooplankton found throughout the water column overlying the vent fields. From 2003-2006 an 8-station local seismic network that was designed to monitor hydrothermal earthquakes also recorded ~300,000 fin whale vocalizations, mostly in the fall and winter. Automatic picking and localization techniques that are analogous to those used to analyze earthquakes are employed to determine whale tracks. The tracks are then used to interpret calling patterns in the

  19. Tread-water feeding of Bryde's whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwata, Takashi; Akamatsu, Tomonari; Thongsukdee, Surasak; Cherdsukjai, Phaothep; Adulyanukosol, Kanjana; Sato, Katsufumi

    2017-11-06

    Many previous studies have shown that rorqual whales (Balaenopteridae), including the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus), fin whale (B. physalus), sei whale (B. borealis), Bryde's whale (B. edeni), minke whale (B. acutorostrata), and humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), employ a strategy called lunge feeding to capture a large amount of krill and/or fish for nourishment [1]. Lunge feeding entails a high energetic cost due to the drag created by an open mouth at high speeds [1,2]. In the upper Gulf of Thailand, Bryde's whales, which feed on small fish species [3], predominantly anchovies, demonstrated a range of feeding behaviors such as oblique, vertical, and lateral lunging. Moreover, they displayed a novel head-lifting feeding behavior characterized by holding the vertical posture for several seconds with an open mouth at the water surface. This study describes the head-lifting feeding by Bryde's whales, which is distinct from the typical lunge feeding of rorqual whales. Whales showing this behavior were observed on 58 occasions, involving 31 whales and including eight adult-calf pairs. Whales caught their prey using a series of coordinated movements: (i) lifting the head above the water with a closed mouth, (ii) opening the mouth until the lower jaw contacted the sea surface, which created a current of water flowing into the mouth, (iii) holding their position for several seconds, (iv) waiting for the prey to enter the mouth, and (v) closing the mouth and engulfing the prey underwater (Figure 1A-F, Movie S1 in Supplemental Information published with this article online). When a whale kept its upper jaw above the sea surface, many anchovies in the targeted shoal appeared to lose orientation and flowed passively into the mouth of the whale by the current created by the lower mandible breaking the surface of the water. We measured the duration of feeding events when the whales had a wide-open mouth mostly above the sea surface. The mean and maximum feeding

  20. Mapping the Super-Whale

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blok, Anders

    2010-01-01

    In empirical discussion on global connections, frequent allusions are made to Michael Burawoy's 'global' and George Marcus' 'multi-sited' ethnographies. While both have inspired transnational fieldwork, neither methodological approach has sufficiently analysed the local-global dichotomy embedded ...... and plural 'globalities' is outlined. These claims are developed drawing on the author's inquiries into Japanese whaling practices, showing how 'ethno-socio-cartography' can contribute to the mapping of global-scale micro-cosmoses....

  1. Arteriovenous Patterns in Beaked Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-30

    time in cold storage, and therefore yielded varying results. Nonetheless, all specimens examined were beneficial to the process and added various...to thermoregulation . We observed a sizable arteriovenous structure suggestive of counter-current heat exchange (CCHE) not only in the lingual and...surfaces in contact with cold water. An analogous structure was described on the palatine surface of the bowhead whale (Mead, Werth and George, 2013

  2. Whales in Depth: An Interdisciplinary Unit of Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sunal, Cynthia Szymanski; Pritchard, Gail; Sunal, Dennis W.

    2000-01-01

    Provides background information on whales focusing on their biological characteristics, the use and regulation of whaling, and the conservation of marine mammals. Offers ideas for teaching about whales. Includes a resource section of books, audio books, music tapes, and Web sites about whales for students and teachers. (CMK)

  3. Saving Whales and Dolphins through Petroglyphs and Activist Artworks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bae, Jaehan

    2013-01-01

    Whaling emerged in ancient times, when whales served as a source of food, fuel, and other everyday resources that were vital for human civilizations. Prehistoric images of whales are found on rocks in a few areas throughout the world, most notably the famous petroglyphs at the Bangudae cliffs in Ulsan, South Korea, which depict whales and other…

  4. Whale Watching in the Gulf of Maine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carkin, Clayton A.

    1985-01-01

    Describes a variety of teaching strategies to prepare a class for a whale watching field trip. Guidelines for recording a sighting, pictures and statistics for commonly and/or occasionally seen whales, and hints for avoiding sea sickness are included. (DH)

  5. Advanced Whale Detection Methods to Improve Whale-Ship Collision Avoidance

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGillivary, P. A.; Tougher, B.

    2010-12-01

    Collisions between whales and ships are now estimated to account for fully a third of all whale deaths worldwide. Such collisions can incur costly ship repairs, and may damage or disable ship steering requiring costly response efforts from state and federal agencies. While collisions with rare whale species are problematic in further reducing their low population numbers, collisions with some of the more abundant whale species are also becoming more common as their populations increase. The problem is compounded as ship traffic likewise continues to grow, thus posing a growing risk to both whales and ships. Federal agencies are considering policies to alter shipping lanes to minimize whale-ship collisions off California and elsewhere. Similar efforts have already been undertaken for the Boston Harbor ship approach, where a bend in the shipping lane was introduced to reduce ship traffic through a favorite area of the highly endangered North Atlantic Right Whale. The Boston shipping approach lane was also flanked with a system of moorings with whale detection hydrophones which broadcast the presence of calling whales in or near the ship channel to approaching ships in real time. When so notified, ships can post lookouts to avoid whale collisions, and reduce speed to reduce the likelihood of whale death, which is highly speed dependent. To reduce the likelihood and seriousness of whale-ship collisions off California and Alaska in particular, there is a need to better know areas of particularly high use by whales, and consider implementation of reduced ship speeds in these areas. There is also an ongoing discussion of altering shipping lanes in the Santa Barbara Channel to avoid habitual Blue whales aggregation areas in particular. However, unlike the case for Boston Harbor, notification of ships that whales are nearby to reduce or avoid collisions is complicated because many California and Alaska whale species do not call regularly, and would thus be undetected by

  6. Comparison of echolocation clicks from geographically sympatric killer whales and long-finned pilot whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eskesen, Ida; Wahlberg, Magnus; Simon, Malene

    2010-01-01

    The source characteristics of biosonar signals from sympatric killer whales and long-finned pilot whales in a Norwegian fjord were compared. A total of 137 pilot whale and more than 2000 killer whale echolocation clicks were recorded using a linear four-hydrophone array. Of these, 20 pilot whale...... clicks and 28 killer whale clicks were categorized as being recorded on-axis. The clicks of pilot whales had a mean apparent source level of 196 dB re 1 lPa pp and those of killer whales 203 dB re 1 lPa pp. The duration of pilot whale clicks was significantly shorter (23 ls, S.E.¼1.3) and the centroid...... frequency significantly higher (55 kHz, S.E.¼2.1) than killer whale clicks (duration: 41 ls, S.E.¼2.6; centroid frequency: 32 kHz, S.E.¼1.5). The rate of increase in the accumulated energy as a function of time also differed between clicks from the two species. The differences in duration, frequency...

  7. Humpback whale bioacoustics: From form to function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercado, Eduardo, III

    This thesis investigates how humpback whales produce, perceive, and use sounds from a comparative and computational perspective. Biomimetic models are developed within a systems-theoretic framework and then used to analyze the properties of humpback whale sounds. First, sound transmission is considered in terms of possible production mechanisms and the propagation characteristics of shallow water environments frequented by humpback whales. A standard source-filter model (used to describe human sound production) is shown to be well suited for characterizing sound production by humpback whales. Simulations of sound propagation based on normal mode theory reveal that optimal frequencies for long range propagation are higher than the frequencies used most often by humpbacks, and that sounds may contain spectral information indicating how far they have propagated. Next, sound reception is discussed. A model of human auditory processing is modified to emulate humpback whale auditory processing as suggested by cochlear anatomical dimensions. This auditory model is used to generate visual representations of humpback whale sounds that more clearly reveal what features are likely to be salient to listening whales. Additionally, the possibility that an unusual sensory organ (the tubercle) plays a role in acoustic processing is assessed. Spatial distributions of tubercles are described that suggest tubercles may be useful for localizing sound sources. Finally, these models are integrated with self-organizing feature maps to create a biomimetic sound classification system, and a detailed analysis of individual sounds and sound patterns in humpback whale 'songs' is performed. This analysis provides evidence that song sounds and sound patterns vary substantially in terms of detectability and propagation potential, suggesting that they do not all serve the same function. New quantitative techniques are also presented that allow for more objective characterizations of the long term

  8. Distribution and relative abundance of large whales in a former whaling ground off eastern South America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Artur Andriolo

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Ship-based sighting surveys for cetaceans were conducted in the former whaling ground off the northeastern coast of Brazil. The cruises took place in winter and spring of 1998-2001 with the objectives of investigating current distribution and abundance of cetaceans, particularly large whale species taken during whaling. In 1998 the survey were conducted between the parallels 5°30'W and 9°S and the 200 m isobath and the meridian 033°W. A total of about 3,100 nm were surveyed between 1998 and 2001 Surveys were conducted using line transect methods from about 5-10°S, and from the coast to 33°W. A total of 151 sightings (203 individuals of large whales were recorded on effort. The Antarctic minke whale - Balaenoptera bonaerensis (Burmeister, 1867 was the most frequently sighted species (97 groups/132 individuals; Sighting Rate [SR] = 0.031 groups/nm, being recorded only in offshore waters. Density gradually increased from August to October. Minke whales were distributed throughout the area, both to the north and the south of former whaling ground. Sighting data indicate this is the most abundant species, particularly in the area beyond the continental shelf break. Breeding behavior was observed for Antarctic minke whales, but few groups containing calves were recorded (4.3% of the groups sighted on effort. Three other large whale species were recorded in low numbers: the Bryde's whale - Balaenoptera edeni (Anderson, 1879¹; the sei whale, B. borealis (Lesson, 1828, and the sperm, Physeter macrocephalus (Linnaeus, 1758. Sei, Bryde and sperm whales were regularly caught during whaling operations, but are rare in the area, suggesting they were depleted by whaling and have yet to recover to their pre-explotation abundance. In contrast, minke whales are abundant in this area, suggesting that either they were not substantially depleted, or that they have recovered rapidly. Blue whale, Balaenoptera musculus (Linnaeus, 1758, and fin whale, B. physalus

  9. Quantifying the energy stores of capital breeding humpback whales and income breeding sperm whales using historical whaling records

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thums, Michele; Hanson, Christine E.; McMahon, Clive R.; Hindell, Mark A.

    2017-01-01

    Cetacean energy stores are known to vary according to life history, reproductive status and time of year; however, the opportunity to quantify these relationships is rare. Using a unique set of historical whaling records from Western Australia (1952–1963), we investigated energy stores of large cetaceans with differing life histories, and quantified the relationship between total body lipid and length for humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) (n = 905) and sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) (n = 1961). We found that total body lipid increased with body length in both humpback and sperm whales, consistent with size-related energy stores. Male humpback whales stored 2.49 kl (15.6 barrels) (31.9–74.9%) more lipid than male sperm whales of equivalent length, to fuel their annual migration. Relative lipid stores of sperm whales (males) were constant throughout the year, while those of humpback whales varied with reproductive class and sampling date. Pregnant female humpback whales had higher relative energy stores than non-pregnant females and males (26.2% and 37.4%, respectively), to fuel the energy demands of gestation and lactation. Those that reached the sampling site later (en route to their breeding grounds) carried higher lipid stores than those that arrived earlier, possibly reflecting individual variation in residency times in the Antarctic feeding grounds. Importantly, longer pregnant females had relatively larger energy stores than the shorter pregnant females, indicating that the smaller individuals may experience higher levels of energetic stress during the migration fast. The relationships we developed between body lipid and length can be used to inform bioenergetics and ecosystem models when such detailed information is not available. PMID:28405350

  10. Quantifying the energy stores of capital breeding humpback whales and income breeding sperm whales using historical whaling records.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irvine, Lyn G; Thums, Michele; Hanson, Christine E; McMahon, Clive R; Hindell, Mark A

    2017-03-01

    Cetacean energy stores are known to vary according to life history, reproductive status and time of year; however, the opportunity to quantify these relationships is rare. Using a unique set of historical whaling records from Western Australia (1952-1963), we investigated energy stores of large cetaceans with differing life histories, and quantified the relationship between total body lipid and length for humpback whales ( Megaptera novaeangliae) ( n  = 905) and sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) ( n  = 1961). We found that total body lipid increased with body length in both humpback and sperm whales, consistent with size-related energy stores. Male humpback whales stored 2.49 kl (15.6 barrels) (31.9-74.9%) more lipid than male sperm whales of equivalent length, to fuel their annual migration. Relative lipid stores of sperm whales (males) were constant throughout the year, while those of humpback whales varied with reproductive class and sampling date. Pregnant female humpback whales had higher relative energy stores than non-pregnant females and males (26.2% and 37.4%, respectively), to fuel the energy demands of gestation and lactation. Those that reached the sampling site later ( en route to their breeding grounds) carried higher lipid stores than those that arrived earlier, possibly reflecting individual variation in residency times in the Antarctic feeding grounds. Importantly, longer pregnant females had relatively larger energy stores than the shorter pregnant females, indicating that the smaller individuals may experience higher levels of energetic stress during the migration fast. The relationships we developed between body lipid and length can be used to inform bioenergetics and ecosystem models when such detailed information is not available.

  11. Whale, Whale, Everywhere: Increasing Abundance of Western South Atlantic Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Their Wintering Grounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bortolotto, Guilherme A; Danilewicz, Daniel; Andriolo, Artur; Secchi, Eduardo R; Zerbini, Alexandre N

    2016-01-01

    The western South Atlantic (WSA) humpback whale population inhabits the coast of Brazil during the breeding and calving season in winter and spring. This population was depleted to near extinction by whaling in the mid-twentieth century. Despite recent signs of recovery, increasing coastal and offshore development pose potential threats to these animals. Therefore, continuous monitoring is needed to assess population status and support conservation strategies. The aim of this work was to present ship-based line-transect estimates of abundance for humpback whales in their WSA breeding ground and to investigate potential changes in population size. Two cruises surveyed the coast of Brazil during August-September in 2008 and 2012. The area surveyed in 2008 corresponded to the currently recognized population breeding area; effort in 2012 was limited due to unfavorable weather conditions. WSA humpback whale population size in 2008 was estimated at 16,410 (CV = 0.228, 95% CI = 10,563-25,495) animals. In order to compare abundance between 2008 and 2012, estimates for the area between Salvador and Cabo Frio, which were consistently covered in the two years, were computed at 15,332 (CV = 0.243, 95% CI = 9,595-24,500) and 19,429 (CV = 0.101, 95% CI = 15,958-23,654) whales, respectively. The difference in the two estimates represents an increase of 26.7% in whale numbers in a 4-year period. The estimated abundance for 2008 is considered the most robust for the WSA humpback whale population because the ship survey conducted in that year minimized bias from various sources. Results presented here indicate that in 2008, the WSA humpback whale population was at least around 60% of its estimated pre-modern whaling abundance and that it may recover to its pre-exploitation size sooner than previously estimated.

  12. Whale, Whale, Everywhere: Increasing Abundance of Western South Atlantic Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae in Their Wintering Grounds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guilherme A Bortolotto

    Full Text Available The western South Atlantic (WSA humpback whale population inhabits the coast of Brazil during the breeding and calving season in winter and spring. This population was depleted to near extinction by whaling in the mid-twentieth century. Despite recent signs of recovery, increasing coastal and offshore development pose potential threats to these animals. Therefore, continuous monitoring is needed to assess population status and support conservation strategies. The aim of this work was to present ship-based line-transect estimates of abundance for humpback whales in their WSA breeding ground and to investigate potential changes in population size. Two cruises surveyed the coast of Brazil during August-September in 2008 and 2012. The area surveyed in 2008 corresponded to the currently recognized population breeding area; effort in 2012 was limited due to unfavorable weather conditions. WSA humpback whale population size in 2008 was estimated at 16,410 (CV = 0.228, 95% CI = 10,563-25,495 animals. In order to compare abundance between 2008 and 2012, estimates for the area between Salvador and Cabo Frio, which were consistently covered in the two years, were computed at 15,332 (CV = 0.243, 95% CI = 9,595-24,500 and 19,429 (CV = 0.101, 95% CI = 15,958-23,654 whales, respectively. The difference in the two estimates represents an increase of 26.7% in whale numbers in a 4-year period. The estimated abundance for 2008 is considered the most robust for the WSA humpback whale population because the ship survey conducted in that year minimized bias from various sources. Results presented here indicate that in 2008, the WSA humpback whale population was at least around 60% of its estimated pre-modern whaling abundance and that it may recover to its pre-exploitation size sooner than previously estimated.

  13. Whales, science, and scientific whaling in the International Court of Justice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangel, Marc

    2016-12-20

    I provide a brief review of the origins of the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling and the failure to successfully regulate whaling that led to the commercial moratorium in 1986. I then describe the Japanese Whale Research Programs Under Special Permit in the Antarctica (JARPA I, JARPA II) and the origins of the case Whaling in the Antarctic (Australia v. Japan: New Zealand Intervening) in the International Court of Justice. I explain that the International Court of Justice chose to conduct an objective review of JARPA II, the standard that it used for the review, and the pathway that it took to adjudicate the case without providing a definition of science to be used in international law. I conclude with a brief discussion of the implications of the Judgment for the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling, and the International Whaling Commission in particular, for other international treaties, and for the interaction of science and law more generally.

  14. Changes in dive behaviour during naval sonar exposure in killer whales, long-finned pilot whales and sperm whales

    OpenAIRE

    Lise Doksæter Sivle; Petter Helgevold Kvadsheim; Andreas eFahlman; Andreas eFahlman; Frans-Peter eLam; Peter eTyack; Peter eTyack; Patrick eMiller

    2012-01-01

    Anthropogenic underwater sound in the environment might potentially affect the behavior of marine mammals enough to have an impact on their reproduction and survival. Diving behavior of 5 killer whales (Orcinus orca), 7 long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas) and 4 sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) were studied during controlled exposures to naval sonar (LFAS: 1-2 kHz and MFAS: 6-7 kHz) during three field seasons (2006-2009). Diving behavior was monitored before, during and after so...

  15. Whale, Whale, Everywhere: Increasing Abundance of Western South Atlantic Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Their Wintering Grounds

    OpenAIRE

    Bortolotto, Guilherme A.; Danilewicz, Daniel; Andriolo, Artur; Secchi, Eduardo R.; Zerbini, Alexandre N.

    2016-01-01

    The western South Atlantic (WSA) humpback whale population inhabits the coast of Brazil during the breeding and calving season in winter and spring. This population was depleted to near extinction by whaling in the mid-twentieth century. Despite recent signs of recovery, increasing coastal and offshore development pose potential threats to these animals. Therefore, continuous monitoring is needed to assess population status and support conservation strategies. The aim of this work was to pres...

  16. Right Whale Sightings Advisory System (RWSAS)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Right Whale Sighting Advisory System (RWSAS) is a NOAA Fisheries program which was designed to reduce collisions between ships and the critically endangered...

  17. Having a Whale of a Time

    Science.gov (United States)

    du Feu, Chris

    2009-01-01

    A classroom practical exercise exploring the reliability of a basic capture-mark-recapture method of population estimation is described using great whale conservation as a starting point. Various teaching resources are made available.

  18. Juvenile morphology in baleen whale phylogeny.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Cheng-Hsiu; Fordyce, R Ewan

    2014-09-01

    Phylogenetic reconstructions are sensitive to the influence of ontogeny on morphology. Here, we use foetal/neonatal specimens of known species of living baleen whales (Cetacea: Mysticeti) to show how juvenile morphology of extant species affects phylogenetic placement of the species. In one clade (sei whale, Balaenopteridae), the juvenile is distant from the usual phylogenetic position of adults, but in the other clade (pygmy right whale, Cetotheriidae), the juvenile is close to the adult. Different heterochronic processes at work in the studied species have different influences on juvenile morphology and on phylogenetic placement. This study helps to understand the relationship between evolutionary processes and phylogenetic patterns in baleen whale evolution and, more in general, between phylogeny and ontogeny; likewise, this study provides a proxy how to interpret the phylogeny when fossils that are immature individuals are included. Juvenile individuals in the peramorphic acceleration clades would produce misleading phylogenies, whereas juvenile individuals in the paedomorphic neoteny clades should still provide reliable phylogenetic signals.

  19. Short Communication Observations of individual humpback whales ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Movements of humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae among breeding regions within the southwestern Indian Ocean are poorly understood. Understanding the relationships among breeding regions is critical for effective conservation and management strategies. Through systematic comparisons of molecular ...

  20. Sound production by singing humpback whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercado, Eduardo; Schneider, Jennifer N; Pack, Adam A; Herman, Louis M

    2010-04-01

    Sounds from humpback whale songs were analyzed to evaluate possible mechanisms of sound production. Song sounds fell along a continuum with trains of discrete pulses at one end and continuous tonal signals at the other. This graded vocal repertoire is comparable to that seen in false killer whales [Murray et al. (1998). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 104, 1679-1688] and human singers, indicating that all three species generate sounds by varying the tension of pneumatically driven, vibrating membranes. Patterns in the spectral content of sounds and in nonlinear sound features show that resonating air chambers may also contribute to humpback whale sound production. Collectively, these findings suggest that categorizing individual units within songs into discrete types may obscure how singers modulate song features and illustrate how production-based characterizations of vocalizations can provide new insights into how humpback whales sing.

  1. Source levels of foraging humpback whale calls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fournet, Michelle E H; Matthews, Leanna P; Gabriele, Christine M; Mellinger, David K; Klinck, Holger

    2018-02-01

    Humpback whales produce a wide range of low- to mid-frequency vocalizations throughout their migratory range. Non-song "calls" dominate this species' vocal repertoire while on high-latitude foraging grounds. The source levels of 426 humpback whale calls in four vocal classes were estimated using a four-element planar array deployed in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Southeast Alaska. There was no significant difference in source levels between humpback whale vocal classes. The mean call source level was 137 dB RMS re 1 μPa @ 1 m in the bandwidth of the call (range 113-157 dB RMS re 1 μPa @ 1 m), where bandwidth is defined as the frequency range from the lowest to the highest frequency component of the call. These values represent a robust estimate of humpback whale source levels on foraging grounds and should append earlier estimates.

  2. Blue Whales Respond to Anthropogenic Noise

    OpenAIRE

    Melcón, Mariana L.; Amanda J Cummins; Kerosky, Sara M.; Roche, Lauren K.; Wiggins, Sean M.; Hildebrand, John A.

    2012-01-01

    Anthropogenic noise may significantly impact exposed marine mammals. This work studied the vocalization response of endangered blue whales to anthropogenic noise sources in the mid-frequency range using passive acoustic monitoring in the Southern California Bight. Blue whales were less likely to produce calls when mid-frequency active sonar was present. This reduction was more pronounced when the sonar source was closer to the animal, at higher sound levels. The animals were equally likely to...

  3. Blue whales respond to anthropogenic noise.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana L Melcón

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic noise may significantly impact exposed marine mammals. This work studied the vocalization response of endangered blue whales to anthropogenic noise sources in the mid-frequency range using passive acoustic monitoring in the Southern California Bight. Blue whales were less likely to produce calls when mid-frequency active sonar was present. This reduction was more pronounced when the sonar source was closer to the animal, at higher sound levels. The animals were equally likely to stop calling at any time of day, showing no diel pattern in their sensitivity to sonar. Conversely, the likelihood of whales emitting calls increased when ship sounds were nearby. Whales did not show a differential response to ship noise as a function of the time of the day either. These results demonstrate that anthropogenic noise, even at frequencies well above the blue whales' sound production range, has a strong probability of eliciting changes in vocal behavior. The long-term implications of disruption in call production to blue whale foraging and other behaviors are currently not well understood.

  4. Blue whales respond to anthropogenic noise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melcón, Mariana L; Cummins, Amanda J; Kerosky, Sara M; Roche, Lauren K; Wiggins, Sean M; Hildebrand, John A

    2012-01-01

    Anthropogenic noise may significantly impact exposed marine mammals. This work studied the vocalization response of endangered blue whales to anthropogenic noise sources in the mid-frequency range using passive acoustic monitoring in the Southern California Bight. Blue whales were less likely to produce calls when mid-frequency active sonar was present. This reduction was more pronounced when the sonar source was closer to the animal, at higher sound levels. The animals were equally likely to stop calling at any time of day, showing no diel pattern in their sensitivity to sonar. Conversely, the likelihood of whales emitting calls increased when ship sounds were nearby. Whales did not show a differential response to ship noise as a function of the time of the day either. These results demonstrate that anthropogenic noise, even at frequencies well above the blue whales' sound production range, has a strong probability of eliciting changes in vocal behavior. The long-term implications of disruption in call production to blue whale foraging and other behaviors are currently not well understood.

  5. Wandering whales? : Relationships between baleen whales and the sea ice environment in the Southern Ocean

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beekmans, Bas

    2017-01-01

    Each austral summer large baleen whales migrate into the Southern Ocean to feed on krill. The melting of sea ice leads to algal blooms which allow rapid growth and development of krill. In order to predict how baleen whales will respond to long-term changes in the physical environment, we need to

  6. Large Whale Biology Survey (DE9908, EK500)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The large whale biology survey primarily focuses on right whales in the coastal and continental shelf areas, with the following objectives: 1) Develop a better...

  7. AWARE Sonar and Sperm Whale Tagging (DE9906, EK500)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The AWARE sonar and sperm whale tagging cruise primarily focuses on whales in the continental shelf areas, with the following objectives: 1) Develop a better...

  8. Northern Right Whale and Cetacean Survey (DE0108, EK500)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The right whale and cetacean survey primarily focuses on right whales in the coastal and continental shelf areas, with the following objectives: 1) Develop a better...

  9. Northern Right Whale Survey (DE0306, EK500)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The right whale and cetacean survey primarily focuses on right whales in the coastal and continental shelf areas, with the following objectives: 1) Develop a better...

  10. Northern Right Whale Survey (DE0107, EK500)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The right whale and cetacean survey primarily focuses on right whales in the coastal and continental shelf areas, with the following objectives: 1) Develop a better...

  11. AWARE Sonar and Sperm Whale Tagging (DE0007, EK500)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The AWARE sonar and sperm whale tagging cruise primarily focuses on whales in the continental shelf areas, with the following objectives: 1) Develop a better...

  12. Quantifying the Effects of Prey Abundance on Killer Whale Reproduction

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Eric J. Ward; Elizabeth E. Holmes; Ken C. Balcomb

    2009-01-01

    .... We assessed the impact of a wide range of factors on the fecundity of two threatened populations of killer whales Orcinus orca, specifically whether killer whale production is limited by availability...

  13. Gulf of Mexico sperm whale photo-ID catalog

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Photo-identification data on sperm whales occupying the north central Gulf of Mexico have been collected during vessel surveys. Photographs of sperm whales are taken...

  14. Effectiveness of voluntary conservation agreements: case study of endangered whales and commercial whale watching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiley, David N; Moller, Just C; Pace, Richard M; Carlson, Carole

    2008-04-01

    The use of voluntary approaches to achieve conservation goals is becoming increasingly popular. Nevertheless, few researchers have quantitatively evaluated their efficacy. In 1998 industry, government agencies, and nongovernmental organizations established a voluntary conservation program for whale watching in the northeast region of the United States, with the intent to avoid collisions with and harassment of endangered whales by commercial and recreational whale-watching vessels. One important aspect of the program was the establishment of 3 speed zones within specific distances of whales. We wanted to determine the level of compliance with this aspect of the program to gauge its efficacy and gain insights into the effectiveness of voluntary measures as a conservation tool. Inconspicuous observers accompanied 46 commercial whale-watching trips from 12 companies in 2003 (n= 35) and 2004 (n= 11). During each trip, vessel position and speed were collected at 5-second intervals with a GPS receiver. Binoculars with internal laser rangefinders and digital compasses were used to record range and bearing to sighted whales. We mapped whale locations with ArcGIS. We created speed-zone buffers around sighted whales and overlaid them with vessel-track and speed data to evaluate compliance. Speeds in excess of those recommended by the program were considered noncompliant. We judged the magnitude of noncompliance by comparing a vessel's maximum speed within a zone to its maximum recorded trip speed. The level of noncompliance was high (mean 0.78; company range 0.74-0.88), some companies were more compliant than others (p= 0.02), noncompliance was significantly higher in zones farther from whales (p whales. Our results support the need for conservation programs to have quantifiable metrics and frequent evaluation to ensure efficacy.

  15. A Whale of a Panorama

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Click on the image for A Whale of a Panorama (QTVR) More than 1.5 years into their exploration of Mars, both of NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers continue to send a cornucopia of images to Earth. The results are so spectacular that Deputy Project Manager John Callas recently described them as 'an embarrassment of riches.' Spirit produced this image mosaic, nicknamed the 'Whale Panorama,' two-thirds of the way to the summit of 'Husband Hill,' where the rover investigated martian rocks. On the right side of the panorama is a tilted layer of rocks dubbed 'Larry's Outcrop,' one of several tilted outcrops that scientists examined in April, 2005. They used spatial information to create geologic maps showing the compass orientation and degree of tilting of rock formations in the vicinity. Such information is key to geologic fieldwork because it helps establish if rock layers have been warped since they formed. In this case, scientists have also been studying the mineral and chemical differences, which show that some rocks have been more highly altered than others. In the foreground, in the middle of the image mosaic, Spirit is shown with the scientific instruments at the end of its robotic arm positioned on a rock target known as 'Ahab.' The rover was busy collecting elemental chemistry and mineralogy data on the rock at the same time that it was taking 50 individual snapshots with its five panoramic camera filters to create this stunning view of the martian scenery. The twin tracks of the rover's all-terrain wheels are clearly visible on the left. This mosaic of images spans about 220 degrees from left to right and is an approximate true-color rendering of the Mars terrain acquired through the panoramic camera's 750-, 530-, and 430-nanometer filters. Spirit collected these images from its 497th martian day, or sol, through its 500th sol (May 27 through May 30, 2005).

  16. Atlantic Canada : Dancing with whales

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reid, W.

    2003-03-03

    A major question in the Atlantic provinces that needs resolving concerns the how much waters and sea floors that can be considered protected area before disruption of industrial activity in the vicinity of those areas occurs, especially where there is potential for natural gas and crude oil. Another question that needs pondering relates to the amount of money that the federal government is willing to spend to study the effects on marine habitats resulting from this industrial activity. The consideration being given to a region called the Gully, as to whether it should be declared an official marine protected zone, brought these questions to the forefront. A canyon approximately 70 kilometres (km) long and 20 km wide, the Gully is a potentially resource-rich area located in deep water 300 km east of Cape Breton at the edge of the Scotian Shelf. A pilot project was implemented in 1998, but no clear decision has yet been made concerning the status of the Gully. According to a biology professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is busy obtaining the proper approvals for its designation as a fully protected area. The northern bottlenose whale can be found in this canyon. This professor advocates a ban on industrial activity in the vicinity of the Gully, as he believes that seismic surveys and exploratory drilling pose a danger to the whales. He would like to see more funding allocated to research programs. Companies conducting seismic surveys in the vicinity of the Gully have to comply with environmental standards.

  17. 75 FR 28779 - Prince of Whales Resource Advisory Committee

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-24

    ... Forest Service Prince of Whales Resource Advisory Committee AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice of meeting. SUMMARY: The Prince of Whales Resource Advisory Committee will meet in Craig, Alaska..., Craig Alaska. Send written comments to Prince of Whales Resource Advisory Committee, c/o District Ranger...

  18. 36 CFR 13.1174 - Whale water restrictions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Whale water restrictions. 13... Vessel Operating Restrictions § 13.1174 Whale water restrictions. (a) May 15 through September 30, the following waters are designated as whale waters. (1) Waters north of a line drawn from Point Carolus to...

  19. 75 FR 2853 - False Killer Whale Take Reduction Team Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-19

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XT76 False Killer Whale Take Reduction Team... (NOAA), Department of Commerce. ACTION: Notice of establishment of a False Killer Whale Take Reduction... Insular, and Palmyra Atoll stocks of false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) in the Hawaii-based deep...

  20. Trends and interventions in large whale entanglement along the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The prevalence of entanglements is seasonal with the peaks in activity coinciding with the breeding migrations of humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae and southern right whales Eubalaena australis, the two large whale species that are the most prone to entanglement. Generalised linear models with a Poisson or ...

  1. Two intense decades of 19th century whaling precipitated rapid decline of right whales around New Zealand and East Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, Emma L; Jackson, Jennifer A; Paton, David; Smith, Tim D

    2014-01-01

    Right whales (Eubalaena spp.) were the focus of worldwide whaling activities from the 16th to the 20th century. During the first part of the 19th century, the southern right whale (E. australis) was heavily exploited on whaling grounds around New Zealand (NZ) and east Australia (EA). Here we build upon previous estimates of the total catch of NZ and EA right whales by improving and combining estimates from four different fisheries. Two fisheries have previously been considered: shore-based whaling in bays and ship-based whaling offshore. These were both improved by comparison with primary sources and the American offshore whaling catch record was improved by using a sample of logbooks to produce a more accurate catch record in terms of location and species composition. Two fisheries had not been previously integrated into the NZ and EA catch series: ship-based whaling in bays and whaling in the 20th century. To investigate the previously unaddressed problem of offshore whalers operating in bays, we identified a subset of vessels likely to be operating in bays and read available extant logbooks. This allowed us to estimate the total likely catch from bay-whaling by offshore whalers from the number of vessels seasons and whales killed per season: it ranged from 2,989 to 4,652 whales. The revised total estimate of 53,000 to 58,000 southern right whales killed is a considerable increase on the previous estimate of 26,000, partly because it applies fishery-specific estimates of struck and loss rates. Over 80% of kills were taken between 1830 and 1849, indicating a brief and intensive fishery that resulted in the commercial extinction of southern right whales in NZ and EA in just two decades. This conforms to the global trend of increasingly intense and destructive southern right whale fisheries over time.

  2. 76 FR 78242 - Marine Mammals; File No. 14241

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-16

    ... bairdii), Cuvier's beaked whale, Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus), killer whale (Orcinus orca) and... conduct research on cetacean behavior, sound production, and responses to sound. The research methods... stimuli an animal hears and measures vocalization, behavior, and physiological parameters. Research also...

  3. The Jan Mayen whaling industry - Its exploitation of the Greenland right whale and its impact on the marine ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hacquebord, L; Skreslet, S

    2004-01-01

    After a relatively late discovery of the island, Dutch whalers used Jan Mayen as a base for their whaling industry. They built stations on the west coast of the island where they rendered whale oil from the blubber of the Greenland right whales. Altogether the whalers stayed for twenty-two years on

  4. Bowhead whale songs sung by females in Disko Bay, Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tervo, Outi; Christoffersen, Mads; FØrasier, Timothy

    2011-01-01

    , and more rarely mate attraction. In the North Atlantic right whale, Eubalaena glacialis, a closely related species to the bowhead whale, the female produces simple calls during sexual interactions that attract other males to mating groups. We suggest that our results may indicate that the elaborate songs...... for this species. Bowhead whale song has long been hypothesized to be produced by male whales as a reproductive advertisement; however, no data on the sex of singers has ever been reported. In this study, we determine the sex of singing bowhead whales Balaena mysticetus in Disko Bay, West Greenland, by localizing...

  5. Beaked whales respond to simulated and actual navy sonar.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter L Tyack

    Full Text Available Beaked whales have mass stranded during some naval sonar exercises, but the cause is unknown. They are difficult to sight but can reliably be detected by listening for echolocation clicks produced during deep foraging dives. Listening for these clicks, we documented Blainville's beaked whales, Mesoplodon densirostris, in a naval underwater range where sonars are in regular use near Andros Island, Bahamas. An array of bottom-mounted hydrophones can detect beaked whales when they click anywhere within the range. We used two complementary methods to investigate behavioral responses of beaked whales to sonar: an opportunistic approach that monitored whale responses to multi-day naval exercises involving tactical mid-frequency sonars, and an experimental approach using playbacks of simulated sonar and control sounds to whales tagged with a device that records sound, movement, and orientation. Here we show that in both exposure conditions beaked whales stopped echolocating during deep foraging dives and moved away. During actual sonar exercises, beaked whales were primarily detected near the periphery of the range, on average 16 km away from the sonar transmissions. Once the exercise stopped, beaked whales gradually filled in the center of the range over 2-3 days. A satellite tagged whale moved outside the range during an exercise, returning over 2-3 days post-exercise. The experimental approach used tags to measure acoustic exposure and behavioral reactions of beaked whales to one controlled exposure each of simulated military sonar, killer whale calls, and band-limited noise. The beaked whales reacted to these three sound playbacks at sound pressure levels below 142 dB re 1 µPa by stopping echolocation followed by unusually long and slow ascents from their foraging dives. The combined results indicate similar disruption of foraging behavior and avoidance by beaked whales in the two different contexts, at exposures well below those used by

  6. Beaked whales respond to simulated and actual navy sonar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyack, Peter L; Zimmer, Walter M X; Moretti, David; Southall, Brandon L; Claridge, Diane E; Durban, John W; Clark, Christopher W; D'Amico, Angela; DiMarzio, Nancy; Jarvis, Susan; McCarthy, Elena; Morrissey, Ronald; Ward, Jessica; Boyd, Ian L

    2011-03-14

    Beaked whales have mass stranded during some naval sonar exercises, but the cause is unknown. They are difficult to sight but can reliably be detected by listening for echolocation clicks produced during deep foraging dives. Listening for these clicks, we documented Blainville's beaked whales, Mesoplodon densirostris, in a naval underwater range where sonars are in regular use near Andros Island, Bahamas. An array of bottom-mounted hydrophones can detect beaked whales when they click anywhere within the range. We used two complementary methods to investigate behavioral responses of beaked whales to sonar: an opportunistic approach that monitored whale responses to multi-day naval exercises involving tactical mid-frequency sonars, and an experimental approach using playbacks of simulated sonar and control sounds to whales tagged with a device that records sound, movement, and orientation. Here we show that in both exposure conditions beaked whales stopped echolocating during deep foraging dives and moved away. During actual sonar exercises, beaked whales were primarily detected near the periphery of the range, on average 16 km away from the sonar transmissions. Once the exercise stopped, beaked whales gradually filled in the center of the range over 2-3 days. A satellite tagged whale moved outside the range during an exercise, returning over 2-3 days post-exercise. The experimental approach used tags to measure acoustic exposure and behavioral reactions of beaked whales to one controlled exposure each of simulated military sonar, killer whale calls, and band-limited noise. The beaked whales reacted to these three sound playbacks at sound pressure levels below 142 dB re 1 µPa by stopping echolocation followed by unusually long and slow ascents from their foraging dives. The combined results indicate similar disruption of foraging behavior and avoidance by beaked whales in the two different contexts, at exposures well below those used by regulators to define

  7. How large should whales be?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron Clauset

    Full Text Available The evolution and distribution of species body sizes for terrestrial mammals is well-explained by a macroevolutionary tradeoff between short-term selective advantages and long-term extinction risks from increased species body size, unfolding above the 2 g minimum size induced by thermoregulation in air. Here, we consider whether this same tradeoff, formalized as a constrained convection-reaction-diffusion system, can also explain the sizes of fully aquatic mammals, which have not previously been considered. By replacing the terrestrial minimum with a pelagic one, at roughly 7000 g, the terrestrial mammal tradeoff model accurately predicts, with no tunable parameters, the observed body masses of all extant cetacean species, including the 175,000,000 g Blue Whale. This strong agreement between theory and data suggests that a universal macroevolutionary tradeoff governs body size evolution for all mammals, regardless of their habitat. The dramatic sizes of cetaceans can thus be attributed mainly to the increased convective heat loss is water, which shifts the species size distribution upward and pushes its right tail into ranges inaccessible to terrestrial mammals. Under this macroevolutionary tradeoff, the largest expected species occurs where the rate at which smaller-bodied species move up into large-bodied niches approximately equals the rate at which extinction removes them.

  8. Impact of climate change on sustainable management of gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus populations: Whale-watching and conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvadeo Christian J.

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Some pods of gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus breed every winter at three lagoons along the Baja California Peninsula and then migrate to feeding grounds on the Bering and Chukchi Seas. The number of whales arriving to the lagoons fluctuates yearly and is related to climate variability. We analyzed the documented climate effects on the whales over their distribution range and discuss the potential effects of global climate warming in their breeding areas. Our analysis indicates that global warming will be favorable for gray whale populations, but unfavorable for the Mexican whale-watching industry: favorable, because fluctuations in calf production have been positively correlated with the length of time that the primary feeding habitat was free of seasonal ice during the previous year. However, if gray whales change their breeding areas to northern bays, they will be exposed to new challenges, which will have repercussions on the whale-watching industry. We discuss these new challenges.

  9. Killer whale prey - Determining prey selection by southern resident killer whales (SRKW)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Prey selectivity by southern resident killer whales is being determined by analyses of fish scales and tissue from predation events and feces. Information on killer...

  10. Pilot whales attracted to killer whale sounds: acoustically-mediated interspecific interactions in cetaceans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curé, Charlotte; Antunes, Ricardo; Samarra, Filipa; Alves, Ana Catarina; Visser, Fleur; Kvadsheim, Petter H; Miller, Patrick J O

    2012-01-01

    In cetaceans' communities, interactions between individuals of different species are often observed in the wild. Yet, due to methodological and technical challenges very little is known about the mediation of these interactions and their effect on cetaceans' behavior. Killer whales (Orcinus orca) are a highly vocal species and can be both food competitors and potential predators of many other cetaceans. Thus, the interception of their vocalizations by unintended cetacean receivers may be particularly important in mediating interspecific interactions. To address this hypothesis, we conducted playbacks of killer whale vocalizations recorded during herring-feeding activity to free-ranging long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas). Using a multi-sensor tag, we were able to track the whales and to monitor changes of their movements and social behavior in response to the playbacks. We demonstrated that the playback of killer whale sounds to pilot whales induced a clear increase in group size and a strong attraction of the animals towards the sound source. These findings provide the first experimental evidence that the interception of heterospecific vocalizations can mediate interactions between different cetacean species in previously unrecognized ways.

  11. Pilot whales attracted to killer whale sounds: acoustically-mediated interspecific interactions in cetaceans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charlotte Curé

    Full Text Available In cetaceans' communities, interactions between individuals of different species are often observed in the wild. Yet, due to methodological and technical challenges very little is known about the mediation of these interactions and their effect on cetaceans' behavior. Killer whales (Orcinus orca are a highly vocal species and can be both food competitors and potential predators of many other cetaceans. Thus, the interception of their vocalizations by unintended cetacean receivers may be particularly important in mediating interspecific interactions. To address this hypothesis, we conducted playbacks of killer whale vocalizations recorded during herring-feeding activity to free-ranging long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas. Using a multi-sensor tag, we were able to track the whales and to monitor changes of their movements and social behavior in response to the playbacks. We demonstrated that the playback of killer whale sounds to pilot whales induced a clear increase in group size and a strong attraction of the animals towards the sound source. These findings provide the first experimental evidence that the interception of heterospecific vocalizations can mediate interactions between different cetacean species in previously unrecognized ways.

  12. Competing conservation objectives for predators and prey: estimating killer whale prey requirements for Chinook salmon

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Williams, Rob; Krkošek, Martin; Ashe, Erin; Branch, Trevor A; Clark, Steve; Hammond, Philip S; Hoyt, Erich; Noren, Dawn P; Rosen, David; Winship, Arliss

    2011-01-01

    .... We modeled individual killer whale prey requirements from feeding and growth records of captive killer whales and morphometric data from historic live-capture fishery and whaling records worldwide...

  13. Blue whale habitat and prey in the California Channel Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiedler, Paul C.; Reilly, Stephen B.; Hewitt, Roger P.; Demer, David; Philbrick, Valerie A.; Smith, Susan; Armstrong, Wesley; Croll, Donald A.; Tershy, Bernie R.; Mate, Bruce R.

    1998-08-01

    Whale Habitat and Prey Studies were conducted off southern California during August 1995 (WHAPS95) and July 1996 (WHAPS96) to (1) study the distribution and activities of blue whales and other large whales, (2) survey the distribution of prey organisms (krill), and (3) measure physical and biological habitat variables that influence the distribution of whales and prey. A total of 1307 cetacean sightings included 460 blue whale, 78 fin whale and 101 humpback whale sightings. Most blue whales were found in cold, well-mixed and productive water that had upwelled along the coast north of Point Conception and then advected south. They were aggregated in this water near San Miguel and Santa Rosa Islands, where they fed on dense, subsurface layers of euphausiids both on the shelf and extending off the shelf edge. Two species of euphausiids were consumed by blue whales, Thysanoessa spinifera and Euphausia pacifica, with evidence of preference for the former, a larger and more coastal species. These krill patches on the Channel Island feeding grounds are a resource exploited during summer-fall by the world's largest stock of blue whales.

  14. Will a catch share for whales improve social welfare?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Martin D; Asche, Frank; Bennear, Lori S; Havice, Elizabeth; Read, Andrew J; Squires, Dale

    2014-01-01

    We critique a proposal to use catch shares to manage transboundary wildlife resources with potentially high non-extractive values, and we focus on the case of whales. Because whales are impure public goods, a policy that fails to capture all nonmarket benefits (due to free riding) could lead to a suboptimal outcome. Even if free riding were overcome, whale shares would face four implementation challenges. First, a whale share could legitimize the international trade in whale meat and expand the whale meat market. Second, a legal whale trade creates monitoring and enforcement challenges similar to those of organizations that manage highly migratory species such as tuna. Third, a whale share could create a new political economy of management that changes incentives and increases costs for nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to achieve the current level of conservation. Fourth, a whale share program creates new logistical challenges for quota definition and allocation regardless of whether the market for whale products expands or contracts. Each of these issues, if left unaddressed, could result in lower overall welfare for society than under the status quo.

  15. Echolocation in Blainville's beaked whales (Mesoplodon densirostris).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madsen, P T; de Soto, N Aguilar; Arranz, P; Johnson, M

    2013-06-01

    Here we use sound and movement recording tags to study how deep-diving Blainville's beaked whales (Mesoplodon densirostris) use echolocation to forage in their natural mesopelagic habitat. These whales ensonify thousands of organisms per dive but select only about 25 prey for capture. They negotiate their cluttered environment by radiating sound in a narrow 20° field of view which they sample with 1.5-3 clicks per metre travelled requiring only some 60 clicks to locate, select and approach each prey. Sampling rates do not appear to be defined by the range to individual targets, but rather by the movement of the predator. Whales sample faster when they encounter patches of prey allowing them to search new water volumes while turning rapidly to stay within a patch. This implies that the Griffin search-approach-capture model of biosonar foraging must be expanded to account for sampling behaviours adapted to the overall prey distribution. Beaked whales can classify prey at more than 15 m range adopting stereotyped motor patterns when approaching some prey. This long detection range relative to swimming speed facilitates a deliberate mode of sensory-motor operation in which prey and capture tactics can be selected to optimize energy returns during long breath-hold dives.

  16. Whales of New England. Secondary Curriculum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    New England Aquarium, Boston, MA.

    Instructional materials and suggestions for conducting a whale watching field trip are contained in this curriculum packet for secondary science teachers. It is one unit in a series of curricular programs developed by the New England Aquarium Education Department. Activities and information are organized into three sections: (1) pre-trip…

  17. Successful euthanasia of a juvenile fin whale.

    OpenAIRE

    Daoust, P Y; Ortenburger, A I

    2001-01-01

    A stranded juvenile fin whale was successfully euthanized with an intravenous injection of sedative and cardioplegic drugs. Veterinarians may face a number of serious difficulties if called to perform this task, and advance preparation is required for successful euthanasia of these animals.

  18. Automated detection of Antarctic blue whale calls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Socheleau, Francois-Xavier; Leroy, Emmanuelle; Pecci, Andres Carvallo; Samaran, Flore; Bonnel, Julien; Royer, Jean-Yves

    2015-11-01

    This paper addresses the problem of automated detection of Z-calls emitted by Antarctic blue whales (B. m. intermedia). The proposed solution is based on a subspace detector of sigmoidal-frequency signals with unknown time-varying amplitude. This detection strategy takes into account frequency variations of blue whale calls as well as the presence of other transient sounds that can interfere with Z-calls (such as airguns or other whale calls). The proposed method has been tested on more than 105 h of acoustic data containing about 2200 Z-calls (as found by an experienced human operator). This method is shown to have a correct-detection rate of up to more than 15% better than the extensible bioacoustic tool package, a spectrogram-based correlation detector commonly used to study blue whales. Because the proposed method relies on subspace detection, it does not suffer from some drawbacks of correlation-based detectors. In particular, it does not require the choice of an a priori fixed and subjective template. The analytic expression of the detection performance is also derived, which provides crucial information for higher level analyses such as animal density estimation from acoustic data. Finally, the detection threshold automatically adapts to the soundscape in order not to violate a user-specified false alarm rate.

  19. Short Communication Pygmy right whale Caperea marginata ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    All known records of pygmy right whales Caperea marginata in Namibia since 1978 are summarised for the first time, including 12 strandings (live and recently dead animals) and skeletal remains from at least eight more individuals. The majority of strandings and remains were located in the Walvis Bay region, where the ...

  20. SAKAMATA : A tool to avoid whale strandings

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Benders, F.P.A.; Beerens, S.P.; Verboom, W.C.

    2004-01-01

    World-wide a concern exists about the influence of man-made noise on marine life, and particularly of high power sonar. Most concern lies with marine mammals that use acoustics for hunting, communication and/or navigation. This concern is fed by recent strandings of whales that could be related to

  1. SAKAMATA : A tool to avoid whale strandings

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Benders, F.P.A.; Beerens, S.P.; Verboom, W.C.

    2002-01-01

    World-wide a concern exists about the influence of man-made noise on marine life, and particularly of high power sonar. Most concern lies with marine mammals that use acoustics for hunting, communication and/or navigation. This concern is fed by recent strandings of whales that could be related to

  2. Whale Preservation. Grades Five to Nine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Racicot, Darlene

    Dedicated to the conservation and preservation of whales, dolphins, and porpoises through public education, this instructional unit for grades 5-9 provides current (1993) facts, lesson plans, activities, and conservation and preservation techniques. Interdisciplinary activities involve students in debates, critical thinking, research, and…

  3. A phylogenetic blueprint for a modern whale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gatesy, John; Geisler, Jonathan H; Chang, Joseph; Buell, Carl; Berta, Annalisa; Meredith, Robert W; Springer, Mark S; McGowen, Michael R

    2013-02-01

    The emergence of Cetacea in the Paleogene represents one of the most profound macroevolutionary transitions within Mammalia. The move from a terrestrial habitat to a committed aquatic lifestyle engendered wholesale changes in anatomy, physiology, and behavior. The results of this remarkable transformation are extant whales that include the largest, biggest brained, fastest swimming, loudest, deepest diving mammals, some of which can detect prey with a sophisticated echolocation system (Odontoceti - toothed whales), and others that batch feed using racks of baleen (Mysticeti - baleen whales). A broad-scale reconstruction of the evolutionary remodeling that culminated in extant cetaceans has not yet been based on integration of genomic and paleontological information. Here, we first place Cetacea relative to extant mammalian diversity, and assess the distribution of support among molecular datasets for relationships within Artiodactyla (even-toed ungulates, including Cetacea). We then merge trees derived from three large concatenations of molecular and fossil data to yield a composite hypothesis that encompasses many critical events in the evolutionary history of Cetacea. By combining diverse evidence, we infer a phylogenetic blueprint that outlines the stepwise evolutionary development of modern whales. This hypothesis represents a starting point for more detailed, comprehensive phylogenetic reconstructions in the future, and also highlights the synergistic interaction between modern (genomic) and traditional (morphological+paleontological) approaches that ultimately must be exploited to provide a rich understanding of evolutionary history across the entire tree of Life. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Expression and Purification of Sperm Whale Myoglobin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Stephen; Indivero, Virginia; Burkhard, Caroline

    2010-01-01

    We present a multiweek laboratory exercise that exposes students to the fundamental techniques of bacterial expression and protein purification through the preparation of sperm whale myoglobin. Myoglobin, a robust oxygen-binding protein, contains a single heme that gives the protein a reddish color, making it an ideal subject for the teaching…

  5. Semi-Automatic Identification of Humpback Whales

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    E.B. Ranguelova (Elena); M.J. Huiskes (Mark); E.J. Pauwels (Eric); K. Dawson-Howe; A.C. Kokaram; F. Shevlin

    2004-01-01

    htmlabstractThis paper describes current work on a photo-id system for humpback whales. Individuals of this species can be uniquely identied by the light and dark pigmentation patches on their tails. We propose semi-automatic algorithm based on marker-controlled watershed transformation for

  6. Positive selection on the killer whale mitogenome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Foote, Andrew David; Morin, Phillip A.; Durban, John W.

    2011-01-01

    Mitochondria produce up to 95 per cent of the eukaryotic cell's energy. The coding genes of the mitochondrial DNA may therefore evolve under selection owing to metabolic requirements. The killer whale, Orcinus orca, is polymorphic, has a global distribution and occupies a range of ecological niches...

  7. Humpback whale, Megaptera novaeangliae, song during the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A key feature of humpback whale behavior, documented primarily on the breeding grounds, is the repertoire of the males' song. Song is made up of single units combined together into phrases, which are repeated to make up themes. A song consists of several themes sung in succession. This study qualitatively investigates ...

  8. An integrated approach to historical population assessment of the great whales: case of the New Zealand southern right whale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Jennifer A; Carroll, Emma L; Smith, Tim D; Zerbini, Alexandre N; Patenaude, Nathalie J; Baker, C Scott

    2016-03-01

    Accurate estimation of historical abundance provides an essential baseline for judging the recovery of the great whales. This is particularly challenging for whales hunted prior to twentieth century modern whaling, as population-level catch records are often incomplete. Assessments of whale recovery using pre-modern exploitation indices are therefore rare, despite the intensive, global nature of nineteenth century whaling. Right whales (Eubalaena spp.) were particularly exploited: slow swimmers with strong fidelity to sheltered calving bays, the species made predictable and easy targets. Here, we present the first integrated population-level assessment of the whaling impact and pre-exploitation abundance of a right whale, the New Zealand southern right whale (E. australis). In this assessment, we use a Bayesian population dynamics model integrating multiple data sources: nineteenth century catches, genetic constraints on bottleneck size and individual sightings histories informing abundance and trend. Different catch allocation scenarios are explored to account for uncertainty in the population's offshore distribution. From a pre-exploitation abundance of 28 800-47 100 whales, nineteenth century hunting reduced the population to approximately 30-40 mature females between 1914 and 1926. Today, it stands at less than 12% of pre-exploitation abundance. Despite the challenges of reconstructing historical catches and population boundaries, conservation efforts of historically exploited species benefit from targets for ecological restoration.

  9. The novel evolution of the sperm whale genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, Wesley C; Kuderna, Lukas; Alexander, Alana; Catchen, Julian; Pérez-Silva, José G; López-Otín, Carlos; Quesada, Víctor; Minx, Patrick; Tomlinson, Chad; Montague, Michael J; Farias, Fabiana H G; Walter, Ronald B; Marques-Bonet, Tomas; Glenn, Travis; Kieran, Troy J; Wise, Sandra S; Wise, John Pierce; Waterhouse, Robert M; Wise, John Pierce

    2017-09-13

    The sperm whale, made famous by Moby Dick, is one of the most fascinating of all ocean-dwelling species given their unique life history, novel physiological adaptations to hunting squid at extreme ocean depths, and their position as one of the earliest branching toothed whales (Odontoceti). We assembled the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) genome and resequenced individuals from multiple ocean basins to identify new candidate genes for adaptation to an aquatic environment and infer demographic history. Genes crucial for skin integrity appeared to be particularly important in both the sperm whale and other cetaceans. We also find sperm whales experienced a steep population decline during the early Pleistocene epoch. These genomic data add new comparative insight into the evolution of whales. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  10. The Novel Evolution of the Sperm Whale Genome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuderna, Lukas; Alexander, Alana; Catchen, Julian; Pérez-Silva, José G; López-Otín, Carlos; Minx, Patrick; Tomlinson, Chad; Farias, Fabiana H G; Walter, Ronald B; Marques-Bonet, Tomas; Glenn, Travis; Kieran, Troy J; Wise, Sandra S; Wise, John Pierce; Waterhouse, Robert M; Wise, John Pierce

    2017-01-01

    Abstract The sperm whale, made famous by Moby Dick, is one of the most fascinating of all ocean-dwelling species given their unique life history, novel physiological adaptations to hunting squid at extreme ocean depths, and their position as one of the earliest branching toothed whales (Odontoceti). We assembled the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) genome and resequenced individuals from multiple ocean basins to identify new candidate genes for adaptation to an aquatic environment and infer demographic history. Genes crucial for skin integrity appeared to be particularly important in both the sperm whale and other cetaceans. We also find sperm whales experienced a steep population decline during the early Pleistocene epoch. These genomic data add new comparative insight into the evolution of whales. PMID:28985367

  11. Whales and waves: Humpback whale foraging response and the shoaling of internal waves at Stellwagen Bank

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pineda, Jesús; Starczak, Victoria; da Silva, José C. B.; Helfrich, Karl; Thompson, Michael; Wiley, David

    2015-04-01

    We tested the hypothesis that humpback whales aggregate at the southern flank of Stellwagen Bank (SB) in response to internal waves (IWs) generated semidiurnally at Race Point (RP) channel because of the presence of their preferred prey, planktivorous fish, which in turn respond to zooplankton concentrated by the predictable IWs. Analysis of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images indicates that RP IWs approach the southern flank of SB frequently (˜62% of the images). Published reports of whale sighting data and archived SAR images point to a coarse spatial coincidence between whales and Race Point IWs at SB's southern flank. The responses of whales to IWs were evaluated via sightings and behavior of humpback whales, and IWs were observed in situ by acoustic backscatter and temperature measurements. Modeling of IWs complemented the observations, and results indicate a change of ˜0.4 m/s in current velocity, and ˜1.5 Pa in dynamic pressure near the bottom, which may be sufficient for bottom fish to detect the IWs. However, fish were rare in our acoustic observations, and fish response to the IWs could not be evaluated. RP IWs do not represent the leading edge of the internal tide, and they may have less mass-transport potential than typical coastal IWs. There was large interannual variability in whale sightings at SB's southern flank, with decreases in both numbers of sightings and proportion of sightings where feeding was observed from 2008 to 2013. Coincidence of whales and IWs was inconsistent, and results do not support the hypothesis.

  12. Distribution patterns and migratory behavior of Antarctic blue whales

    OpenAIRE

    Thomisch, Karolin

    2016-01-01

    After having been one of the primary targets of commercial whaling during the 20th century, Antarctic blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus intermedia) are still listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and many aspects of their distribution and migration patterns remain poorly understood to date. This dissertation investigates spatio-temporal patterns in the (acoustic) presence of Antarctic blue whales in the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean and...

  13. Beaked Whale Group Deep Dive Behavior from Passive Acoustic Monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Beaked Whale Group Deep Dive Behavior from Passive...described explicitly, beaked whales are one of the cetacean taxa more sensitive to use of Navy sonar (Moretti et al., 2014; Tyack et al., 2011). Despite...their vulnerability, Blainville’s beaked whale , Mesoplodon densirostris (Md), are routinely detected year-round on the AUTEC range, coincident with

  14. Building a Virtual Model of a Baleen Whale: Phase 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-30

    Service, California State Fish and Game, to film and television companies, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. He has an excellent reputation and decades of...Perryman and Lynn (2002), a paper on gray whale condition using aerial photogrammetry . We figured that the absolute longest whale we would ever be...experience in locating gray whale / orca interactions for BBC film crews. 9. Refrigeration and freezing equipment design completed and ordered, and

  15. Sounds produced by Norwegian killer whales, Orcinus orca, during capture

    OpenAIRE

    Parijs, Sofie M. van; Leyssen, Teo; Similä, Tiu

    2004-01-01

    Journal home page: http://scitation.aip.org/jasa/ To date very little is still known about the acoustic behavior of Norwegian killer whales, in particular that of individual whales. In this study a unique opportunity was presented to document the sounds produced by five captured killer whales in the Vestfjord area, northern Norway. Individuals produced 14 discrete and 7 compound calls. Two call types were used both by individuals 16178 and 23365 suggesting that they may belong to the same ...

  16. The function of roll in foraging behaviour of sperm whales

    OpenAIRE

    Hartvig, Eva Christel

    2011-01-01

    Though direct experiments to test echolocation in sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) remain impossible, the indirect evidence is overwhelming that one function of their clicks is echolocation used during foraging, as has been shown for other toothed whales. In this thesis, the aim was to test: 1) the hypothesis by Fristrup and Harbison (2002) that the sperm whale might be using downwelling light during the day to spot prey or prey patches as silhouettes against the lighter s...

  17. Satellite Tracking of Humpback Whales in West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dietz, R.; Teilmann, J.; Heide-Jørgensen, M.-P.

    In June 2000, 6 humpback whales (Megaptere novaeangliae) were tagged with satellite transmitters off West Greenland. Contact remained for up to 42 days. The tagging revealed that within the month of June, humpback whales off West Greenland moved between Fiskenæs Banke, Fyllas Banke, Tovqussaq Banke......, Sukkertop Banke and Lille Hellefiske Banke. The whales showed a preference for the continental slopes with depths less than 200 m, however, few dives were recorded down to 500 m. The whales had a preference for dives lasting 7-8 min. (15%) and no dives lasted longer than 15 min....

  18. Humpback whales feed on hatchery-released juvenile salmon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chenoweth, Ellen M; Straley, Janice M; McPhee, Megan V; Atkinson, Shannon; Reifenstuhl, Steve

    2017-07-01

    Humpback whales are remarkable for the behavioural plasticity of their feeding tactics and the diversity of their diets. Within the last decade at hatchery release sites in Southeast Alaska, humpback whales have begun exploiting juvenile salmon, a previously undocumented prey. The anthropogenic source of these salmon and their important contribution to local fisheries makes the emergence of humpback whale predation a concern for the Southeast Alaska economy. Here, we describe the frequency of observing humpback whales, examine the role of temporal and spatial variables affecting the probability of sighting humpback whales and describe prey capture behaviours at five hatchery release sites. We coordinated twice-daily 15 min observations during the spring release seasons 2010-2015. Using logistic regression, we determined that the probability of occurrence of humpback whales increased after releases began and decreased after releases concluded. The probability of whale occurrence varied among release sites but did not increase significantly over the 6 year study period. Whales were reported to be feeding on juvenile chum, Chinook and coho salmon, with photographic and video records of whales feeding on coho salmon. The ability to adapt to new prey sources may be key to sustaining their population in a changing ocean.

  19. Abundancia relativa, estructura poblacional, preferencia de hábitat y patrones de actividad del tapir centroamericano Tapirus bairdii (Perissodactyla: Tapiridae, en la Selva de Los Chimalapas, Oaxaca, México

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iván Lira-Torres

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available El tapir centroamericano (Tapirus bairdii está en peligro de extinción debido principalmente a la pérdida y fragmentación de su hábitat, y a la cacería sin control en toda su área de distribución. Una de las regiones terrestres prioritarias para la conservación de esta especie en la zona norte de su distribución se encuentra en la Selva de los Chimalapas, Oaxaca. Por lo que el objetivo de la presente investigación fue determinar la abundancia relativa, estructura poblacional, preferencia de hábitat y patrones de actividad del tapir centroamericano (Tapirus bairdii en la Selva de los Chimalapas, Oaxaca, México, mediante el uso de cámaras trampa. Se realizaron cinco periodos de muestreo fotográfico entre 2009 y 2013 con un total de 30 cámaras trampa en cada periodo. El factor de diseño fue la intensidad de caza entre dos sitios. Con un esfuerzo total de muestreo de 9 000 días/trampa se estimó un índice de abundancia relativa (IAR de 6.77/1 000 trampas-noche (n=61, variando significativamente entre estaciones de muestreo (Mann-Whitney, p<0.01. Durante la temporada de secas, los tapires fueron más abundantes y utilizaron con mayor intensidad el bosque tropical perennifolio sin cacería (x², p<0.5. Mientras que en la temporada de lluvia, el bosque tropical perennifolio con cacería y la vegetación secundaria con cacería fueron los hábitat significativamente más utilizados que lo esperado (x², p<0.5. Con respecto a la estructura poblacional se obtuvo un 95.08% de registros fotográficos de animales adultos (n=58. Se registraron tres tipos de patrones de actividad para la especie, siendo el patrón nocturno el que presentó mayor porcentaje de registros; 88.33% (Kruskal-Wallis, p<0.05. Finalmente, con base al número de registros fotográficos y a los resultados obtenidos es posible considerar a la Selva de los Chimalapas como la segunda eco-región terrestre prioritaria en importancia; después de la Selva Maya (Campeche

  20. Tracing the spatio-temporal dynamics of endangered fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) within baleen whale (Mysticeti) lineages: a mitogenomic perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Jihyun; Nam, Bo-Hye; Yoon, Joon; Kim, Eun Bae; Park, Jung Youn; Kim, Heebal; Yoon, Sook Hee

    2017-12-01

    To explore the spatio-temporal dynamics of endangered fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) within the baleen whale (Mysticeti) lineages, we analyzed 148 published mitochondrial genome sequences of baleen whales. We used a Bayesian coalescent approach as well as Bayesian inferences and maximum likelihood methods. The results showed that the fin whales had a single maternal origin, and that there is a significant correlation between geographic location and evolution of global fin whales. The most recent common female ancestor of this species lived approximately 9.88 million years ago (Mya). Here, North Pacific fin whales first appeared about 7.48 Mya, followed by a subsequent divergence in Southern Hemisphere approximately 6.63 Mya and North Atlantic about 4.42 Mya. Relatively recently, approximately 1.76 and 1.42 Mya, there were two additional occurrences of North Pacific populations; one originated from the Southern Hemisphere and the other from an uncertain location. The evolutionary rate of this species was 1.002 × 10-3 substitutions/site/My. Our Bayesian skyline plot illustrates that the fin whale population has the rapid expansion event since ~ 2.5 Mya, during the Quaternary glaciation stage. Additionally, this study indicates that the fin whale has a sister group relationship with humpback whale (Meganoptera novaeangliae) within the baleen whale lineages. Of the 16 genomic regions, NADH5 showed the most powerful signal for baleen whale phylogenetics. Interestingly, fin whales have 16 species-specific amino acid residues in eight mitochondrial genes: NADH2, COX2, COX3, ATPase6, ATPase8, NADH4, NADH5, and Cytb.

  1. Humans, Fish, and Whales: How Right Whales Modify Calling Behavior in Response to Shifting Background Noise Conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parks, Susan E; Groch, Karina; Flores, Paulo; Sousa-Lima, Renata; Urazghildiiev, Ildar R

    2016-01-01

    This study investigates the role of behavioral plasticity in the variation of sound production of southern right whales (Eubalaena australis) in response to changes in the ambient background noise conditions. Data were collected from southern right whales in Brazilian waters in October and November 2011. The goal of this study was to quantify differences in right whale vocalizations recorded in low background noise as a control, fish chorus noise, and vessel noise. Variation in call parameters were detected among the three background noise conditions and have implications for future studies of noise effects on whale sound production.

  2. Pre-whaling genetic diversity and population ecology in eastern Pacific gray whales: insights from ancient DNA and stable isotopes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S Elizabeth Alter

    Full Text Available Commercial whaling decimated many whale populations, including the eastern Pacific gray whale, but little is known about how population dynamics or ecology differed prior to these removals. Of particular interest is the possibility of a large population decline prior to whaling, as such a decline could explain the ~5-fold difference between genetic estimates of prior abundance and estimates based on historical records. We analyzed genetic (mitochondrial control region and isotopic information from modern and prehistoric gray whales using serial coalescent simulations and Bayesian skyline analyses to test for a pre-whaling decline and to examine prehistoric genetic diversity, population dynamics and ecology. Simulations demonstrate that significant genetic differences observed between ancient and modern samples could be caused by a large, recent population bottleneck, roughly concurrent with commercial whaling. Stable isotopes show minimal differences between modern and ancient gray whale foraging ecology. Using rejection-based Approximate Bayesian Computation, we estimate the size of the population bottleneck at its minimum abundance and the pre-bottleneck abundance. Our results agree with previous genetic studies suggesting the historical size of the eastern gray whale population was roughly three to five times its current size.

  3. 'Blue Whale Challenge': A Game or Crime?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukhra, Richa; Baryah, Neha; Krishan, Kewal; Kanchan, Tanuj

    2017-11-11

    A bewildering range of games are emerging every other day with newer elements of fun and entertainment to woo youngsters. Games are meant to reduce stress and enhance the cognitive development of children as well as adults. Teenagers are always curious to indulge in newer games; and e-gaming is one such platform providing an easy access and quicker means of entertainment. The particular game challenge which has taken the world by storm is the dangerous "Blue Whale Challenge" often involving vulnerable teenagers. The Blue Whale Challenge is neither an application nor internet based game but the users get a link through social media chat groups to enter this "deadly" challenge game. This probably is the only game where the participant has to end his/her life to complete the game. The innocent teenagers are being targeted based on their depressed psychology and are coercively isolated from their social milieux on the pretext of keeping the challenges confidential. To add to the woes, no option is offered to quit the challenge even if the contender is unable to complete the challenge. Blue Whale Challenge in its sheer form could be seen as an illegal, unethical and inhumane endeavor in our present society. The present communication discusses the severe effects of the game on teenagers, the ethical concerns involved and the preventive measures necessary to curb it.

  4. The origin and early evolution of whales: macroevolution ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Prakash

    2009-10-29

    Oct 29, 2009 ... In 1936, Remington Kellogg, the authority on fossil whales of his day, observed that no fossil whales had been found in the Indian Subcontinent, and that there was 'very strong evidence that they had not as yet invaded these regions.' Kellogg's inference, though reasonable at the time, has been proven ...

  5. Double Teeth in the Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus L.)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boschma, H.

    1938-01-01

    Recently a fairly large number of teeth of the sperm whale were acquired for the collections of the Rijksmuseum van Natuurlijke Historic These teeth were picked out from an extensive material of sperm whale teeth collected in the Antarctic region and preserved by the whalers for their commercial

  6. Hydrodynamic performance of the minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) flipper.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Lisa Noelle; Sedano, Nils; Johansson, Stig; May, Bryan; Brown, Joey D; Holliday, Casey M; Kot, Brian W; Fish, Frank E

    2008-06-01

    Minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) are the smallest member of balaenopterid whales and little is known of their kinematics during feeding maneuvers. These whales have narrow and elongated flippers that are small relative to body size compared to related species such as right and gray whales. No experimental studies have addressed the hydrodynamic properties of minke whale flippers and their functional role during feeding maneuvers. This study integrated wind tunnel, locomotion and anatomical range of motion data to identify functional parameters of the cambered minke whale flipper. A full-sized cast of a minke whale flipper was used in wind tunnel testing of lift, drag and stall behavior at six speeds, corresponding to swimming speeds of 0.7-8.9 m s(-1). Flow over the model surface stalled between 10 degrees and 14 degrees angle of attack (alpha) depending on testing speed. When the leading edge was rotated ventrally, loss in lift occurred around -18 degrees alpha regardless of speed. Range of mobility in the fresh limb was approximately 40% greater than the range of positive lift-generating angles of attack predicted by wind tunnel data (+14 degrees alpha). Video footage, photographs and observations of swimming, engulfment feeding and gulping minke whales showed limb positions corresponding to low drag in wind tunnel tests, and were therefore hydrodynamically efficient. Flippers play an important role in orienting the body during feeding maneuvers as they maintain trim of the body, an action that counters drag-induced torque of the body during water and prey intake.

  7. Like most other rorquals in the southern hemisphere, sei whales ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2010-04-21

    Apr 21, 2010 ... whales has been criticized (De la Mare 1984, Cooke. 1985), most of these criticisms ..... 35 ft. Fig. 3: Thicknesses of mammary glands in sei whales at Donkergat, 1962–1963 (range, mean and one standard deviation indicated) ...... non-lactating but with wide ducts and apparently pathological tissue. The.

  8. Building a Virtual Model of a Baleen Whale: Phase 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Building a virtual model of a baleen whale: Phase 2 Dr...display or manipulate the entire volume in real time. Throughout the entire body of the whale, each individual scan section contains pixels that are 0.6

  9. Deep Mapping of Teuthivorous Whales and Their Prey Fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Ocean, Cetacean, Beaked Whale, Risso’s Dolphin, Predator- Prey, Anthropogenic Noise , Sonar, Foraging, Ecosystem, Deep-Sea, Heterogeneity, Patchiness 16...Research and Development Program SOAR Southern California Anti- submarine Warfare Range TOTO Tongue of the Ocean UDP User Datagram Protocol...Keywords Echosounder, Bathypelagic, Pelagic, Ocean, Marine Mammal, Beaked Whale, Risso’s Dolphin, Predator-Prey, Anthropogenic Noise , Sonar, Foraging

  10. 33 CFR 117.927 - Coosaw River (Whale Branch).

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Coosaw River (Whale Branch). 117.927 Section 117.927 Navigation and Navigable Waters COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY... (Whale Branch). The draw of the Seaboard System Railroad bridge, mile 5.3 at Seabrook, and the draw of...

  11. CHARACTERIZATION OF WESTERN NORTH ATLANTIC RIGHT WHALE SPRING FEEDING HABITAT

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Great South Channel region of the southwestern Gulf of Maine, between George's Bank and Cape Cod, is the primary spring feeding ground for the western North Atlantic population of the I northern right whale, E. glacialis .Since this whale is so endangered, it is critical to i...

  12. Killer whales ( Orcinus orca ) at Marion Island, Southern Ocean ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) were studied using data obtained on an opportunistic basis between 1973 and 1996 at Marion Island (46°54'S, 37°45'E) in the Southern Indian Ocean. A clear seasonal pattern of occurrence with the main peak between October and December was evident. Most killer whales were observed ...

  13. Microplastic in a macro filter feeder: humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Besseling, E.; Foekema, E.M.; Franeker, van J.A.; Leopold, M.F.; Bravo Rebolledo, E.; Kuehn, S.; Mielke, L.; Heberle-Bors, E.; Ijzer, J.; Kamminga, P.; Koelmans, A.A.

    2015-01-01

    Marine filter feeders are exposed to microplastic because of their selection of small particles as food source. Baleen whales feed by filtering small particles from large water volumes. Macroplastic was found in baleen whales before. This study is the first to show the presence of microplastic in

  14. Confirmation of the occurrence of a second killer whale morphotype ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Killer whales Orcinus orca occur worldwide in a number of morphotypes that differ in size, pigmentation, acoustic behaviour, food type and genetics – some may indeed warrant subspecific or even specific status. Until recently, all killer whales in South African waters were referred to a single morphotype, Type A, but three ...

  15. Marine Subsistence--Case of the Bowhead Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camerino, Vicki

    1977-01-01

    The International Whaling Commission (IWC) voted to impose a moratorium on Eskimo bowhead whale hunting. Since the U.S. did not exercise its option to object, had previously avowed support for Alaskan subsistence lifestyles, and had previously maintained legal exemption for the Eskimo, there is currently great Alaskan resentment. (JC)

  16. Long-term resightings of humpback whales off Ecuador

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Castro, C.; Acevedo, J.; Aguayo-Lobo, A.; Allen, J.; Capella, J.; Rosa, Dalla L.; Flores-González, L.; Kaufman, G.; Forestell, P.; Scheidat, M.; Secchi, E.R.; Stevick, P.; Santos, M.C.O.

    2012-01-01

    This paper reports on the long-term re-sight histories of fifteen photo-identified humpback whales encountered to date transiting Ecuadorian waters. It also provides information about connections to feeding area destinations. Whale EC1261 has been resighted over a 26 year span and provides insight

  17. Southern right whales Eubalaena australis visit the coasts of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    spamer

    theodolite. Field and analytical techniques used for humpback whale observations from the same site have been detailed by Best et al. (1995), and those used for right whales were identical. The average swimming speed was defined as the sum of the distances covered between each theodolite position divided by the time.

  18. Microplastic in a macro filter feeder: Humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    E., Besseling,; E.M., Foekema,; J.A. van, Franeker; Leopold, Mardik F; Kuhn, S.; Bravo Rebolledo, E.L.; Hese, E.; Mielke, L.; IJzer, J.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304839663; Kamminga, P.; Koelmans, A.A.

    2015-01-01

    Marine filter feeders are exposed to microplastic because of their selection of small particles as food source. Baleen whales feed by filtering small particles from large water volumes. Macroplastic was found in baleen whales before. This study is the first to show the presence of microplastic in

  19. Migrations of humpback whales past Cape Vidal, South Africa, and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Shore-based surveys of migrating humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae were undertaken from Cape Vidal, northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, each year between 1988 and 1991, and in 2002. Daily observations of migrating whale groups were carried out from an approx. 60 m-high platform during all surveys.

  20. Discovery of Right Whales in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, J C; Clark, E

    1963-07-19

    Two whales were observed closely for an hour off Sarasota, Florida, by residents who provided observations of structural details which identify only the right whale, Eubalaena glacialis, a temperate and subpolar species previously known to range to the Florida east coast, but not to enter the Gulf of Mexico.

  1. Life history evolution: what does a menopausal killer whale do?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehead, Hal

    2015-03-16

    Menopause evolved in humans and whales, presumably because older females can help their kin. But how do they help? New research shows that post-menopausal female killer whales lead foraging groups. This leadership is most significant when food is scarce. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Field Research Studying Whales in an Undergraduate Animal Behavior Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLaren, R. David; Schulte, Dianna; Kennedy, Jen

    2012-01-01

    This work describes a new field research laboratory in an undergraduate animal behavior course involving the study of whale behavior, ecology and conservation in partnership with a non-profit research organization--the Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation (BOS). The project involves two weeks of training and five weekend trips on whale watch…

  3. Greenland sharks (Somniosus microcephalus scavenge offal from minke (Balaenoptera acutorostrata whaling operations in Svalbard (Norway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa-Marie Leclerc

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata tissue (mainly blubber was found in the gastrointestinal tracks of Greenland sharks (Somniosus microcephalus collected in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard, Norway. In order to determine whether the sharks were actively hunting the whales, finding naturally dead whales or consuming offal from whaling, we checked the genetic identity of the whale tissue found in the sharks against the DNA register for minke whales taken in Norwegian whaling operations. All of the minke whale samples from the sharks that had DNA of sufficient quality to perform individual identifications were traceable to the whaling DNA register. During whaling operations, the blubber is stripped from the carcass and thrown overboard. The blubber strips float on the surface and are available for surface-feeding predators. This study revealed that Greenland sharks are scavenging this material; additionally, it demonstrates the capacity of this ‘benthic-feeding’ shark to utilize the whole water column for foraging.

  4. POPs in free-ranging pilot whales, sperm whales and fin whales from the Mediterranean Sea: Influence of biological and ecological factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinzone, Marianna; Budzinski, Hélène; Tasciotti, Aurélie; Ody, Denis; Lepoint, Gilles; Schnitzler, Joseph; Scholl, George; Thomé, Jean-Pierre; Tapie, Nathalie; Eppe, Gauthier; Das, Krishna

    2015-10-01

    The pilot whale Globicephala melas, the sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus, and the fin whale Balaenoptera physalus are large cetaceans permanently inhabiting the Mediterranean Sea. These species are subjected to numerous anthropogenic threats such as exposure to high levels of contaminants. Therefore, selected persistent organic pollutants POPs (29 PCBs, 15 organochlorine compounds, 9 PBDEs and 17 PCDD/Fs) were analysed in blubber biopsies of 49 long-finned pilot whales, 61 sperm whales and 70 fin whales sampled in the North Western Mediterranean Sea (NWMS) from 2006 to 2013. Contamination profile and species feeding ecology were then combined through the use of stable isotopes. δ(13)C, δ(15)N values and POPs levels were assessed through IR-MS and GC-MS respectively. To assess the toxic potency of the dioxin-like compounds, the TEQ approach was applied. δ(15)N values were 12.2±1.3‰ for sperm whales, 10.5±0.7‰ for pilot whales and 7.7±0.8‰ in fin whales, positioning sperm whales at higher trophic levels. δ(13)C of the two odontocetes was similar and amounted to -17.3±0.4‰ for sperm whales and -17.8±0.3‰ for pilot whales; whilst fin whales were more depleted (-18.7±0.4‰). This indicates a partial overlap in toothed-whales feeding habitats, while confirms the differences in feeding behaviour of the mysticete. Pilot whales presented higher concentrations than sperm whales for ΣPCBs (38,666±25,731 ng g(-1)lw and 22,849±15,566 ng g(-1) lw respectively), ΣPBDEs (712±412 ng g(-1) lw and 347±173 ng g(-1) lw respectively) and ΣDDTs (46,081±37,506 ng g(-1) lw and 37,647±38,518 ng g(-1) lw respectively). Fin whales presented the lowest values, in accordance with its trophic position (ΣPCBs: 5721±5180 ng g(-1) lw, ΣPBDEs: 177±208 ng g(-1) lw and ΣDDTs: 6643±5549 ng g(-1) lw). Each species was characterized by large inter-individual variations that are more related to sex than trophic level, with males presenting higher contaminant burden

  5. How Baleen Whales Feed: The Biomechanics of Engulfment and Filtration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldbogen, J. A.; Cade, D. E.; Calambokidis, J.; Friedlaender, A. S.; Potvin, J.; Segre, P. S.; Werth, A. J.

    2017-01-01

    Baleen whales are gigantic obligate filter feeders that exploit aggregations of small-bodied prey in littoral, epipelagic, and mesopelagic ecosystems. At the extreme of maximum body size observed among mammals, baleen whales exhibit a unique combination of high overall energetic demands and low mass-specific metabolic rates. As a result, most baleen whale species have evolved filter-feeding mechanisms and foraging strategies that take advantage of seasonally abundant yet patchily and ephemerally distributed prey resources. New methodologies consisting of multi-sensor tags, active acoustic prey mapping, and hydrodynamic modeling have revolutionized our ability to study the physiology and ecology of baleen whale feeding mechanisms. Here, we review the current state of the field by exploring several hypotheses that aim to explain how baleen whales feed. Despite significant advances, major questions remain about the processes that underlie these extreme feeding mechanisms, which enabled the evolution of the largest animals of all time.

  6. The electrocardiogram and heart rate in three mid-sized whale species

    OpenAIRE

    Bickett, Natalie

    2017-01-01

    Although there are many studies describing the behavior/ecology of whales, little is known of their physiology. Furthermore, the limited data available regarding cardiac function in whales have been collected under atypical conditions. To address this, we applied electrocardiogram (ECG) recorders with a suction cup attachment technique to a killer whale (Orcinus orca), pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus), and beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) to investigate heart rate regulation. The ...

  7. Ecotypic variation and predatory behavior among killer whales (Orcinus orca) off the eastern Aleutian Islands, Alaska

    OpenAIRE

    Matkin, Craig O.; Barrett-Lennard, Lance G.; Yurk, Harald; Ellifrit, David; Trites, Andrew W.

    2007-01-01

    From 2001 to 2004 in the eastern Aleutian Islands, Alaska, killer whales (Orcinus orca) were encountered 250 times during 421 days of surveys that covered a total of 22,491 miles. Three killer whale groups (resident, transient, and offshore) were identified acoustically and genetically. Resident killer whales were found 12 times more frequently than transient killer whales, and offshore killer whales were encountered only once. A minimum of 901 photographically identified resident wh...

  8. An Economical Custom-Built Drone for Assessing Whale Health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa Pirotta

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs have huge potential to improve the safety and efficiency of sample collection from wild animals under logistically challenging circumstances. Here we present a method for surveying population health that uses UAVs to sample respiratory vapor, ‘whale blow,' exhaled by free-swimming humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae, and coupled this with amplification and sequencing of respiratory tract microbiota. We developed a low-cost multirotor UAV incorporating a sterile petri dish with a remotely operated ‘blow' to sample whale blow with minimal disturbance to the whales. This design addressed several sampling challenges: accessibility; safety; cost, and critically, minimized the collection of atmospheric and seawater microbiota and other potential sources of sample contamination. We collected 59 samples of blow from northward migrating humpback whales off Sydney, Australia and used high throughput sequencing of bacterial ribosomal gene markers to identify putative respiratory tract microbiota. Model-based comparisons with seawater and drone-captured air demonstrated that our system minimized external sources of contamination and successfully captured sufficient material to identify whale blow-specific microbial taxa. Whale-specific taxa included species and genera previously associated with the respiratory tracts or oral cavities of mammals (e.g., Pseudomonas, Clostridia, Cardiobacterium, as well as species previously isolated from dolphin or killer whale blowholes (Corynebacteria, others. Many examples of exogenous marine species were identified, including Tenacibaculum and Psychrobacter spp. that have been associated with the skin microbiota of marine mammals and fish and may include pathogens. This information provides a baseline of respiratory tract microbiota profiles of contemporary whale health. Customized UAVs are a promising new tool for marine megafauna research and may have broad application in

  9. Beaked Whales and Pilot Whales in the Alboran Sea SW Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-30

    was Silvia Revenga, Jefa de Servicio de la Subd. Gral. de Recursos Marinos y Acuicultura de la Dirección General de Recursos Pesqueros y Acuicultura...on long-finned pilot whales diving and foraging behavior These cruises developed and tested methods to measure social behavior and communication in

  10. Pilot Whales Attracted to Killer Whale Sounds: Acoustically-Mediated Interspecific Interactions in Cetaceans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cure, C.; Antunes, R.; Samarra, F.; Alves, A.C.; Visser, F.; Kvadsheim, P.H.; Miller, P.J.O.

    2012-01-01

    In cetaceans’ communities, interactions between individuals of different species are often observed in the wild. Yet, due to methodological and technical challenges very little is known about the mediation of these interactions and their effect on cetaceans’ behavior. Killer whales (Orcinus orca)

  11. On the growth of the baleen plate of the Fin Whale and the Blue Whale

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Utrecht, van W.L.

    1965-01-01

    1. In Whales variations in the thickness of the baleen plates are supposed to give an insight into certain cyclical processes in the life of the animal. To a certain extent, by means of these variations, it is possible to reach conclusions about the age of the animal and/or about its recent period

  12. North Atlantic humpback whale abundance and rate of increase four decades after protection from whaling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stevick, PT; Allen, J; Clapham, PJ; Friday, N; Katona, SK; Larsen, F; Lien, J; Mattila, DK; Palsboll, PJ; Sigurjonsson, J; Smith, TD; Oien, N; Hammond, PS

    2003-01-01

    Humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae in the North Atlantic Ocean were severely depleted by exploitation. With legal protection since 1955, substantial recovery is likely to have occurred, but information on abundance and rates of increase has been limited. We present an assessment of humpback

  13. Evidence that ship noise increases stress in right whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rolland, Rosalind M; Parks, Susan E; Hunt, Kathleen E; Castellote, Manuel; Corkeron, Peter J; Nowacek, Douglas P; Wasser, Samuel K; Kraus, Scott D

    2012-06-22

    Baleen whales (Mysticeti) communicate using low-frequency acoustic signals. These long-wavelength sounds can be detected over hundreds of kilometres, potentially allowing contact over large distances. Low-frequency noise from large ships (20-200 Hz) overlaps acoustic signals used by baleen whales, and increased levels of underwater noise have been documented in areas with high shipping traffic. Reported responses of whales to increased noise include: habitat displacement, behavioural changes and alterations in the intensity, frequency and intervals of calls. However, it has been unclear whether exposure to noise results in physiological responses that may lead to significant consequences for individuals or populations. Here, we show that reduced ship traffic in the Bay of Fundy, Canada, following the events of 11 September 2001, resulted in a 6 dB decrease in underwater noise with a significant reduction below 150 Hz. This noise reduction was associated with decreased baseline levels of stress-related faecal hormone metabolites (glucocorticoids) in North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis). This is the first evidence that exposure to low-frequency ship noise may be associated with chronic stress in whales, and has implications for all baleen whales in heavy ship traffic areas, and for recovery of this endangered right whale population.

  14. From sanddabs to blue whales: the pervasiveness of domoic acid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefebvre, Kathi A; Bargu, Sibel; Kieckhefer, Tom; Silver, Mary W

    2002-07-01

    Domoic acid (DA) is a potent food web transferred algal toxin that has caused dramatic mortality events involving sea birds and sea lions. Although no confirmed DA toxicity events have been reported in whales, here we present data demonstrating that humpback and blue whales are exposed to the toxin and consume DA contaminated prey. Whale fecal samples were found to contain DA at levels ranging from 10 to 207microg DA g(-1) feces via HPLC-UV methods. SEM analysis of whale feces containing DA, collected from krill-feeding whales, revealed the presence of diatom frustules identified as Pseudo-nitzschia australis, a known DA producer. Humpback whales were observed feeding on anchovies and sardines that contained DA at levels ranging from 75 to 444microg DA g(-1) viscera. DA contamination of whale feces and fish occurred only during blooms of toxic Pseudo-nitzschia. Additionally, several novel fish species collected during a toxic diatom bloom were tested for DA. Fish as diverse as benthic sanddabs and pelagic albacore were found to contain the neurotoxin, suggesting that DA permeates benthic as well as pelagic communities.

  15. Evidence for ship noise impacts on humpback whale foraging behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, Hannah B; Merchant, Nathan D; Friedlaender, Ari S; Wiley, David N; Parks, Susan E

    2016-08-01

    Noise from shipping activity in North Atlantic coastal waters has been steadily increasing and is an area of growing conservation concern, as it has the potential to disrupt the behaviour of marine organisms. This study examines the impacts of ship noise on bottom foraging humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the western North Atlantic. Data were collected from 10 foraging whales using non-invasive archival tags that simultaneously recorded underwater movements and the acoustic environment at the whale. Using mixed models, we assess the effects of ship noise on seven parameters of their feeding behaviours. Independent variables included the presence or absence of ship noise and the received level of ship noise at the whale. We found significant effects on foraging, including slower descent rates and fewer side-roll feeding events per dive with increasing ship noise. During 5 of 18 ship passages, dives without side-rolls were observed. These findings indicate that humpback whales on Stellwagen Bank, an area with chronically elevated levels of shipping traffic, significantly change foraging activity when exposed to high levels of ship noise. This measureable reduction in within-dive foraging effort of individual whales could potentially lead to population-level impacts of shipping noise on baleen whale foraging success. © 2016 The Author(s).

  16. Summary of Reported Whale-Vessel Collisions in Alaskan Waters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janet L. Neilson

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Here we summarize 108 reported whale-vessel collisions in Alaska from 1978–2011, of which 25 are known to have resulted in the whale's death. We found 89 definite and 19 possible/probable strikes based on standard criteria we created for this study. Most strikes involved humpback whales (86% with six other species documented. Small vessel strikes were most common (<15 m, 60%, but medium (15–79 m, 27% and large (≥80 m, 13% vessels also struck whales. Among the 25 mortalities, vessel length was known in seven cases (190–294 m and vessel speed was known in three cases (12–19 kn. In 36 cases, human injury or property damage resulted from the collision, and at least 15 people were thrown into the water. In 15 cases humpback whales struck anchored or drifting vessels, suggesting the whales did not detect the vessels. Documenting collisions in Alaska will remain challenging due to remoteness and resource limitations. For a better understanding of the factors contributing to lethal collisions, we recommend (1 systematic documentation of collisions, including vessel size and speed; (2 greater efforts to necropsy stranded whales; (3 using experienced teams focused on determining cause of death; (4 using standard criteria for validating collision reports, such as those presented in this paper.

  17. Helminths parasites of whales in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luís C. Muniz-Pereira

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available Three species of whale Balaenoptera borealis Lesson, 1828, B. physalus (Linnaeus, 1758 and Physeter catodon Linnaeus, 1758 captured in the Brazilian coast were necropsied for helminths. Balaenoptera borealis and B. physalus were infected by Crassicauda crassicauda (Nematoda, Tetrameridae and Ogmogaster antarcticus (Digenea: Notocotylidae, which are referred for the first time in Brazil. Balaenoptera borealis was also infected by Lecithodesmus goliath (Digenea, Campulidae and Bolbosoma turbinella (Acanthocephala, Polymorphidae. Physeter catodon was infected by Anisakis physeteris (Nematoda, Anisakidae, which is a new record to this host in Brazilian waters.

  18. Whales and dolphins (Mammalia, Cetacea) of the Cape Verde Islands, with special reference to the Humpback Whale Megaptera novaeangliae (Borowski, 1781)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hazevoet, Cornelis J.; Wenzel, Frederick W.

    2000-01-01

    Observations of whales and dolphins in the Cape Verde Islands obtained in 1995 and 1996 are reported and data on the occurrence of 14 taxa are given, including four not previously reported from the region, viz. Bryde’s Whale Balaenoptera edeni, Killer Whale Orcinus orca, Rough-toothed Dolphin Steno

  19. Click production during breathing in a sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wahlberg, Magnus; Frantzis, Alexandros; Alexiadou, Paraskevi; Madsen, Peter T; Møhl, Bertel

    2005-12-01

    A sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) was observed at the surface with above- and underwater video and synchronized underwater sound recordings. During seven instances the whale ventilated its lungs while clicking. From this observation it is inferred that click production is achieved by pressurizing air in the right nasal passage, pneumatically disconnected from the lungs and the left nasal passage, and that air flows anterior through the phonic lips into the distal air sac. The capability of breathing and clicking at the same time is unique among studied odontocetes and relates to the extreme asymmetry of the sperm whale sound-producing forehead.

  20. Click production during breathing in a sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wahlberg, Magnus; Frantzis, Alexandros; Alexiadou, Paraskevi; Madsen, Peter T.; Møhl, Bertel

    2005-12-01

    A sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) was observed at the surface with above- and underwater video and synchronized underwater sound recordings. During seven instances the whale ventilated its lungs while clicking. From this observation it is inferred that click production is achieved by pressurizing air in the right nasal passage, pneumatically disconnected from the lungs and the left nasal passage, and that air flows anterior through the phonic lips into the distal air sac. The capability of breathing and clicking at the same time is unique among studied odontocetes and relates to the extreme asymmetry of the sperm whale sound-producing forehead.

  1. Radio tracking of a fin whale /Balaenoptera physalus/

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ray, G. C.; Wartzok, D.; Mitchell, E. D.; Kozicki, V. M.; Maiefski, R.

    1978-01-01

    Tracking of a fin whale tagged with an implantable beacon transmitter (IBT) is described. The IBT, which was fired from a modified 12-gauge shotgun, weighs 517 g and is 70 cm long, including a 46-cm antenna. Data on whale movement and breathing are presented. Contact was lost after 27.8 hours of intermittent tracking, presumably as a result of battery leakage. Potential range and duration of IBT transmission are considered, and the significance of transmitter location and orientation in the whale blubber is considered.

  2. The hearing gene Prestin unites echolocating bats and whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ying; Liu, Zhen; Shi, Peng; Zhang, Jianzhi

    2010-01-26

    Echolocation is a sensory mechanism for locating, ranging and identifying objects which involves the emission of calls into the environment and listening to the echoes returning from objects [1]. Only microbats and toothed whales have acquired sophisticated echolocation, indispensable for their orientation and foraging [1]. Although the bat and whale biosonars originated independently and differ substantially in many aspects [2], we here report the surprising finding that the bottlenose dolphin, a toothed whale, is clustered with microbats in the gene tree constructed using protein sequences encoded by the hearing gene Prestin. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Techniques and instrumentation effort for whale migration tracking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, R. M.; Norris, K. S.; Hobbs, L.; Gibson, R. J.; Dougherty, E.; Palladino, J.

    1975-01-01

    The following aspects of a research program concerned with tracking gray whales were documented: (1) design, fabrication and testing of a girdle-type harness and associated gear (release mechanism, tracking transmitter, xenon flasher), (2) design, fabrication and testing of instrumentation packs (subminiature recorder, sensor, electronics), (3) field preparations for the January-February 1974 expedition off Mexico, (4) travel arrangements, (5) preliminary field report (capture and handling of juvenile whales, instrumentation and housing tests, harness abrasion and chafing, respiration measurements, sea tracking, distribution, number, and behavior of whales at Lopez Mateos), (6) review, data reduction, and analysis of results.

  4. A right whale pootree: classification trees of faecal hormones identify reproductive states in North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corkeron, Peter; Rolland, Rosalind M; Hunt, Kathleen E; Kraus, Scott D

    2017-01-01

    Immunoassay of hormone metabolites extracted from faecal samples of free-ranging large whales can provide biologically relevant information on reproductive state and stress responses. North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis Müller 1776) are an ideal model for testing the conservation value of faecal metabolites. Almost all North Atlantic right whales are individually identified, most of the population is sighted each year, and systematic survey effort extends back to 1986. North Atlantic right whales number whales of known reproductive state. Our tree correctly classified the age class, sex and reproductive state of 83% of 112 faecal samples from known individual whales. Pregnant females, lactating females and both mature and immature males were classified reliably using our model. Non-reproductive [i.e. 'resting' (not pregnant and not lactating) and immature] females proved the most unreliable to distinguish. There were three individual males that, given their age, would traditionally be considered immature but that our tree classed as mature males, possibly calling for a re-evaluation of their reproductive status. Our analysis reiterates the importance of considering the reproductive state of whales when assessing the relationship between cortisol concentrations and stress. Overall, these results confirm findings from previous univariate statistical analyses, but with a more robust multivariate approach that may prove useful for the multiple-analyte data sets that are increasingly used by conservation physiologists.

  5. Isolation of Brucella ceti from a Long-finned Pilot Whale (Globicephala melas) and a Sowerby's Beaked Whale (Mesoploden bidens).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Geoffrey; Whatmore, Adrian M; Dagleish, Mark P; Baily, Johanna L; Deaville, Rob; Davison, Nicholas J; Koylass, Mark S; Perrett, Lorraine L; Stubberfield, Emma J; Reid, Robert J; Brownlow, Andrew C

    2015-10-01

    Brucella ceti is an emerging zoonotic pathogen that has been recovered from several species of cetaceans in the world's oceans over the past 20 yr. We report the recovery of B. ceti from a Sowerby's beaked whale (Mesoploden bidens) and a long-finned pilot whale (Globicehala melas). Recovery from the testis of a long-finned pilot whale provides further evidence of potential for B. ceti infection to impact the reproductive success of cetaceans, many of which are threatened species. The addition of another two cetacean species to the growing number from which B. ceti has been recovered also further emphasizes the concern for human infections with this organism.

  6. Passive acoustic detection of deep-diving beaked whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zimmer, W.M.X.; Harwood, J.; Tyack, P.L.

    2008-01-01

    Beaked whales can remain submerged for an hour or more and are difficult to sight when they come to the surface to breathe. Passive acoustic detection (PAD) not only complements traditional visual-based methods for detecting these species but also can be more effective because beaked whales produce...... clicks regularly to echolocate on prey during deep foraging dives. The effectiveness of PAD for beaked whales depends not only on the acoustic behavior and output of the animals but also on environmental conditions and the quality of the passive sonar implemented. A primary constraint on the range....../s, a receiver close to the surface should be able to detect acoustically Cuvier's beaked whales with a high probability at distances up to 0.7  km, provided the listening duration exceeds the deep dive interval, about 2.5  h on average. Detection ranges beyond 4  km are unlikely and would require low ambient...

  7. Hydrodynamic properties of fin whale flippers predict maximum rolling performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segre, Paolo S; Cade, David E; Fish, Frank E; Potvin, Jean; Allen, Ann N; Calambokidis, John; Friedlaender, Ari S; Goldbogen, Jeremy A

    2016-11-01

    Maneuverability is one of the most important and least understood aspects of animal locomotion. The hydrofoil-like flippers of cetaceans are thought to function as control surfaces that effect maneuvers, but quantitative tests of this hypothesis have been lacking. Here, we constructed a simple hydrodynamic model to predict the longitudinal-axis roll performance of fin whales, and we tested its predictions against kinematic data recorded by on-board movement sensors from 27 free-swimming fin whales. We found that for a given swimming speed and roll excursion, the roll velocity of fin whales calculated from our field data agrees well with that predicted by our hydrodynamic model. Although fluke and body torsion may further influence performance, our results indicate that lift generated by the flippers is sufficient to drive most of the longitudinal-axis rolls used by fin whales for feeding and maneuvering. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  8. Gulf of Mexico killer whale photo-ID catalog

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Photo-identification data on killer whales occupying the northern Gulf of Mexico have been collected in association with large vessel surveys since 1991. Photographs...

  9. Reported Causes of Death of Captive Killer Whales (Orcinus orca)

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ridgway, Sam H

    1979-01-01

    Inquiries were made of the six major oceanaria in North America that maintain killer whales to determine sex, date of capture or acquisition, length and weight at acquisition, date of death, length...

  10. Acoustic Behaviour of Bottlenose Dolphins and Pilot Whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Frants Havmand

    2011-01-01

    of sight of surface observers. These species differ in the acoustic habitats they dwell in, as well as in group structure and foraging ecology. The overall aim of this thesis has been to address, in a comparative fashion, how these two species behave acoustically in the wild, and how they have adapted...... and extend the range of depths they can cover while producing sounds pneumatically. Surprisingly, I find that the frequency content of pilot whale calls, including the time/frequency modulation patterns that seem to convey information for some toothed whales, is unaffected by depth despite the compression....... As a consequence, the frequency contours that convey acoustic signatures in delphinids are unaffected by changes in depth as well as changes in the size of different nasal air sacs during sound production. Finally, both bottlenose dolphins and pilot whales are the subject of heavy whale watching activities...

  11. Natural markings of Cuvier's beaked whale Ziphius cavirostris in the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    African Journal of Marine Science ... in order to assess the reliability of natural marks for long-term photo-identification studies. ... Results showed that Cuvier's beaked whales were extensively marked (96% of population; mean = 48 marks per ...

  12. The world's most isolated and distinct whale population? Humpback whales of the Arabian Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Pomilla

    Full Text Available A clear understanding of population structure is essential for assessing conservation status and implementing management strategies. A small, non-migratory population of humpback whales in the Arabian Sea is classified as "Endangered" on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, an assessment constrained by a lack of data, including limited understanding of its relationship to other populations. We analysed 11 microsatellite markers and mitochondrial DNA sequences extracted from 67 Arabian Sea humpback whale tissue samples and compared them to equivalent datasets from the Southern Hemisphere and North Pacific. Results show that the Arabian Sea population is highly distinct; estimates of gene flow and divergence times suggest a Southern Indian Ocean origin but indicate that it has been isolated for approximately 70,000 years, remarkable for a species that is typically highly migratory. Genetic diversity values are significantly lower than those obtained for Southern Hemisphere populations and signatures of ancient and recent genetic bottlenecks were identified. Our findings suggest this is the world's most isolated humpback whale population, which, when combined with low population abundance estimates and anthropogenic threats, raises concern for its survival. We recommend an amendment of the status of the population to "Critically Endangered" on the IUCN Red List.

  13. The world's most isolated and distinct whale population? Humpback whales of the Arabian Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pomilla, Cristina; Amaral, Ana R; Collins, Tim; Minton, Gianna; Findlay, Ken; Leslie, Matthew S; Ponnampalam, Louisa; Baldwin, Robert; Rosenbaum, Howard

    2014-01-01

    A clear understanding of population structure is essential for assessing conservation status and implementing management strategies. A small, non-migratory population of humpback whales in the Arabian Sea is classified as "Endangered" on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, an assessment constrained by a lack of data, including limited understanding of its relationship to other populations. We analysed 11 microsatellite markers and mitochondrial DNA sequences extracted from 67 Arabian Sea humpback whale tissue samples and compared them to equivalent datasets from the Southern Hemisphere and North Pacific. Results show that the Arabian Sea population is highly distinct; estimates of gene flow and divergence times suggest a Southern Indian Ocean origin but indicate that it has been isolated for approximately 70,000 years, remarkable for a species that is typically highly migratory. Genetic diversity values are significantly lower than those obtained for Southern Hemisphere populations and signatures of ancient and recent genetic bottlenecks were identified. Our findings suggest this is the world's most isolated humpback whale population, which, when combined with low population abundance estimates and anthropogenic threats, raises concern for its survival. We recommend an amendment of the status of the population to "Critically Endangered" on the IUCN Red List.

  14. Climate Change and Baleen Whale Trophic Cascades in Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-09-30

    DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Climate Change and Baleen Whale Trophic Cascades in Greenland...SUBTITLE Climate Change And Baleen Whale Trophic Cascades In Greenland 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S...2009. Polar bears in Northwest Greenland – An interview survey about the catch and the climate . Meddelelser om Grønland. [In Press, refereed] Heide

  15. Population Parameters of Blainvilles and Cuviers Beaked Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    and Biologging: Two Blainville´s beaked whales were tagged in El Hierro in 2013 with DTAGs thanks to a collaborative project with M. Johnson ( Univ ...cetacean populations. Long-term monitoring of beaked whale populations in El Hierro, a nearly pristine habitat far from areas of sonar testing or...marine industry, enables valuable studies of demographic trends and life history dictated mainly by natural parameters. El Hierro is in process of

  16. Multiple origins of gigantism in stem baleen whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Cheng-Hsiu; Kohno, Naoki

    2016-12-01

    Living baleen whales (Mysticeti) include the world's largest animals to have ever lived—blue whales ( Balaenoptera musculus) can reach more than 30 m. However, the gigantism in baleen whales remains little explored. Here, we compiled all published stem mysticetes from the Eocene and Oligocene and then mapped the estimated body size onto different phylogenies that suggest distinct evolutionary histories of baleen whales. By assembling all known stem baleen whales, we present three novel findings in early mysticete evolution. Results show that, regardless of different phylogenetic scenarios, large body size (more than 5-m long) evolved multiple times independently in their early evolutionary history. For example, the earliest known aetiocetid ( Fucaia buelli, 33-31 Ma) was small in size, about 2 m, and a later aetiocetid ( Morawanocetus-like animal, 26-23 Ma) can reach 8-m long—almost four times the size of Fucaia buelli—suggesting an independent gigantism in the aetiocetid lineage. In addition, our reconstruction of ancestral state demonstrates that the baleen whales originated from small body size (less than 5 m) rather than large body size as previously acknowledged. Moreover, reconstructing the evolution of body size in stem baleen whales suggests that the initial pulse of mysticete gigantism started at least back to the Paleogene and in turn should help to understand the origin, pattern, and process of the extreme gigantism in the crown baleen whales. This study illustrates that Cope's rule is insufficient to explain the evolution of body size in a group that comprises the largest animals in the history of life, although currently the lack of exact ancestor-descendant relationships remains to fully reveal the evolutionary history of body size.

  17. Multiple origins of gigantism in stem baleen whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Cheng-Hsiu; Kohno, Naoki

    2016-12-01

    Living baleen whales (Mysticeti) include the world's largest animals to have ever lived-blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) can reach more than 30 m. However, the gigantism in baleen whales remains little explored. Here, we compiled all published stem mysticetes from the Eocene and Oligocene and then mapped the estimated body size onto different phylogenies that suggest distinct evolutionary histories of baleen whales. By assembling all known stem baleen whales, we present three novel findings in early mysticete evolution. Results show that, regardless of different phylogenetic scenarios, large body size (more than 5-m long) evolved multiple times independently in their early evolutionary history. For example, the earliest known aetiocetid (Fucaia buelli, 33-31 Ma) was small in size, about 2 m, and a later aetiocetid (Morawanocetus-like animal, 26-23 Ma) can reach 8-m long-almost four times the size of Fucaia buelli-suggesting an independent gigantism in the aetiocetid lineage. In addition, our reconstruction of ancestral state demonstrates that the baleen whales originated from small body size (less than 5 m) rather than large body size as previously acknowledged. Moreover, reconstructing the evolution of body size in stem baleen whales suggests that the initial pulse of mysticete gigantism started at least back to the Paleogene and in turn should help to understand the origin, pattern, and process of the extreme gigantism in the crown baleen whales. This study illustrates that Cope's rule is insufficient to explain the evolution of body size in a group that comprises the largest animals in the history of life, although currently the lack of exact ancestor-descendant relationships remains to fully reveal the evolutionary history of body size.

  18. Blue whale earplug reveals lifetime contaminant exposure and hormone profiles

    OpenAIRE

    Trumble, Stephen J.; Robinson, Eleanor M.; Berman-Kowalewski, Michelle; Potter, Charles W.; Usenko, Sascha

    2013-01-01

    Currently, obtaining lifetime chemical profiles (i.e., from birth to death) is extremely rare and difficult for most of Earth’s animals. We have developed a unique approach to quantify hormone and contaminant lifetime profiles for an individual blue whale with a 6-mo resolution using the wax earplug as a natural matrix capable of archiving and preserving these temporal profiles. Using a male blue whale earplug, chemical analysis reveals lifetime patterns of mercury and organic pollutant expos...

  19. Baleen whale ecology and feeding habitat use in the Bay of Fundy, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, K. T. A.; Brown, M.; Taggart, C. T.

    2016-02-01

    The Bay of Fundy on the east coast of Canada contains a rich supply of zooplankton and fish that provide food for diverse baleen whales. Endangered North Atlantic right whales and other large baleen whales have been monitored in the Bay of Fundy at least weekly during every summer since the 1980s. Over the most recent years, significant declines in sightings and residency of the right whales have been observed in this habitat; hypothetically indicative of a substantial and multi-year reduction in food supply. Whether concurrent changes in other baleen whales and, by inference, their respective food supplies have also occurred is unknown. This study quantifies changes in baleen whale ecology in the Bay over three decades with a focus on comparing (1) recent declines in right whale sightings to long-term historical trends, and (2) variation in right whale sightings to other large baleen whale species who share similar zooplankton food sources (e.g., sei whales) or rely on different food sources (e.g., fin, humpback). First, survey effort is reconstructed as survey track-length and as time-on-effort, and the space-time variations in effort are quantified. Then, variation in whale density indices and residency among surveys and survey-years are examined through effort-corrected sightings of all baleen whale species, as well as effort-corrected sightings of photo-identified right whale individuals. Results are then interpreted within the context of the oceanographic and food supply variation in the habitat.

  20. The modelling and assessment of whale-watching impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    New, Leslie; Hall, Ailsa J.; Harcourt, Robert; Kaufman, Greg; Parsons, E.C.M.; Pearson, Heidi C.; Cosentino, A. Mel; Schick, Robert S

    2015-01-01

    In recent years there has been significant interest in modelling cumulative effects and the population consequences of individual changes in cetacean behaviour and physiology due to disturbance. One potential source of disturbance that has garnered particular interest is whale-watching. Though perceived as ‘green’ or eco-friendly tourism, there is evidence that whale-watching can result in statistically significant and biologically meaningful changes in cetacean behaviour, raising the question whether whale-watching is in fact a long term sustainable activity. However, an assessment of the impacts of whale-watching on cetaceans requires an understanding of the potential behavioural and physiological effects, data to effectively address the question and suitable modelling techniques. Here, we review the current state of knowledge on the viability of long-term whale-watching, as well as logistical limitations and potential opportunities. We conclude that an integrated, coordinated approach will be needed to further understanding of the possible effects of whale-watching on cetaceans.

  1. Mediterranean fin whales at risk from fatal ship strikes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panigada, Simone; Pesante, Giovanna; Zanardelli, Margherita; Capoulade, Frédéric; Gannier, Alexandre; Weinrich, Mason T

    2006-10-01

    This paper reviews and analyzes ship collision records for the relatively isolated population of fin whales in the Mediterranean Sea from 1972 to 2001. Out of 287 carcasses, 46 individuals (16.0%) were certainly killed by boats. The minimum mean annual fatal collision rate increased from 1 to 1.7 whales/year from the 1970s to the 1990s. Fatal strike events (82.2%) were reported in or adjacent to the Pelagos Sanctuary, characterized by high levels of traffic and whale concentrations. Among 383 photo-identified whales, 9 (2.4%) had marks that were attributed to a ship impact. The reported rates are unusually high for baleen whales. The high likelihood of unreported fatal strikes combined with other anthropogenic threats suggests an urgent need for a comprehensive, basin-wide conservation strategy, including ship strike mitigation requirements, like real-time monitoring of whale presence and distribution to re-locate ferry routes to areas of lower cetacean density, and reducing ship speed in high cetacean density areas.

  2. Blue whale vocalizations recorded around New Zealand: 1964-2013.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Brian S; Collins, Kym; Barlow, Jay; Calderan, Susannah; Leaper, Russell; McDonald, Mark; Ensor, Paul; Olson, Paula A; Olavarria, Carlos; Double, Michael C

    2014-03-01

    Previous underwater recordings made in New Zealand have identified a complex sequence of low frequency sounds that have been attributed to blue whales based on similarity to blue whale songs in other areas. Recordings of sounds with these characteristics were made opportunistically during the Southern Ocean Research Partnership's recent Antarctic Blue Whale Voyage. Detections of these sounds occurred all around the South Island of New Zealand during the voyage transits from Nelson, New Zealand to the Antarctic and return. By following acoustic bearings from directional sonobuoys, blue whales were visually detected and confirmed as the source of these sounds. These recordings, together with the historical recordings made northeast of New Zealand, indicate song types that persist over several decades and are indicative of the year-round presence of a population of blue whales that inhabits the waters around New Zealand. Measurements of the four-part vocalizations reveal that blue whale song in this region has changed slowly, but consistently over the past 50 years. The most intense units of these calls were detected as far south as 53°S, which represents a considerable range extension compared to the limited prior data on the spatial distribution of this population.

  3. Gene-culture coevolution in whales and dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehead, Hal

    2017-07-24

    Whales and dolphins (Cetacea) have excellent social learning skills as well as a long and strong mother-calf bond. These features produce stable cultures, and, in some species, sympatric groups with different cultures. There is evidence and speculation that this cultural transmission of behavior has affected gene distributions. Culture seems to have driven killer whales into distinct ecotypes, which may be incipient species or subspecies. There are ecotype-specific signals of selection in functional genes that correspond to cultural foraging behavior and habitat use by the different ecotypes. The five species of whale with matrilineal social systems have remarkably low diversity of mtDNA. Cultural hitchhiking, the transmission of functionally neutral genes in parallel with selective cultural traits, is a plausible hypothesis for this low diversity, especially in sperm whales. In killer whales the ecotype divisions, together with founding bottlenecks, selection, and cultural hitchhiking, likely explain the low mtDNA diversity. Several cetacean species show habitat-specific distributions of mtDNA haplotypes, probably the result of mother-offspring cultural transmission of migration routes or destinations. In bottlenose dolphins, remarkable small-scale differences in haplotype distribution result from maternal cultural transmission of foraging methods, and large-scale redistributions of sperm whale cultural clans in the Pacific have likely changed mitochondrial genetic geography. With the acceleration of genomics new results should come fast, but understanding gene-culture coevolution will be hampered by the measured pace of research on the socio-cultural side of cetacean biology.

  4. Gene–culture coevolution in whales and dolphins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehead, Hal

    2017-01-01

    Whales and dolphins (Cetacea) have excellent social learning skills as well as a long and strong mother–calf bond. These features produce stable cultures, and, in some species, sympatric groups with different cultures. There is evidence and speculation that this cultural transmission of behavior has affected gene distributions. Culture seems to have driven killer whales into distinct ecotypes, which may be incipient species or subspecies. There are ecotype-specific signals of selection in functional genes that correspond to cultural foraging behavior and habitat use by the different ecotypes. The five species of whale with matrilineal social systems have remarkably low diversity of mtDNA. Cultural hitchhiking, the transmission of functionally neutral genes in parallel with selective cultural traits, is a plausible hypothesis for this low diversity, especially in sperm whales. In killer whales the ecotype divisions, together with founding bottlenecks, selection, and cultural hitchhiking, likely explain the low mtDNA diversity. Several cetacean species show habitat-specific distributions of mtDNA haplotypes, probably the result of mother–offspring cultural transmission of migration routes or destinations. In bottlenose dolphins, remarkable small-scale differences in haplotype distribution result from maternal cultural transmission of foraging methods, and large-scale redistributions of sperm whale cultural clans in the Pacific have likely changed mitochondrial genetic geography. With the acceleration of genomics new results should come fast, but understanding gene–culture coevolution will be hampered by the measured pace of research on the socio-cultural side of cetacean biology. PMID:28739936

  5. A model to resolve organochlorine pharmacokinetics in migrating humpback whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cropp, Roger; Nash, Susan Bengtson; Hawker, Darryl

    2014-07-01

    Humpback whales are iconic mammals at the top of the Antarctic food chain. Their large reserves of lipid-rich tissues such as blubber predispose them to accumulation of lipophilic contaminants throughout their lifetime. Changes in the volume and distribution of lipids in humpback whales, particularly during migration, could play an important role in the pharmacokinetics of lipophilic contaminants such as the organochlorine pesticide hexachlorobenzene (HCB). Previous models have examined constant feeding and nonmigratory scenarios. In the present study, the authors develop a novel heuristic model to investigate HCB dynamics in a humpback whale and its environment by coupling an ecosystem nutrient-phytoplankton-zooplankton-detritus (NPZD) model, a dynamic energy budget (DEB) model, and a physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model. The model takes into account the seasonal feeding pattern of whales, their energy requirements, and fluctuating contaminant burdens in the supporting plankton food chain. It is applied to a male whale from weaning to maturity, spanning 20 migration and feeding cycles. The model is initialized with environmental HCB burdens similar to those measured in the Southern Ocean and predicts blubber HCB concentrations consistent with empirical concentrations observed in a southern hemisphere population of male, migrating humpback whales. Results show for the first time some important details of the relationship between energy budgets and organochlorine pharmacokinetics. © 2014 SETAC.

  6. Prenatal cranial ossification of the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hampe, Oliver; Franke, Helena; Hipsley, Christy A; Kardjilov, Nikolay; Müller, Johannes

    2015-05-01

    Being descendants of small terrestrial ungulate mammals, whales underwent enormous transformations during their evolutionary history, that is, extensive changes in anatomy, physiology, and behavior were evolved during secondary adaptations to life in water. However, still only little is known about whale ontogenetic development, which help to identify the timing and sequence of critical evolutionary events, such as modification of the cetacean ear. This is particularly true for baleen whales (Mysticeti), the group including the humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae. We use high-resolution X-ray computed tomography to reinvestigate humpback whale fetuses from the Kükenthal collection at the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin, thus, extending historic descriptions of their skeletogenesis and providing for the first time sequences of cranial ossification for this species. Principally, the ossification sequence of prenatal Megaptera follows a typical mammalian pattern with the anterior dermal bones being the first ossifying elements in the skull, starting with the dentary. In contrast to other mammals, the ectotympanic bone ossifies at an early stage. Alveolar structure can be observed in both the maxillae and dentaries in these early prenatal specimens but evidence for teeth is lacking. Although the possibility of obtaining new embryological material is unlikely due to conservation issues, our study shows that reexamination of existing specimens employing new technologies still holds promise for filling gaps in our knowledge of whale evolution and ontogeny. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Transient killer whale range - Satellite tagging of West Coast transient killer whales to determine range and movement patterns

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Transient killers whales inhabit the West Coast of the United States. Their range and movement patterns are difficult to ascertain, but are vital to understanding...

  8. Hybridization of Southern Hemisphere blue whale subspecies and a sympatric area off Antarctica: impacts of whaling or climate change?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Attard, Catherine R M; Beheregaray, Luciano B; Jenner, K Curt S; Gill, Peter C; Jenner, Micheline-Nicole; Morrice, Margaret G; Robertson, Kelly M; Möller, Luciana M

    2012-12-01

    Understanding the degree of genetic exchange between subspecies and populations is vital for the appropriate management of endangered species. Blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) have two recognized Southern Hemisphere subspecies that show differences in geographic distribution, morphology, vocalizations and genetics. During the austral summer feeding season, the Antarctic blue whale (B. m. intermedia) is found in polar waters and the pygmy blue whale (B. m. brevicauda) in temperate waters. Here, we genetically analyzed samples collected during the feeding season to report on several cases of hybridization between the two recognized blue whale Southern Hemisphere subspecies in a previously unconfirmed sympatric area off Antarctica. This means the pygmy blue whales using waters off Antarctica may migrate and then breed during the austral winter with the Antarctic subspecies. Alternatively, the subspecies may interbreed off Antarctica outside the expected austral winter breeding season. The genetically estimated recent migration rates from the pygmy to Antarctic subspecies were greater than estimates of evolutionary migration rates and previous estimates based on morphology of whaling catches. This discrepancy may be due to differences in the methods or an increase in the proportion of pygmy blue whales off Antarctica within the last four decades. Potential causes for the latter are whaling, anthropogenic climate change or a combination of these and may have led to hybridization between the subspecies. Our findings challenge the current knowledge about the breeding behaviour of the world's largest animal and provide key information that can be incorporated into management and conservation practices for this endangered species. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  9. Responses of male sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) to killer whale sounds : implications for anti-predator strategies

    OpenAIRE

    Cure, Charlotte; Antunes, Ricardo Nuno; Alves, Ana Catarina De Carvalho; Visser, Fleur; Kvadsheim, Petter H.; Miller, Patrick

    2013-01-01

    Interactions between individuals of different cetacean species are often observed in the wild. Killer whales (Orcinus orca) can be potential predators of many other cetaceans, and the interception of their vocalizations by unintended cetacean receivers may trigger anti-predator behavior that could mediate predator-prey interactions. We explored the anti-predator behaviour of five typically-solitary male sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) in the Norwegian Sea by playing sounds of mammal-fee...

  10. Abundance and Distribution of Sperm Whales in the Canary Islands: Can Sperm Whales in the Archipelago Sustain the Current Level of Ship-Strike Mortalities?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Fais

    Full Text Available Sperm whales are present in the Canary Islands year-round, suggesting that the archipelago is an important area for this species in the North Atlantic. However, the area experiences one of the highest reported rates of sperm whale ship-strike in the world. Here we investigate if the number of sperm whales found in the archipelago can sustain the current rate of ship-strike mortality. The results of this study may also have implications for offshore areas where concentrations of sperm whales may coincide with high densities of ship traffic, but where ship-strikes may be undocumented. The absolute abundance of sperm whales in an area of 52933 km2, covering the territorial waters of the Canary Islands, was estimated from 2668 km of acoustic line-transect survey using Distance sampling analysis. Data on sperm whale diving and acoustic behaviour, obtained from bio-logging, were used to calculate g(0 = 0.92, this is less than one because of occasional extended periods when whales do not echolocate. This resulted in an absolute abundance estimate of 224 sperm whales (95% log-normal CI 120-418 within the survey area. The recruitment capability of this number of whales, some 2.5 whales per year, is likely to be exceeded by the current ship-strike mortality rate. Furthermore, we found areas of higher whale density within the archipelago, many coincident with those previously described, suggesting that these are important habitats for females and immature animals inhabiting the archipelago. Some of these areas are crossed by active shipping lanes increasing the risk of ship-strikes. Given the philopatry in female sperm whales, replacement of impacted whales might be limited. Therefore, the application of mitigation measures to reduce the ship-strike mortality rate seems essential for the conservation of sperm whales in the Canary Islands.

  11. Abundance and Distribution of Sperm Whales in the Canary Islands: Can Sperm Whales in the Archipelago Sustain the Current Level of Ship-Strike Mortalities?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fais, Andrea; Lewis, Tim P; Zitterbart, Daniel P; Álvarez, Omar; Tejedor, Ana; Aguilar Soto, Natacha

    2016-01-01

    Sperm whales are present in the Canary Islands year-round, suggesting that the archipelago is an important area for this species in the North Atlantic. However, the area experiences one of the highest reported rates of sperm whale ship-strike in the world. Here we investigate if the number of sperm whales found in the archipelago can sustain the current rate of ship-strike mortality. The results of this study may also have implications for offshore areas where concentrations of sperm whales may coincide with high densities of ship traffic, but where ship-strikes may be undocumented. The absolute abundance of sperm whales in an area of 52933 km2, covering the territorial waters of the Canary Islands, was estimated from 2668 km of acoustic line-transect survey using Distance sampling analysis. Data on sperm whale diving and acoustic behaviour, obtained from bio-logging, were used to calculate g(0) = 0.92, this is less than one because of occasional extended periods when whales do not echolocate. This resulted in an absolute abundance estimate of 224 sperm whales (95% log-normal CI 120-418) within the survey area. The recruitment capability of this number of whales, some 2.5 whales per year, is likely to be exceeded by the current ship-strike mortality rate. Furthermore, we found areas of higher whale density within the archipelago, many coincident with those previously described, suggesting that these are important habitats for females and immature animals inhabiting the archipelago. Some of these areas are crossed by active shipping lanes increasing the risk of ship-strikes. Given the philopatry in female sperm whales, replacement of impacted whales might be limited. Therefore, the application of mitigation measures to reduce the ship-strike mortality rate seems essential for the conservation of sperm whales in the Canary Islands.

  12. Male sperm whale acoustic behavior observed from multipaths at a single hydrophone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laplanche, Christophe; Adam, Olivier; Lopatka, Maciej; Motsch, Jean-François

    2005-10-01

    Sperm whales generate transient sounds (clicks) when foraging. These clicks have been described as echolocation sounds, a result of having measured the source level and the directionality of these signals and having extrapolated results from biosonar tests made on some small odontocetes. The authors propose a passive acoustic technique requiring only one hydrophone to investigate the acoustic behavior of free-ranging sperm whales. They estimate whale pitch angles from the multipath distribution of click energy. They emphasize the close bond between the sperm whale's physical and acoustic activity, leading to the hypothesis that sperm whales might, like some small odontocetes, control click level and rhythm. An echolocation model estimating the range of the sperm whale's targets from the interclick interval is computed and tested during different stages of the whale's dive. Such a hypothesis on the echolocation process would indicate that sperm whales echolocate their prey layer when initiating their dives and follow a methodic technique when foraging.

  13. SWFSC/MMTD: Sperm Whale Abundance and Population Structure (SWAPS) 1997

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The 1997 Sperm Whale Abundance and Population Structures (SWAPS) line-transect survey was designed to census sperm whales near the end of their breeding season in...

  14. Right Whale and Cetacean Abundance Spring Survey (AL0404, EK60)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The right whale and cetacean survey primarily focuses on right whales in the coastal and continental shelf areas, with the following objectives: 1) Develop a better...

  15. SRKW seasonal occurence - Patterns of seasonal occurrence of Southern Resident Killer Whales

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Patterns of seasonal occurrence of Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW) throughout their range. Southern Resident Killer Whales are listed as a Distinct Population...

  16. AFSC/NMML: North Pacific Right Whale Photo-ID Catalog

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The eastern population of the North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica) is the most endangered stock of whales in the world, with recent abundance estimates...

  17. Disturbance-specific social responses in long-finned pilot whales, Globicephala melas

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Visser, Fleur; Curé, Charlotte; Kvadsheim, Petter H; Lam, Frans-Peter A; Tyack, Peter L; Miller, Patrick J O

    2016-01-01

    Social interactions among animals can influence their response to disturbance. We investigated responses of long-finned pilot whales to killer whale sound playbacks and two anthropogenic sources of disturbance...

  18. The Relationship between Vessel Traffic and Noise Levels Received by Killer Whales (Orcinus orca)

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Houghton, Juliana; Holt, Marla M; Giles, Deborah A; Hanson, M Bradley; Emmons, Candice K; Hogan, Jeffrey T; Branch, Trevor A; VanBlaricom, Glenn R

    2015-01-01

    .... Southern Resident killer whales (Orcinus orca) comprise an endangered population that is frequently observed by a large whale watching fleet in the inland waters of Washington state and British Columbia...

  19. Responses of Whales to Experimental Playback of Low Frequency Sound from the Navy SURTASS LFA

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Tyack, Peter

    1998-01-01

    .... The study involved three different field studies: the first phase involved fin and blue whales feeding in the Southern California Bight, the second phase involved gray whales migrating past the California coast and the third phase involved humpback...

  20. Are baleen whales exposed to the threat of microplastics? A case study of the Mediterranean fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fossi, Maria Cristina; Panti, Cristina; Guerranti, Cristiana; Coppola, Daniele; Giannetti, Matteo; Marsili, Letizia; Minutoli, Roberta

    2012-11-01

    Baleen whales are potentially exposed to micro-litter ingestion as a result of their filter-feeding activity. However, the impacts of microplastics on baleen whales are largely unknown. In this case study of the Mediterranean fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), we explore the toxicological effects of microplastics on mysticetes. The study included the following three steps: (1) the collection/count of microplastics in the Pelagos Sanctuary (Mediterranean Sea), (2) the detection of phthalates in surface neustonic/planktonic samples, and (3) the detection of phthalates in stranded fin whales. A total of 56% of the surface neustonic/planktonic samples contained microplastic particles. The highest abundance of microplastics (9.63 items/m(3)) was found in the Portofino MPA (Ligurian Sea). High concentrations of phthalates (DEHP and MEHP) were detected in the neustonic/planktonic samples. The concentrations of MEHP found in the blubber of stranded fin whales suggested that phthalates could serve as a tracer of the intake of microplastics. The results of this study represent the first warning of this emerging threat to baleen whales. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Responses of male sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) to killer whale sounds: implications for anti-predator strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curé, Charlotte; Antunes, Ricardo; Alves, Ana Catarina; Visser, Fleur; Kvadsheim, Petter H; Miller, Patrick J O

    2013-01-01

    Interactions between individuals of different cetacean species are often observed in the wild. Killer whales (Orcinus orca) can be potential predators of many other cetaceans, and the interception of their vocalizations by unintended cetacean receivers may trigger anti-predator behavior that could mediate predator-prey interactions. We explored the anti-predator behaviour of five typically-solitary male sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) in the Norwegian Sea by playing sounds of mammal-feeding killer whales and monitoring behavioural responses using multi-sensor tags. Our results suggest that, rather than taking advantage of their large aerobic capacities to dive away from the perceived predator, sperm whales responded to killer whale playbacks by interrupting their foraging or resting dives and returning to the surface, changing their vocal production, and initiating a surprising degree of social behaviour in these mostly solitary animals. Thus, the interception of predator vocalizations by male sperm whales disrupted functional behaviours and mediated previously unrecognized anti-predator responses.

  2. Is it possible to go whale watching off the coast of Peru?: A case study of humpback whales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aldo S Pacheco

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Whale watching is the human activity of encountering cetaceans in their natural habitat for recreational and scientific purposes. Despite the high diversity of cetaceans in Peruvian waters, this activity has yet to be developed. Herein we present data regarding the distribution of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae off northern Peru, evaluating the possibility of extending whale watching activities in this area. Data were obtained from surveys conducted from an ecotourism boat. Humpbacks were distributed in shallow waters, usually in pairs or trios throughout the study period between late July and late September. The presence of whales off northern Peru is due to winter migration for breeding and calving purposes. A high probability of encountering humpbacks within the study area could encourage the development of a whale watching industry. As this stage in the life cycle of this species is very delicate, we suggest the adoption of the precautionary principie in the management of the activity in order to minimize the risk of negative impacts on humpback populations. Whale watching in northern Peru is feasible and could be considered an alternative to fishing.

  3. Mimicking the humpback whale: An aerodynamic perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aftab, S. M. A.; Razak, N. A.; Mohd Rafie, A. S.; Ahmad, K. A.

    2016-07-01

    This comprehensive review aims to provide a critical overview of the work on tubercles in the past decade. The humpback whale is of interest to aerodynamic/hydrodynamic researchers, as it performs manoeuvres that baffle the imagination. Researchers have attributed these capabilities to the presence of lumps, known as tubercles, on the leading edge of the flipper. Tubercles generate a unique flow control mechanism, offering the humpback exceptional manoeuverability. Experimental and numerical studies have shown that the flow pattern over the tubercle wing is quite different from conventional wings. Research on the Tubercle Leading Edge (TLE) concept has helped to clarify aerodynamic issues such as flow separation, tonal noise and dynamic stall. TLE shows increased lift by delaying and restricting spanwise separation. A summary of studies on different airfoils and reported improvement in performance is outlined. The major contributions and limitations of previous work are also reported.

  4. Epigenetic estimation of age in humpback whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polanowski, Andrea M; Robbins, Jooke; Chandler, David; Jarman, Simon N

    2014-09-01

    Age is a fundamental aspect of animal ecology, but is difficult to determine in many species. Humpback whales exemplify this as they have a lifespan comparable to humans, mature sexually as early as 4 years and have no reliable visual age indicators after their first year. Current methods for estimating humpback age cannot be applied to all individuals and populations. Assays for human age have recently been developed based on age-induced changes in DNA methylation of specific genes. We used information on age-associated DNA methylation in human and mouse genes to identify homologous gene regions in humpbacks. Humpback skin samples were obtained from individuals with a known year of birth and employed to calibrate relationships between cytosine methylation and age. Seven of 37 cytosines assayed for methylation level in humpback skin had significant age-related profiles. The three most age-informative cytosine markers were selected for a humpback epigenetic age assay. The assay has an R(2) of 0.787 (P = 3.04e-16) and predicts age from skin samples with a standard deviation of 2.991 years. The epigenetic method correctly determined which of parent-offspring pairs is the parent in more than 93% of cases. To demonstrate the potential of this technique, we constructed the first modern age profile of humpback whales off eastern Australia and compared the results to population structure 5 decades earlier. This is the first epigenetic age estimation method for a wild animal species and the approach we took for developing it can be applied to many other nonmodel organisms. © 2014 The Authors. Molecular Ecology Resources Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Development of Novel Noninvasive Methods of Stress Assessment in Baleen Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-09-30

    ing devices , and successfully performed blow collection at sea from live whales. Blow hormone content, when corrected with a suitable internal...Atlantic right whales (NARW); (2) methodological testing and validation of blow-collecting sampler devices ("sampler testing experiment") to compare...for whale respiratory vapor samples. Conservation Physiology, doi 1 0.1093 /conphys/cow024. Hamilton PK, Knowlton AR, Marx MK. 2007. Right whales tell

  6. The Population Consequences of Disturbance Model Application to North Atlantic Right Whales (Eubalaena glacialis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    physiology , and the revised approach is called PCOD (Population Consequences Of Disturbance). In North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis...Bayesian Model to assess right whale biology, 2) assess the relationship between health indicators and reproduction and mortality in right whales, and 3...assess the effects of fishing gear entanglements and sub-lethal vessel strikes on reproduction and mortality in right whales. The objective for FY

  7. Atypical calling by a blue whale in the Gulf of Alaska (L)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stafford, Kathleen M.; Moore, Sue E.

    2005-05-01

    Worldwide, calls from blue whales share the characteristics of being long (>20 s), low-frequency (blue whales recorded in different ocean basins are distinct from one another, leading to the suggestion that populations and/or subspecies may be identified based on call characteristics. An example of anomalous calling behavior by a blue whale in the Gulf of Alaska is reported that may complicate this approach, and that suggests that blue whales can mimic each other's calls. .

  8. Baseline Behavior of Pilot Whales and their Responses to Playback of Anthropogenic and Natural Sounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Baseline Behavior of Pilot Whales and their Responses to...N000141210417 LONG-TERM GOALS This project investigates the social ecology and baseline behavior of pilot whales , and their responses to anthropogenic...and estimating a robust quantification of group cohesion  Conduct playback experiments to study responses of tagged whales to sounds of killer whales

  9. Sperm whale behaviour indicates the use of echolocation click buzzes "creaks" in prey capture.

    OpenAIRE

    Miller, Patrick J. O.; Johnson, Mark P.; Tyack, Peter L.

    2004-01-01

    During foraging dives, sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) produce long series of regular clicks at 0.5-2 s intervals interspersed with rapid-click buzzes called "creaks". Sound, depth and orientation recording Dtags were attached to 23 whales in the Ligurian Sea and Gulf of Mexico to test whether the behaviour of diving sperm whales supports the hypothesis that creaks are produced during prey capture. Sperm whales spent most of their bottom time within one or two depth bands, apparently fe...

  10. 77 FR 5491 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Initiation of 5-Year Review for Sei Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-03

    ...; Initiation of 5-Year Review for Sei Whales AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic...; request for information. SUMMARY: NMFS announces a 5-year review of sei whales (Balaenoptera borealis... of any such information on sei whales that has become available since that has become available since...

  11. Behavioral and Physiological Response of Baleen Whales to Ships and Ship Noise

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Behavioral and physiological response of baleen whales to...and physiological response of baleen whales to ships and ship noise off California using a combination of opportunistic and controlled research. Ship...a growing concern especially for several species including blue and right whales that appear to be particularly susceptible. Initial research

  12. Fin whale survival and abundance in the gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ramp, Christian; Delarue, Julien; Bérubé, Martine; Hammond, Philip S.; Sears, Richard

    2014-01-01

    The fin whale Balaenoptera physalus, the second largest species in the animal kingdom to have lived on Earth, was heavily targeted during the industrial whaling era. North Atlantic whaling for this species ended in 1987 and it is unclear if the populations are recovering. The stock structure in the

  13. Stranding of two sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) in the "North Sea trap" at Henne Strand, Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Mette Sif; Alstrup, Aage K. O.; Hansen, Jørgen H.

    2016-01-01

    In February 2014 two male sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) stranded at Henne Strand, Denmark. One whale (MCE 1644) was found dead, while the other (MCE 1645) was still alive, but drowned during the high tide. To increase our knowledge of sperm whales, conduct forage investigations, post-mort...

  14. 78 FR 42653 - Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Atlantic Large Whale Take...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-16

    ... discussed using the model to identify areas of high co-occurrence of right whales and humpback whales..., management approach, monitoring plan, and enforcement plan. To solicit additional stakeholder involvement, on...? Although the model successfully identifies the highest areas of large whale and commercial fishing gear co...

  15. 78 FR 34347 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plan for the North Pacific Right Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-07

    ... Plan for the North Pacific Right Whale AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and... Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica). ADDRESSES: Electronic copies of the Final Recovery Plan are... recovery. The Northern right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) has been listed as ``endangered'' under the...

  16. 77 FR 6065 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Cook Inlet Beluga Whale Economic Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-07

    ... Inlet Beluga Whale Economic Survey AGENCY: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ([email protected] . SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract The population of Cook Inlet beluga whales found...). The public benefits associated with the results of protection actions on the Cook Inlet beluga whale...

  17. 78 FR 4835 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plan for the North Pacific Right Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-23

    ... Plan for the North Pacific Right Whale AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and... Plan (Plan) for the North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica). NMFS is soliciting review and... West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910, Attn: North Pacific Right Whale Recovery Plan. Instructions: All...

  18. 50 CFR 226.215 - Critical habitat for the North Pacific Right Whale (Eubalaena japonica).

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... Right Whale (Eubalaena japonica). 226.215 Section 226.215 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE... DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.215 Critical habitat for the North Pacific Right Whale (Eubalaena japonica). (a) Primary Constituent Elements. The primary constituent elements of the North Pacific right whale...

  19. 76 FR 43985 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plan for the Sei Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-22

    ... Plan for the Sei Whale AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric... the sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis). NMFS is soliciting review and comment from the public and all... would not promote its recovery. The sei whale has been listed as ``endangered'' under the Endangered...

  20. 50 CFR 226.206 - Critical habitat for the Southern Resident killer whale (Orcinus orca).

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... killer whale (Orcinus orca). 226.206 Section 226.206 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES... CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.206 Critical habitat for the Southern Resident killer whale (Orcinus orca). Critical habitat is designated for the Southern Resident killer whale as described in this section. The textual...

  1. 77 FR 71259 - Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; False Killer Whale Take...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-29

    ... Operations; False Killer Whale Take Reduction Plan AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National... final False Killer Whale Take Reduction Plan (FKWTRP), and regulatory measures and non-regulatory measures and recommendations to reduce mortalities and serious injuries of false killer whales in Hawaii...

  2. 76 FR 42082 - Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; False Killer Whale Take...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-18

    ... Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; False Killer Whale Take Reduction Plan AGENCY...: NMFS announces the availability of a Draft False Killer Whale Take Reduction Plan developed by the False Killer Whale Take Reduction Team. This proposed rule would implement the proposed False Killer...

  3. 77 FR 27185 - Availability of Seats for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-09

    ... the following vacant seats on the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory.... SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council was... groups that help to focus efforts and attention on the humpback whale and its habitat around the main...

  4. Novel locomotor muscle design in extreme deep-diving whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velten, B P; Dillaman, R M; Kinsey, S T; McLellan, W A; Pabst, D A

    2013-05-15

    Most marine mammals are hypothesized to routinely dive within their aerobic dive limit (ADL). Mammals that regularly perform deep, long-duration dives have locomotor muscles with elevated myoglobin concentrations that are composed of predominantly large, slow-twitch (Type I) fibers with low mitochondrial volume densities (V(mt)). These features contribute to extending ADL by increasing oxygen stores and decreasing metabolic rate. Recent tagging studies, however, have challenged the view that two groups of extreme deep-diving cetaceans dive within their ADLs. Beaked whales (including Ziphius cavirostris and Mesoplodon densirostris) routinely perform the deepest and longest average dives of any air-breathing vertebrate, and short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) perform high-speed sprints at depth. We investigated the locomotor muscle morphology and estimated total body oxygen stores of several species within these two groups of cetaceans to determine whether they (1) shared muscle design features with other deep divers and (2) performed dives within their calculated ADLs. Muscle of both cetaceans displayed high myoglobin concentrations and large fibers, as predicted, but novel fiber profiles for diving mammals. Beaked whales possessed a sprinter's fiber-type profile, composed of ~80% fast-twitch (Type II) fibers with low V(mt). Approximately one-third of the muscle fibers of short-finned pilot whales were slow-twitch, oxidative, glycolytic fibers, a rare fiber type for any mammal. The muscle morphology of beaked whales likely decreases the energetic cost of diving, while that of short-finned pilot whales supports high activity events. Calculated ADLs indicate that, at low metabolic rates, both beaked and short-finned pilot whales carry sufficient onboard oxygen to aerobically support their dives.

  5. Thermal Imaging and Biometrical Thermography of Humpback Whales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Travis W. Horton

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Determining species' distributions through time and space remains a primary challenge in cetacean science and conservation. For example, many whales migrate thousands of kilometers every year between remote seasonal habitats along migratory corridors that cross major shipping lanes and intensively harvested fisheries, creating a dynamic spatial and temporal context that conservation decisions must take into account. Technological advances enabling automated whale detection have the potential to dramatically improve our knowledge of when and where whales are located, presenting opportunities to help minimize adverse human-whale interactions. Using thermographic data we show that near-horizontal (i.e., high zenith angle infrared images of humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae blows, dorsal fins, flukes and rostrums record similar magnitude brightness temperature anomalies relative to the adjacent ocean surface. Our results demonstrate that these anomalies are similar in both low latitude and high latitude environments despite a ~16°C difference in ocean surface temperature between study areas. We show that these similarities occur in both environments due to emissivity effects associated with oblique target imaging, rather than differences in cetacean thermoregulation. The consistent and reproducible brightness temperature anomalies we report provide important quantitative constraints that will help facilitate the development of transient temperature anomaly detection algorithms in diverse marine environments. Thermographic videography coupled with laser range finding further enables calculation of whale blow velocity, demonstrating that biometrical measurements are possible for near-horizontal datasets that otherwise suffer from emissivity effects. The thermographic research we present creates a platform for the delivery of three important contributions to cetacean conservation: (1 non-invasive species-level identifications based on whale blow

  6. True’s beaked whale (Mesoplodon mirus) in Macaronesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martín, Vidal; Silva, Monica; Edler, Roland; Reyes, Cristel; Carrillo, Manuel; Schiavi, Agustina; Morales, Talia; García-Ovide, Belen; Sanchez-Mora, Anna; Garcia-Tavero, Nerea; Steiner, Lisa; Scheer, Michael; Gockel, Roland; Walker, Dylan; Villa, Enrico; Szlama, Petra; Eriksson, Ida K.; Tejedor, Marisa; Perez-Gil, Monica; Quaresma, João; Bachara, Wojtek; Carroll, Emma

    2017-01-01

    The True’s beaked whale (Mesoplodon mirus, True 1913) is a poorly known member of the Ziphiidae family. Its distribution in the northern hemisphere is thought to be restricted to the temperate or warm temperate waters of the North Atlantic, while a few stranding records from the southern hemisphere suggest a wider and antitropical distribution, extending to waters from the Atlantic coast of Brazil to South Africa, Mozambique, Australia and the Tasman Sea coast of New Zealand. This paper (i) reports the first molecular confirmation of the occurrence of the True’s beaked whale at the southern limit of its distribution recorded in the northeast Atlantic: the Azores and Canary Islands (macaronesian ecoregion); (ii) describes a new colouration for this species using evidence from a whale with molecular species confirmation; and (iii) contributes to the sparse worldwide database of live sightings, including the first underwater video recording of this species and close images of a calf. Species identification was confirmed in two cases using mitochondrial DNA control region and cytochrome b gene markers: a subadult male True’s beaked whale that stranded in El Hierro, Canary Islands, in November 2012, and a subadult male found floating dead near Faial, the Azores, in July 2004. The whale that stranded in the Canary Islands had a clearly delimited white area on its head, extending posteriorly from the tip of the beak to cover the blowhole dorsally and the gular grooves ventrally. This colouration contrasts with previous descriptions for the species and it may be rare, but it exemplifies the variability of the colouration of True’s beaked whales in the North Atlantic, further confirmed here by live sightings data. The recording of several observations of this species in deep but relatively coastal waters off the Azores and the Canary Islands suggests that these archipelagos may be unique locations to study the behaviour of the enigmatic True’s beaked whale. PMID

  7. True’s beaked whale (Mesoplodon mirus in Macaronesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natacha Aguilar de Soto

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The True’s beaked whale (Mesoplodon mirus, True 1913 is a poorly known member of the Ziphiidae family. Its distribution in the northern hemisphere is thought to be restricted to the temperate or warm temperate waters of the North Atlantic, while a few stranding records from the southern hemisphere suggest a wider and antitropical distribution, extending to waters from the Atlantic coast of Brazil to South Africa, Mozambique, Australia and the Tasman Sea coast of New Zealand. This paper (i reports the first molecular confirmation of the occurrence of the True’s beaked whale at the southern limit of its distribution recorded in the northeast Atlantic: the Azores and Canary Islands (macaronesian ecoregion; (ii describes a new colouration for this species using evidence from a whale with molecular species confirmation; and (iii contributes to the sparse worldwide database of live sightings, including the first underwater video recording of this species and close images of a calf. Species identification was confirmed in two cases using mitochondrial DNA control region and cytochrome b gene markers: a subadult male True’s beaked whale that stranded in El Hierro, Canary Islands, in November 2012, and a subadult male found floating dead near Faial, the Azores, in July 2004. The whale that stranded in the Canary Islands had a clearly delimited white area on its head, extending posteriorly from the tip of the beak to cover the blowhole dorsally and the gular grooves ventrally. This colouration contrasts with previous descriptions for the species and it may be rare, but it exemplifies the variability of the colouration of True’s beaked whales in the North Atlantic, further confirmed here by live sightings data. The recording of several observations of this species in deep but relatively coastal waters off the Azores and the Canary Islands suggests that these archipelagos may be unique locations to study the behaviour of the enigmatic True

  8. Endoparasite survey of free-swimming baleen whales (Balaenoptera musculus, B. physalus, B. borealis) and sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) using non/minimally invasive methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hermosilla, Carlos; Silva, Liliana M R; Kleinertz, Sonja; Prieto, Rui; Silva, Monica A; Taubert, Anja

    2016-02-01

    A number of parasitic diseases have gained importance as neozoan opportunistic infections in the marine environment. Here, we report on the gastrointestinal endoparasite fauna of three baleen whale species and one toothed whale: blue (Balaenoptera musculus), fin (Balaenoptera physalus), and sei whales (Balaenoptera borealis) and sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) from the Azores Islands, Portugal. In total, 17 individual whale fecal samples [n = 10 (B. physalus); n = 4 (P. macrocephalus); n = 2 (B. musculus); n = 1 (B. borealis)] were collected from free-swimming animals as part of ongoing studies on behavioral ecology. Furthermore, skin biopsies were collected from sperm whales (n = 5) using minimally invasive biopsy darting and tested for the presence of Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum, and Besnoitia besnoiti DNA via PCR. Overall, more than ten taxa were detected in whale fecal samples. Within protozoan parasites, Entamoeba spp. occurred most frequently (64.7%), followed by Giardia spp. (17.6%) and Balantidium spp. (5.9%). The most prevalent metazoan parasites were Ascaridida indet. spp. (41.2%), followed by trematodes (17.7%), acanthocephalan spp., strongyles (11.8%), Diphyllobotrium spp. (5.9%), and spirurids (5.9%). Helminths were mainly found in sperm whales, while enteric protozoan parasites were exclusively detected in baleen whales, which might be related to dietary differences. No T. gondii, N. caninum, or B. besnoiti DNA was detected in any skin sample. This is the first record on Giardia and Balantidium infections in large baleen whales.

  9. Estimation of southern resident killer whale exposure to exhaust emissions from whale-watching vessels and potential adverse health effects and toxicity thresholds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lachmuth, Cara L; Barrett-Lennard, Lance G; Steyn, D Q; Milsom, William K

    2011-04-01

    Southern resident killer whales in British Columbia and Washington are exposed to heavy vessel traffic. This study investigates their exposure to exhaust gases from whale-watching vessels by using a simple dispersion model incorporating data on whale and vessel behavior, atmospheric conditions, and output of airborne pollutants from the whale-watching fleet based on emissions data from regulatory agencies. Our findings suggest that current whale-watching guidelines are usually effective in limiting pollutant exposure to levels at or just below those at which measurable adverse health effects would be expected in killer whales. However, safe pollutant levels are exceeded under worst-case conditions and certain average-case conditions. To reduce killer whale exposure to exhaust we recommend: vessels position on the downwind side of whales, a maximum of 20 whale-watching vessels should be within 800 m at any given time, viewing periods should be limited, and current whale-watch guidelines and laws should be enforced. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  10. 77 FR 16538 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Initiation of 5-Year Review for the North Atlantic Right Whale...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-21

    ...; Initiation of 5-Year Review for the North Atlantic Right Whale and the North Pacific Right Whale AGENCY... review of North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) and North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena... scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review; therefore, we are requesting submission...

  11. The hunting of the Greenland right whale in Svalbard, its interaction with climate and its impact on the marine ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hacquebord, L

    1999-01-01

    During the 17th and 18th centuries, tens of thousands of Greenland right whales were killed as a result of extensive European whaling in the coastal waters of the Svalbard archipelago. The author reconstructed these whaling activities, examined how the changing climate affected whaling productivity,

  12. 76 FR 20870 - Protective Regulations for Killer Whales in the Northwest Region Under the Endangered Species Act...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-04-14

    ... Killer Whales in the Northwest Region Under the Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act... from approaching killer whales within 200 yards (182.9 m) and from parking in the path of whales when... of this final rule is to protect killer whales from interference and noise associated with vessels...

  13. Long-term and large-scale epidemiology of Brucella infection in baleen whales and sperm whales in the western North Pacific and Antarctic Oceans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohishi, Kazue; Bando, Takeharu; Abe, Erika; Kawai, Yasushi; Fujise, Yoshihiro; Maruyama, Tadashi

    2016-10-01

    In a long-term, large-scale serologic study in the western North Pacific Ocean, anti-Brucella antibodies were detected in common minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) in the 1994-2010 offshore surveys (21%, 285/1353) and in the 2006-2010 Japanese coastal surveys (20%, 86/436), in Bryde's whales (B. edeni brydei) in the 2000-2010 offshore surveys (9%, 49/542), in sei whales (B. borealis) in the 2002-2010 offshore surveys (5%, 40/788) and in sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) in the 2000-2010 offshore surveys (8%, 4/50). Anti-Brucella antibodies were not detected in 739 Antarctic minke whales (B. bonaerensis) in the 2000-2010 Antarctic surveys. This suggests that Brucella was present in the four large whale populations inhabiting the western North Pacific, but not in the Antarctic minke whale population. By PCR targeting for genes of outer membrane protein 2, the Brucella infection was confirmed in tissue DNA samples from Bryde's whales (14%, 2/14), sei whales (11%, 1/9) and sperm whales (50%, 2/4). A placental tissue and an apparently healthy fetus from a sperm whale were found to be PCR-positive, indicating that placental transmission might have occurred and the newborn could act as a bacterial reservoir. Marked granulomatous testes were observed only in mature animals of the three species of baleen whales in the western North Pacific offshore surveys, especially in common minke whales, and 29% (307/1064) of total mature males had abnormal testes. This study provides an insight into the status of marine Brucella infection at a global level.

  14. Entanglements of right whales, Eubalaena australis (Cetacea, Mysticeti, in the 2010 breeding season in Santa Catarina state, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mônica Pontalti

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Right whales (Eubalaena australis have been suffering with anthropogenic activities such as pollution, marine traffic and entanglement in fishing nets. The entanglement of right whales grows each breeding season on the southern coast of Santa Catarina state, and can cause strands and even death. During the 2010 breeding season, six entanglements among immature and adult whales were recorded. In most of the cases, the whales kept swimming slowly and didn’t want to approximate the whale watching boat. Fishing activities in the area during the right whale breeding season need to be regularized to avoid conflicts and injuries to the whales.

  15. Abundance, trends and distribution of baleen whales off Western Alaska and the central Aleutian Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zerbini, Alexandre N.; Waite, Janice M.; Laake, Jeffrey L.; Wade, Paul R.

    2006-11-01

    Large whales were extensively hunted in coastal waters off Alaska, but current distribution, population sizes and trends are poorly known. Line transect surveys were conducted in coastal waters of the Aleutian Islands and the Alaska Peninsula in the summer of 2001-2003. Abundances of three species were estimated by conventional and multiple covariate distance sampling (MCDS) methods. Time series of abundance estimates were used to derive rates of increase for fin whales ( Balaenoptera physalus) and humpback whales ( Megaptera novaeangliae). Fin whales occurred primarily from the Kenai Peninsula to the Shumagin Islands, but were abundant only near the Semidi Islands and Kodiak. Humpback whales were found from the Kenai Peninsula to Umnak Island and were more abundant near Kodiak, the Shumagin Islands and north of Unimak Pass. Minke whales ( B. acutorostrata) occurred primarily in the Aleutian Islands, with a few sightings south of the Alaska Peninsula and near Kodiak Island. Humpback whales were observed in large numbers in their former whaling grounds. In contrast, high densities of fin whales were not observed around the eastern Aleutian Islands, where whaling occurred. Average abundance estimates (95% CI) for fin, humpback and minke whales were 1652 (1142-2389), 2644 (1899-3680), and 1233 (656-2315), respectively. Annual rates of increase were estimated at 4.8% (95% CI=4.1-5.4%) for fin and 6.6% (5.2-8.6%) for humpback whales. This study provides the first estimate of the rate of increase of fin whales in the North Pacific Ocean. The estimated trends are consistent with those of other recovering baleen whales. There were no sightings of blue or North Pacific right whales, indicating the continued depleted status of these species.

  16. The impact of whaling on the ocean carbon cycle: why bigger was better.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J Pershing

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Humans have reduced the abundance of many large marine vertebrates, including whales, large fish, and sharks, to only a small percentage of their pre-exploitation levels. Industrial fishing and whaling also tended to preferentially harvest the largest species and largest individuals within a population. We consider the consequences of removing these animals on the ocean's ability to store carbon. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Because body size is critical to our arguments, our analysis focuses on populations of baleen whales. Using reconstructions of pre-whaling and modern abundances, we consider the impact of whaling on the amount of carbon stored in living whales and on the amount of carbon exported to the deep sea by sinking whale carcasses. Populations of large baleen whales now store 9.1×10(6 tons less carbon than before whaling. Some of the lost storage has been offset by increases in smaller competitors; however, due to the relative metabolic efficiency of larger organisms, a shift toward smaller animals could decrease the total community biomass by 30% or more. Because of their large size and few predators, whales and other large marine vertebrates can efficiently export carbon from the surface waters to the deep sea. We estimate that rebuilding whale populations would remove 1.6×10(5 tons of carbon each year through sinking whale carcasses. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Even though fish and whales are only a small portion of the ocean's overall biomass, fishing and whaling have altered the ocean's ability to store and sequester carbon. Although these changes are small relative to the total ocean carbon sink, rebuilding populations of fish and whales would be comparable to other carbon management schemes, including ocean iron fertilization.

  17. Acquisition of Oceanographic Measurements from Baleen Whales and Acquisition of Oceanographic Measurements from Baleen Whales: Field Deployments of Tags Developed Under Grant ONR (N00014-13-1-0854)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    the deployment techniques for two tag designs on bowhead whales , blue whales and/or humpback whales in West Greenland and Iceland. • To evaluate the... blue and humpback whales . APPROACH Diving ocean predators can act as “real-time autonomous sampling platforms” in remote or ice covered waters...in Disko Bay. • June-July 2016: Deployment of tags on blue and humpback whales in Iceland. 4 • April-August 2016: Collection of data via

  18. The Legal Status of Whales: capabilities, entitlements and culture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel Nussbaum Wichert

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Whales, among our planet’s most majestic, mysterious, powerful, and intelligent beings, are profoundly endangered. International law has for some time attempted to protect them from extinction. Our paper addresses the legal status of whales and argues that they should be regarded as creatures with rights, not simply as commodities. Currently, international law does not recognize whales as creatures with rights. International organizations, particularly the International Whaling Commission (IWC and its founding document, the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW, have focused on the issue of overfishing and have allowed exceptions to usual standards based both on the alleged needs of scientific research (in the case of Japan and on the alleged claims of culture (in the case of aboriginal groups in the Arctic.

  19. Blue whales respond to simulated mid-frequency military sonar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldbogen, Jeremy A; Southall, Brandon L; DeRuiter, Stacy L; Calambokidis, John; Friedlaender, Ari S; Hazen, Elliott L; Falcone, Erin A; Schorr, Gregory S; Douglas, Annie; Moretti, David J; Kyburg, Chris; McKenna, Megan F; Tyack, Peter L

    2013-08-22

    Mid-frequency military (1-10 kHz) sonars have been associated with lethal mass strandings of deep-diving toothed whales, but the effects on endangered baleen whale species are virtually unknown. Here, we used controlled exposure experiments with simulated military sonar and other mid-frequency sounds to measure behavioural responses of tagged blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) in feeding areas within the Southern California Bight. Despite using source levels orders of magnitude below some operational military systems, our results demonstrate that mid-frequency sound can significantly affect blue whale behaviour, especially during deep feeding modes. When a response occurred, behavioural changes varied widely from cessation of deep feeding to increased swimming speed and directed travel away from the sound source. The variability of these behavioural responses was largely influenced by a complex interaction of behavioural state, the type of mid-frequency sound and received sound level. Sonar-induced disruption of feeding and displacement from high-quality prey patches could have significant and previously undocumented impacts on baleen whale foraging ecology, individual fitness and population health.

  20. Hearing loss in stranded odontocete dolphins and whales.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Mann

    Full Text Available The causes of dolphin and whale stranding can often be difficult to determine. Because toothed whales rely on echolocation for orientation and feeding, hearing deficits could lead to stranding. We report on the results of auditory evoked potential measurements from eight species of odontocete cetaceans that were found stranded or severely entangled in fishing gear during the period 2004 through 2009. Approximately 57% of the bottlenose dolphins and 36% of the rough-toothed dolphins had significant hearing deficits with a reduction in sensitivity equivalent to severe (70-90 dB or profound (>90 dB hearing loss in humans. The only stranded short-finned pilot whale examined had profound hearing loss. No impairments were detected in seven Risso's dolphins from three different stranding events, two pygmy killer whales, one Atlantic spotted dolphin, one spinner dolphin, or a juvenile Gervais' beaked whale. Hearing impairment could play a significant role in some cetacean stranding events, and the hearing of all cetaceans in rehabilitation should be tested.

  1. Icelandic herring-eating killer whales feed at night.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard, Gaëtan; Filatova, Olga A; Samarra, Filipa I P; Fedutin, Ivan D; Lammers, Marc; Miller, Patrick J

    2017-01-01

    Herring-eating killer whales debilitate herring with underwater tail slaps and likely herd herring into tighter schools using a feeding-specific low-frequency pulsed call ('herding' call). Feeding on herring may be dependent upon daylight, as the whales use their white underside to help herd herring; however, feeding at night has not been investigated. The production of feeding-specific sounds provides an opportunity to use passive acoustic monitoring to investigate feeding behaviour at different times of day. We compared the acoustic behaviour of killer whales between day and night, using an autonomous recorder deployed in Iceland during winter. Based upon acoustic detection of underwater tail slaps used to feed upon herring we found that killer whales fed both at night and day: they spent 50% of their time at night and 73% of daytime feeding. Interestingly, there was a significant diel variation in acoustic behaviour. Herding calls were significantly associated with underwater tail slap rate and were recorded significantly more often at night, suggesting that in low-light conditions killer whales rely more on acoustics to herd herring. Communicative sounds were also related to underwater tail slap rate and produced at different rates during day and night. The capability to adapt feeding behaviour to different light conditions may be particularly relevant for predator species occurring in high latitudes during winter, when light availability is limited.

  2. Combining passive acoustics and imaging sonar techniques to study sperm whales' foraging strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giorli, Giacomo; Au, Whitlow W L

    2017-09-01

    Sperm whales forage in the deep ocean, hunting for squid. An innovative approach for the study of sperm whale foraging behavior and habitat selection is reported in this letter. A DIDSON imaging sonar mounted on a profiler with a conductivity, temperature, and depth sensor was used to count and measure potential prey in the deep ocean during sperm whales' acoustical foraging encounters in Hawaii. Preliminary results show how this technique can be applied to the study of deep diving whale foraging and habitat selection. Sperm whales foraged where the density of prey decreased with depth and where the size of prey increased with depth.

  3. Integration of oceanographic data with fin whale calling presence in the Bering Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dasarathy, S.; Berchok, C.; Stabeno, P. J.; Crance, J.

    2016-02-01

    Through the integration of environmental data with passive acoustic monitoring, it is possible to investigate whether fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) presence is influenced by environmental factors. Fin whale calling activity and concurrent environmental variables were analyzed from May 2012 to September 2013. These data were collected from passive acoustic and oceanographic moorings located in the Bering Sea. Fin whale calling presence was strongly correlated with three of the eight parameters analyzed: ice concentration, chlorophyll (a proxy for primary production), and temperature. Fin whale calling was negatively correlated with ice concentration; as ice concentration increased, fin whale calling decreased. A strong positive correlation was observed between fin whale calling and chlorophyll. A large spike in chlorophyll concentration in July 2013 preceded fin whale calling at the northern location. Fin whale calling also increased concurrently with a mixing of the water column (evidenced in the temperature data) at a depth of 30 to 50m. Peaks in chlorophyll concentration occurred after the mixing of the water column, and followed an increase in fin whale calling. These data illustrate the relationship between fin whale presence and environmental variables in the Bering Sea. These correlations may be used to predict the impact of climate change on fin whale populations in the rapidly changing environment of the Bering Sea.

  4. Testing the feasibility of a hypothetical whaling-conservation permit market in Norway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Biao; Abbott, Joshua K; Fenichel, Eli P; Muneepeerakul, Rachata; Perrings, Charles; Gerber, Leah R

    2017-08-01

    A cap-and-trade system for managing whale harvests represents a potentially useful approach to resolve the current gridlock in international whale management. The establishment of whale permit markets, open to both whalers and conservationists, could reveal the strength of conservation demand, about which little is known. This lack of knowledge makes it difficult to predict the outcome of a hypothetical whale permit market. We developed a bioeconomic model to evaluate the influence of economic uncertainty about demand for whale conservation or harvest. We used simulations over a wide range of parameterizations of whaling and conservation demands to examine the potential ecological consequences of the establishment of a whale permit market in Norwegian waters under bounded (but substantial) economic uncertainty. Uncertainty variables were slope of whaling and conservation demand, participation level of conservationists and their willingness to pay for whale conservation, and functional forms of demand, including linear, quadratic, and log-linear forms. A whale-conservation market had the potential to yield a wide range of conservation and harvest outcomes, the most likely outcomes were those in which conservationists bought all whale permits. © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology.

  5. Chromium Is Elevated in Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus) Skin Tissue and Is Genotoxic to Fin Whale Skin Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wise, Catherine F; Wise, Sandra S; Thompson, W Douglas; Perkins, Christopher; Wise, John Pierce

    2015-07-01

    Hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) is present in the marine environment and is a known carcinogen and reproductive toxicant. Cr(VI) is the form of chromium that is well absorbed through the cell membrane. It is also the most prevalent form in seawater. We measured the total Cr levels in skin biopsies obtained from healthy free-ranging fin whales from the Gulf of Maine and found elevated levels relative to marine mammals in other parts of the world. The levels in fin whale biopsies ranged from 1.71 to 19.6 μg/g with an average level of 10.07 μg/g. We also measured the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of Cr(VI) in fin whale skin cells. We found that particulate and soluble Cr(VI) are both cytotoxic and genotoxic to fin whale skin cells in a concentration-dependent manner. The concentration range used in our cell culture studies used environmentally relevant concentrations based on the biopsy measurements. These data suggest that Cr(VI) may be a concern for whales in the Gulf of Maine.

  6. Chromium Is Elevated in Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus) Skin Tissue and Is Genotoxic to Fin Whale Skin Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wise, Catherine F.; Wise, Sandra S.; Thompson, W. Douglas; Perkins, Christopher; Wise, John Pierce

    2015-01-01

    Hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) is present in the marine environment and is a known carcinogen and reproductive toxicant. Cr(VI) is the form of chromium that is well absorbed through the cell membrane. It is also the most prevalent form in seawater. We measured the total Cr levels in skin biopsies obtained from healthy free-ranging fin whales from the Gulf of Maine and found elevated levels relative to marine mammals in other parts of the world. The levels in fin whale biopsies ranged from 1.71 ug/g to 19.6 ug/g with an average level of 10.07 ug/g. We also measured the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of Cr(VI) in fin whale skin cells. We found that particulate and soluble Cr(VI) are both cytotoxic and genotoxic to fin whale skin cells in a concentration-dependent manner. The concentration range used in our cell culture studies used environmentally relevant concentrations based on the biopsy measurements. These data suggest that Cr(VI) may be a concern for whales in the Gulf of Maine. PMID:25805270

  7. What do humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae (Cetartiodactyla: Balaenopteridae pairs do after tagging?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Artur Andriolo

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The social structure of humpback whales in their tropical wintering grounds is very fluid. To date, no information has been published for cases in which two whales were both satellite-tagged while in association. Here, we report the movements of four humpback whale pairs tagged together off the coast of Brazil. Fieldwork and satellite tagging of humpback whales was conducted between 2003 and 2008 along the eastern coast of Brazil, between 20°S and 8°S. Movement was monitored while whales were still in their breeding ground. A switching state space model was applied to the filtered data of each humpback whale to standardize telemetry data and allow direct comparison of each individual track. GIS was used to plot model-predicted locations and to visually compare animal movements. The results confirm the short-lived nature of associations between breeding humpback whales, and shows that individuals differ widely in their movements.

  8. Off-Range Beaked Whale Studies (ORBS): Baseline Data and Tagging Development for Northern Bottlenose Whales (Hyperoodon ampulatus) off Jan Mayen, Norway

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    make it possible to over longer-time and wider-spatial aspects of behavioral responses using multi-scale observations. The proposed killer whale and...sounds. Visual tracking was strong until the killer whale playback when the animals were not sighted after an apparently strong behavioral response to...studies have reported behavioral responses of a small number of beaked whales to experimentally-presented sonar signals (Tyack et al., 2011

  9. Gastrointestinal leiomyosarcoma in a pygmy sperm whale (Kogia breviceps).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leone, Angelique; Dark, Michael; Kondo, Hirotaka; Rotstein, David S; Kiupel, Matti; Walsh, Michael T; Erlacher-Reid, Claire; Gordon, Nadia; Conway, Julia A

    2013-09-01

    An adult male pygmy sperm whale (Kogia breviceps) was stranded within a tidal pool on Fernandina Beach on the north Florida Atlantic coast (USA) and expired soon after discovery. Necropsy findings included a small intestinal mass markedly expanding the intestinal wall and partially obstructing the lumen. This finding likely led to the malnutrition and ultimately the stranding of this whale. The differential diagnoses for the mass based on gross evaluation included a duodenal adenocarcinoma, leiomyoma/sarcoma, gastrointestinal stroma tumor, and benign/malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor, previously referred to as neurofibromas or schwannomas. The mass was presumptively diagnosed as a leiomyosarcoma via routine histopathology and confirmed by immunoreactivity for desmin and smooth actin (SMA). KIT, a gene name for CD 117, was negative, excluding a gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST). Leiomyosarcomas have been reported within numerous wild and domestic species, although this is the first reported case of any neoplasm in a pygmy sperm whale (K. breviceps).

  10. Not whale-fall specialists, Osedax worms also consume fishbones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouse, Greg W; Goffredi, Shana K; Johnson, Shannon B; Vrijenhoek, Robert C

    2011-10-23

    Marine annelid worms of the genus Osedax exploit sunken vertebrate bones for food. To date, the named species occur on whale or other mammalian bones, and it is argued that Osedax is a whale-fall specialist. To assess whether extant Osedax species could obtain nutrition from non-mammalian resources, we deployed teleost bones and calcified shark cartilage at approximately 1000 m depth for five months. Although the evidence from shark cartilage was inconclusive, the teleost bones hosted three species of Osedax, each of which also lives off whalebones. This suggests that rather than being a whale-fall specialist, Osedax has exploited and continues to exploit a variety of food sources. The ability of Osedax to colonize and to grow on fishbone lends credibility to a hypothesis that it might have split from its siboglinid relatives to assume the bone-eating lifestyle during the Cretaceous, well before the origin of marine mammals.

  11. Sounds produced by Norwegian killer whales, Orcinus orca, during capture

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Parijs, Sofie M.; Leyssen, Teo; Similä, Tiu

    2004-07-01

    To date very little is still known about the acoustic behavior of Norwegian killer whales, in particular that of individual whales. In this study a unique opportunity was presented to document the sounds produced by five captured killer whales in the Vestfjord area, northern Norway. Individuals produced 14 discrete and 7 compound calls. Two call types were used both by individuals 16178 and 23365 suggesting that they may belong to the same pod. Comparisons with calls documented in Strager (1993) showed that none of the call types used by the captured individuals were present. The lack of these calls in the available literature suggests that call variability within individuals is likely to be large. This short note adds to our knowledge of the vocal repertoire of this population and demonstrates the need for further studies to provide behavioural context to these sounds.

  12. Offshore killer whale tracking using multiple hydrophone arrays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gassmann, Martin; Henderson, E Elizabeth; Wiggins, Sean M; Roch, Marie A; Hildebrand, John A

    2013-11-01

    To study delphinid near surface movements and behavior, two L-shaped hydrophone arrays and one vertical hydrophone line array were deployed at shallow depths (killer whales (Orcinus orca) using their emitted clicks. In addition, killer whale pulsed calls and high-frequency modulated (HFM) signals were localized using other standard techniques. Based on these tracks sound source levels for the killer whales were estimated. The peak to peak source levels for echolocation clicks vary between 170-205 dB re 1 μPa @ 1 m, for HFM calls between 185-193 dB re 1 μPa @ 1 m, and for pulsed calls between 146-158 dB re 1 μPa @ 1 m.

  13. Distribution and abundance of West Greenland humpback whales ( Megaptera novaeangliae )

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Finn; Hammond, P.S.

    2004-01-01

    Photo-identification surveys of humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae were conducted at West Greenland during 1988-93, the last 2 years of which were part of the internationally coordinated humpback whale research programme YoNAH, with the primary aim of estimating abundance for the West Greenland...... effort. A total of 670 groups of humpback whales was encountered leading to the identification of 348 individual animals. Three areas of concentration were identified: an area off Nuuk; an area at c. 63degrees30'N; and an area off Frederikshab. Sequential Petersen capture-recapture estimates of abundance.......070). These calculations lead us to conclude that between 1988 and 1993 there were 360 humpbacks (CV = 0.07) in the West Greenland feeding aggregation. Using the Cormack-Jolly-Seber model framework non-calf survival rate was estimated at 0.957 (SE = 0.028). Our data have low power (P

  14. Microplastic in a macro filter feeder: Humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besseling, E; Foekema, E M; Van Franeker, J A; Leopold, M F; Kühn, S; Bravo Rebolledo, E L; Heße, E; Mielke, L; IJzer, J; Kamminga, P; Koelmans, A A

    2015-06-15

    Marine filter feeders are exposed to microplastic because of their selection of small particles as food source. Baleen whales feed by filtering small particles from large water volumes. Macroplastic was found in baleen whales before. This study is the first to show the presence of microplastic in intestines of a baleen whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). Contents of its gastrointestinal tract were sieved, dissolved in 10% potassium hydroxide and washed. From the remaining dried material, potential synthetic polymer particles were selected based on density and appearance, and analysed by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. Several polymer types (polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinylchloride, polyethylene terephthalate, nylon) were found, in varying particle shapes: sheets, fragments and threads with a size of 1mm to 17cm. This diversity in polymer types and particle shapes, can be interpreted as a representation of the varying characteristics of marine plastic and the unselective way of ingestion by M. novaeangliae. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Pleistocene survival of an archaic dwarf baleen whale (Mysticeti: Cetotheriidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boessenecker, Robert W.

    2013-04-01

    Pliocene baleen whale assemblages are characterized by a mix of early records of extant mysticetes, extinct genera within modern families, and late surviving members of the extinct family Cetotheriidae. Although Pleistocene baleen whales are poorly known, thus far they include only fossils of extant genera, indicating Late Pliocene extinctions of numerous mysticetes alongside other marine mammals. Here a new fossil of the Late Neogene cetotheriid mysticete Herpetocetus is reported from the Lower to Middle Pleistocene Falor Formation of Northern California. This find demonstrates that at least one archaic mysticete survived well into the Quaternary Period, indicating a recent loss of a unique niche and a more complex pattern of Plio-Pleistocene faunal overturn for marine mammals than has been previously acknowledged. This discovery also lends indirect support to the hypothesis that the pygmy right whale ( Caperea marginata) is an extant cetotheriid, as it documents another cetotheriid nearly surviving to modern times.

  16. Pleistocene survival of an archaic dwarf baleen whale (Mysticeti: Cetotheriidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boessenecker, Robert W

    2013-04-01

    Pliocene baleen whale assemblages are characterized by a mix of early records of extant mysticetes, extinct genera within modern families, and late surviving members of the extinct family Cetotheriidae. Although Pleistocene baleen whales are poorly known, thus far they include only fossils of extant genera, indicating Late Pliocene extinctions of numerous mysticetes alongside other marine mammals. Here a new fossil of the Late Neogene cetotheriid mysticete Herpetocetus is reported from the Lower to Middle Pleistocene Falor Formation of Northern California. This find demonstrates that at least one archaic mysticete survived well into the Quaternary Period, indicating a recent loss of a unique niche and a more complex pattern of Plio-Pleistocene faunal overturn for marine mammals than has been previously acknowledged. This discovery also lends indirect support to the hypothesis that the pygmy right whale (Caperea marginata) is an extant cetotheriid, as it documents another cetotheriid nearly surviving to modern times.

  17. Cultural turnover among Galápagos sperm whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantor, Mauricio; Whitehead, Hal; Gero, Shane; Rendell, Luke

    2016-10-01

    While populations may wax and wane, it is rare for an entire population to be replaced by a completely different set of individuals. We document the large-scale relocation of cultural groups of sperm whale off the Galápagos Islands, in which two sympatric vocal clans were entirely replaced by two different ones. Between 1985 and 1999, whales from two clans (called Regular and Plus-One) defined by cultural dialects in coda vocalizations were repeatedly photo-identified off Galápagos. Their occurrence in the area declined through the 1990s; by 2000, none remained. We reassessed Galápagos sperm whales in 2013-2014, identifying 463 new females. However, re-sighting rates were low, with no matches with the Galápagos 1985-1999 population, suggesting an eastward shift to coastal areas. Their vocal repertoires matched those of two other clans (called Short and Four-Plus) found across the Pacific but previously rare or absent around Galápagos. The mechanisms behind this cultural turnover may include large-scale environmental regime shifts favouring clan-specific foraging strategies, and a response to heavy whaling in the region involving redistribution of surviving whales into high-quality habitats. The fall and rise of sperm whale cultures off Galápagos reflect the structuring of the Pacific population into large, enduring clans with dynamic ranges. Long-lasting clan membership illustrates how culture can be bound up in the structure and dynamics of animal populations and so how tracking cultural traits can reveal large-scale population shifts.

  18. Collisions between Whales and Fast Ferries around Korean Waters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyung-Jun Song

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Although there is heavy maritime traffic around Korean waters, collisions between whales and fast ferries around Korean waters are nearly unknown. A ship strike that was associated with a minke whale occurred near the southeastern part of Tsushima Island along the sailing route of the fast ferry between Korea and Japan on December 16, 2004. It was associated with a fast ferry that runs at a speed of approximately 46.1 kn (83 km/h between Korea and Japan. This individual was certainly seriously injured or killed by this ship strike because large amounts of skin of this individual were attached to the surface of the fast ferry, and also large amounts of blood of this individual spread out in that area. However, fortunately, serious damage did not occur to the mariners and passengers of the ferry, although many passengers were knocked down to the floor of the fast ferry when the fast ferry collided with the minke whale. In addition, a total of 4 records of possible collisions between whales and fast ferries have occurred on the fast ferry route between Korea and Japan between 2004 and 2007. This study is the first formal report on collisions between whales and fast ferries around Korean waters. Although the effect of ship strikes on the survival of cetaceans distributed around Korean waters is not very high at present compared with that of other threats, such as entanglement in fishing gear, ship strikes can pose a significant potential threat to endangered cetaceans such as western gray whales. Therefore, it is necessary to prepare prevention measures for ship strikes for the conservation of cetaceans around Korean waters in the future.

  19. The enigmatic whale: the North Atlantic humpback

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim D Smith

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available We know more about the North Atlantic humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae than we do for virtually any other cetacean, yet attempts to use this information to describe the status of the populations in this ocean basin have not proven satisfactory. The North Atlantic humpback has been the subject of extensive research over the past few decades, resulting in a substantial amount of knowledge about what has proven to be a species with a very complex life history and population structure. While several population models have been developed to integrate the available information, the data overall are not well described by any of the models. This has left considerable uncertainty about population status, and has raised questions about the interpretation of some of the data. We describe 7 specific areas where puzzling or ambiguous observations have been made; these require closer attention if population status is to be determined. These areas raise several fundamental questions, including: How many breeding populations are there? How much do the populations mix on the feeding grounds? How has the distribution of animals on both feeding and breeding grounds changed? We identify additional research needed to address the 7 areas and these questions in particular, so that population status might be determined.

  20. A multi-hypothesis tracker for clicking whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baggenstoss, Paul M

    2015-05-01

    This paper describes a tracker specially designed to track clicking beaked whales using widely spaced bottom-mounted hydrophones, although it can be adapted to different species and sensors. The input to the tracker is a sequence of static localization solutions obtained using time difference of arrival information at widely spaced hydrophones. To effectively handle input localizations with high ambiguity, the tracker is based on multi-hypothesis tracker concepts, so it considers all potential association hypotheses and keeps a large number of potential tracks in memory. The method is demonstrated on actual data and shown to successfully track multiple beaked whales at depth.

  1. Spyhoppers and Stargazers: Can Whales See the Stars?

    CERN Document Server

    West, Michael J

    2013-01-01

    In Moby Dick, Herman Melville wondered how - or what - whales see with eyes on opposite sides of their heads. "It is plain that he can never see an object which is exactly ahead... Is his brain so much more comprehensive, combining and subtle than man's that he can at the same moment of time attentively examine two distinct prospects, one on one side of him, and the other in an exactly opposite direction?" he asked. It's a good question. But if Melville were alive today he might have pondered something perhaps even more intriguing: Can whales see the stars?

  2. Adaptive prolonged postreproductive life span in killer whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Emma A; Franks, Daniel W; Mazzi, Sonia; Darden, Safi K; Balcomb, Ken C; Ford, John K B; Croft, Darren P

    2012-09-14

    Prolonged life after reproduction is difficult to explain evolutionarily unless it arises as a physiological side effect of increased longevity or it benefits related individuals (i.e., increases inclusive fitness). There is little evidence that postreproductive life spans are adaptive in nonhuman animals. By using multigenerational records for two killer whale (Orcinus orca) populations in which females can live for decades after their final parturition, we show that postreproductive mothers increase the survival of offspring, particularly their older male offspring. This finding may explain why female killer whales have evolved the longest postreproductive life span of all nonhuman animals.

  3. Measuring sperm whales from their clicks: stability of interpulse intervals and validation that they indicate whale length.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhinelander, Marcus Q; Dawson, Stephen M

    2004-04-01

    Multiple pulses can often be distinguished in the clicks of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus). Norris and Harvey [in Animal Orientation and Navigation, NASA SP-262 (1972), pp. 397-417] proposed that this results from reflections within the head, and thus that interpulse interval (IPI) is an indicator of head length, and by extrapolation, total length. For this idea to hold, IPIs must be stable within individuals, but differ systematically among individuals of different size. IPI stability was examined in photographically identified individuals recorded repeatedly over different dives, days, and years. IPI variation among dives in a single day and days in a single year was statistically significant, although small in magnitude (it would change total length estimates by whales (12.3 to 15.3 m). These discrepancies probably arise from the paucity of large (12-16 m) whales in data used in published regressions. A new regression is offered for this size range.

  4. Chromium Is Elevated in Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus) Skin Tissue and Is Genotoxic to Fin Whale Skin Cells

    OpenAIRE

    Wise, Catherine F.; Wise, Sandra S.; Thompson, W Douglas; Perkins, Christopher; Wise, John Pierce

    2015-01-01

    Hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) is present in the marine environment and is a known carcinogen and reproductive toxicant. Cr(VI) is the form of chromium that is well absorbed through the cell membrane. It is also the most prevalent form in seawater. We measured the total Cr levels in skin biopsies obtained from healthy free-ranging fin whales from the Gulf of Maine and found elevated levels relative to marine mammals in other parts of the world. The levels in fin whale biopsies ranged from 1.71 ...

  5. Comparative Chromosome Map and Heterochromatin Features of the Gray Whale Karyotype (Cetacea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulemzina, Anastasia I; Proskuryakova, Anastasia A; Beklemisheva, Violetta R; Lemskaya, Natalia A; Perelman, Polina L; Graphodatsky, Alexander S

    2016-01-01

    Cetacean karyotypes possess exceptionally stable diploid numbers and highly conserved chromosomes. To date, only toothed whales (Odontoceti) have been analyzed by comparative chromosome painting. Here, we studied the karyotype of a representative of baleen whales, the gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus, Mysticeti), by Zoo-FISH with dromedary camel and human chromosome-specific probes. We confirmed a high degree of karyotype conservation and found an identical order of syntenic segments in both branches of cetaceans. Yet, whale chromosomes harbor variable heterochromatic regions constituting up to a third of the genome due to the presence of several types of repeats. To investigate the cause of this variability, several classes of repeated DNA sequences were mapped onto chromosomes of whale species from both Mysticeti and Odontoceti. We uncovered extensive intrapopulation variability in the size of heterochromatic blocks present in homologous chromosomes among 3 individuals of the gray whale by 2-step differential chromosome staining. We show that some of the heteromorphisms observed in the gray whale karyotype are due to distinct amplification of a complex of common cetacean repeat and heavy satellite repeat on homologous autosomes. Furthermore, we demonstrate localization of the telomeric repeat in the heterochromatin of both gray and pilot whale (Globicephala melas, Odontoceti). Heterochromatic blocks in the pilot whale represent a composite of telomeric and common repeats, while heavy satellite repeat is lacking in the toothed whale consistent with previous studies. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  6. Dangerous dining: surface foraging of North Atlantic right whales increases risk of vessel collisions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parks, Susan E; Warren, Joseph D; Stamieszkin, Karen; Mayo, Charles A; Wiley, David

    2012-02-23

    North Atlantic right whales are critically endangered and, despite international protection from whaling, significant numbers die from collisions with ships. Large groups of right whales migrate to the coastal waters of New England during the late winter and early spring to feed in an area with large numbers of vessels. North Atlantic right whales have the largest per capita record of vessel strikes of any large whale population in the world. Right whale feeding behaviour in Cape Cod Bay (CCB) probably contributes to risk of collisions with ships. In this study, feeding right whales tagged with archival suction cup tags spent the majority of their time just below the water's surface where they cannot be seen but are shallow enough to be vulnerable to ship strike. Habitat surveys show that large patches of right whale prey are common in the upper 5 m of the water column in CCB during spring. These results indicate that the typical spring-time foraging ecology of right whales may contribute to their high level of mortality from vessel collisions. The results of this study suggest that remote acoustic detection of prey aggregations may be a useful supplement to the management and conservation of right whales.

  7. Functional properties of myoglobins from five whale species with different diving capacities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helbo, Signe; Fago, Angela

    2012-10-01

    Whales show an exceptionally wide range of diving capabilities and many express high amounts of the O(2) carrier protein myoglobin (Mb) in their muscle tissues, which increases their aerobic diving capacity. Although previous studies have mainly focused on the muscle Mb concentration and O(2) carrying capacity as markers of diving behavior in whales, it still remains unexplored whether whale Mbs differ in their O(2) affinities and nitrite reductase and peroxidase enzymatic activities, all functions that could contribute to differences in diving capacities. In this study, we have measured the functional properties of purified Mbs from five toothed whales and two baleen whales and have examined their correlation with average dive duration. Results showed that some variation in functional properties exists among whale Mbs, with toothed whale Mbs having higher O(2) affinities and nitrite reductase activities (similar to those of horse Mb) compared with baleen whale Mbs. However, these differences did not correlate with average dive duration. Instead, a significant correlation was found between whale Mb concentration and average duration and depth of dives, and between O(2) affinity and nitrite reductase activity when including horse Mb. Despite the fact that the functional properties showed little species-specific differences in vitro, they may still contribute to enhancing diving capacity as a result of the increased muscle Mb concentration found in extreme divers. In conclusion, Mb concentration rather than specific functional reactivities may support whale diving performance.

  8. Observed foraging behaviour of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in the northwest Atlantic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, T. S.; Lawson, J. W.; Kenney, R.

    2016-02-01

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) in the northwest Atlantic have been observed feeding on a variety of prey types with >35 cases of confirmed consumption and >55 other interactions since 1866. They have been documented harassing, attacking, and eating minke (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) and humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), dolphins, porpoises, seals, tuna, birds, and other prey. However, it remains unknown whether killer whales are prey specialists in this region. It is likely that distribution, movement, and residency patterns of killer whales are linked to those of their prey. Some killer whales appear to remain year-round in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) and have been sighted during the spring within pack ice, potentially feeding on breeding seals. Killer whales in southern areas, such as the Gulf of Maine, are sighted less frequently and have historically been in association with Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus thynnus). A majority of successful and confirmed attacks involve minke whales in NL during the summer months, suggesting that minke whales may be one of the most important prey for killer whales in this region. Killer whales are apex predators and so detailing their foraging behaviour in the northwest Atlantic is critical for assessing their influence in this marine ecosystem.

  9. Transfer of /sup 60/Co from midwater squid to sperm whales

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Umezu, Takeshi; Minamisako, Yoko; Ebihara, Hiroshi; Watanabe, Hiroshi

    1984-10-01

    Sperm whales are notable squid-eaters. They feed mainly on medium to large-sized cephalopods at midwater levels and defecate near the surface. This suggests the existence of an upward transport of /sup 60/Co by sperm whales from the mesopelagic zone (150-1,200m). To elucidate this squid-whale route for this artificial radionuclide, /sup 60/Co content was determined in squid and in predator whales captured by commercial whaling. In the Cephalopoda livers /sup 60/Co levels of 30-500 mBq kg/sup 1/ wet were found and in the viscera of Odontoceti (toothed whales) 15-40 mBq kg/sup 1/ wet. About 0.3% of /sup 60/Co ingested was estimated to be retained in a 23-year-old male sperm whale. In the livers of Bryde's whales, /sup 60/Co levels of 40-80 mBq kg/sup 1/ wet were detected, but not in euphausiids and sardines, their possible prey. The level of Co in sperm whales was nearly the same as in Bryde's whales. Specific radioactivity /sup 60/Co//sup 59/Co in mBq ..mu..g/sup 1/ was several times higher in sperm whale (1.1-1.6) than in cephalopods (0.19-0.77). Eating prey with a high content of /sup 60/Co in the 1960's may have contributed to the present body burden in sperm whales with a long-life span. However, the origin of /sup 60/Co in Bryde's whales is unknown. (author).

  10. Seasonal and geographic variation of southern blue whale subspecies in the Indian Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samaran, Flore; Stafford, Kathleen M; Branch, Trevor A; Gedamke, Jason; Royer, Jean-Yves; Dziak, Robert P; Guinet, Christophe

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the seasonal movements and distribution patterns of migratory species over ocean basin scales is vital for appropriate conservation and management measures. However, assessing populations over remote regions is challenging, particularly if they are rare. Blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus spp) are an endangered species found in the Southern and Indian Oceans. Here two recognized subspecies of blue whales and, based on passive acoustic monitoring, four "acoustic populations" occur. Three of these are pygmy blue whale (B.m. brevicauda) populations while the fourth is the Antarctic blue whale (B.m. intermedia). Past whaling catches have dramatically reduced their numbers but recent acoustic recordings show that these oceans are still important habitat for blue whales. Presently little is known about the seasonal movements and degree of overlap of these four populations, particularly in the central Indian Ocean. We examined the geographic and seasonal occurrence of different blue whale acoustic populations using one year of passive acoustic recording from three sites located at different latitudes in the Indian Ocean. The vocalizations of the different blue whale subspecies and acoustic populations were recorded seasonally in different regions. For some call types and locations, there was spatial and temporal overlap, particularly between Antarctic and different pygmy blue whale acoustic populations. Except on the southernmost hydrophone, all three pygmy blue whale acoustic populations were found at different sites or during different seasons, which further suggests that these populations are generally geographically distinct. This unusual blue whale diversity in sub-Antarctic and sub-tropical waters indicates the importance of the area for blue whales in these former whaling grounds.

  11. Seasonal and geographic variation of southern blue whale subspecies in the Indian Ocean.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flore Samaran

    Full Text Available Understanding the seasonal movements and distribution patterns of migratory species over ocean basin scales is vital for appropriate conservation and management measures. However, assessing populations over remote regions is challenging, particularly if they are rare. Blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus spp are an endangered species found in the Southern and Indian Oceans. Here two recognized subspecies of blue whales and, based on passive acoustic monitoring, four "acoustic populations" occur. Three of these are pygmy blue whale (B.m. brevicauda populations while the fourth is the Antarctic blue whale (B.m. intermedia. Past whaling catches have dramatically reduced their numbers but recent acoustic recordings show that these oceans are still important habitat for blue whales. Presently little is known about the seasonal movements and degree of overlap of these four populations, particularly in the central Indian Ocean. We examined the geographic and seasonal occurrence of different blue whale acoustic populations using one year of passive acoustic recording from three sites located at different latitudes in the Indian Ocean. The vocalizations of the different blue whale subspecies and acoustic populations were recorded seasonally in different regions. For some call types and locations, there was spatial and temporal overlap, particularly between Antarctic and different pygmy blue whale acoustic populations. Except on the southernmost hydrophone, all three pygmy blue whale acoustic populations were found at different sites or during different seasons, which further suggests that these populations are generally geographically distinct. This unusual blue whale diversity in sub-Antarctic and sub-tropical waters indicates the importance of the area for blue whales in these former whaling grounds.

  12. Functional convergence in bat and toothed whale biosonars

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, P T; Surlykke, A

    2013-01-01

    Echolocating bats and toothed whales hunt and navigate by emission of sound pulses and analysis of returning echoes to form a self-generated auditory scene. Here, we demonstrate a striking functional convergence in the way these two groups of mammals independently evolved the capability to sense...

  13. Mercury-induced micronuclei in skin fibroblasts of beluga whales

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gauthier, J.M.; Dubeau, H.; Rassart, E. [Univ. du Quebec, Montreal, Quebec (Canada). Dept. des Sciences Biologiques

    1998-12-01

    Beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) inhabiting the St. Lawrence estuary are highly contaminated with environmental pollutants and have a high incidence of cancer. Environmental contaminants may be partly responsible for the high incidence of cancer observed in this population. DNA damage plays an important role in the development of cancer. The micronuclei assay was used to test the genotoxic potential of mercury compounds in skin fibroblasts of an Arctic beluga whale. Both mercuric chloride (Hg) and methylmercury (MeHg) induced a highly significant dose-response increase of micronucleated cells. Statistically significant increases in micronucleated cells were observed for 0.5, 5, and 20 {micro}g/ml Hg and 0.05, 0.5, and 2 {micro}g/ml MeHg when compared to control cultures. Concentrations of 0.5, 5, and 20 {micro}g/ml Hg induced a two-, three- and fourfold increase of micronucleated cells, respectively. Treatment with MeHg was one order of magnitude more potent in inducing micronuclei and in inhibiting cell proliferation than Hg. Although results of this in vitro study do not imply that mercury compounds are involved in the etiology of cancer in St. Lawrence beluga whales, significant increases in micronuclei frequency were found at low concentrations of MeHg that are believed to be comparable to concentrations present in certain whales of this population.

  14. Commercially caught sperm whales Physeter catodon have been a ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    spamer

    Commercially caught sperm whales Physeter catodon have been a source of information about the cephalopods in their diet in many parts of the world. (Clarke 1980, 1986a, 1996), including New Zealand. (Gaskin and Cawthorn 1967a, b) and the Tasman Sea. (Clarke and MacLeod 1982). However, where there are.

  15. Analysis of humpback whale sounds in shallow waters of the ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2015-04-27

    Apr 27, 2015 ... Al Robaae K 1974 Tursiops aduncus bottle nosed dolphin: a new record for Arab Gulf; with notes on Cetacea of the region. Bull. Basrah Nat. Hist. Mus. 1 7–16. Au W, Darling J and Andrews K 2001a High frequency harmonics and source level of humpback whale songs. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 110 2770.

  16. Comparison of St. Lawrence blue whale vocalizations with field observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berchok, Catherine; Bradley, David; Gabrielson, Thomas; Sears, Richard

    2003-04-01

    During four field seasons from 1998-2001, vocalizations were recorded in the presence of St. Lawrence blue whales using a single omni-directional hydrophone. Both long duration infrasonic calls (~18 Hz, 5-20 s) as well as short duration higher frequency calls (85-25 Hz, ~2 s) were detected and compared with field observations. Two trends were noted. First, the long infrasonic call series were concentrated primarily in the deep (300 m) channel. These call series appear to compare well with blue whale vocalizations recorded by others in the deep open ocean. Second, the shorter audible calls were more evenly distributed over bathymetry and seem to be a form of short distance communication with at least one case occurring during an agonistic interaction. A comparison of these calls with biological parameters such as density of whales in the area, percentages of paired versus single whales, and numbers of males versus females will also be discussed. [Project supported by ARL/PSU, NSF, and the American Museum of Natural History.

  17. Ancient whales did not filter feed with their teeth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hocking, David P; Marx, Felix G; Fitzgerald, Erich M G; Evans, Alistair R

    2017-08-01

    The origin of baleen whales (Mysticeti), the largest animals on Earth, is closely tied to their signature filter-feeding strategy. Unlike their modern relatives, archaic whales possessed a well-developed, heterodont adult dentition. How these teeth were used, and what role their function and subsequent loss played in the emergence of filter feeding, is an enduring mystery. In particular, it has been suggested that elaborate tooth crowns may have enabled stem mysticetes to filter with their postcanine teeth in a manner analogous to living crabeater and leopard seals, thereby facilitating the transition to baleen-assisted filtering. Here we show that the teeth of archaic mysticetes are as sharp as those of terrestrial carnivorans, raptorial pinnipeds and archaeocetes, and thus were capable of capturing and processing prey. By contrast, the postcanine teeth of leopard and crabeater seals are markedly blunter, and clearly unsuited to raptorial feeding. Our results suggest that mysticetes never passed through a tooth-based filtration phase, and that the use of teeth and baleen in early whales was not functionally connected. Continued selection for tooth sharpness in archaic mysticetes is best explained by a feeding strategy that included both biting and suction, similar to that of most living pinnipeds and, probably, early toothed whales (Odontoceti). © 2017 The Authors.

  18. Building a Virtual Model of a Baleen Whale: Phase 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-30

    contribute to the sound reception process by producing differences in the vibrational characteristics of these components. Two finite element models...A. (2011). "The Comparative Osteology of the Petrotympanic Complex (Ear Region) of Extant Baleen Whales ( Cetacea : Mysticeti)," in PLoS ONE

  19. Whistle sequences in wild killer whales (Orcinus orca).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riesch, Rüdiger; Ford, John K B; Thomsen, Frank

    2008-09-01

    Combining different stereotyped vocal signals into specific sequences increases the range of information that can be transferred between individuals. The temporal emission pattern and the behavioral context of vocal sequences have been described in detail for a variety of birds and mammals. Yet, in cetaceans, the study of vocal sequences is just in its infancy. Here, we provide a detailed analysis of sequences of stereotyped whistles in killer whales off Vancouver Island, British Columbia. A total of 1140 whistle transitions in 192 whistle sequences recorded from resident killer whales were analyzed using common spectrographic analysis techniques. In addition to the stereotyped whistles described by Riesch et al., [(2006). "Stability and group specificity of stereotyped whistles in resident killer whales, Orcinus orca, off British Columbia," Anim. Behav. 71, 79-91.] We found a new and rare stereotyped whistle (W7) as well as two whistle elements, which are closely linked to whistle sequences: (1) stammers and (2) bridge elements. Furthermore, the frequency of occurrence of 12 different stereotyped whistle types within the sequences was not randomly distributed and the transition patterns between whistles were also nonrandom. Finally, whistle sequences were closely tied to close-range behavioral interactions (in particular among males). Hence, we conclude that whistle sequences in wild killer whales are complex signal series and propose that they are most likely emitted by single individuals.

  20. Beaked Whale Group Deep Dive Behavior from Passive Acoustic Monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    tracking (DCLT) of individual whales was created using Matlab (Mathworks) (Figure 1). The GUI enables simplified processing of time synchronized audio...software package was modified to include a multihypothesis tracker. A Graphic User Interface ( GUI ) for detection, classification, localization and...wav-format recordings from AUTEC hydrophone arrays. The GUI provides options for manual verification and automated processing. This enables the user

  1. Evidence for acoustic communication among bottom foraging humpback whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parks, Susan E; Cusano, Dana A; Stimpert, Alison K; Weinrich, Mason T; Friedlaender, Ari S; Wiley, David N

    2014-12-16

    Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), a mysticete with a cosmopolitan distribution, demonstrate marked behavioural plasticity. Recent studies show evidence of social learning in the transmission of specific population level traits ranging from complex singing to stereotyped prey capturing behaviour. Humpback whales have been observed to employ group foraging techniques, however details on how individuals coordinate behaviour in these groups is challenging to obtain. This study investigates the role of a novel broadband patterned pulsed sound produced by humpback whales engaged in bottom-feeding behaviours, referred to here as a 'paired burst' sound. Data collected from 56 archival acoustic tag deployments were investigated to determine the functional significance of these signals. Paired burst sound production was associated exclusively with bottom feeding under low-light conditions, predominantly with evidence of associated conspecifics nearby suggesting that the sound likely serves either as a communicative signal to conspecifics, a signal to affect prey behaviour, or possibly both. This study provides additional evidence for individual variation and phenotypic plasticity of foraging behaviours in humpback whales and provides important evidence for the use of acoustic signals among foraging individuals in this species.

  2. Recurring patterns in the songs of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Sean R; Mercado, Eduardo; Pack, Adam A; Herman, Louis M

    2011-02-01

    Humpback whales, unlike most mammalian species, learn new songs as adults. Populations of singers progressively and collectively change the sounds and patterns within their songs throughout their lives and across generations. In this study, humpback whale songs recorded in Hawaii from 1985 to 1995 were analyzed using self-organizing maps (SOMs) to classify the sounds within songs, and to identify sound patterns that were present across multiple years. These analyses supported the hypothesis that recurring, persistent patterns exist within whale songs, and that these patterns are defined at least in part by acoustic relationships between adjacent sounds within songs. Sound classification based on acoustic differences between adjacent sounds yielded patterns within songs that were more consistent from year to year than classifications based on the properties of single sounds. Maintenance of fixed ratios of acoustic modulation across sounds, despite large variations in individual sounds, suggests intrinsic constraints on how sounds change within songs. Such acoustically invariant cues may enable whales to recognize and assess variations in songs despite propagation-related distortion of individual sounds and yearly changes in songs. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Analysis of humpback whale sounds in shallow waters of the ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The primary objective of this work was to present the acoustical identification of humpback whales, detected by using an autonomous ambient noise measurement system, deployed in the shallow waters of the Southeastern Arabian Sea (SEAS) during the period January to May 2011. Seven types of sounds were detected.

  4. Calling behavior of blue and fin whales off California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oleson, Erin Marie

    Passive acoustic monitoring is an effective means for evaluating cetacean presence in remote regions and over long time periods, and may become an important component of cetacean abundance surveys. To use passive acoustic recordings for abundance estimation, an understanding of the behavioral ecology of cetacean calling is crucial. In this dissertation, I develop a better understanding of how blue (Balaenoptera musculus) and fin (B. physalus ) whales use sound with the goal of evaluating passive acoustic techniques for studying their populations. Both blue and fin whales produce several different call types, though the behavioral and environmental context of these calls have not been widely investigated. To better understand how calling is used by these whales off California I have employed both new technologies and traditional techniques, including acoustic recording tags, continuous long-term autonomous acoustic recordings, and simultaneous shipboard acoustic and visual surveys. The outcome of these investigations has led to several conclusions. The production of blue whale calls varies with sex, behavior, season, location, and time of day. Each blue whale call type has a distinct behavioral context, including a male-only bias in the production of song, a call type thought to function in reproduction, and the production of some calls by both sexes. Long-term acoustic records, when interpreted using all call types, provide a more accurate measure of the local seasonal presence of whales, and how they use the region annually, seasonally and daily. The relative occurrence of different call types may indicate prime foraging habitat and the presence of different segments of the population. The proportion of animals heard calling changes seasonally and geographically relative to the number seen, indicating the calibration of acoustic and visual surveys is complex and requires further study on the motivations behind call production and the behavior of calling whales

  5. Intra- and inter-species differences in persistent organic contaminants in the blubber of blue whales and humpback whales from the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metcalfe, Chris; Koenig, Brenda; Metcalfe, Tracy; Paterson, Gordon; Sears, Richard

    2004-05-01

    Biopsy samples of blubber from adult male and female blue whales, and from female and young-of-the-year humpback whales were collected during the summers of 1992-1999 in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada. In blue whales, concentrations of 25 PCB congeners, DDT and metabolites and several other organochlorine compounds were present at higher concentrations in the blubber of males relative to females; reflecting maternal transfer of these persistent contaminants from females into young. Sex-related differences in concentrations were not observed with less persistent contaminants, such as HCHs. In humpback whale samples, there were no significant differences in the concentrations of PCBs and organochlorine compounds in the blubber of females and calves. These data indicate that calves quickly bioaccumulate contaminants by transplacental and lactational routes to concentrations that are in equilibrium with females. In comparisons between contaminant concentrations and patterns in the blubber of female blue and humpback whales, there were no significant differences in concentrations, but the proportions of some PCB congeners, HCH isomers, and DDT and its metabolites were different in the two baleen whale species. These may reflect differences in the diet of the two species, since fish comprise a large part of the diet of humpback whales and blue whales feed exclusively on euphausiid crustaceans (i.e. krill).

  6. Variability in click-evoked potentials in killer whales (Orcinus orca) and determination of a hearing impairment in a rehabilitated killer whale

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lucke, K.; Finneran, J.J.; Almunia, Javier; Houser, D.S.

    2016-01-01

    An immature female killer whale (Orcinus orca) stranded in the Wadden Sea in 2010 and was later transferred to Loro Parque, Tenerife, Spain, for rehabilitation. The killer whale, named “Morgan,” was suspected to have a hearing impairment. To test whether Morgan has a hearing deficit, auditory

  7. Stable isotope and trace element status of subsistence-hunted bowhead and beluga whales in Alaska and gray whales in Chukotka

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dehn, Larissa-A. [Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7000 (United States)]. E-mail: ftld@uaf.edu; Follmann, Erich H. [Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7000 (United States); Rosa, Cheryl [Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7000 (United States); Duffy, Lawrence K. [Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7000 (United States); Thomas, Dana L. [Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775-6660 (United States); Bratton, Gerald R. [Department of Veterinary Anatomy and Public Health, Texas A and M University, College Station, TX 77843 (United States); Taylor, Robert J. [Department of Veterinary Anatomy and Public Health, Texas A and M University, College Station, TX 77843 (United States); O' Hara, Todd M. [Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7000 (United States); Department of Wildlife Management, North Slope Borough, Barrow, AK 99725 (United States)

    2006-03-15

    Tissues of bowhead, beluga, and gray whales were analyzed for Ag, Cd, Cu, Se, Zn, THg and MeHg (belugas only). {delta}{sup 15}N and {delta}{sup 13}C in muscle were used to estimate trophic position and feeding habitat, respectively. Trace element concentrations in tissues were significantly different among whale species. Hepatic Ag was higher in belugas than bowheads and gray whales. Gray whales had lower Cd concentrations in liver and kidney than bowhead and belugas and a sigmoid correlation of Cd with length was noted for all whales. Renal and hepatic Se and THg were higher in belugas than in baleen whales. The hepatic molar ratio of Se:THg exceeded 1:1 in all species and was negatively correlated to body length. Hepatic and renal Zn in subsistence-harvested gray whales was lower than concentrations for stranded whales. Se:THg molar ratios and tissue concentrations of Zn may show promise as potential indicators of immune status and animal health.

  8. Laser photogrammetry improves size and demographic estimates for whale sharks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, Anthony J.; Prebble, Clare E.M.; Marshall, Andrea D.; Bennett, Michael B.; Weeks, Scarla J.; Cliff, Geremy; Wintner, Sabine P.; Pierce, Simon J.

    2015-01-01

    Whale sharks Rhincodon typus are globally threatened, but a lack of biological and demographic information hampers an accurate assessment of their vulnerability to further decline or capacity to recover. We used laser photogrammetry at two aggregation sites to obtain more accurate size estimates of free-swimming whale sharks compared to visual estimates, allowing improved estimates of biological parameters. Individual whale sharks ranged from 432–917 cm total length (TL) (mean ± SD = 673 ± 118.8 cm, N = 122) in southern Mozambique and from 420–990 cm TL (mean ± SD = 641 ± 133 cm, N = 46) in Tanzania. By combining measurements of stranded individuals with photogrammetry measurements of free-swimming sharks, we calculated length at 50% maturity for males in Mozambique at 916 cm TL. Repeat measurements of individual whale sharks measured over periods from 347–1,068 days yielded implausible growth rates, suggesting that the growth increment over this period was not large enough to be detected using laser photogrammetry, and that the method is best applied to estimating growth rates over longer (decadal) time periods. The sex ratio of both populations was biased towards males (74% in Mozambique, 89% in Tanzania), the majority of which were immature (98% in Mozambique, 94% in Tanzania). The population structure for these two aggregations was similar to most other documented whale shark aggregations around the world. Information on small (sharks, mature individuals, and females in this region is lacking, but necessary to inform conservation initiatives for this globally threatened species. PMID:25870776

  9. Specific features of vowel-like signals of white whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bel'Kovich, V. M.; Kreichi, S. A.

    2004-05-01

    The set of acoustic signals of White-Sea white whales comprises about 70 types of signals. Six of them occur most often and constitute 75% of the total number of signals produced by these animals. According to behavioral reactions, white whales distinguish each other by acoustic signals, which is also typical of other animal species and humans. To investigate this phenomenon, signals perceived as vowel-like sounds of speech, including sounds perceived as a “bleat,” were chosen A sample of 480 signals recorded in June and July, 2000, in the White Sea within a reproductive assemblage of white whales near the Large Solovetskii Island was studied. Signals were recorded on a digital data carrier (a SONY minidisk) in the frequency range of 0.06 20 kHz. The purpose of the study was to reveal the perceptive and acoustic features specific to individual animals. The study was carried out using the methods of structural analysis of vocal speech that are employed in lingual criminalistics to identify a speaking person. It was demonstrated that this approach allows one to group the signals by coincident perceptive and acoustic parameters with assigning individual attributes to single parameters. This provided an opportunity to separate conditionally about 40 different sources of acoustic signals according to the totality of coincidences, which corresponded to the number of white whales observed visually. Thus, the application of this method proves to be very promising for the acoustic identification of white whales and other marine mammals, this possibility being very important for biology.

  10. Responses of male sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) to killer whale sounds: Implications for anti-predator strategies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Curé, C.; Antunes, R.; Alves, A.C.; Visser, F.; Kvadsheim, P.H.; Miller, P.J.O.

    2013-01-01

    Interactions between individuals of different cetacean species are often observed in the wild. Killer whales (Orcinus orca) can be potential predators of many other cetaceans, and the interception of their vocalizations by unintended cetacean receivers may trigger anti-predator behavior that could

  11. Sperm whales reduce foraging effort during exposure to 1-2 kHz sonar and killer whale sounds.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Isojunno,S.; Curé, C.; Helgevold Kvadsheim, P.; Lam, F.P.A.; Tyack, P.L.; Wensveen, P.J.; Miller, P.J.O

    2016-01-01

    Abstract . The time and energetic costs of behavioral responses to incidental and experimental sonar exposures, as well as control stimuli, were quantifi ed using hidden state analysis of time series of acoustic and movement data recorded by tags ( DTAG ) attached to 12 sperm whales ( Physeter

  12. Getting to know you: Identification of pygmy killer whales (Feresa attenuata and melon-headed whales (Peponocephala electra under challenging conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvatore Siciliano

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Melon-headed whale (Peponocephala electra and Pygmy killer whale (Feresa attenuata are very poorly known species and are often confused with each other. We examined in detail Figure 3 in MARIGO and GIFFONI (2010 who reported that two melon-headed whales were taken in a surface driftnet about 90 nm off Santos, Brazil. We concluded they were in fact pygmy killer whales and explain our reasoning. To aid in future identifications, we illustrate and describe some of the main differences between these two species of small cetaceans. The incident reported by MARIGO and GIFFONI (2010 might represent the 'tip of the iceberg' regarding the incidental catches of cetaceans by pelagic drift nets off Brazil. Offshore driftnetting operating along the south-southeastern coast of Brazil may threaten pygmy killer whales.

  13. Whales originated from aquatic artiodactyls in the Eocene epoch of India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thewissen, J G M; Cooper, Lisa Noelle; Clementz, Mark T; Bajpai, Sunil; Tiwari, B N

    2007-12-20

    Although the first ten million years of whale evolution are documented by a remarkable series of fossil skeletons, the link to the ancestor of cetaceans has been missing. It was known that whales are related to even-toed ungulates (artiodactyls), but until now no artiodactyls were morphologically close to early whales. Here we show that the Eocene south Asian raoellid artiodactyls are the sister group to whales. The raoellid Indohyus is similar to whales, and unlike other artiodactyls, in the structure of its ears and premolars, in the density of its limb bones and in the stable-oxygen-isotope composition of its teeth. We also show that a major dietary change occurred during the transition from artiodactyls to whales and that raoellids were aquatic waders. This indicates that aquatic life in this lineage occurred before the origin of the order Cetacea.

  14. Model-based passive acoustic tracking of sperm whale foraging behavior in the Gulf of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiemann, Christopher; Thode, Aaron; Straley, Jan; Folkert, Kendall; O'Connell, Victoria

    2005-09-01

    In 2004, the Southeast Alaska Sperm Whale Avoidance Project (SEASWAP) introduced the use of passive acoustics to help monitor the behavior of sperm whales depredating longline fishing operations. Acoustic data from autonomous recorders mounted on longlines provide the opportunity to demonstrate a tracking algorithm based on acoustic propagation modeling while providing insight into whales' foraging behavior. With knowledge of azimuthally dependent bathymetry, a 3D track of whale motion can be obtained using data from just one hydrophone by exploiting multipath arrival information from recorded sperm whale clicks. The evolution of multipath arrival patterns is matched to range-, depth-, and azimuth-dependent modeled arrival patterns to generate an estimate of whale motion. This technique does not require acoustic ray identification (i.e., direct path, surface reflected, etc.) while still utilizing individual ray arrival information, and it can also account for all waveguide propagation physics such as interaction with range-dependent bathymetry and ray refraction.

  15. Belukha whale (delphinapterus leucas) responses to industrial noise in Nushagak Bay, Alaska: 1983

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stewart, B.S.; Awbrey, F.T.; Evans, W.E.

    1983-01-01

    Between 15 June and 14 July 1983 the authors conducted playback experiments with belukha whales in the Snake River, Alaska, using sounds recorded near an operating oil-drilling rig. The objectives of these experiments were to quantify behavioral responses of belukha whales to oil drilling noise in an area where foreign acoustic stimuli were absent, and to test the hypothesis that beluhka whales would not approach a source of loud sound.

  16. Fin whale vocalizations observed with ocean bottom seismometers of cabled observatories off east Japan Pacific Ocean

    OpenAIRE

    岩瀬, 良一; IWASE, Ryoichi

    2015-01-01

    Fin whale vocalizations were found in the archived waveform data from both hydrophones and ocean bottom seismometers (OBSs) of a cabled observatory off Kushiro-Tokachi in Hokkaido. A fin whale was localized on the basis of the incident orientation estimated with a single OBS and the time difference of multipath arrival of sound pressure data from a hydrophone. Furthermore, several fin whale vocalizations were found in the archived OBS waveform data from other cabled observatories off east Jap...

  17. Modelling the effects of environmental conditions on the acoustic occurrence and behaviour of Antarctic blue whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shabangu, Fannie W; Yemane, Dawit; Stafford, Kathleen M; Ensor, Paul; Findlay, Ken P

    2017-01-01

    Harvested to perilously low numbers by commercial whaling during the past century, the large scale response of Antarctic blue whales Balaenoptera musculus intermedia to environmental variability is poorly understood. This study uses acoustic data collected from 586 sonobuoys deployed in the austral summers of 1997 through 2009, south of 38°S, coupled with visual observations of blue whales during the IWC SOWER line-transect surveys. The characteristic Z-call and D-call of Antarctic blue whales were detected using an automated detection template and visual verification method. Using a random forest model, we showed the environmental preferences pattern, spatial occurrence and acoustic behaviour of Antarctic blue whales. Distance to the southern boundary of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (SBACC), latitude and distance from the nearest Antarctic shores were the main geographic predictors of blue whale call occurrence. Satellite-derived sea surface height, sea surface temperature, and productivity (chlorophyll-a) were the most important environmental predictors of blue whale call occurrence. Call rates of D-calls were strongly predicted by the location of the SBACC, latitude and visually detected number of whales in an area while call rates of Z-call were predicted by the SBACC, latitude and longitude. Satellite-derived sea surface height, wind stress, wind direction, water depth, sea surface temperatures, chlorophyll-a and wind speed were important environmental predictors of blue whale call rates in the Southern Ocean. Blue whale call occurrence and call rates varied significantly in response to inter-annual and long term variability of those environmental predictors. Our results identify the response of Antarctic blue whales to inter-annual variability in environmental conditions and highlighted potential suitable habitats for this population. Such emerging knowledge about the acoustic behaviour, environmental and habitat preferences of Antarctic blue whales is

  18. Modelling the effects of environmental conditions on the acoustic occurrence and behaviour of Antarctic blue whales.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fannie W Shabangu

    Full Text Available Harvested to perilously low numbers by commercial whaling during the past century, the large scale response of Antarctic blue whales Balaenoptera musculus intermedia to environmental variability is poorly understood. This study uses acoustic data collected from 586 sonobuoys deployed in the austral summers of 1997 through 2009, south of 38°S, coupled with visual observations of blue whales during the IWC SOWER line-transect surveys. The characteristic Z-call and D-call of Antarctic blue whales were detected using an automated detection template and visual verification method. Using a random forest model, we showed the environmental preferences pattern, spatial occurrence and acoustic behaviour of Antarctic blue whales. Distance to the southern boundary of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (SBACC, latitude and distance from the nearest Antarctic shores were the main geographic predictors of blue whale call occurrence. Satellite-derived sea surface height, sea surface temperature, and productivity (chlorophyll-a were the most important environmental predictors of blue whale call occurrence. Call rates of D-calls were strongly predicted by the location of the SBACC, latitude and visually detected number of whales in an area while call rates of Z-call were predicted by the SBACC, latitude and longitude. Satellite-derived sea surface height, wind stress, wind direction, water depth, sea surface temperatures, chlorophyll-a and wind speed were important environmental predictors of blue whale call rates in the Southern Ocean. Blue whale call occurrence and call rates varied significantly in response to inter-annual and long term variability of those environmental predictors. Our results identify the response of Antarctic blue whales to inter-annual variability in environmental conditions and highlighted potential suitable habitats for this population. Such emerging knowledge about the acoustic behaviour, environmental and habitat preferences of

  19. Baleen whale spatial patterns in the Scotia Sea during January and February 2003

    OpenAIRE

    Sirovic, Ana; Hildebrand, John A.; Thiele, Deborah

    2006-01-01

    Different species of baleen whales display distinct spatial distribution patterns in the Scotia Sea during the austral summer. Passive acoustic and visual surveys for baleen whales were conducted aboard the RRS James Clark Ross in the Scotia Sea and around South Georgia in January and February 2003. Identified calls from four species were recorded during the acoustic survey including southern right (Eubalaena australis), blue (Balaenoptera musculus), fin (B. physalus) and humpback whales (Meg...

  20. Wintering habitat model for the North Atlantic Right Whale (Eubalaena glacialis) in the southeastern United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gowan, Timothy A; Ortega-Ortiz, Joel G

    2014-01-01

    The coastal waters off the southeastern United States (SEUS) are a primary wintering ground for the endangered North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis), used by calving females along with other adult and juvenile whales. Management actions implemented in this area for the recovery of the right whale population rely on accurate habitat characterization and the ability to predict whale distribution over time. We developed a temporally dynamic habitat model to predict wintering right whale distribution in the SEUS using a generalized additive model framework and aerial survey data from 2003/2004 through 2012/2013. We built upon previous habitat models for right whales in the SEUS and include data from new aerial surveys that extend the spatial coverage of the analysis, particularly in the northern portion of this wintering ground. We summarized whale sightings, survey effort corrected for probability of whale detection, and environmental data at a semimonthly resolution. Consistent with previous studies, sea surface temperature (SST), water depth, and survey year were significant predictors of right whale relative abundance. Additionally, distance to shore, distance to the 22°C SST isotherm, and an interaction between time of year and latitude (to account for the latitudinal migration of whales) were also selected in the analysis presented here. Predictions from the model revealed that the location of preferred habitat differs within and between years in correspondence with variation in environmental conditions. Although cow-calf pairs were rarely sighted in the company of other whales, there was minimal evidence that the preferred habitat of cow-calf pairs was different than that of whale groups without calves at the scale of this study. The results of this updated habitat model can be used to inform management decisions for a migratory species in a dynamic oceanic environment.

  1. Behavioral Context of Blue and Fin Whale Calling for Density Estimation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Behavioral Context of Blue and Fin Whale Calling for...in which we will determine the context-appropriate call production rates for blue and fin whales in the Southern California Bight, with the end...goal of facilitating density estimation from passive acoustic data. OBJECTIVES Before a reliable estimate of blue and fin whale call production

  2. Acoustic Behavior of North Atlantic Right Whale (Eubalaena glacialis) Mother-Calf Pairs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Acoustic Behavior of North Atlantic Right Whale ...LONG-TERM GOALS The long-term goal of this project is to quantify the behavior of mother-calf pairs from the North Atlantic right whale ...The primary objectives of this project are to: 1) determine the visual detectability of right whale mother-calf pairs from surface observations

  3. Baleen Whale Responses to a High-Frequency Active Pinger: Implications for Upper Frequency Hearing Limits

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-09-01

    P. E. Nachtigall, M. Breese, and A. Y. Supin. 2005. “ Behavioral and Auditory Evoked Potential Audiograms of a False Killer Whale (Pseudorca... behavior continued as normal. None of the blue whales demonstrated any behavioral response, and continued their normal surface behavior , dive...this time and the change in behavior was similar to what had been observed prior. Therefore, it is inconclusive whether the humpback whale

  4. Sustained disruption of narwhal habitat use and behavior in the presence of Arctic killer whales

    OpenAIRE

    Breed, Greg A.; Matthews, Cory J. D.; Marcoux, Marianne; Higdon, Jeff W.; LeBlanc, Bernard; Petersen, Stephen D.; Orr, Jack; Reinhart, Natalie R.; Ferguson, Steven H.

    2017-01-01

    Predators are widely understood to impact the structure and stability of ecosystems. In the Arctic, summer sea ice is rapidly declining, degrading habitat for Arctic species, such as polar bears and ringed seals, but also providing more access to important predators, such as killer whales. Using data from concurrently tracked predator (killer whales) and prey (narwhal), we show that the presence of killer whales significantly changes the behavior and distribution of narwhal. Because killer wh...

  5. Population Consequences of Acoustic Disturbance of Blainville’s Beaked Whales at AUTEC

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

    N000141210213 http://www.bahamaswhales.org LONG-TERM GOALS Atypical strandings and behavioral responses of beaked whales have been associated...diving behavior of beaked whales and other odontocete cetacean species on the US Navy’s AUTEC range before, during and after sonar exercises in which...potential for recovery of west coast transient killer whales using coastal waters of British Columbia. Research document 2007/088 prepared for the

  6. Identifying key habitat and seasonal patterns of a critically endangered population of killer whales

    OpenAIRE

    Esteban, Ruth; Verborgh, Philippe; Gauffier, Pauline; Giménez, Joan; Afán, Isabel; García, Pedro; Murcia, José Luis; Magalhães, Sara; Andreu, Ezequiel; de Stephanis, Renaud

    2014-01-01

    Killer whales have been described in the Gulf of Cadiz, southern Spain, in spring and in the Strait of Gibraltar in summer. A total of 11,276 cetaceans sightings coming from different sources (dedicated research surveys, whale watching companies and opportunistic observations) were used to create two presence–‘pseudo-absence’ predictive generalized additive models (GAM), where presence data were defined as sightings of killer whales and ‘pseudo-absence’ data as sightings of other cetacean spe...

  7. Sloughed skin: a method for the systematic colletion of tissue samples from Baja California blue whales

    OpenAIRE

    Gendron, Diane; Mesnick, S.L.

    2001-01-01

    The frequency of occurrence of naturally sloughed skin was investigated to verify the feasibility of this method to study blue whale genetics off Baja California. Sloughed skin was recorded in 97% of 337 surfacing intervals with blue whales, Balaenoptera musculus, along the Baja California peninsula, Mexico. No significant difference (P>0.05) was found in size of pieces of skin sloughed from whales in different habitats, sea surface temperatures or whether they were alone or in pairs. Samp...

  8. Migratory behavior of eastern North Pacific gray whales tracked using a hydrophone array

    OpenAIRE

    Guazzo, Regina A.; Helble, Tyler A.; D’Spain, Gerald L.; Weller, David W.; Wiggins, Sean M.; Hildebrand, John A.

    2017-01-01

    Eastern North Pacific gray whales make one of the longest annual migrations of any mammal, traveling from their summer feeding areas in the Bering and Chukchi Seas to their wintering areas in the lagoons of Baja California, Mexico. Although a significant body of knowledge on gray whale biology and behavior exists, little is known about their vocal behavior while migrating. In this study, we used a sparse hydrophone array deployed offshore of central California to investigate how gray whales b...

  9. Inter-basin movements of Mediterranean sperm whales provide insight into their population structure and conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frantzis, A.; Airoldi, S.; Notarbartolo-di-Sciara, G.; Johnson, C.; Mazzariol, S.

    2011-04-01

    The sperm whale is one of the very few deep diving mammal species in the Mediterranean Sea. Following a rare mass stranding of male sperm whales in the Adriatic Sea in December 2009, photo-identification methods were used in order to investigate previous sightings of the stranded whales in the region. Fluke photos of the stranded whales were compared with those of 153 and 128 free-ranging individuals photographed in the western and eastern Mediterranean basins, respectively. Three out of the seven stranded whales had been previously photo-identified and some of them more than once. To reach the stranding place, two of these re-identified whales performed long-range inter-basin movements of about 1600-2100 km (in a straight line) either through the Strait of Sicily or the Strait of Messina. In addition, comparisons among all whales photographed in the two Mediterranean basins revealed that one more individual first photographed in the western basin (1991) was re-identified 13 years later in the eastern basin (2004). These three cases provide the first conclusive evidence of inter-basin movement of sperm whales in the Mediterranean Sea. Inter-basin gene flow is important for the survival of the small and endangered Mediterranean sperm whale population. Mitigating the disturbance created by human activities in the straits area is crucial for its conservation.

  10. Three-dimensional localization of sperm whales using a single hydrophone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiemann, Christopher O; Thode, Aaron M; Straley, Janice; O'Connell, Victoria; Folkert, Kendall

    2006-10-01

    A three-dimensional localization method for tracking sperm whales with as few as one sensor is demonstrated. Based on ray-trace acoustic propagation modeling, the technique exploits multipath arrival information from recorded sperm whale clicks and can account for waveguide propagation physics like interaction with range-dependent bathymetry and ray refraction. It also does not require ray identification (i.e., direct, surface reflected) while utilizing individual ray arrival information, simplifying automation efforts. The algorithm compares the arrival pattern from a sperm whale click to range-, depth-, and azimuth-dependent modeled arrival patterns in order to estimate whale location. With sufficient knowledge of azimuthally dependent bathymetry, a three-dimensional track of whale motion can be obtained using data from a single hydrophone. Tracking is demonstrated using data from acoustic recorders attached to fishing anchor lines off southeast Alaska as part of efforts to study sperm whale depredation of fishing operations. Several tracks of whale activity using real data from one or two hydrophones have been created, and three are provided to demonstrate the method, including one simultaneous visual and acoustic localization of a sperm whale actively clicking while surfaced. The tracks also suggest that whales' foraging is shallower in the presence of a longline haul than without.

  11. Singing behavior of fin whales in the Davis Strait with implications for mating, migration and foraging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Malene; Stafford, Kathleen M; Beedholm, Kristian; Lee, Craig M; Madsen, Peter T

    2010-11-01

    Most baleen whales undertake migrations between low-latitude breeding grounds and high-latitude feeding grounds. Though little is known about the timing of their migration from the Arctic, fin whales are assumed to undertake a similar migratory pattern. To address questions about habitat use and migrations, the acoustic activity of fin whales in Davis Strait, between Greenland and Canada, was monitored continuously for two years using three bottom-moored acoustic recorders. The acoustic power in the fin whale call frequencies peaked in November-December, showing that fin whales are present in Davis Strait much later in the year than previously expected. The closely timed peaks in song activity and conception time imply that not all fin whales migrate south to mate, but rather start mating at high latitudes rather than or before migrating. Singing activity was strongly linked to daylight hours, suggesting that fin whales might feed during the few daylight hours of the late fall and early Arctic winter. A negative correlation between the advancing sea ice front and power in fin whale frequencies indicates that future changes in sea ice conditions from global warming might change the distribution and migratory patterns of fin whales near the poles.

  12. Fin whale vocalizations observed with ocean bottom seismometers of cabled observatories off east Japan Pacific Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwase, Ryoichi

    2015-07-01

    Fin whale vocalizations were found in the archived waveform data from both hydrophones and ocean bottom seismometers (OBSs) of a cabled observatory off Kushiro-Tokachi in Hokkaido. A fin whale was localized on the basis of the incident orientation estimated with a single OBS and the time difference of multipath arrival of sound pressure data from a hydrophone. Furthermore, several fin whale vocalizations were found in the archived OBS waveform data from other cabled observatories off east Japan Pacific Ocean. These findings suggest that the cabled OBSs would be significant apparatuses for real-time monitoring of the presence of baleen whales around Japan.

  13. Testing the effectiveness of an acoustic deterrent for gray whales along the Oregon coast

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lagerquist, Barbara [Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute; Winsor, Martha [Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute; Mate, Bruce [Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute

    2012-12-31

    This study was conducted to determine whether a low-powered sound source could be effective at deterring gray whales from areas that may prove harmful to them. With increased interest in the development of marine renewal energy along the Oregon coast the concern that such development may pose a collision or entanglement risk for gray whales. A successful acoustic deterrent could act as a mitigation tool to prevent harm to whales from such risks. In this study, an acoustic device was moored on the seafloor in the pathway of migrating gray whales off Yaquina Head on the central Oregon coast. Shore-based observers tracked whales with a theodolite (surveyor’s tool) to accurately locate whales as they passed the headland. Individual locations of different whales/whale groups as well as tracklines of the same whale/whale groups were obtained and compared between times with the acoustic device was transmitting and when it was off. Observations were conducted on 51 d between January 1 and April 15, 2012. A total of 143 individual whale locations were collected for a total of 243 whales, as well as 57 tracklines for a total of 142 whales. Inclement weather and equipment problems resulted in very small sample sizes, especially during experimental periods, when the device was transmitting. Because of this, the results of this study were inconclusive. We feel that another season of field testing is warranted to successfully test the effectiveness of the deterrent, but recommend increasing the zone of influence to 3 km to ensure the collection of adequate sample sizes. Steps have been taken to acquire the necessary federal research permit modification to authorize the increased zone of influence and to modify the acoustic device for the increased power. With these changes we are confident we will be able to determine whether the deterrent is effective at deflecting gray whales. A successful deterrent device may serve as a valuable mitigation tool to protect gray whales, and

  14. Using passive acoustics to model blue whale habitat off the Western Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Širović, Ana; Hildebrand, John A.

    2011-07-01

    Habitat preferences of calling blue whales were investigated using data from two multidisciplinary oceanographic cruises conducted off the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) during the austral falls of 2001 and 2002. Data were collected on depth, temperature, salinity, chlorophyll a (Chl- a) concentration, krill biomass, zooplankton abundance, and blue whale call presence. In 2001, the study area was sea ice free, high Chl- a concentrations occurred over a small area, krill biomass and zooplankton abundance were high, and few blue whale calls were detected. In 2002 the sea ice covered the southern part of the survey area, Chl- a was high over a large area, krill and zooplankton were low, and there were more blue whale calls. Logistic regression analysis revealed blue whale calls were positively correlated with depth and SST, and negatively correlated with the mean zooplankton abundance from 101 to 300 m and the mean krill biomass in the top 100 m. The negative correlation between blue whale calls and zooplankton could occur if feeding animals do not produce calls. Our survey area did not cover the full range of blue whale habitat off the WAP, as blue whales probably follow the melting and freezing ice edge through this region. Passive acoustics can provide insight to mesoscale habitat use by blue whales in the Southern Ocean where visual sightings are rare, but the ability to localize on the calling animals would greatly improve the ability to model at a finer scale.

  15. Habitat of calling blue and fin whales in the Southern California Bight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sirovic, A.; Chou, E.; Roch, M. A.

    2016-02-01

    Northeast Pacific blue whale B calls and fin whale 20 Hz calls were detected from passive acoustic data collected over seven years at 16 sites in the Southern California Bight (SCB). Calling blue whales were most common in the coastal areas, during the summer and fall months. Fin whales began calling in fall and continued through winter, in the southcentral SCB. These data were used to develop habitat models of calling blue and fin whales in areas of high and low abundance in the SCB, using remotely sensed variables such as sea surface temperature, sea surface height, chlorophyll a, and primary productivity as model covariates. A random forest framework was used for variable selection and generalized additive models were developed to explain functional relationships, evaluate relative contribution of each significant variable, and investigate predictive abilities of models of calling whales. Seasonal component was an important feature of all models. Additionally, areas of high calling blue and fin whale abundance both had a positive relationship with the sea surface temperature. In areas of lower abundance, chlorophyll a concentration and primary productivity were important variables for blue whale models and sea surface height and primary productivity were significant covariates in fin whale models. Predictive models were generally better for predicting general trends than absolute values, but there was a large degree of variation in year-to-year predictability across different sites.

  16. The safety of bycatch: South Korean responses to the moratorium on commercial whaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bradley Tatar

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available When the global moratorium on commercial whaling was implemented in 1986, Korea prohibited whaling; however, there was no effort to build the capacity of social institutions to guide local residents to cooperate with the policy. Utilizing a social ecology approach, this research examines the practice of eating whale meat in Ulsan, South Korea, to illustrate the importance of culture for attaining the social acceptance of wildlife conservation policy. The cultural models which influence the consumption of whale meat are here classified as representing four distinct responses to the moratorium: opposition, resistance, evasion and support. The two most important changes are the public utilization of whale meat as a symbol of an endangered culture, and the reliance on meat procured legally from accidental entanglements of whales in fishing nets (cetacean bycatch. These cultural changes have a social function, which is to impart legitimacy and acceptance to the continued consumption of whale meat, from illegal as well as legal sources. Given the cultural acceptance of whale meat, I argue that it will not be possible to eradicate the illegal market through enforcement alone. Instead, the solution is to persuade local consumers of whale meat to cooperate with the moratorium.

  17. Minimally destructive DNA extraction from archaeological artefacts made from whale baleen

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sinding, Mikkel Holger Strander; Gilbert, Tom; Grønnow, Bjarne

    2012-01-01

    Here we demonstrate the successful extraction and amplification of target species DNA from artefacts made of whale baleen collected from excavations of past palaeo-Eskimo and Inuit cultures in Greenland. DNA was successfully extracted and amplified from a single baleen bristle of 1.5 cm length...... genetic studies. We conclude that genetic investigation of historical baleen collections can contribute to our knowledge of the prehistoric population genetics of baleen whales, for example by quantifying the impact of modern whaling on the genetic diversity of bowhead whales....

  18. Concentrations of organotin compounds in the stranded killer whales from Rausu, Hokkaido, Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harino, Hiroya; Ohji, Madoka; Brownell, Robert L; Arai, Takaomi; Miyazaki, Nobuyuki

    2008-07-01

    We measured the concentrations of butyltin (BT) and phenyltin (PT) compounds in blubber, liver, lung, and muscle of seven stranded killer whales (Orcinus orca) collected from Rausu, Hokkaido, Japan. BTs in blubber (n = 6), liver (n = 4), lung (n = 1), and muscle (n = 4) of adult whale were in the range of 37-90, 385-676, 15, and 26-53 microg kg(-1) wet weight, respectively. Concentrations of PTs in blubber, liver, lung, and muscle were whale calf were lower than those in adult whales. MBT and DBT in the liver of the calf were the same (42%). MBT in blubber was the dominant compound among BTs.

  19. Speaking up: Killer whales (Orcinus orca) increase their call amplitude in response to vessel noise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, Marla M; Noren, Dawn P; Veirs, Val; Emmons, Candice K; Veirs, Scott

    2009-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of anthropogenic sound exposure on the vocal behavior of free-ranging killer whales. Endangered Southern Resident killer whales inhabit areas including the urban coastal waters of Puget Sound near Seattle, WA, where anthropogenic sounds are ubiquitous, particularly those from motorized vessels. A calibrated recording system was used to measure killer whale call source levels and background noise levels (1-40 kHz). Results show that whales increased their call amplitude by 1 dB for every 1 dB increase in background noise levels. Furthermore, nearby vessel counts were positively correlated with these observed background noise levels.

  20. Low-frequency signals produced by Northeast Atlantic killer whales (Orcinus orca)

    OpenAIRE

    Samarra, Filipa I.P.; Deecke, Volker B.; Miller, Patrick J.O.

    2016-01-01

    Killer whale acoustic behavior has been extensively investigated, however most studies have focused on pulsed calls and whistles. This study reports the production of low-frequency signals by killer whales at frequencies below 300 Hz. Recordings of killer whales were made in Iceland and Norway when whales were observed feeding on herring, and no other cetacean species were nearby. Low-frequency sounds were identified in Iceland and ranged in duration between 0.14 and 2.77 seconds and in frequ...

  1. Assessment of Re-sighting Rates of Previously Dart-Tagged False Killer Whales and Short-Finned Pilot Whales in Hawai’i: A Preliminary Report Taking into Account Re-sighting of Social Groups

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-14

    PSRG-2011-18   1  Assessment of re-sighting rates of previously dart-tagged false killer whales and short- finned pilot whales in Hawai‘i: a...98501 2Wild Whale Research Foundation, Box 139, Holualoa, HI 96725 3NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center, 101 Pivers Island Road, Beaufort, NC...Research, we are conducting follow-up studies on tagged whales to assess the effects of tagging on survival and reproduction. These studies are

  2. SRKW acoustic response - Investigating noise effects on the acoustic signals and behavior of Southern Resident killer whales (Orcinus orca)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — In this study, vocal compensation is being investigated in Southern Resident killer whale (SRKW) calls to determine the degree to which whales can adjust to...

  3. Using opportunistic photo-identifications to detect a population decline of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in British and Irish waters

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Suzanne Beck; Andrew D Foote; Sandra Kötter; Olivia Harries; Laura Mandleberg; Peter T Stevick; Pádraig Whooley; John W Durban

    2014-01-01

      An assemblage of killer whales that has been sighted in waters off the west coast of the British Isles and Ireland has previously been shown to be isolated from other North Atlantic killer whale...

  4. Investigating the Relationship between Fin Whales, Zooplankton Concentrations and Hydrothermal Venting on the Juan de Fuca Ridge

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Investigating the Relationship between Fin Whales ...Developing an automatic algorithm to track fin whales using data from a small-scale seafloor seismic network. 2. Tracking vocalizing fin whales above...acoustical data show that the zooplankton concentrations are higher at all depths. 3. Estimating the density of calling fin whales above ocean bottom

  5. Migratory Movements of Pygmy Blue Whales (Balaenoptera musculus brevicauda) between Australia and Indonesia as Revealed by Satellite Telemetry

    OpenAIRE

    Double, Michael C.; Virginia Andrews-Goff; Jenner, K. Curt S.; Micheline-Nicole Jenner; Sarah M Laverick; Branch, Trevor A.; Nicholas J. Gales

    2014-01-01

    In Australian waters during the austral summer, pygmy blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus brevicauda) occur predictably in two distinct feeding areas off western and southern Australia. As with other blue whale subspecies, outside the austral summer their distribution and movements are poorly understood. In order to describe the migratory movements of these whales, we present the satellite telemetry derived movements of eleven individuals tagged off western Australia over two years. Whales wer...

  6. Population growth is limited by nutritional impacts on pregnancy success in endangered Southern Resident killer whales (Orcinus orca)

    OpenAIRE

    Wasser, Samuel K.; Lundin, Jessica I.; Ayres, Katherine; Seely, Elizabeth; Giles, Deborah; Balcomb, Kenneth; Hempelmann, Jennifer; Parsons, Kim; Booth, Rebecca

    2017-01-01

    The Southern Resident killer whale population (Orcinus orca) was listed as endangered in 2005 and shows little sign of recovery. These fish eating whales feed primarily on endangered Chinook salmon. Population growth is constrained by low offspring production for the number of reproductive females in the population. Lack of prey, increased toxins and vessel disturbance have been listed as potential causes of the whale?s decline, but partitioning these pressures has been difficult. We validate...

  7. Behavioral Responses of Naive Cuvier’s Beaked Whales in the Ligurian Sea to Playback of Anthropogenic and Natural Sounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Behavioral Responses of Naïve Cuvier’s Beaked Whales in...cavirostris) to MFA sonar signals. Secondary goals included conducting a killer whale playback that has not been preceded by a sonar playback (as in Tyack...detailed reconstruction of whale behavior before, during, and after sonar transmissions. The tag is attached to the whale with suction cups using a

  8. Trackline and Point Detection Probabilities for Acoustic Surveys of Cuvier’s and Blainville’s Beaked Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-01

    For acoustic sur- veys of beaked whales , this value cannot be assumed to be 1.0 (certain detection) because beaked whales are silent for long periods...Pitman, R. L., and Balance, L. T. (2008). “Satellite tracking reveals distinct movement patterns for Type B and Type C killer whales in the...Trackline and point detection probabilities for acoustic surveys of Cuvier’s and Blainville’s beaked whales Jay Barlowa) Protected Resources Division

  9. Sperm whales reduce foraging effort during exposure to 1-2 kHz sonar and killer whale sounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isojunno, Saana; Cure, Charlotte; Kvadsheim, Petter Helgevold; Lam, Frans-Peter Alexander; Tyack, Peter Lloyd; Wensveen, Paul Jacobus; Miller, Patrick James O'Malley

    2016-01-01

    The time and energetic costs of behavioral responses to incidental and experimental sonar exposures, as well as control stimuli, were quantified using hidden state analysis of time series of acoustic and movement data recorded by tags (DTAG) attached to 12 sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) using suction cups. Behavioral state transition modeling showed that tagged whales switched to a non-foraging, non-resting state during both experimental transmissions of low-frequency active sonar from an approaching vessel (LFAS; 1-2 kHz, source level 214 dB re 1 µPa m, four tag records) and playbacks of potential predator (killer whale, Orcinus orca) sounds broadcast at naturally occurring sound levels as a positive control from a drifting boat (five tag records). Time spent in foraging states and the probability of prey capture attempts were reduced during these two types of exposures with little change in overall locomotion activity, suggesting an effect on energy intake with no immediate compensation. Whales switched to the active non-foraging state over received sound pressure levels of 131-165 dB re 1 µPa during LFAS exposure. In contrast, no changes in foraging behavior were detected in response to experimental negative controls (no-sonar ship approach or noise control playback) or to experimental medium-frequency active sonar exposures (MFAS; 6-7 kHz, source level 199 re 1 µPa m, received sound pressure level [SPL] = 73-158 dB re 1 µPa). Similarly, there was no reduction in foraging effort for three whales exposed to incidental, unidentified 4.7-5.1 kHz sonar signals received at lower levels (SPL = 89-133 dB re 1 µPa). These results demonstrate that similar to predation risk, exposure to sonar can affect functional behaviors, and indicate that increased perception of risk with higher source level or lower frequency may modulate how sperm whales respond to anthropogenic sound.

  10. Conservation markets for wildlife management with case studies from whaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerber, Leah R; Costello, Christopher; Gaines, Steven D

    2014-01-01

    Although market-based incentives have helped resolve many environmental challenges, conservation markets still play a relatively minor role in wildlife management. Establishing property rights for environmental goods and allowing trade between resource extractors and resource conservationists may offer a path forward in conserving charismatic species like whales, wolves, turtles, and sharks. In this paper, we provide a conceptual model for implementing a conservation market for wildlife and evaluate how such a market could be applied to three case studies for whales (minke [Balaenoptera acutorostrata], bowhead [Balaena mysticetus], and gray [Eschrictius robustus]). We show that, if designed and operated properly, such a market could ensure persistence of imperiled populations, while simultaneously improving the welfare of resource harvesters.

  11. Ultrasonic hearing and echolocation in the earliest toothed whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Travis; Fitzgerald, Erich M G; Evans, Alistair R

    2016-04-01

    The evolution of biosonar (production of high-frequency sound and reception of its echo) was a key innovation of toothed whales and dolphins (Odontoceti) that facilitated phylogenetic diversification and rise to ecological predominance. Yet exactly when high-frequency hearing first evolved in odontocete history remains a fundamental question in cetacean biology. Here, we show that archaic odontocetes had a cochlea specialized for sensing high-frequency sound, as exemplified by an Oligocene xenorophid, one of the earliest diverging stem groups. This specialization is not as extreme as that seen in the crown clade. Paired with anatomical correlates for high-frequency signal production in Xenorophidae, this is strong evidence that the most archaic toothed whales possessed a functional biosonar system, and that this signature adaptation of odontocetes was acquired at or soon after their origin. © 2016 The Author(s).

  12. Critical Decline of the Eastern Caribbean Sperm Whale Population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gero, Shane; Whitehead, Hal

    2016-01-01

    Sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) populations were expected to rebuild following the end of commercial whaling. We document the decline of the population in the eastern Caribbean by tracing demographic changes of well-studied social units. We address hypotheses that, over a ten-year period of dedicated effort (2005-2015), unit size, numbers of calves and/or calving rates have each declined. Across 16 units, the number of adults decreased in 12 units, increased in two, and showed no change in two. The number of adults per unit decreased at -0.195 individuals/yr (95% CI: -0.080 to -0.310; P = 0.001). The number of calves also declined, but the decline was not significant. This negative trend of -4.5% per year in unit size started in about 2010, with numbers being fairly stable until then. There are several natural and anthropogenic threats, but no well-substantiated cause for the decline.

  13. Frequency synchronization of blue whale calls near Pioneer Seamount.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, Michael D; Garfield, Newell; Bland, Roger W

    2010-07-01

    Vocalizations of blue whales were recorded with a cabled hydrophone array at Pioneer Seamount, 50 miles off the California coast. Most calls occurred in repeated sequences of two-call pairs (A, then B). The B call is a frequency-modulated tone highly repeatable in form and pitch. A model of this sound is described which permits detecting very small frequency shifts. B calls are found to be aligned in frequency to about one part in 180. This requires very fine pitch discrimination and control over calling frequency, and suggests that synchronizing to a common frequency pattern carries some adaptive advantage. Some possibilities for acoustic sensing by whales requiring this fine frequency resolution are discussed.

  14. Properties and architecture of the sperm whale skull amphitheatre.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alam, Parvez; Amini, Shahrouz; Tadayon, Maryam; Miserez, Ali; Chinsamy, Anusuya

    2016-02-01

    The sperm whale skull amphitheatre cradles an enormous two-tonne spermaceti organ. The amphitheatre separates this organ from the cranium and the cervical vertebrae that lie in close proximity to the base of the skull. Here, we elucidate that this skull amphitheatre is an elastic, flexible, triple-layered structure with mechanical properties that are conjointly guided by bone histology and the characteristics of pore space. We contend that the amphitheatre will flex elastically to equilibrate forces transmitted via the spermaceti organ that arise through diving. We find that collisions from sperm whale aggression do not cause the amphitheatre to bend, but rather localise stress to the base of the amphitheatre on its anterior face. We consider, therefore, that the uniquely thin and extended construction of the amphitheatre, has relevance as an energy absorptive structure in diving. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  15. Sensory Hairs in the Bowhead Whale, Balaena mysticetus (Cetacea, Mammalia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drake, Summer E; Crish, Samuel D; George, John C; Stimmelmayr, Raphaella; Thewissen, J G M

    2015-07-01

    We studied the histology and morphometrics of the hairs of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus). These whales are hairless except for two patches of more than 300 hairs on the rostral tip of the lower lip and chin, the rostral tip of the upper lip, and a bilateral row of approximately ten hairs caudal to the blowhole. Histological data indicate that hairs in all three of these areas are vibrissae: they show an outermost connective tissue capsule, a circumferential blood sinus system surrounding the hair shaft, and dense innervation to the follicle. Morphometric data were collected on hair diameters, epidermal recess diameters, hair follicle length, and external hair lengths. The main difference between the hairs in the different regions is that blowhole hairs have larger diameters than the hairs in the chin and rostrum regions. We speculate that the hair shaft thickness patterns in bowheads reflect functional specializations. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Operational Performance Analysis of Passive Acoustic Monitoring for Killer Whales

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Matzner, Shari; Fu, Tao; Ren, Huiying; Deng, Zhiqun; Sun, Yannan; Carlson, Thomas J.

    2011-09-30

    For the planned tidal turbine site in Puget Sound, WA, the main concern is to protect Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW) due to their Endangered Species Act status. A passive acoustic monitoring system is proposed because the whales emit vocalizations that can be detected by a passive system. The algorithm for detection is implemented in two stages. The first stage is an energy detector designed to detect candidate signals. The second stage is a spectral classifier that is designed to reduce false alarms. The evaluation presented here of the detection algorithm incorporates behavioral models of the species of interest, environmental models of noise levels and potential false alarm sources to provide a realistic characterization of expected operational performance.

  17. Massive Losses of Taste Receptor Genes in Toothed and Baleen Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Ping; Zheng, Jinsong; Rossiter, Stephen J.; Wang, Ding; Zhao, Huabin

    2014-01-01

    Taste receptor genes are functionally important in animals, with a surprising exception in the bottlenose dolphin, which shows extensive losses of sweet, umami, and bitter taste receptor genes. To examine the generality of taste gene loss, we examined seven toothed whales and five baleen whales and sequenced the complete repertoire of three sweet/umami (T1Rs) and ten bitter (T2Rs) taste receptor genes. We found all amplified T1Rs and T2Rs to be pseudogenes in all 12 whales, with a shared premature stop codon in 10 of the 13 genes, which demonstrated massive losses of taste receptor genes in the common ancestor of whales. Furthermore, we analyzed three genome sequences from two toothed whales and one baleen whale and found that the sour taste marker gene Pkd2l1 is a pseudogene, whereas the candidate salty taste receptor genes are intact and putatively functional. Additionally, we examined three genes that are responsible for taste signal transduction and found the relaxation of functional constraints on taste signaling pathways along the ancestral branch leading to whales. Together, our results strongly suggest extensive losses of sweet, umami, bitter, and sour tastes in whales, and the relaxation of taste function most likely arose in the common ancestor of whales between 36 and 53 Ma. Therefore, whales represent the first animal group to lack four of five primary tastes, probably driven by the marine environment with high concentration of sodium, the feeding behavior of swallowing prey whole, and the dietary switch from plants to meat in the whale ancestor. PMID:24803572

  18. Massive losses of taste receptor genes in toothed and baleen whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Ping; Zheng, Jinsong; Rossiter, Stephen J; Wang, Ding; Zhao, Huabin

    2014-05-06

    Taste receptor genes are functionally important in animals, with a surprising exception in the bottlenose dolphin, which shows extensive losses of sweet, umami, and bitter taste receptor genes. To examine the generality of taste gene loss, we examined seven toothed whales and five baleen whales and sequenced the complete repertoire of three sweet/umami (T1Rs) and ten bitter (T2Rs) taste receptor genes. We found all amplified T1Rs and T2Rs to be pseudogenes in all 12 whales, with a shared premature stop codon in 10 of the 13 genes, which demonstrated massive losses of taste receptor genes in the common ancestor of whales. Furthermore, we analyzed three genome sequences from two toothed whales and one baleen whale and found that the sour taste marker gene Pkd2l1 is a pseudogene, whereas the candidate salty taste receptor genes are intact and putatively functional. Additionally, we examined three genes that are responsible for taste signal transduction and found the relaxation of functional constraints on taste signaling pathways along the ancestral branch leading to whales. Together, our results strongly suggest extensive losses of sweet, umami, bitter, and sour tastes in whales, and the relaxation of taste function most likely arose in the common ancestor of whales between 36 and 53 Ma. Therefore, whales represent the first animal group to lack four of five primary tastes, probably driven by the marine environment with high concentration of sodium, the feeding behavior of swallowing prey whole, and the dietary switch from plants to meat in the whale ancestor. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  19. Acoustically detected year-round presence of right whales in an urbanized migration corridor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morano, Janelle L; Rice, Aaron N; Tielens, Jamey T; Estabrook, Bobbi J; Murray, Anita; Roberts, Bethany L; Clark, Christopher W

    2012-08-01

    Species' conservation relies on understanding their seasonal habitats and migration routes. North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis), listed as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, migrate from the southeastern U.S. coast to Cape Cod Bay, Massachusetts, a federally designated critical habitat, from February through May to feed. The whales then continue north across the Gulf of Maine to northern waters (e.g., Bay of Fundy). To enter Cape Cod Bay, right whales must traverse an area of dense shipping and fishing activity in Massachusetts Bay, where there are no mandatory regulations for the protection of right whales or management of their habitat. We used passive acoustic recordings of right whales collected in Massachusetts Bay from May 2007 through October 2010 to determine the annual spatial and temporal distribution of the whales and their calling activity. We detected right whales in the bay throughout the year, in contrast to results from visual surveys. Right whales were detected on at least 24% of days in each month, with the exception of June 2007, in which there were no detections. Averaged over all years, right whale calls were most abundant from February through May. During this period, calls were most frequent between 17:00 and 20:00 local time; no diel pattern was apparent in other months. The spatial distribution of the approximate locations of calling whales suggests they may use Massachusetts Bay as a conduit to Cape Cod Bay in the spring and as they move between the Gulf of Maine and waters to the south in September through December. Although it is unclear how dependent right whales are on the bay, the discovery of their widespread presence in Massachusetts Bay throughout the year suggests this region may need to be managed to reduce the probability of collisions with ships and entanglement in fishing gear. ©2012 Society for Conservation Biology.

  20. Stranding of Two Sperm Whales (Physeter macrocephalus) in the “North Sea Trap” at Henne Strand, Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Mette Siv; Alstrup, Aage Kristian Olsen; Hansen, Jørgen H.

    2016-01-01

    In February 2014 two male sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) stranded at Henne Strand, Denmark. One whale (MCE 1644) was found dead, while the other (MCE 1645) was still alive, but drowned during the high tide. To increase our knowledge of sperm whales, conduct forage investigations, post-mort...

  1. 33 CFR 165.1310 - Strait of Juan de Fuca and adjacent coastal waters of Northwest Washington; Makah Whale Hunting...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... adjacent coastal waters of Northwest Washington; Makah Whale Hunting-Regulated Navigation Area. 165.1310... and adjacent coastal waters of Northwest Washington; Makah Whale Hunting—Regulated Navigation Area. (a.... Datum: NAD 1983. (b) During a whale hunt, while the international numeral pennant five (5) is flown by a...

  2. 75 FR 70903 - Eastern North Pacific Gray Whale; Notice of Extension of Public Comment Period on Marine Mammal...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-19

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XA018 Eastern North Pacific Gray Whale; Notice of... petition to designate the Eastern North Pacific population of gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) as a... assessment report for Eastern North Pacific gray whales is available on the Internet at the following address...

  3. 75 FR 1582 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Cook Inlet Beluga Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-12

    ... Species; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Cook Inlet Beluga Whale AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries... whale, Delphinapterus leucas, under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). We published a... proposed rule to designate critical habitat for the Cook Inlet beluga whale can be found on our Web site at...

  4. 75 FR 40759 - Initiation of Review of Management Plan/Regulations of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-14

    .../Regulations of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary; Intent To Prepare Draft...) has initiated a review of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary (HIHWNMS or... Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary will be considered if received on or before...

  5. 15 CFR Appendix A to Subpart Q of... - Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale, National Marine Sanctuary Boundary Description and Coordinates...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 15 Commerce and Foreign Trade 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale... Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Pt. 922, Subpt. Q, App. A Appendix A to Subpart Q of Part 922—Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale, National Marine Sanctuary Boundary Description and Coordinates of...

  6. Ocean Connections with the Historic Whaling Ship Charles W. Morgan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitney, M. M.

    2016-02-01

    This scientific outreach project involved the Charles W. Morgan, Mystic Seaport's historic whaling ship. We educated K-2 students, trained undergraduate and graduate students, and informed the general public about oceanographic data collection, pathways from coastal to ocean waters, and connections in marine ecosystems. I was aboard the Charles W. Morgan for the Provincetown to Stellwagen Bank leg of the historic 38th voyage in summer 2014. While at sea, our voyager team released several GPS-tracked surface drifters to reveal important flow pathways and how the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary is connected to other ocean areas. These drifters were built by graduate and undergraduate students and the drifter artwork was designed by elementary school students. Surface currents dispersed the drifters and carried them much farther offshore than the Charles W. Morgan itself. Many drifters reached Georges Bank, another important biologically productive area. The Charles W. Morgan encountered whales for the first time in decades. Some of the food-chain connections that may explain the abundance of whales at Stellwagen bank that summer are described. This outreach project has been presented in lectures to high school teachers and the general public and also featured in an online interview, a television news story, and a newspaper article. K-2 students at an elementary school math and science day first painted drifters in advance of the voyage, viewed real-time updates in the months following drifter release, and engaged in activities illustrating ocean connectivity and marine habitats at the end of the following academic year. We aimed to convey how sensitive whales are to human activities (on land and water) and to changes in the marine environment. Successes and lessons learned will be discussed. ED003: Creative Ways to Connect Ocean Sciences to the Public

  7. Oxygen saturation in free-diving whales: optical sensor development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutierrez-Herrera, Enoch; Vacas-Jacques, Paulino; Anderson, Rox; Zapol, Warren; Franco, Walfre

    2013-02-01

    Mass stranding of live whales has been explained by proposing many natural or human-related causes. Recent necropsy reports suggest a link between the mass stranding of beaked whales and the use of naval mid-frequency sonar. Surprisingly, whales have experienced symptoms similar to those caused by inert gas bubbles in human divers. Our goal is to develop a compact optical sensor to monitor the consumption of the oxygen stores in the muscle of freely diving whales. To this end we have proposed the use of a near-infrared phase-modulated frequency-domain spectrophotometer, in reflectance mode, to probe tissue oxygenation. Our probe consists of three main components: radiofrequency (RF) modulated light sources, a high-bandwidth avalanche photodiode with transimpedance amplifier, and a RF gain and phase detector. In this work, we concentrate on the design and performance of the light sensor, and its corresponding amplifier unit. We compare three state-of-the-art avalanche photodiodes: one through-hole device and two surface-mount detectors. We demonstrate that the gain due to the avalanche effect differs between sensors. The avalanche gain near maximum bias of the through-hole device exceeds by a factor of 2.5 and 8.3 that of the surface-mount detectors. We present the behavior of our assembled through-hole detector plus high-bandwidth transimpedance amplifier, and compare its performance to that of a commercially available module. The assembled unit enables variable gain, its phase noise is qualitatively lower, and the form factor is significantly smaller. Having a detecting unit that is compact, flexible, and functional is a milestone in the development of our tissue oxygenation tag.

  8. Understanding the Impacts of Anthropogenic Sound on Beaked Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-01

    Institution of Oceanography, 291 Rosencrans St., San Diego, CA 92106, USA. ¥ Institute of Animal Health, Veterinary School, Departamento de Morfologia , Edificio... animals and protecting them from adverse sound exposure. In addition, four major research priorities, needed to address information gaps on the impacts of...methods for beaked whales are ineffective for detecting these animals and protecting them from adverse sound exposure. In addition, four major research

  9. Mid-Frequency Sonar Interactions with Beaked Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-06-30

    Research since the mid-1990s has focused on sound source characteristics and propagation paths, location and abundance of marine mammal...and control of sound by the small sperm whales, Kogia berviceps and K. sima and their implications for other Cetacea ," J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 83, 241...centerline as viewed from above. 35 cm above centerline 22 Table V. Statistical characteristics of the arrival time, Part A, and amplitude. Part B

  10. False killer whale Pseudorca crassidens mass stranding at Long ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A mass stranding of false killer whales Pseudorca crassidens at Long Beach near the village of Kommetjie (34°8.18′ S, 18°9.77′ E) on the Cape Peninsula, South Africa, in May 2009 is described. The estimated size of stranded group was 55 animals, which is close to the median size of P. crassidens groups that have ...

  11. Sperm whales (Physeter catodon) in the Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collum, L.A.; Fritts, T.H.

    1985-01-01

    The distribution of the sperm whale, Physeter catodon, was documented in the Gulf of Mexico during 1979 to 1981 using regular aerial surveys and opportunistic sightings from ships. Most sightings were in the western Gulf of Mexico in deep waters near the edge of the continental shelf. A total of 47 adults and 12 young animals was sighted in groups containing from one to 14 animals.

  12. Environmental Influences On Diel Calling Behavior In Baleen Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    first use of real-time detection and reporting of marine mammal calls from autonomous underwater vehicles to adaptively plan research activities. 3...eastern tropical Pacific. Animal Behaviour 69:951–958. Wiggins, S. M., E. M. Oleson, M. A. Mcdonald, and J. A. Hildebrand. 2005. Blue whale...Balaenoptera musculus) diel call patterns offshore of Southern California. Aquatic Mammals 31:161–168. PUBLICATIONS Baumgartner, M.F., D.M

  13. Hearing in Whales and Dolphins: Relevance and Limitations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacini, Aude F; Nachtigall, Paul E

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the hearing of marine mammals has been a priority to quantify and mitigate the impact of anthropogenic sound on these apex predators. Yet our knowledge of cetacean hearing is still limited to a few dozen species, therefore compromising any attempt to design adaptive management strategies. The use of auditory evoked potentials allows scientists to rapidly and noninvasively obtain the hearing data of species rarely available in captivity. Unfortunately, many practical and ethical reasons still limit the availability of large whales, thus restricting the possibility to effectively ensure that anthropogenic sounds have minimum effects on these species. The example of a recent Blainville's beaked whale (Mesoplodon densirostris) audiogram collected after a stranding indicated, for instance, very specialized hearing between 40 and 50 kHz, which corresponded to the frequency-modulated upsweep signals used by this species during echolocation. The methods used during a stranding event are presented along with the major difficulties that have slowed down the scientific community in measuring the audition of large whales and the potential value in obtaining such results when successful.

  14. Identifying individual sperm whales acoustically using self-organizing maps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ioup, Juliette W.; Ioup, George E.

    2005-09-01

    The Littoral Acoustic Demonstration Center (LADC) is a consortium at Stennis Space Center comprising the University of New Orleans, the University of Southern Mississippi, the Naval Research Laboratory, and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. LADC deployed three Environmental Acoustic Recording System (EARS) buoys in the northern Gulf of Mexico during the summer of 2001 to study ambient noise and marine mammals. Each LADC EARS was an autonomous, self-recording buoy capable of 36 days of continuous recording of a single channel at an 11.7-kHz sampling rate (bandwidth to 5859 Hz). The hydrophone selected for this analysis was approximately 50 m from the bottom in a water depth of 800 m on the continental slope off the Mississippi River delta. This paper contains recent analysis results for sperm whale codas recorded during a 3-min period. Results are presented for the identification of individual sperm whales from their codas, using the acoustic properties of the clicks within each coda. The recorded time series, the Fourier transform magnitude, and the wavelet transform coefficients are each used separately with a self-organizing map procedure for 43 codas. All show the codas as coming from four or five individual whales. [Research supported by ONR.

  15. Blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) sounds from the North Atlantic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mellinger, David K.; Clark, Christopher W.

    2003-08-01

    Sounds of blue whales were recorded from U.S. Navy hydrophone arrays in the North Atlantic. The most common signals were long, patterned sequences of very-low-frequency sounds in the 15-20 Hz band. Sounds within a sequence were hierarchically organized into phrases consisting of one or two different sound types. Sequences were typically composed of two-part phrases repeated every 73 s: a constant-frequency tonal ``A'' part lasting approximately 8 s, followed 5 s later by a frequency-modulated ``B'' part lasting approximately 11 s. A common sequence variant consisted only of repetitions of part A. Sequences were separated by silent periods averaging just over four minutes. Two other sound types are described: a 2-5 s tone at 9 Hz, and a 5-7s inflected tone that swept up in frequency to ca. 70 Hz and then rapidly down to 25 Hz. The general characteristics of repeated sequences of simple combinations of long-duration, very-low-frequency sound units repeated every 1-2 min are typical of blue whale sounds recorded in other parts of the world. However, the specific frequency, duration, and repetition interval features of these North Atlantic sounds are different than those reported from other regions, lending further support to the notion that geographically separate blue whale populations have distinctive acoustic displays.

  16. Context-dependent lateralized feeding strategies in blue whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedlaender, Ari S; Herbert-Read, James E; Hazen, Elliott L; Cade, David E; Calambokidis, John; Southall, Brandon L; Stimpert, Alison K; Goldbogen, Jeremy A

    2017-11-20

    Lateralized behaviors benefit individuals by increasing task efficiency in foraging and anti-predator behaviors [1-4]. The conventional lateralization paradigm suggests individuals are left or right lateralized, although the direction of this laterality can vary for different tasks (e.g. foraging or predator inspection/avoidance). By fitting tri-axial movement sensors to blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus), and by recording the direction and size of their rolls during lunge feeding events, we show how these animals differ from such a paradigm. The strength and direction of individuals' lateralization were related to where and how the whales were feeding in the water column. Smaller rolls (≤180°) predominantly occurred at depth (>70 m), with whales being more likely to rotate clockwise around their longest axis (right lateralized). Larger rolls (>180°), conversely, occurred more often at shallower depths (<70 m) and were more likely to be performed anti-clockwise (left lateralized). More acrobatic rolls are typically used to target small, less dense krill patches near the water's surface [5,6], and we posit that the specialization of lateralized feeding strategies may enhance foraging efficiency in environments with heterogeneous prey distributions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Dividing up the pie: Whales, fish, and humans as competitors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruzicka, James J.; Steele, John H.; Ballerini, Tosca; Gaichas, Sarah K.; Ainley, David G.

    2013-09-01

    Similarly structured food web models of four coastal ecosystems (Northern California Current, Central Gulf of Alaska, Georges Bank, southwestern Antarctic Peninsula) were used to investigate competition among whales, fishes, pinnipeds, and humans. Two analysis strategies simulated the effects of historic baleen and odontocete whale abundances across all trophic levels: food web structure scenarios and time-dynamic scenarios. Direct competition between whales and commercial fisheries is small at current whale abundances; whales and fisheries each take similar proportions of annual pelagic fish production (4-7%). Scenarios show that as whale populations grow, indirect competition between whales and fish for zooplankton would more likely impact fishery production than would direct competition for fish between whales and commercial fisheries. Increased baleen whale abundance would have greater and broader indirect effects on upper trophic levels and fisheries than a similar increase in odontocete abundance. Time-dynamic scenarios, which allow for the evolution of compensatory mechanisms, showed more modest impacts than structural scenarios, which show the immediate impacts of altered energy pathways. Structural scenarios show that in terms of energy availability, there is potential for large increases in whale abundance without major changes to existing food web structures and without substantial reduction of fishery production. For each ecosystem, a five-fold increase in baleen whale abundance could be supported with minor disruptions to existing energy flow pathways. However, such an increase would remain below historical population levels for many cetaceans. A larger expansion (20X) could be accommodated only with large reductions in energy flow to competitor groups. The scope for odontocete expansion varies between ecosystems but may be more restricted than the scope for baleen expansion because they feed at higher, less productive trophic levels. Egestion

  18. WhalePower tubercle blade power performance test report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2008-07-15

    Toronto-based WhalePower Corporation has developed turbine blades that are modeled after humpback whale flippers. The blades, which incorporate tubercles along the leading edge of the blade, have been fitted to a Wenvor 25 kW turbine installed in North Cape, Prince Edward Island at a test site for the Wind Energy Institute of Canada (WEICan). A test was conducted to characterize the power performance of the prototype wind turbine. This report described the wind turbine configuration with particular reference to turbine information, power rating, blade information, tower information, control systems and grid connections. The test site was also described along with test equipment and measurement procedures. Information regarding power output as a function of wind speed was included along with power curves, power coefficient and annual energy production. The results for the power curve and annual energy production contain a level of uncertainty. While measurements for this test were collected and analyzed in accordance with International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards for performance measurements of electricity producing wind turbines (IEC 61400-12-1), the comparative performance data between the prototype WhalePower wind turbine blade and the Wenvor standard blade was not gathered to IEC data standards. Deviations from IEC-61400-12-1 procedures were listed. 6 tabs., 16 figs., 3 appendices.

  19. Experimental evidence for action imitation in killer whales (Orcinus orca).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abramson, José Z; Hernández-Lloreda, Victoria; Call, Josep; Colmenares, Fernando

    2013-01-01

    Comparative experimental studies of imitative learning have focused mainly on primates and birds. However, cetaceans are promising candidates to display imitative learning as they have evolved in socioecological settings that have selected for large brains, complex sociality, and coordinated predatory tactics. Here we tested imitative learning in killer whales, Orcinus orca. We used a 'do-as-other-does' paradigm in which 3 subjects witnessed a conspecific demonstrator's performance that included 15 familiar and 4 novel behaviours. The three subjects (1) learned the copy command signal 'Do that' very quickly, that is, 20 trials on average; (2) copied 100 % of the demonstrator's familiar and novel actions; (3) achieved full matches in the first attempt for 8-13 familiar behaviours (out of 15) and for the 2 novel behaviours (out of 2) in one subject; and (4) took no longer than 8 trials to accurately copy any familiar behaviour, and no longer than 16 trials to copy any novel behaviour. This study provides experimental evidence for body imitation, including production imitation, in killer whales that is comparable to that observed in dolphins tested under similar conditions. These findings suggest that imitative learning may underpin some of the group-specific traditions reported in killer whales in the field.

  20. Blue whale earplug reveals lifetime contaminant exposure and hormone profiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trumble, Stephen J.; Robinson, Eleanor M.; Berman-Kowalewski, Michelle; Potter, Charles W.; Usenko, Sascha

    2013-01-01

    Lifetime contaminant and hormonal profiles have been reconstructed for an individual male blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus, Linnaeus 1758) using the earplug as a natural aging matrix that is also capable of archiving and preserving lipophilic compounds. These unprecedented lifetime profiles (i.e., birth to death) were reconstructed with a 6-mo resolution for a wide range of analytes including cortisol (stress hormone), testosterone (developmental hormone), organic contaminants (e.g., pesticides and flame retardants), and mercury. Cortisol lifetime profiles revealed a doubling of cortisol levels over baseline. Testosterone profiles suggest this male blue whale reached sexual maturity at approximately 10 y of age, which corresponds well with and improves on previous estimates. Early periods of the reconstructed contaminant profiles for pesticides (such as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes and chlordanes), polychlorinated biphenyls, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers demonstrate significant maternal transfer occurred at 0–12 mo. The total lifetime organic contaminant burden measured between the earplug (sum of contaminants in laminae layers) and blubber samples from the same organism were similar. Total mercury profiles revealed reduced maternal transfer and two distinct pulse events compared with organic contaminants. The use of a whale earplug to reconstruct lifetime chemical profiles will allow for a more comprehensive examination of stress, development, and contaminant exposure, as well as improve the assessment of contaminant use/emission, environmental noise, ship traffic, and climate change on these important marine sentinels. PMID:24043814

  1. Morphology of the eyeball from the Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, Fernanda M; Silva, Fernanda M O; Trompieri-Silveira, Ana Carolina; Vergara-Parente, Jociery E; Miglino, Maria Angélica; Guimarães, Juliana P

    2014-05-01

    Aquatic mammals underwent morphological and physiological adaptations due to the transition from terrestrial to aquatic environment. One of the morphological changes regards their vision since cetaceans' eyes are able to withstand mechanical, chemical, osmotic, and optical water conditions. Due to insufficient information about these animals, especially regarding their sense organs, this study aimed to describe the morphology of the Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) eyeball. Three newborn females, stranded dead on the coast of Sergipe and Bahia, Brazil, were used. Samples were fixed in a 10% formalin solution, dissected, photographed, collected, and evaluated through light and electron microscopy techniques. The Humpback whale sclera was thick and had an irregular surface with mechanoreceptors in its lamina propria. Lens was dense, transparent, and ellipsoidal, consisting of three layers, and the vascularized choroid contains melanocytes, mechanoreceptors, and a fibrous tapetum lucidum. The Humpback whale eyeball is similar to other cetaceans and suggests an adaptation to diving and migration, contributing to the perception of differences in temperature, pressure, and lighting. Copyright © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Two Intense Decades of 19th Century Whaling Precipitated Rapid Decline of Right Whales around New Zealand and East Australia

    OpenAIRE

    Carroll, Emma L.; Jackson, Jennifer A.; David Paton; Tim D Smith

    2014-01-01

    Funding for the review and report preparation was provided by the New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries through Project ZBD200505 to the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), Oregon State University General Research Fund to JJ and CS Baker and the Lenfest Ocean Program of the Pew Charitable Trust to SR Palumbi. EC was supported by a fellowship from the Tertiary Education Commission and TS through the History of Marine Animal Populations (HMAP) project. Right whales (Euba...

  3. The biogeochemical role of baleen whales and krill in Southern Ocean nutrient cycling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lavenia Ratnarajah

    Full Text Available The availability of micronutrients is a key factor that affects primary productivity in High Nutrient Low Chlorophyll (HNLC regions of the Southern Ocean. Nutrient supply is governed by a range of physical, chemical and biological processes, and there are significant feedbacks within the ecosystem. It has been suggested that baleen whales form a crucial part of biogeochemical cycling processes through the consumption of nutrient-rich krill and subsequent defecation, but data on their contribution are scarce. We analysed the concentration of iron, cadmium, manganese, cobalt, copper, zinc, phosphorus and carbon in baleen whale faeces and muscle, and krill tissue using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Metal concentrations in krill tissue were between 20 thousand and 4.8 million times higher than typical Southern Ocean HNLC seawater concentrations, while whale faecal matter was between 276 thousand and 10 million times higher. These findings suggest that krill act as a mechanism for concentrating and retaining elements in the surface layer, which are subsequently released back into the ocean, once eaten by whales, through defecation. Trace metal to carbon ratios were also higher in whale faeces compared to whale muscle indicating that whales are concentrating carbon and actively defecating trace elements. Consequently, recovery of the great whales may facilitate the recycling of nutrients via defecation, which may affect productivity in HNLC areas.

  4. Physeter Macrocephalus Linnaeus, 1758, the valid name for the sperm whale

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Husson, A.M.; Holthuis, L.B.

    1974-01-01

    No uniformity exists in the use of the scientific name for the Sperm Whale, one of the earliest known and most familiar of the whale species. Both the names Physeter macrocephalus Linnaeus, 1758, and Physeter catodon Linnaeus, 1758, have been widely used for it. Hershkovitz (1966: 116120) in his

  5. The social context of individual foraging behaviour in long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Visser, F.; Miller, P.J.O.; Antunes, R.N.; Oudejans, M.G.; Mackenzie, M.L.; Aoki, K.; Lam, F.P.A.; Kvadsheim, P.H.; Huisman, J.; Tyack, P.L.

    2014-01-01

    Long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas) are highly social cetaceans that live in matrilineal groups and acquire their prey during deep foraging dives. We tagged individual pilot whales to record their diving behaviour. To describe the social context of this individual behaviour, the tag data

  6. Migratory preferences of humpback whales between feeding and breeding grounds in the eastern South Pacific

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Acevedo, Jorge; Aguayo-lobo, Anelio; Allen, Judith; Botero-acosta, Natalia; Capella, Juan; Castro, Cristina; Rosa, Luciano Dalla; Denkinger, Judith; Félix, Fernando; Flórez-gonzález, Lilian; Garita, Frank; Guzmán, Héctor M.; Haase, Ben; Kaufman, Gregory; Llano, Martha; Olavarría, Carlos; Pacheco, Aldo S.; Plana, Jordi; Rasmussen, Kristin; Scheidat, Meike; Secchi, Eduardo R.; Silva, Sebastian; Stevick, Peter T.

    2017-01-01

    Latitudinal preferences within the breeding range have been suggested for Breeding Stock G humpback whales that summer in different feeding areas of the eastern South Pacific. To address this hypothesis, humpback whales photo-identified from the Antarctic Peninsula and the Fueguian Archipelago

  7. 50 CFR 226.203 - Critical habitat for northern right whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Critical habitat for northern right whales. 226.203 Section 226.203 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND... Critical habitat for northern right whales. (a) Great South Channel. The area bounded by 41°40′ N/69°45′ W...

  8. 50 CFR 224.105 - Speed restrictions to protect North Atlantic Right Whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Speed restrictions to protect North Atlantic Right Whales. 224.105 Section 224.105 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE... AND ANADROMOUS SPECIES § 224.105 Speed restrictions to protect North Atlantic Right Whales. (a) The...

  9. Gray whale distribution relative to benthic invertebrate biomass and abundance: Northeastern Chukchi Sea 2009-2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brower, Amelia A.; Ferguson, Megan C.; Schonberg, Susan V.; Jewett, Stephen C.; Clarke, Janet T.

    2017-10-01

    The shallow continental shelf waters of the Bering and Chukchi seas are the northernmost foraging grounds of North Pacific gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus). Benthic amphipods are considered the primary prey of gray whales in these waters, although no comprehensive quantitative analysis has been performed to support this assumption. Gray whale relative abundance, distribution, and behavior in the northeastern Chukchi Sea (69°-72°N, 155-169°W) were documented during aerial surveys in June-October 2009-2012. Concurrently, vessel-based benthic infaunal sampling was conducted in the area in July-August 2009-10, September 2011, and August 2012. Gray whales were seen in the study area each month that surveys were conducted, with the majority of whales feeding. Statistical analyses confirm that the highest densities of feeding gray whales were associated with high benthic amphipod abundance, primarily within 70 km of shore from Point Barrow to Icy Cape, in water whales were not seen in 40-km×40-km cells containing benthic sampling stations with 85 m-2 or fewer amphipods. Continuing broad-scale aerial surveys in the Chukchi Sea and prey sampling near feeding gray whales will be an important means to monitor and document ongoing and predicted ecosystem changes.

  10. Low diversity in the mitogenome of sperm whales revealed by next-generation sequencing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alana Alexander; Debbie Steel; Beth Slikas; Kendra Hoekzema; Colm Carraher; Matthew Parks; Richard Cronn; C. Scott Baker

    2012-01-01

    Large population sizes and global distributions generally associate with high mitochondrial DNA control region (CR) diversity. The sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) is an exception, showing low CR diversity relative to other cetaceans; however, diversity levels throughout the remainder of the sperm whale mitogenome are unknown. We sequenced 20...

  11. A Teachers' Guide to the Whales of the Gulf of Maine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elk, Catherine Kiorpes; Lignell, Kathleen, Ed.

    This guide provides: (1) background information for teachers on whales; (2) 10 interdisciplinary activities; (3) teacher resources; (4) a bibliography; and (5) "pocket materials." Topic areas addressed in the first section include evolution and adaptation to an aquatic environment, diversity of whales, functional anatomy of feeding and…

  12. The biogeochemical role of baleen whales and krill in Southern Ocean nutrient cycling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ratnarajah, Lavenia; Bowie, Andrew R; Lannuzel, Delphine; Meiners, Klaus M; Nicol, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    The availability of micronutrients is a key factor that affects primary productivity in High Nutrient Low Chlorophyll (HNLC) regions of the Southern Ocean. Nutrient supply is governed by a range of physical, chemical and biological processes, and there are significant feedbacks within the ecosystem. It has been suggested that baleen whales form a crucial part of biogeochemical cycling processes through the consumption of nutrient-rich krill and subsequent defecation, but data on their contribution are scarce. We analysed the concentration of iron, cadmium, manganese, cobalt, copper, zinc, phosphorus and carbon in baleen whale faeces and muscle, and krill tissue using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Metal concentrations in krill tissue were between 20 thousand and 4.8 million times higher than typical Southern Ocean HNLC seawater concentrations, while whale faecal matter was between 276 thousand and 10 million times higher. These findings suggest that krill act as a mechanism for concentrating and retaining elements in the surface layer, which are subsequently released back into the ocean, once eaten by whales, through defecation. Trace metal to carbon ratios were also higher in whale faeces compared to whale muscle indicating that whales are concentrating carbon and actively defecating trace elements. Consequently, recovery of the great whales may facilitate the recycling of nutrients via defecation, which may affect productivity in HNLC areas.

  13. Acoustically derived growth rates of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) in Kaikoura, New Zealand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Brian S; Growcott, Abraham; Slooten, Elisabeth; Dawson, Stephen M

    2013-09-01

    A non-invasive acoustic method for measuring the growth of sperm whales was developed based on estimating the length of individuals by measuring the inter-pulse interval (IPI) of their clicks. Most prior knowledge of growth in male sperm whales has come from from fitting growth curves to length data gained from whaling. Recordings made at Kaikoura, New Zealand, were used to estimate the length and growth of 32 photographically identified, resident whales that have been recorded repeatedly between 1991 and 2009. All whales recorded more than six months apart (n = 30) showed an increase in IPI. Using established relationships between IPI and total length, it was found that the average growth rate in the Kaikoura population is lower, especially for smaller whales (13-14.5 m), than that derived from historical whaling data from other populations. This difference may be due to ecological differences among populations but might also reflect upward bias in measurements gained in whaling. The ability to track growth of individuals through time is only possible via non-lethal means and offers a fundamentally different kind of data because differences among individuals can be measured.

  14. Scale-dependent habitat use by a large free-ranging predator, the Mediterranean fin whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotté, Cédric; Guinet, Christophe; Taupier-Letage, Isabelle; Mate, Bruce; Petiau, Estelle

    2009-05-01

    Since the heterogeneity of oceanographic conditions drives abundance, distribution, and availability of prey, it is essential to understand how foraging predators interact with their dynamic environment at various spatial and temporal scales. We examined the spatio-temporal relationships between oceanographic features and abundance of fin whales ( Balaenoptera physalus), the largest free-ranging predator in the Western Mediterranean Sea (WM), through two independent approaches. First, spatial modeling was used to estimate whale density, using waiting distance (the distance between detections) for fin whales along ferry routes across the WM, in relation to remotely sensed oceanographic parameters. At a large scale (basin and year), fin whales exhibited fidelity to the northern WM with a summer-aggregated and winter-dispersed pattern. At mesoscale (20-100 km), whales were found in colder, saltier (from an on-board system) and dynamic areas defined by steep altimetric and temperature gradients. Second, using an independent fin whale satellite tracking dataset, we showed that tracked whales were effectively preferentially located in favorable habitats, i.e. in areas of high predicted densities as identified by our previous model using oceanographic data contemporaneous to the tracking period. We suggest that the large-scale fidelity corresponds to temporally and spatially predictable habitat of whale favorite prey, the northern krill ( Meganyctiphanes norvegica), while mesoscale relationships are likely to identify areas of high prey concentration and availability.

  15. First record of fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus Linnaeus, 1758) in Kotor Bay (South Adriatic Sea)

    OpenAIRE

    Joksimović, Aleksandar; MANDIĆ, Milica; Ðurović, Mirko

    2015-01-01

    Abstract A single individual of fin whale, Balaenoptera physalus (Linnaeus, 1758) was recorded on 17 December 2011 in Kotor Bay (southeastern Adriatic Sea). The depth was between 5 and 7 meters. The specimen was about 10 meters long and this paper reports the first occurrence of the fin whale in very shallow waters in the most inner part of Boka Kotorska Bay.

  16. Mediterranean Fin Whales (Balaenoptera physalus) Threatened by Dolphin MorbilliVirus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzariol, Sandro; Centelleghe, Cinzia; Beffagna, Giorgia; Povinelli, Michele; Terracciano, Giuliana; Cocumelli, Cristiano; Pintore, Antonio; Denurra, Daniele; Casalone, Cristina; Pautasso, Alessandra; Di Francesco, Cristina Esmeralda; Di Guardo, Giovanni

    2016-02-01

    During 2011-2013, dolphin morbillivirus was molecularly identified in 4 stranded fin whales from the Mediterranean Sea. Nucleoprotein, phosphoprotein, and hemagglutinin gene sequences of the identified strain were highly homologous with those of a morbillivirus that caused a 2006-2007 epidemic in the Mediterranean. Dolphin morbillivirus represents a serious threat for fin whales.

  17. Bulk and amino acid stable isotope analysis of fin whale baleens

    OpenAIRE

    Camalich, Jaime; Svensson, Elisabeth; IJsseldijk, Lonneke L; Rebolledo, Elisa Bravo; Brasseur, Sophie; Witbaard, Rob; Schouten, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    We used the isotopic signal of fin whale baleens to determine the precedence of thestranded whales and their possible encounter with ships along the way to the port offinding (Rotterdam). Additionally we used the amino acid δ15N of the baleens to track themigration of these species which potentially could travel between isotopically differentregions.

  18. Fin whales and microplastics: The Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Cortez scenarios.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fossi, Maria Cristina; Marsili, Letizia; Baini, Matteo; Giannetti, Matteo; Coppola, Daniele; Guerranti, Cristiana; Caliani, Ilaria; Minutoli, Roberta; Lauriano, Giancarlo; Finoia, Maria Grazia; Rubegni, Fabrizio; Panigada, Simone; Bérubé, Martine; Urbán Ramírez, Jorge; Panti, Cristina

    2016-02-01

    The impact that microplastics have on baleen whales is a question that remains largely unexplored. This study examined the interaction between free-ranging fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) and microplastics by comparing populations living in two semi-enclosed basins, the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California, Mexico). The results indicate that a considerable abundance of microplastics and plastic additives exists in the neustonic samples from Pelagos Sanctuary of the Mediterranean Sea, and that pelagic areas containing high densities of microplastics overlap with whale feeding grounds, suggesting that whales are exposed to microplastics during foraging; this was confirmed by the observation of a temporal increase in toxicological stress in whales. Given the abundance of microplastics in the Mediterranean environment, along with the high concentrations of Persistent Bioaccumulative and Toxic (PBT) chemicals, plastic additives and biomarker responses detected in the biopsies of Mediterranean whales as compared to those in whales inhabiting the Sea of Cortez, we believe that exposure to microplastics because of direct ingestion and consumption of contaminated prey poses a major threat to the health of fin whales in the Mediterranean Sea. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Prey and seasonal abundance of killer whales at sub-Antarctic ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The diet of killer whales Orcinus orca was investigated from 48 predation events observed during sightings at sub-Antarctic Marion Island between 2006 and 2009. From these events, there were 10 cases where prey could be identified. Killer whales fed on fur seals Arctocephalus tropicalis, elephant seals Mirounga leonina ...

  20. Blue and fin whale call source levels and propagation range in the Southern Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sirović, Ana; Hildebrand, John A; Wiggins, Sean M

    2007-08-01

    Blue (Balaenoptera musculus) and fin whales (B. physalus) produce high-intensity, low-frequency calls, which probably function for communication during mating and feeding. The source levels of blue and fin whale calls off the Western Antarctic Peninsula were calculated using recordings made with calibrated, bottom-moored hydrophones. Blue whales were located up to a range of 200 km using hyperbolic localization and time difference of arrival. The distance to fin whales, estimated using multipath arrivals of their calls, was up to 56 km. The error in range measurements was 3.8 km using hyperbolic localization, and 3.4 km using multipath arrivals. Both species produced high-intensity calls; the average blue whale call source level was 189+/-3 dB re:1 microPa-1 m over 25-29 Hz, and the average fin whale call source level was 189+/-4 dB re:1 microPa-1 m over 15-28 Hz. Blue and fin whale populations in the Southern Ocean have remained at low numbers for decades since they became protected; using source level and detection range from passive acoustic recordings can help in calculating the relative density of calling whales.

  1. Acoustic and satellite remote sensing of blue whale seasonality and habitat in the Northeast Pacific

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burtenshaw, Jessica C.; Oleson, Erin M.; Hildebrand, John A.; McDonald, Mark A.; Andrew, Rex K.; Howe, Bruce M.; Mercer, James A.

    2004-05-01

    Northeast Pacific blue whales seasonally migrate, ranging from the waters off Central America to the Gulf of Alaska. Using acoustic and satellite remote sensing, we have continuously monitored the acoustic activity and habitat of blue whales during 1994-2000. Calling blue whales primarily aggregate off the coast of southern and central California in the late summer, coinciding with the timing of the peak euphausiid biomass, their preferred prey. The northward bloom of primary production along the coast and subsequent northbound movements of the blue whales are apparent in the satellite and acoustic records, respectively, with the calling blue whales moving north along the Oregon and Washington coasts to a secondary foraging area with high primary productivity off Vancouver Island in the late fall. El Ni n˜o conditions, indicated by elevated sea-surface temperature and depressed regional chlorophyll- a concentrations, are apparent in the satellite records, particularly in the Southern California Bight during 1997/1998. These conditions disrupt biological production and alter the presence of calling blue whales in primary feeding locations. Remote sensing using acoustics is well suited to characterizing the seasonal movements and relative abundance of the northeast Pacific blue whales, and remote sensing using satellites allows for monitoring their habitat. These technologies are invaluable because of their ability to provide continuous large-scale spatial and temporal coverage of the blue whale migration.

  2. Source level estimation of two blue whale subspecies in southwestern Indian Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samaran, Flore; Guinet, Christophe; Adam, Olivier; Motsch, Jean-François; Cansi, Yves

    2010-06-01

    Blue whales produce intense, stereotypic low frequency calls that are particularly well suited for transmission over long distances. Because these calls vary geographically, they can be used to gain insight into subspecies distribution. In the Southwestern Indian Ocean, acoustic data from a triad of calibrated hydrophones maintained by the International Monitoring System provided data on blue whale calls from two subspecies: Antarctic and pygmy blue whales. Using time difference of arrival and least-squares hyperbolic methods, the range and location of calling whales were determined. By using received level of calls and propagation modeling, call source levels of both subspecies were estimated. The average call source level was estimated to 179+/-5 dB re 1 microPa(rms) at 1 m over the 17-30 Hz band for Antarctic blue whale and 174+/-1 dB re 1 microPa(rms) at 1 m over the 17-50 Hz band for pygmy blue whale. According to previous estimates, slight variations in the source level could be due to inter-individual differences, inter-subspecies variations and the calculation method. These are the first reported source level estimations for blue whales in the Indian Ocean. Such data are critical to estimate detection ranges of calling blue whales.

  3. Risso’s dolphins alter daily resting pattern in response to whale watching at the Azores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Visser, F.; Hartman, K.L.; Rood, E.J.J.; Hendriks, A.J.E.; Zult, D.B.; Wolff, W.J.; Huisman, J.; Pierce, G.J.

    2011-01-01

    Behavioral responses of Risso’s dolphins (Grampus griseus) to whale watching vessels were studied off Pico Island, Azores. Dolphin behavior was studied from a land-based lookout, enabling observations of groups in the absence and presence of vessels. The number of whale watching vessels showed a

  4. Risso's dolphins alter daily resting pattern in response to whale watching at the Azores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Visser, Fleur; Hartman, Karin L.; Rood, Ente J. J.; Hendriks, Arthur J. E.; Zult, Daan B.; Wolff, Wim J.; Huisman, Jef; Pierce, Graham J.

    P>Behavioral responses of Risso's dolphins (Grampus griseus) to whale watching vessels were studied off Pico Island, Azores. Dolphin behavior was studied from a land-based lookout, enabling observations of groups in the absence and presence of vessels. The number of whale watching vessels showed a

  5. Observations on the whale shark (Rhincodon typus) in the Dutch Caribbean

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Debrot, A.O.; Leon, R.; Esteban, N.; Meesters, H.W.G.

    2013-01-01

    Records of whale sharks in the Caribbean are relatively sparse. Here we document 24 records of whale sharks (Rhincodon typus Smith 1882) for the Dutch Caribbean, four for the windward islands of Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Maarten, and twenty for the southern Caribbean leeward islands of Aruba,

  6. The Ecology and Acoustic Behavior of Minke Whales in the Hawaiian and Pacific Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-09-30

    whales are poorly understood, especially for populations in the North Pacific. We have already determined that there are certain characteristics of...populations exist. We will continue to examine the acoustic characteristics of boings for additional insights. RELATED PROJECTS A related NOPP funded...A Visual Sighting and Acoustic Detections of Minke Whales, Balaenoptera acutorostrata ( Cetacea : Balaenopteridae), in Nearshore Hawaiian Waters

  7. Disturbance-specific social responses in long-finned pilot whales, Globicephala melas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Visser, F.; Curé, C.; Kvadsheim, P.H.; Lam, F.P.A.; Tyack, P.L.; Miller, P.J.O.

    2016-01-01

    Social interactions among animals can influence their response to disturbance. We investigated responses of long-finned pilot whales to killer whale sound playbacks and two anthropogenic sources of disturbance: Tagging effort and naval sonar exposure. The acoustic scene and diving behaviour of

  8. Accumulation and transfer of contaminants in killer whales (Orcinus orca) from Norway: indications for contaminant metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolkers, Hans; Corkeron, Peter J; Van Parijs, Sofie M; Similä, Tiu; Van Bavel, Bert

    2007-08-01

    Blubber tissue of one subadult and eight male adult killer whales was sampled in Northern Norway in order to assess the degree and type of contaminant exposure and transfer in the herring-killer whale link of the marine food web. A comprehensive selection of contaminants was targeted, with special attention to toxaphenes and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). In addition to assessing exposure and food chain transfer, selective accumulation and metabolism issues also were addressed. Average total polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and pesticide levels were similar, approximately 25 microg/g lipid, and PBDEs were approximately 0.5 microg/g. This makes killer whales one of the most polluted arctic animals, with levels exceeding those in polar bears. Comparing the contamination of the killer whale's diet with the diet of high-arctic species such as white whales reveals six to more than 20 times higher levels in the killer whale diet. The difference in contaminant pattern between killer whales and their prey and the metabolic index calculated suggested that these cetaceans have a relatively high capacity to metabolize contaminants. Polychlorinated biphenyls, chlordanes, and dichlorodiphenyldichloro-ethylene (DDE) accumulate to some degree in killer whales, although toxaphenes and PBDEs might be partly broken down.

  9. Low-frequency signals produced by Northeast Atlantic killer whales (Orcinus orca).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samarra, Filipa I P; Deecke, Volker B; Miller, Patrick J O

    2016-03-01

    Killer whale acoustic behavior has been extensively investigated; however, most studies have focused on pulsed calls and whistles. This study reports the production of low-frequency signals by killer whales at frequencies below 300 Hz. Recordings were made in Iceland and Norway when killer whales were observed feeding on herring and no other marine mammal species were nearby. Low-frequency sounds were identified in Iceland and ranged in duration between 0.14 and 2.77 s and in frequency between 50 and 270 Hz, well below the previously reported lower limit for killer whale tonal sounds of 500 Hz. Low-frequency sounds appeared to be produced close in time to tail slaps, which are indicative of feeding attempts, suggesting that these sounds may be related to a feeding context. However, their precise function is unknown, and they could be the by-product of a non-vocal behavior rather than a vocal signal deliberately produced by the whales. Although killer whales in Norway exhibit similar feeding behavior, this sound has not been detected in recordings from Norway to date. This study suggests that, like other delphinids, killer whales produce low-frequency sounds, but further studies will be required to understand whether similar sounds exist in other killer whale populations.

  10. 75 FR 57441 - Availability of Seats for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-21

    ... the following vacant seats on the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory..., and other various groups that help to focus efforts and attention on the humpback whale and its... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Availability of Seats for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback...

  11. 75 FR 970 - Availability of Seats for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-07

    ... and alternate members of the following seats on its Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine... other various groups that help to focus efforts and attention on the humpback whale and its habitat... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Availability of Seats for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback...

  12. Generalists or Specialists: Stable Isotope Analysis of Humpback Whales (Megapteranoveangliae) to Infer Variation in Feeding Preferences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brownstein, A.; Boswell, K. M.

    2016-02-01

    Though humpback whales (Megapteranovaeangliae) are commonly observed in coastal waters of the Gulf of Alaska, their massive size, behavior, and weather conditionsmake it difficult to make accurate observations regarding their feeding habits. These whales can be highly abundant during feeding aggregations, and given their large energetic needs, they have the potential to impact populations of ecologically important forage such as krill and herring. Previous studies in other areas, such as the Gulf of Maine and the North Pacific Ocean, classify humpback whales as generalists that can efficiently feed on both schooling fish and large zooplankton. In Prince William Sound, scientists have observed the humpbacks feedingprimarily on herring. It is unclear if these whalesfeed exclusively on fish prior to returning to the Sound, and can therefore be considered specialists. Stable isotope analysis of carbon and nitrogen were used to determine the preferred diet of humpback whales (N=22) in 6 sampling regions along the Gulf of Alaska. Isotope analyses were conducted on humpback whale skin, as well as local forage species and basal resources to be used in Bayesian isotope mixing models to elucidate the trophic relationships between whales and their prey, and provide insight to whether location is an important driver in prey selection. This information will not only lead to a better understanding of the potential to use tissue isotopes to elucidate foraging behaviors of humpback whales, but also offer insight into individual feeding preferences and how increasing whale populations may affect the populations of local forage in the future.

  13. 75 FR 77615 - Availability of Seats for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-13

    ... Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council: Honolulu County (primary only), Research..., and other various groups that help to focus efforts and attention on the humpback whale and its... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Availability of Seats for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback...

  14. The Man, the Woman and the Whale: Exploring the Politics of the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The liminal figure that creates The Whale Caller is, on one level, the story of a love triangle with, whimsically, a whale as one of the parties involved. On another level it interrogates the past by focusing on two people whose relationship has been scarred by their marginalised status within the South African context.

  15. Passive acoustic monitoring of beaked whale densities in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hildebrand, John A; Baumann-Pickering, Simone; Frasier, Kaitlin E; Trickey, Jennifer S; Merkens, Karlina P; Wiggins, Sean M; McDonald, Mark A; Garrison, Lance P; Harris, Danielle; Marques, Tiago A; Thomas, Len

    2015-11-12

    Beaked whales are deep diving elusive animals, difficult to census with conventional visual surveys. Methods are presented for the density estimation of beaked whales, using passive acoustic monitoring data collected at sites in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) from the period during and following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (2010-2013). Beaked whale species detected include: Gervais' (Mesoplodon europaeus), Cuvier's (Ziphius cavirostris), Blainville's (Mesoplodon densirostris) and an unknown species of Mesoplodon sp. (designated as Beaked Whale Gulf - BWG). For Gervais' and Cuvier's beaked whales, we estimated weekly animal density using two methods, one based on the number of echolocation clicks, and another based on the detection of animal groups during 5 min time-bins. Density estimates derived from these two methods were in good general agreement. At two sites in the western GOM, Gervais' beaked whales were present throughout the monitoring period, but Cuvier's beaked whales were present only seasonally, with periods of low density during the summer and higher density in the winter. At an eastern GOM site, both Gervais' and Cuvier's beaked whales had a high density throughout the monitoring period.

  16. 76 FR 30921 - International Whaling Commission; 63rd Annual Meeting; Announcement of Public Meetings

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-27

    ... annual International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting. DATES: The public meetings will be held June 14... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XA459 International Whaling Commission; 63rd Annual Meeting; Announcement of Public Meetings AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS...

  17. 77 FR 25408 - International Whaling Commission; 64th Annual Meeting; Announcement of Public Meetings

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-30

    ... annual International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting. DATES: The public meeting will be held June 5... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XB150 International Whaling Commission; 64th Annual Meeting; Announcement of Public Meetings AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS...

  18. 75 FR 23242 - International Whaling Commission; 62nd Annual Meeting; Announcement of Public Meetings

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-03

    ... International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting. DATES: The public meetings will be held May 20 and May 26, 2010... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XV74 International Whaling Commission; 62nd Annual Meeting; Announcement of Public Meetings AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National...

  19. Architecture of the sperm whale forehead facilitates ramming combat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panagiotopoulou, Olga; Spyridis, Panagiotis; Mehari Abraha, Hyab; Carrier, David R; Pataky, Todd C

    2016-01-01

    Herman Melville's novel Moby Dick was inspired by historical instances in which large sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus L.) sank 19th century whaling ships by ramming them with their foreheads. The immense forehead of sperm whales is possibly the largest, and one of the strangest, anatomical structures in the animal kingdom. It contains two large oil-filled compartments, known as the "spermaceti organ" and "junk," that constitute up to one-quarter of body mass and extend one-third of the total length of the whale. Recognized as playing an important role in echolocation, previous studies have also attributed the complex structural configuration of the spermaceti organ and junk to acoustic sexual selection, acoustic prey debilitation, buoyancy control, and aggressive ramming. Of these additional suggested functions, ramming remains the most controversial, and the potential mechanical roles of the structural components of the spermaceti organ and junk in ramming remain untested. Here we explore the aggressive ramming hypothesis using a novel combination of structural engineering principles and probabilistic simulation to determine if the unique structure of the junk significantly reduces stress in the skull during quasi-static impact. Our analyses indicate that the connective tissue partitions in the junk reduce von Mises stresses across the skull and that the load-redistribution functionality of the former is insensitive to moderate variation in tissue material parameters, the thickness of the partitions, and variations in the location and angle of the applied load. Absence of the connective tissue partitions increases skull stresses, particularly in the rostral aspect of the upper jaw, further hinting of the important role the architecture of the junk may play in ramming events. Our study also found that impact loads on the spermaceti organ generate lower skull stresses than an impact on the junk. Nevertheless, whilst an impact on the spermaceti organ would

  20. The right whale mandatory ship reporting system: a retrospective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory K. Silber

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available In 1998, the United States sought and received International Maritime Organization-endorsement of two Mandatory Ship Reporting (MSR systems designed to improve mariner awareness about averting ship collisions with the endangered North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis. Vessel collisions are a serious threat to the right whale and the program was among the first formal attempts to reduce this threat. Under the provisions of the MSR, all ships >300 gross tons are required to report their location, speed, and destination to a shore-based station when entering two key right whale habitats: one in waters off New England and one off coastal Georgia and Florida. In return, reporting ships receive an automatically-generated message, delivered directly to the ship’s bridge, that provides information about right whale vulnerability to vessel collisions and actions mariners can take to avoid collisions. The MSR has been in operation continuously from July 1999 to the present. Archived incoming reports provided a 15-plus year history of ship operations in these two locations. We analyzed a total of 26,772 incoming MSR messages logged between July 1999 and December 2013. Most ships that were required to report did so, and compliance rates were generally constant throughout the study period. Self-reported vessel speeds when entering the systems indicated that most ships travelled between 10 and 16 (range = 5–20 + knots. Ship speeds generally decreased in 2009 to 2013 following implementation of vessel speed restrictions. The number of reports into the southern system remained relatively constant following a steady increase through 2007, but numbers in the northern system decreased annually beginning in 2008. If reporting is indicative of long-term patterns in shipping operations, it reflects noteworthy changes in marine transportation. Observed declines in ship traffic are likely attributable to the 2008–2009 economic recession, the

  1. Architecture of the sperm whale forehead facilitates ramming combat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga Panagiotopoulou

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick was inspired by historical instances in which large sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus L. sank 19th century whaling ships by ramming them with their foreheads. The immense forehead of sperm whales is possibly the largest, and one of the strangest, anatomical structures in the animal kingdom. It contains two large oil-filled compartments, known as the “spermaceti organ” and “junk,” that constitute up to one-quarter of body mass and extend one-third of the total length of the whale. Recognized as playing an important role in echolocation, previous studies have also attributed the complex structural configuration of the spermaceti organ and junk to acoustic sexual selection, acoustic prey debilitation, buoyancy control, and aggressive ramming. Of these additional suggested functions, ramming remains the most controversial, and the potential mechanical roles of the structural components of the spermaceti organ and junk in ramming remain untested. Here we explore the aggressive ramming hypothesis using a novel combination of structural engineering principles and probabilistic simulation to determine if the unique structure of the junk significantly reduces stress in the skull during quasi-static impact. Our analyses indicate that the connective tissue partitions in the junk reduce von Mises stresses across the skull and that the load-redistribution functionality of the former is insensitive to moderate variation in tissue material parameters, the thickness of the partitions, and variations in the location and angle of the applied load. Absence of the connective tissue partitions increases skull stresses, particularly in the rostral aspect of the upper jaw, further hinting of the important role the architecture of the junk may play in ramming events. Our study also found that impact loads on the spermaceti organ generate lower skull stresses than an impact on the junk. Nevertheless, whilst an impact on the

  2. Calling under pressure: Short-finned pilot whales make social calls during deep foraging dives

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Frants Havmand; Marrero Perez, Jacobo; Johnson, Mark

    2011-01-01

    Toothed whales rely on sound to echolocate prey and communicate with conspecifics, but little is known about how extreme pressure affects pneumatic sound production in deep-diving species with a limited air supply. The short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus) is a highly social species...... among the deep-diving toothed whales, in which individuals socialize at the surface but leave their social group in pursuit of prey at depths of up to 1000 m. To investigate if these animals communicate acoustically at depth and test whether hydrostatic pressure affects communication signals, acoustic...... DTAGs logging sound, depth and orientation were attached to 12 pilot whales. Tagged whales produced tonal calls during deep foraging dives at depths of up to 800 m. Mean call output and duration decreased with depth despite the increased distance to conspecifics at the surface. This shows...

  3. Behaviour of Southern sea lions in presence of killer whales during fishing operations in Central Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Hückstädt

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available The killer whale is an opportunistic top-predator of ecosystems worldwide and its diet varies locally and seasonally, which is reflected in diverse feeding behaviours associated with its prey. We report the occurrence of killer whales presumably predating on southern sea lions associated with the jack mackerel fishing fleet in central Chile. The presence of killer whales was recorded during 4 fishing sets. All sightings consisted of 3-5 individual pods of females and calves. The number of sea lions was not significantly affected by the presence of killer whales, but their behaviour was, by reducing the number of behavioural displays, as they stopped feeding and resting activities and stayed close to the hull of the vessel after net retrieval ended. We propose that killer whales could be using the fishery as an indirect source of prey to benefit from the aggregation of sea lions around the vessel, far away from land.

  4. The influence of ecology on sociality in the killer whale (Orcinus orca)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Beck, Suzanne; Kuningas, Sanna; Esteban, Ruth

    2012-01-01

    a population under different ecological conditions can identify the relative influence of ecological selection on group formation. Here, we compare the size and persistence of social groups within a community of Atlantic killer whales, comparing between data collected from an area around Scotland where...... the whales have mainly been seen to hunt seals and data collected from an area around Iceland where the whales have mainly been seen to hunt herring. Additionally, we compare the observed social structure with that of previously studied Pacific ecotypes. Atlantic killer whale groups in both locations had...... a stable long-term primary social tier (association index level . 0.8) similar to that of Pacific killer whales. However, associations between these groups were much lower when hunting for seals than for fish in both the Atlantic and the Pacific. The occurrence of these differences in sociality between...

  5. Abundant mitochondrial DNA variation and world-wide population structure in humpback whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, C S; Perry, A; Bannister, J L; Weinrich, M T; Abernethy, R B; Calambokidis, J; Lien, J; Lambertsen, R H; Ramírez, J U; Vasquez, O

    1993-01-01

    Hunting during the last 200 years reduced many populations of mysticete whales to near extinction. To evaluate potential genetic bottlenecks in these exploited populations, we examined mitochondrial DNA control region sequences from 90 individual humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) representing six subpopulations in three ocean basins. Comparisons of relative nucleotide and nucleotype diversity reveal an abundance of genetic variation in all but one of the oceanic subpopulations. Phylogenetic reconstruction of nucleotypes and analysis of maternal gene flow show that current genetic variation is not due to postexploitation migration between oceans but is a relic of past population variability. Calibration of the rate of control region evolution across three families of whales suggests that existing humpback whale lineages are of ancient origin. Preservation of preexploitation variation in humpback whales may be attributed to their long life-span and overlapping generations and to an effective, though perhaps not timely, international prohibition against hunting. PMID:8367488

  6. Acoustic Monitoring of a Previously Unstudied Whale Shark Aggregation in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Cochran, Jesse

    2012-01-01

    The whale shark (Rhincodon, typus), is a large, pelagic, filter feeder for which the available information is limited. The Red Sea populations in particular are practically unstudied. An aggregation site was recently discovered off the western coast of Saudi Arabia. We report the use of passive acoustic monitoring to assess the spatial and temporal behavior patterns of whale sharks in this new site. The aggregation occurs in the spring and peaks in April/ May. Whale sharks showed a preference for a single near shore reef and even a specific area within it. There is no evidence of sexual segregation as the genders were present in roughly equal proportion and used the same habitat at similar times. This information can be used to guide future studies in the area and to inform local management. Continued study will add to the collective knowledge on Red Sea whale sharks, including the population dynamics within the region and how they interact with the global whale shark community.

  7. A simulation study of acoustic-assisted tracking of whales for mark-recapture surveys.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Peel

    Full Text Available Collecting enough data to obtain reasonable abundance estimates of whales is often difficult, particularly when studying rare species. Passive acoustics can be used to detect whale sounds and are increasingly used to estimate whale abundance. Much of the existing effort centres on the use of acoustics to estimate abundance directly, e.g. analysing detections in a distance sampling framework. Here, we focus on acoustics as a tool incorporated within mark-recapture surveys. In this context, acoustic tools are used to detect and track whales, which are then photographed or biopsied to provide data for mark-recapture analyses. The purpose of incorporating acoustics is to increase the encounter rate beyond using visual searching only. While this general approach is not new, its utility is rarely quantified. This paper predicts the "acoustically-assisted" encounter rate using a discrete-time individual-based simulation of whales and survey vessel. We validate the simulation framework using existing data from studies of sperm whales. We then use the framework to predict potential encounter rates in a study of Antarctic blue whales. We also investigate the effects of a number of the key parameters on encounter rate. Mean encounter rates from the simulation of sperm whales matched well with empirical data. Variance of encounter rate, however, was underestimated. The simulation of Antarctic blue whales found that passive acoustics should provide a 1.7-3.0 fold increase in encounter rate over visual-only methods. Encounter rate was most sensitive to acoustic detection range, followed by vocalisation rate. During survey planning and design, some indication of the relationship between expected sample size and effort is paramount; this simulation framework can be used to predict encounter rates and establish this relationship. For a case in point, the simulation framework indicates unequivocally that real-time acoustic tracking should be considered for

  8. The relationship between vessel traffic and noise levels received by killer whales (Orcinus orca)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houghton, Juliana; Holt, Marla M.; Giles, Deborah A.; Hanson, M. Bradley; Emmons, Candice K.; Hogan, Jeffrey T.; Branch, Trevor A.; VanBlaricom, Glenn R.

    2015-01-01

    Whale watching has become increasingly popular as an ecotourism activity around the globe and is beneficial for environmental education and local economies. Southern Resident killer whales (Orcinus orca) comprise an endangered population that is frequently observed by a large whale watching fleet in the inland waters of Washington state and British Columbia. One of the factors identified as a risk to recovery for the population is the effect of vessels and associated noise. An examination of the effects of vessels and associated noise on whale behavior utilized novel equipment to address limitations of previous studies. Digital acoustic recording tags (DTAGs) measured the noise levels the tagged whales received while laser positioning systems allowed collection of geo-referenced data for tagged whales and all vessels within 1000 m of the tagged whale. The objective of the current study was to compare vessel data and DTAG recordings to relate vessel traffic to the ambient noise received by tagged whales. Two analyses were conducted, one including all recording intervals, and one that excluded intervals when only the research vessel was present. For all data, significant predictors of noise levels were length (inverse relationship), number of propellers, and vessel speed, but only 15% of the variation in noise was explained by this model. When research-vessel-only intervals were excluded, vessel speed was the only significant predictor of noise levels, and explained 42% of the variation. Simple linear regressions (ignoring covariates) found that average vessel speed and number of propellers were the only significant correlates with noise levels. We conclude that vessel speed is the most important predictor of noise levels received by whales in this study. Thus, measures that reduce vessel speed in the vicinity of killer whales would reduce noise exposure in this population.

  9. Use of 210Pb/ 226Ra disequilibria in the dating of deep-sea whale falls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuller, Daniel; Kadko, David; Smith, Craig R.

    2004-02-01

    Deep-sea whale falls, in particular the skeletal remains of whales that have sunk to the seafloor, are remarkable temporary reducing habitats. Reduced chemical species created by anaerobic microbial decay of lipid and organic compounds within the whale bone matrix fuel chemosynthetic-based communities, including bacteria, mussels, limpets, snails, and clams. Many of these species exhibit taxonomic affinities to other chemosynthetic deep-sea organisms colonizing hydrothermal vents and cold seeps. Knowledge of the timescales of whale fall community succession and persistence of these assemblages is needed to reliably estimate the abundance of whale fall habitats and to understand the dynamics of the whale fall communities and their potential roles as stepping stones for sulfophilic species. We have developed a radiochemical method based on 210Pb/ 226Ra disequilibria for estimating the ages of seafloor whale bone communities. Measurements of 210Pb/ 226Ra performed on known age bone samples yielded radioisotope ages in good agreement with the known ages. Our results indicate that this technique is valid for bones 10-85 years old (time since cetacean death). This technique, applied to multiple bones of unknown age whale falls taken from Monterey Canyon, Santa Catalina Basin, and San Nicholas Basin, constrained the upper limit ages of these systems (in 2002) to 6.3±1.0 years, 44.0±7.0 to 53.4±8.3 years, and 66.4±9.6 to 82.6±11 years, respectively. These ages were in reasonable agreement with faunal and/or skeletal observations. In addition, a preliminary lipid degradation rate was calculated for the Santa Catalina Basin whale fall using an independent time series and calibrated to the radiochemically determined age. Both radiochemical and lipid degradation evidence suggest that the whale fall microhabitat is able to support life for many decades.

  10. The Relationship between Vessel Traffic and Noise Levels Received by Killer Whales (Orcinus orca.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliana Houghton

    Full Text Available Whale watching has become increasingly popular as an ecotourism activity around the globe and is beneficial for environmental education and local economies. Southern Resident killer whales (Orcinus orca comprise an endangered population that is frequently observed by a large whale watching fleet in the inland waters of Washington state and British Columbia. One of the factors identified as a risk to recovery for the population is the effect of vessels and associated noise. An examination of the effects of vessels and associated noise on whale behavior utilized novel equipment to address limitations of previous studies. Digital acoustic recording tags (DTAGs measured the noise levels the tagged whales received while laser positioning systems allowed collection of geo-referenced data for tagged whales and all vessels within 1000 m of the tagged whale. The objective of the current study was to compare vessel data and DTAG recordings to relate vessel traffic to the ambient noise received by tagged whales. Two analyses were conducted, one including all recording intervals, and one that excluded intervals when only the research vessel was present. For all data, significant predictors of noise levels were length (inverse relationship, number of propellers, and vessel speed, but only 15% of the variation in noise was explained by this model. When research-vessel-only intervals were excluded, vessel speed was the only significant predictor of noise levels, and explained 42% of the variation. Simple linear regressions (ignoring covariates found that average vessel speed and number of propellers were the only significant correlates with noise levels. We conclude that vessel speed is the most important predictor of noise levels received by whales in this study. Thus, measures that reduce vessel speed in the vicinity of killer whales would reduce noise exposure in this population.

  11. The Relationship between Vessel Traffic and Noise Levels Received by Killer Whales (Orcinus orca).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houghton, Juliana; Holt, Marla M; Giles, Deborah A; Hanson, M Bradley; Emmons, Candice K; Hogan, Jeffrey T; Branch, Trevor A; VanBlaricom, Glenn R

    2015-01-01

    Whale watching has become increasingly popular as an ecotourism activity around the globe and is beneficial for environmental education and local economies. Southern Resident killer whales (Orcinus orca) comprise an endangered population that is frequently observed by a large whale watching fleet in the inland waters of Washington state and British Columbia. One of the factors identified as a risk to recovery for the population is the effect of vessels and associated noise. An examination of the effects of vessels and associated noise on whale behavior utilized novel equipment to address limitations of previous studies. Digital acoustic recording tags (DTAGs) measured the noise levels the tagged whales received while laser positioning systems allowed collection of geo-referenced data for tagged whales and all vessels within 1000 m of the tagged whale. The objective of the current study was to compare vessel data and DTAG recordings to relate vessel traffic to the ambient noise received by tagged whales. Two analyses were conducted, one including all recording intervals, and one that excluded intervals when only the research vessel was present. For all data, significant predictors of noise levels were length (inverse relationship), number of propellers, and vessel speed, but only 15% of the variation in noise was explained by this model. When research-vessel-only intervals were excluded, vessel speed was the only significant predictor of noise levels, and explained 42% of the variation. Simple linear regressions (ignoring covariates) found that average vessel speed and number of propellers were the only significant correlates with noise levels. We conclude that vessel speed is the most important predictor of noise levels received by whales in this study. Thus, measures that reduce vessel speed in the vicinity of killer whales would reduce noise exposure in this population.

  12. Looking for North Atlantic Baleen Whales: When are they coming to the Azores?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura González

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The archipelago of the Azores is like an oasis in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Surrounded by deep waters, those islands are a “must stop” place for every traveler, including, of course, cetaceans. Around the archipelago more than 24 different species of whales and dolphins can be seen. Some of them are resident such as the common dolphin or the emblematic sperm whale. But others are seasonal or sporadic, such as the spotted dolphin or the big baleen whales. The aim of this study is to assess the temporal distribution of the baleen whales sighted off Azores. We analyzed data gathered off the south coast of São Miguel (Azores from 2006 to 2013 from whale watching vessels. The whale watching company is located in Ponta Delgada and it works all throughout the year, always when the weather, the sea state and the number of tourists allow doing it. In Azores, whale watching companies use to locate cetaceans from land, with specialized lookouts spotting the animals from strategic points on the shore (as whalers did. These lookouts use powerful binoculars to locate the animals, and then give instructions to the boats to get to them. Once there, the boat registers date, hour, sea state, visibility, position (GPS, species, number of individuals, number of adults, juveniles and calves, behavior, association with other species and if there are other boats in the area. Photos are taken whenever it is possible and they are analyzed when the quality is good enough to distinguish natural marks and shapes. Most of the photos used in this study were taken in the last 5 years. Photo-Id catalogues were created for blue whales, fin whales and humpback whales. Data collected are more complete and frequent since 2009. In this case we have analyzed a total of 7691 sightings, belonging to 20 different species of cetaceans, 14 Odontoceti and 6 Mysticeti. In the latter group we recorded 491 sightings. The three most sighted Mysticeti species were the three great

  13. Migratory behavior of eastern North Pacific gray whales tracked using a hydrophone array.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guazzo, Regina A; Helble, Tyler A; D'Spain, Gerald L; Weller, David W; Wiggins, Sean M; Hildebrand, John A

    2017-01-01

    Eastern North Pacific gray whales make one of the longest annual migrations of any mammal, traveling from their summer feeding areas in the Bering and Chukchi Seas to their wintering areas in the lagoons of Baja California, Mexico. Although a significant body of knowledge on gray whale biology and behavior exists, little is known about their vocal behavior while migrating. In this study, we used a sparse hydrophone array deployed offshore of central California to investigate how gray whales behave and use sound while migrating. We detected, localized, and tracked whales for one full migration season, a first for gray whales. We verified and localized 10,644 gray whale M3 calls and grouped them into 280 tracks. Results confirm that gray whales are acoustically active while migrating and their swimming and acoustic behavior changes on daily and seasonal time scales. The seasonal timing of the calls verifies the gray whale migration timing determined using other methods such as counts conducted by visual observers. The total number of calls and the percentage of calls that were part of a track changed significantly over both seasonal and daily time scales. An average calling rate of 5.7 calls/whale/day was observed, which is significantly greater than previously reported migration calling rates. We measured a mean speed of 1.6 m/s and quantified heading, direction, and water depth where tracks were located. Mean speed and water depth remained constant between night and day, but these quantities had greater variation at night. Gray whales produce M3 calls with a root mean square source level of 156.9 dB re 1 μPa at 1 m. Quantities describing call characteristics were variable and dependent on site-specific propagation characteristics.

  14. Migratory behavior of eastern North Pacific gray whales tracked using a hydrophone array.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Regina A Guazzo

    Full Text Available Eastern North Pacific gray whales make one of the longest annual migrations of any mammal, traveling from their summer feeding areas in the Bering and Chukchi Seas to their wintering areas in the lagoons of Baja California, Mexico. Although a significant body of knowledge on gray whale biology and behavior exists, little is known about their vocal behavior while migrating. In this study, we used a sparse hydrophone array deployed offshore of central California to investigate how gray whales behave and use sound while migrating. We detected, localized, and tracked whales for one full migration season, a first for gray whales. We verified and localized 10,644 gray whale M3 calls and grouped them into 280 tracks. Results confirm that gray whales are acoustically active while migrating and their swimming and acoustic behavior changes on daily and seasonal time scales. The seasonal timing of the calls verifies the gray whale migration timing determined using other methods such as counts conducted by visual observers. The total number of calls and the percentage of calls that were part of a track changed significantly over both seasonal and daily time scales. An average calling rate of 5.7 calls/whale/day was observed, which is significantly greater than previously reported migration calling rates. We measured a mean speed of 1.6 m/s and quantified heading, direction, and water depth where tracks were located. Mean speed and water depth remained constant between night and day, but these quantities had greater variation at night. Gray whales produce M3 calls with a root mean square source level of 156.9 dB re 1 μPa at 1 m. Quantities describing call characteristics were variable and dependent on site-specific propagation characteristics.

  15. Identifying the "demon whale-biter": Patterns of scarring on large whales attributed to a cookie-cutter shark Isistius sp.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter B Best

    Full Text Available The presence of crater-like wounds on cetaceans and other large marine vertebrates and invertebrates has been attributed to various organisms. We review the evidence for the identity of the biting agent responsible for crater wounds on large whales, using data collected from sei (Balaenoptera borealis, fin (B. physalus, inshore and offshore Bryde's (B. brydeii sp and sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus examined at the Donkergat whaling station, Saldanha Bay, South Africa between March and October 1963. We then analyse the intensity and trends in its predation on large whales. Despite the scarcity of local records, we conclude that a cookie-cutter shark Isistius sp is the most likely candidate. We make inferences about the trends in (1 total counts of unhealed bitemarks, and (2 the proportion of unhealed bitemarks that were recent. We use day of the year; reproductive class, social grouping or sex; depth interval and body length as candidate covariates. The models with highest support for total counts of unhealed bitemarks involve the day of the year in all species. Depth was an important predictor in all species except offshore Bryde's whales. Models for the proportion of recent bites were only informative for sei and fin whales. We conclude that temporal scarring patterns support what is currently hypothesized about the distribution and movements of these whale species, given that Isistius does not occur in the Antarctic and has an oceanic habitat. The incidence of fresh bites confirms the presence of Isistius in the region. The lower numbers of unhealed bites on medium-sized sperm whales suggests that this group spends more time outside the area in which bites are incurred, providing a clue to one of the biggest gaps in our understanding of the movements of mature and maturing sperm males.

  16. Identifying the “demon whale-biter”: Patterns of scarring on large whales attributed to a cookie-cutter shark Isistius sp

    Science.gov (United States)

    Photopoulou, Theoni

    2016-01-01

    The presence of crater-like wounds on cetaceans and other large marine vertebrates and invertebrates has been attributed to various organisms. We review the evidence for the identity of the biting agent responsible for crater wounds on large whales, using data collected from sei (Balaenoptera borealis), fin (B. physalus), inshore and offshore Bryde’s (B. brydeii sp) and sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) examined at the Donkergat whaling station, Saldanha Bay, South Africa between March and October 1963. We then analyse the intensity and trends in its predation on large whales. Despite the scarcity of local records, we conclude that a cookie-cutter shark Isistius sp is the most likely candidate. We make inferences about the trends in (1) total counts of unhealed bitemarks, and (2) the proportion of unhealed bitemarks that were recent. We use day of the year; reproductive class, social grouping or sex; depth interval and body length as candidate covariates. The models with highest support for total counts of unhealed bitemarks involve the day of the year in all species. Depth was an important predictor in all species except offshore Bryde’s whales. Models for the proportion of recent bites were only informative for sei and fin whales. We conclude that temporal scarring patterns support what is currently hypothesized about the distribution and movements of these whale species, given that Isistius does not occur in the Antarctic and has an oceanic habitat. The incidence of fresh bites confirms the presence of Isistius in the region. The lower numbers of unhealed bites on medium-sized sperm whales suggests that this group spends more time outside the area in which bites are incurred, providing a clue to one of the biggest gaps in our understanding of the movements of mature and maturing sperm males. PMID:27055057

  17. Identifying the "demon whale-biter": Patterns of scarring on large whales attributed to a cookie-cutter shark Isistius sp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Best, Peter B; Photopoulou, Theoni

    2016-01-01

    The presence of crater-like wounds on cetaceans and other large marine vertebrates and invertebrates has been attributed to various organisms. We review the evidence for the identity of the biting agent responsible for crater wounds on large whales, using data collected from sei (Balaenoptera borealis), fin (B. physalus), inshore and offshore Bryde's (B. brydeii sp) and sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) examined at the Donkergat whaling station, Saldanha Bay, South Africa between March and October 1963. We then analyse the intensity and trends in its predation on large whales. Despite the scarcity of local records, we conclude that a cookie-cutter shark Isistius sp is the most likely candidate. We make inferences about the trends in (1) total counts of unhealed bitemarks, and (2) the proportion of unhealed bitemarks that were recent. We use day of the year; reproductive class, social grouping or sex; depth interval and body length as candidate covariates. The models with highest support for total counts of unhealed bitemarks involve the day of the year in all species. Depth was an important predictor in all species except offshore Bryde's whales. Models for the proportion of recent bites were only informative for sei and fin whales. We conclude that temporal scarring patterns support what is currently hypothesized about the distribution and movements of these whale species, given that Isistius does not occur in the Antarctic and has an oceanic habitat. The incidence of fresh bites confirms the presence of Isistius in the region. The lower numbers of unhealed bites on medium-sized sperm whales suggests that this group spends more time outside the area in which bites are incurred, providing a clue to one of the biggest gaps in our understanding of the movements of mature and maturing sperm males.

  18. Horizontal niche partitioning of humpback and fin whales around the West Antarctic Peninsula: evidence from a concurrent whale and krill survey

    OpenAIRE

    Herr, Helena; Viquerat, Sacha; Siegel, Volker; Kock, Karl-Hermann; Dorschel, Boris; Huneke, Wilma; Bracher, Astrid; Schröder, Michael; Gutt, Julian

    2016-01-01

    A dedicated aerial cetacean survey was con- ducted concurrently to a standardised net trawl survey for krill in order to investigate distribution patterns of large whales and different krill species and to investigate relationships of these. Distance sampling data were used to produce density surface models for humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae) and fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) around the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP). Abundance for both species was estimated over two strata in the B...

  19. Seasonality of blue and fin whale calls and the influence of sea ice in the Western Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Širović, Ana; Hildebrand, John A.; Wiggins, Sean M.; McDonald, Mark A.; Moore, Sue E.; Thiele, Deborah

    2004-08-01

    The calling seasonality of blue ( Balaenoptera musculus) and fin ( B. physalus) whales was assessed using acoustic data recorded on seven autonomous acoustic recording packages (ARPs) deployed from March 2001 to February 2003 in the Western Antarctic Peninsula. Automatic detection and acoustic power analysis methods were used for determining presence and absence of whale calls. Blue whale calls were detected year round, on average 177 days per year, with peak calling in March and April, and a secondary peak in October and November. Lowest calling rates occurred between June and September, and in December. Fin whale calling rates were seasonal with calls detected between February and June (on average 51 days/year), and peak calling in May. Sea ice formed a month later and retreated a month earlier in 2001 than in 2002 over all recording sites. During the entire deployment period, detected calls of both species of whales showed negative correlation with sea ice concentrations at all sites, suggesting an absence of blue and fin whales in areas covered with sea ice. A conservative density estimate of calling whales from the acoustic data yields 0.43 calling blue whales per 1000 n mi 2 and 1.30 calling fin whales per 1000 n mi 2, which is about one-third higher than the density of blue whales and approximately equal to the density of fin whales estimated from the visual surveys.

  20. Towards population-level conservation in the critically endangered Antarctic blue whale: the number and distribution of their populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Attard, Catherine R. M.; Beheregaray, Luciano B.; Möller, Luciana M.

    2016-03-01

    Population-level conservation is required to prevent biodiversity loss within a species, but it first necessitates determining the number and distribution of populations. Many whale populations are still depleted due to 20th century whaling. Whales are one of the most logistically difficult and expensive animals to study because of their mobility, pelagic lifestyle and often remote habitat. We tackle the question of population structure in the Antarctic blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus intermedia) - a critically endangered subspecies and the largest extant animal - by capitalizing on the largest genetic dataset to date for Antarctic blue whales. We found evidence of three populations that are sympatric in the Antarctic feeding grounds and likely occupy separate breeding grounds. Our study adds to knowledge of population structure in the Antarctic blue whale. Future research should invest in locating the breeding grounds and migratory routes of Antarctic blue whales through satellite telemetry to confirm their population structure and allow population-level conservation.

  1. An autumn aggregation of fin (Balaenoptera physalus) and blue whales (B. musculus) in the Porcupine Seabight, southwest of Ireland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baines, Mick; Reichelt, Maren; Griffin, Donal

    2017-07-01

    During a 16 week geophysical survey over the Porcupine Seabight (PSB) southwest of Ireland in July to October 2013, marine mammal observers logged 9382 km of effort. Balaenopterid whales comprised some 60% of a total of 373 cetacean sighting events (s), with a cumulative count (n) of 392 whales. Fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) were especially abundant (s=111, n=209) and the number of blue whales (B. musculus) seen (s=12, n=16) exceeded the total previously reported from Irish waters, but 43% of balaenopterid sightings (s=98, n=172) were not identified to species level. Data for all balaenopterid whales were pooled and generalised additive models applied to identify environmental variables that predicted whale density and to estimate abundance and the spatial distribution of density. Depth range and chlorophyll-a concentration were significant predictors of whale presence, and depth and sea floor rugosity were significant predictors of group size. There appeared to be an influx of whales in September and October and the predicted abundance peaked in October with an estimate of 138 (95% CI 121-151) whales. Analysis of the direction of movement of whales showed no significant bias in any one direction. Feeding behaviour was observed in both whale species and circumstantial evidence suggested that they were aggregating to exploit seasonally abundant northern krill (Meganyctiphanes norvegica). Chasing behaviour observed among fin whales was interpreted as evidence that this aggregation also provided opportunities for social interaction related to their reproductive cycle. The PSB may provide a link between the high latitude summer feeding habitats of krill-feeding whales and a chain of highly productive habitats in the Eastern Boundary Upwelling Ecosystems and we suggest that whales may migrate southwards in autumn along this eastern route to the northwest African upwelling zones, where productivity peaks in winter.

  2. Spatial Pattern Analysis of Cruise Ship-Humpback Whale Interactions in and Near Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Karin; Gende, Scott M.; Logsdon, Miles G.; Klinger, Terrie

    2012-01-01

    Understanding interactions between large ships and large whales is important to estimate risks posed to whales by ships. The coastal waters of Alaska are a summer feeding area for humpback whales ( Megaptera novaeangliae) as well as a prominent destination for large cruise ships. Lethal collisions between cruise ships and humpback whales have occurred throughout Alaska, including in Glacier Bay National Park (GBNP). Although the National Park Service (NPS) establishes quotas and operating requirements for cruise ships within GBNP in part to minimize ship-whale collisions, no study has quantified ship-whale interactions in the park or in state waters where ship traffic is unregulated. In 2008 and 2009, an observer was placed on ships during 49 different cruises that included entry into GBNP to record distance and bearing of whales that surfaced within 1 km of the ship's bow. A relative coordinate system was developed in ArcGIS to model the frequency of whale surface events using kernel density. A total of 514 whale surface events were recorded. Although ship-whale interactions were common within GBNP, whales frequently surfaced in front of the bow in waters immediately adjacent to the park (west Icy Strait) where cruise ship traffic is not regulated by the NPS. When ships transited at speeds >13 knots, whales frequently surfaced closer to the ship's midline and ship's bow in contrast to speeds slower than 13 knots. Our findings confirm that ship speed is an effective mitigation measure for protecting whales and should be applied to other areas where ship-whale interactions are common.

  3. Mercury speciation and selenium in toothed-whale muscles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakamoto, Mineshi; Itai, Takaaki; Yasutake, Akira; Iwasaki, Toshihide; Yasunaga, Genta; Fujise, Yoshihiro; Nakamura, Masaaki; Murata, Katsuyuki; Chan, Hing Man; Domingo, José L; Marumoto, Masumi

    2015-11-01

    Mercury accumulates at high levels in marine mammal tissues. However, its speciation is poorly understood. The main goal of this investigation was to establish the relationships among mercury species and selenium (Se) concentrations in toothed-whale muscles at different mercury levels. The concentrations of total mercury (T-Hg), methylmercury (MeHg), inorganic mercury (I-Hg) and Se were determined in the muscles of four toothed-whale species: bottlenose dolphins (n=31), Risso's dolphins (n=30), striped dolphins (n=29), and short-finned pilot whales (n=30). In each species, the MeHg concentration increased with increasing T-Hg concentration, tending to reach a plateau. In contrast, the proportion of MeHg in T-Hg decreased from 90-100% to 20-40%. The levels of T-Hg and Se showed strong positive correlations. Se/I-Hg molar ratios rapidly decreased with the increase of I-Hg and reached almost 1 in all species. These results suggested that the demethylated MeHg immediately formed Se/I-Hg equimolar complex of mercury selenide (HgSe) in their muscles. In addition, an X-ray absorption fine structure analysis (XAFS) of a bottlenose dolphin muscle confirmed that the dominant chemical form of the Se/I-Hg equimolar complex was HgSe. HgSe was mainly localized in cells near the endomysium using electron probe microanalysis (EPMA). These results suggested that the demethylated MeHg finally deposits within muscle cells of bottlenose dolphin as an inert HgSe. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Material and structural properties of fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) Zwischensubstanz.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinto, Sheldon J D; Shadwick, Robert E

    2013-08-01

    The oral anatomy of the fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) consists of several major structures crucial to its engulfment method of feeding, such as stiff keratinized baleen plates, a large flaccid tongue, and a prominent vomer. One under-documented part of this anatomy is the cream white Zwischensubstanz that holds the baleen plates to the rostrum at their dorsal base. The mechanical and structural properties of Zwischensubstanz play a key role in baleen plate dynamics and, on the grand scale, contribute to baleen whales' filtration efficiency and attainment of large body size. Compression and tensile tests on the Zwischensubstanz sampled from an 18 m fin whale showed that this material unexpectedly exhibits linear isotropic behaviour with Elastic Modulus of 2.56 ± 0.60 MPa and hysteresis of 0.44 ± 0.02 in compression despite apparent unidirectional growth. Acting similar to a soft rubber, the Zwischensubstanz absorbs and dissipates the enormous forces acting on baleen plates during engulfment feeding while maintaining spacing between the plates to maximize filtration efficiency. Microscopic analysis provided images of connective tissue papillae penetrating the base of the Zwischensubstanz and developing within it to emerge as fully formed, keratinized baleen plates. The plates develop from the papillae and a connective tissue sheet within the 5-7 cm deep Zwischensubstanz. The Zwischensubstanz provides a keratin matrix of concentrically oriented fibers around each papilla forming the hard baleen plates and frayed fringes used for filter feeding. During this formation, the Zwischensubstanz remains unchanged and appears to slough away to allow the baleen plate to grow unhindered. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Reproductive Conflict and the Evolution of Menopause in Killer Whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Croft, Darren P; Johnstone, Rufus A; Ellis, Samuel; Nattrass, Stuart; Franks, Daniel W; Brent, Lauren J N; Mazzi, Sonia; Balcomb, Kenneth C; Ford, John K B; Cant, Michael A

    2017-01-23

    Why females of some species cease ovulation prior to the end of their natural lifespan is a long-standing evolutionary puzzle [1-4]. The fitness benefits of post-reproductive helping could in principle select for menopause [1, 2, 5], but the magnitude of these benefits appears insufficient to explain the timing of menopause [6-8]. Recent theory suggests that the cost of inter-generational reproductive conflict between younger and older females of the same social unit is a critical missing term in classical inclusive fitness calculations (the "reproductive conflict hypothesis" [6, 9]). Using a unique long-term dataset on wild resident killer whales, where females can live decades after their final parturition, we provide the first test of this hypothesis in a non-human animal. First, we confirm previous theoretical predictions that local relatedness increases with female age up to the end of reproduction. Second, we construct a new evolutionary model and show that given these kinship dynamics, selection will favor younger females that invest more in competition, and thus have greater reproductive success, than older females (their mothers) when breeding at the same time. Third, we test this prediction using 43 years of individual-based demographic data in resident killer whales and show that when mothers and daughters co-breed, the mortality hazard of calves from older-generation females is 1.7 times that of calves from younger-generation females. Intergenerational conflict combined with the known benefits conveyed to kin by post-reproductive females can explain why killer whales have evolved the longest post-reproductive lifespan of all non-human animals. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  6. Thrombin-inhibitory activity of whale heparin oligosaccharides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ototani, N; Kodama, C; Kikuchi, M; Yosizawa, Z

    1984-12-01

    Whale heparin was partially digested with a purified heparinase and the oligosaccharide fractions with 8-20 monosaccharide units were isolated from the digest by gel filtration on Sephadex G-50, followed by affinity chromatography on a column of antithrombin III immobilized on Sepharose 4B. A marked difference in the inhibitory activity for thrombin in the presence of antithrombin III was observed between the high-affinity fractions for antithrombin III of octasaccharide approximately hexadecasaccharide and those of octadecasaccharide approximately eicosasaccharide. The disaccharide compositions of these hexadeca-, octadeca-, and eicosasaccharides were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography after digestion with a mixture of purified heparitinases 1 and 2 and heparinase. The analytical data indicated that the proportions of trisulfated disaccharide (IdUA(2S)alpha 1----4GlcNS(6S)) and disulfated disaccharide (UA1----4GlcNS(6S)) increased with the manifestation of high thrombin-inhibitory activity, while that of monosulfated disaccharide (UA1----4GlcNS) decreased. The present observations, together with those so far reported, suggest that the presence of the former structural elements, specifically IdUA(2S)alpha 1----4GlcNS(6S), as well as the antithrombin III-binding pentasaccharide at the proper positions in the molecules of whale heparin oligosaccharides is essential for the manifestation of high inhibitory activity for thrombin in the presence of antithrombin III. The structural bases for the manifestation of the anticoagulant activity of whale and porcine heparins and their oligosaccharides are also discussed.

  7. Structure and Dynamics of Humpback Whales Competitive Groups in Ecuador

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando Félix

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available We assessed the social structure and behavior of humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae competitive groups off Ecuador between July and August 2010. During this time we followed 185 whales in 22 competitive groups for 41.45 hr. The average group size was 8.4 animals (SD = 2.85. The average sighting time was 113.05 min/group (SD = 47.1. We used photographs of dorsal fins and video to record interactions and estimate an association index (AI between each pair of whales within the groups. Sightings were divided into periods, which were defined by changes in group membership. On average, group composition changed every 30.2 min, which confirms that the structure of competitive groups is highly dynamic. Interactions between escorts characterized by low level of aggression. At least 60% of escorts joined or left together the group in small subunits between two and five animals, suggesting some type of cooperative association. Although singletons, as well as pairs or trios were able to join competitive groups at any moment, escorts that joined together were able to stay longer with the group and displace dominant escorts. Genetic analysis showed that in three occasions more than one female was present within a competitive group, suggesting either males are herding females or large competitive groups are formed by subunits. Males and females performed similar surface displays. We propose that competition and cooperation are interrelated in humpback whales’ competitive groups and that male cooperation would be an adaptive strategy either to displace dominant escorts or to fend off challengers.

  8. As main meal for sperm whales: plastics debris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Stephanis, Renaud; Giménez, Joan; Carpinelli, Eva; Gutierrez-Exposito, Carlos; Cañadas, Ana

    2013-04-15

    Marine debris has been found in marine animals since the early 20th century, but little is known about the impacts of the ingestion of debris in large marine mammals. In this study we describe a case of mortality of a sperm whale related to the ingestion of large amounts of marine debris in the Mediterranean Sea (4th published case worldwide to our knowledge), and discuss it within the context of the spatial distribution of the species and the presence of anthropogenic activities in the area that could be the source of the plastic debris found inside the sperm whale. The spatial distribution modelled for the species in the region shows that these animals can be seen in two distinct areas: near the waters of Almería, Granada and Murcia and in waters near the Strait of Gibraltar. The results shows how these animals feed in waters near an area completely flooded by the greenhouse industry, making them vulnerable to its waste products if adequate treatment of this industry's debris is not in place. Most types of these plastic materials have been found in the individual examined and cause of death was presumed to be gastric rupture following impaction with debris, which added to a previous problem of starvation. The problem of plastics arising from greenhouse agriculture should have a relevant section in the conservation plans and should be a recommendation from ACCOBAMS due to these plastics' and sperm whales' high mobility in the Mediterranean Sea. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Climate impacts on transocean dispersal and habitat in gray whales from the Pleistocene to 2100.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alter, S Elizabeth; Meyer, Matthias; Post, Klaas; Czechowski, Paul; Gravlund, Peter; Gaines, Cork; Rosenbaum, Howard C; Kaschner, Kristin; Turvey, Samuel T; van der Plicht, Johannes; Shapiro, Beth; Hofreiter, Michael

    2015-04-01

    Arctic animals face dramatic habitat alteration due to ongoing climate change. Understanding how such species have responded to past glacial cycles can help us forecast their response to today's changing climate. Gray whales are among those marine species likely to be strongly affected by Arctic climate change, but a thorough analysis of past climate impacts on this species has been complicated by lack of information about an extinct population in the Atlantic. While little is known about the history of Atlantic gray whales or their relationship to the extant Pacific population, the extirpation of the Atlantic population during historical times has been attributed to whaling. We used a combination of ancient and modern DNA, radiocarbon dating and predictive habitat modelling to better understand the distribution of gray whales during the Pleistocene and Holocene. Our results reveal that dispersal between the Pacific and Atlantic was climate dependent and occurred both during the Pleistocene prior to the last glacial period and the early Holocene immediately following the opening of the Bering Strait. Genetic diversity in the Atlantic declined over an extended interval that predates the period of intensive commercial whaling, indicating this decline may have been precipitated by Holocene climate or other ecological causes. These first genetic data for Atlantic gray whales, particularly when combined with predictive habitat models for the year 2100, suggest that two recent sightings of gray whales in the Atlantic may represent the beginning of the expansion of this species' habitat beyond its currently realized range. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Click rates and silences of sperm whales at Kaikoura, New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas, Lesley A.; Dawson, Stephen M.; Jaquet, Nathalie

    2005-07-01

    Analysis of the usual click rates of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) at Kaikoura, New Zealand, confirms the potential for assessing abundance via ``click counting.'' Usual click rates over three dive cycles each of three photographically identified whales showed that 5 min averages of usual click rate did not differ significantly within dives, among dives of the same whale or among whales. Over the nine dives (n=13 728 clicks) mean usual click rate was 1.272 clicks s-1 (95% CI=0.151). On average, individual sperm whales at Kaikoura spent 60% of their time usual clicking in winter and in summer. There was no evidence that whale identity or stage of the dive recorded affects significantly the percentage of time spent usual clicking. Differences in vocal behavior among sperm whale populations worldwide indicate that estimates of abundance that are based on click rates need to based on data from the population of interest, rather than from another population or some global average.

  11. Geographic patterns of genetic differentiation among killer whales in the northern North Pacific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, Kim M; Durban, John W; Burdin, Alexander M; Burkanov, Vladimir N; Pitman, Robert L; Barlow, Jay; Barrett-Lennard, Lance G; LeDuc, Richard G; Robertson, Kelly M; Matkin, Craig O; Wade, Paul R

    2013-01-01

    The difficulties associated with detecting population boundaries have long constrained the conservation and management of highly mobile, wide-ranging marine species, such as killer whales (Orcinus orca). In this study, we use data from 26 nuclear microsatellite loci and mitochondrial DNA sequences (988bp) to test a priori hypotheses about population subdivisions generated from a decade of killer whale surveys across the northern North Pacific. A total of 462 remote skin biopsies were collected from wild killer whales primarily between 2001 and 2010 from the northern Gulf of Alaska to the Sea of Okhotsk, representing both the piscivorous "resident" and the mammal-eating "transient" (or Bigg's) killer whales. Divergence of the 2 ecotypes was supported by both mtDNA and microsatellites. Geographic patterns of genetic differentiation were supported by significant regions of genetic discontinuity, providing evidence of population structuring within both ecotypes and corroborating direct observations of restricted movements of individual whales. In the Aleutian Islands (Alaska), subpopulations, or groups with significantly different mtDNA and microsatellite allele frequencies, were largely delimited by major oceanographic boundaries for resident killer whales. Although Amchitka Pass represented a major subdivision for transient killer whales between the central and western Aleutian Islands, several smaller subpopulations were evident throughout the eastern Aleutians and Bering Sea. Support for seasonally sympatric transient subpopulations around Unimak Island suggests isolating mechanisms other than geographic distance within this highly mobile top predator.

  12. Iron defecation by sperm whales stimulates carbon export in the Southern Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavery, Trish J; Roudnew, Ben; Gill, Peter; Seymour, Justin; Seuront, Laurent; Johnson, Genevieve; Mitchell, James G; Smetacek, Victor

    2010-11-22

    The iron-limited Southern Ocean plays an important role in regulating atmospheric CO(2) levels. Marine mammal respiration has been proposed to decrease the efficiency of the Southern Ocean biological pump by returning photosynthetically fixed carbon to the atmosphere. Here, we show that by consuming prey at depth and defecating iron-rich liquid faeces into the photic zone, sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) instead stimulate new primary production and carbon export to the deep ocean. We estimate that Southern Ocean sperm whales defecate 50 tonnes of iron into the photic zone each year. Molar ratios of C(export):Fe(added) determined during natural ocean fertilization events are used to estimate the amount of carbon exported to the deep ocean in response to the iron defecated by sperm whales. We find that Southern Ocean sperm whales stimulate the export of 4 × 10(5) tonnes of carbon per year to the deep ocean and respire only 2 × 10(5) tonnes of carbon per year. By enhancing new primary production, the populations of 12 000 sperm whales in the Southern Ocean act as a carbon sink, removing 2 × 10(5) tonnes more carbon from the atmosphere than they add during respiration. The ability of the Southern Ocean to act as a carbon sink may have been diminished by large-scale removal of sperm whales during industrial whaling.

  13. Iron defecation by sperm whales stimulates carbon export in the Southern Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavery, Trish J.; Roudnew, Ben; Gill, Peter; Seymour, Justin; Seuront, Laurent; Johnson, Genevieve; Mitchell, James G.; Smetacek, Victor

    2010-01-01

    The iron-limited Southern Ocean plays an important role in regulating atmospheric CO2 levels. Marine mammal respiration has been proposed to decrease the efficiency of the Southern Ocean biological pump by returning photosynthetically fixed carbon to the atmosphere. Here, we show that by consuming prey at depth and defecating iron-rich liquid faeces into the photic zone, sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) instead stimulate new primary production and carbon export to the deep ocean. We estimate that Southern Ocean sperm whales defecate 50 tonnes of iron into the photic zone each year. Molar ratios of Cexport ∶Feadded determined during natural ocean fertilization events are used to estimate the amount of carbon exported to the deep ocean in response to the iron defecated by sperm whales. We find that Southern Ocean sperm whales stimulate the export of 4 × 105 tonnes of carbon per year to the deep ocean and respire only 2 × 105 tonnes of carbon per year. By enhancing new primary production, the populations of 12 000 sperm whales in the Southern Ocean act as a carbon sink, removing 2 × 105 tonnes more carbon from the atmosphere than they add during respiration. The ability of the Southern Ocean to act as a carbon sink may have been diminished by large-scale removal of sperm whales during industrial whaling. PMID:20554546

  14. The transcriptome of the bowhead whale Balaena mysticetus reveals adaptations of the longest-lived mammal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seim, Inge; Ma, Siming; Zhou, Xuming; Gerashchenko, Maxim V; Lee, Sang-Goo; Suydam, Robert; George, John C; Bickham, John W; Gladyshev, Vadim N

    2014-10-01

    Mammals vary dramatically in lifespan, by at least two-orders of magnitude, but the molecular basis for this difference remains largely unknown. The bowhead whale Balaena mysticetus is the longest-lived mammal known, with an estimated maximal lifespan in excess of two hundred years. It is also one of the two largest animals and the most cold-adapted baleen whale species. Here, we report the first genome-wide gene expression analyses of the bowhead whale, based on the de novo assembly of its transcriptome. Bowhead whale or cetacean-specific changes in gene expression were identified in the liver, kidney and heart, and complemented with analyses of positively selected genes. Changes associated with altered insulin signaling and other gene expression patterns could help explain the remarkable longevity of bowhead whales as well as their adaptation to a lipid-rich diet. The data also reveal parallels in candidate longevity adaptations of the bowhead whale, naked mole rat and Brandt's bat. The bowhead whale transcriptome is a valuable resource for the study of this remarkable animal, including the evolution of longevity and its important correlates such as resistance to cancer and other diseases.

  15. The transcriptome of the bowhead whale Balaena mysticetus reveals adaptations of the longest-lived mammal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seim, Inge; Ma, Siming; Zhou, Xuming; Gerashchenko, Maxim V.; Lee, Sang-Goo; Suydam, Robert; George, John C.; Bickham, John W.; Gladyshev, Vadim N.

    2014-01-01

    Mammals vary dramatically in lifespan, by at least two-orders of magnitude, but the molecular basis for this difference remains largely unknown. The bowhead whale Balaena mysticetus is the longest-lived mammal known, with an estimated maximal lifespan in excess of two hundred years. It is also one of the two largest animals and the most cold-adapted baleen whale species. Here, we report the first genome-wide gene expression analyses of the bowhead whale, based on the de novo assembly of its transcriptome. Bowhead whale or cetacean-specific changes in gene expression were identified in the liver, kidney and heart, and complemented with analyses of positively selected genes. Changes associated with altered insulin signaling and other gene expression patterns could help explain the remarkable longevity of bowhead whales as well as their adaptation to a lipid-rich diet. The data also reveal parallels in candidate longevity adaptations of the bowhead whale, naked mole rat and Brandt's bat. The bowhead whale transcriptome is a valuable resource for the study of this remarkable animal, including the evolution of longevity and its important correlates such as resistance to cancer and other diseases. PMID:25411232

  16. Conservation Status of Killer Whales, Orcinus orca, in the Strait of Gibraltar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esteban, R; Verborgh, P; Gauffier, P; Alarcón, D; Salazar-Sierra, J M; Giménez, J; Foote, A D; de Stephanis, R

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) in the Mediterranean Sea are currently restricted to the Strait of Gibraltar and surrounding waters. Thirty-nine individuals were present in 2011, with a well-differentiated social structure, organized into five pods. Killer whale occurrence in the Strait is apparently related to the migration of their main prey, Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus). In spring, whale distribution was restricted to shallow waters off the western coast of the Strait where all pods were observed actively hunting tuna. In summer, the whales were observed in the shallow central waters of the Strait. A relatively new feeding strategy has been observed among two of the five pods. These two pods interact with an artisanal drop-line fishery. Pods depredating the fishery had access to larger tuna in comparison with pods that were actively hunting. The Strait of Gibraltar killer whales are socially and ecologically different from individuals in the Canary Islands. Molecular genetic research has indicated that there is little or no female-mediated gene migration between these areas. Conservation threats include small population size, prey depletion, vessel traffic, and contaminants. We propose the declaration of the Strait of Gibraltar killer whales as an endangered subpopulation. A conservation plan to protect the Strait of Gibraltar killer whales is urgently needed, and we recommend implementation of a seasonal management area where activities producing underwater noise are restricted, and the promotion of bluefin tuna conservation. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Killer whale (Orcinus orca photo-identification in the eastern Canadian Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brent G. Young

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available We identified individual killer whales (Orcinus orca using recent (2004–09 photographs to obtain a minimum count of whales that use eastern Canadian Arctic waters. Fifty-three individuals were identified from nine different sightings; 11 individuals from western Hudson Bay sightings and 42 from the areas around northern and eastern Baffin Island. One whale was re-sighted: an adult female or large juvenile photographed 17 days and 375 km apart at Churchill, Manitoba, and off-shore of Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, in August 2007. With only one individual re-sighted, the number of individuals that use this area is likely much larger. No re-sightings occurred between Arctic killer whales and individuals photographed off the coast of Newfoundland. Our results represent the minimum number of killer whales sighted in eastern Canadian Arctic waters and provide the foundation for further killer whale research. Little is known about Arctic killer whales and, as a top predator, it is unclear what effect they have on Arctic marine ecosystems.

  18. As main meal for sperm whales: Plastics debris

    OpenAIRE

    de Stephanis, Renaud; Giménez, Joan; Carpinelli, Eva; Gutiérrez-Expósito, Carlos; Cañadas, Ana

    2013-01-01

    Marine debris has been found in marine animals since the early 20th century, but little is known about the impacts of the ingestion of debris in large marine mammals. In this study we describe a case of mor- tality of a sperm whale related to the ingestion of large amounts of marine debris in the Mediterranean Sea (4th published case worldwide to our knowledge), and discuss it within the context of the spatial dis- tribution of the species and the presence of anthropogenic activi...

  19. Assessment of management to mitigate anthropogenic effects on large whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van der Hoop, Julie M; Moore, Michael J; Barco, Susan G; Cole, Timothy V N; Daoust, Pierre-Yves; Henry, Allison G; McAlpine, Donald F; McLellan, William A; Wimmer, Tonya; Solow, Andrew R

    2013-02-01

    United States and Canadian governments have responded to legal requirements to reduce human-induced whale mortality via vessel strikes and entanglement in fishing gear by implementing a suite of regulatory actions. We analyzed the spatial and temporal patterns of mortality of large whales in the Northwest Atlantic (23.5°N to 48.0°N), 1970 through 2009, in the context of management changes. We used a multinomial logistic model fitted by maximum likelihood to detect trends in cause-specific mortalities with time. We compared the number of human-caused mortalities with U.S. federally established levels of potential biological removal (i.e., species-specific sustainable human-caused mortality). From 1970 through 2009, 1762 mortalities (all known) and serious injuries (likely fatal) involved 8 species of large whales. We determined cause of death for 43% of all mortalities; of those, 67% (502) resulted from human interactions. Entanglement in fishing gear was the primary cause of death across all species (n = 323), followed by natural causes (n = 248) and vessel strikes (n = 171). Established sustainable levels of mortality were consistently exceeded in 2 species by up to 650%. Probabilities of entanglement and vessel-strike mortality increased significantly from 1990 through 2009. There was no significant change in the local intensity of all or vessel-strike mortalities before and after 2003, the year after which numerous mitigation efforts were enacted. So far, regulatory efforts have not reduced the lethal effects of human activities to large whales on a population-range basis, although we do not exclude the possibility of success of targeted measures for specific local habitats that were not within the resolution of our analyses. It is unclear how shortfalls in management design or compliance relate to our findings. Analyses such as the one we conducted are crucial in critically evaluating wildlife-management decisions. The results of these analyses can provide

  20. Taxonomy Icon Data: North Pacific right whale [Taxonomy Icon

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available North Pacific right whale Eubalaena japonica Chordata/Vertebrata/Mammalia/Theria/Eu...theria/Cetacea Eubalaena_japonica_L.png Eubalaena_japonica_NL.png Eubalaena_japonica_S.png Eubalaena_japonic...a_NS.png http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Eubalaena+japonica&t=L http://biosciencedbc.jp/tax...onomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Eubalaena+japonica&t=NL http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_ic...on/icon.cgi?i=Eubalaena+japonica&t=S http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Eubalaena+japonica&t=NS ...

  1. Choroid plexus papilloma in a beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Christian; Mergl, June; Gehring, Erica; Paulus, Werner; Martineau, Daniel; Hasselblatt, Martin

    2016-07-01

    We report herein a choroid plexus papilloma in a beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas). This case was positive for choroid plexus tumor marker Kir7.1 on immunohistochemistry. These results and the high conservation of Kir7.1 across species at the amino acid sequence level strongly suggest that antibodies directed against Kir7.1 not only can be employed for the diagnosis of choroid plexus tumors in cetaceans, but are also likely to be diagnostically useful in other animal species. © 2016 The Author(s).

  2. How bumps on whale flippers delay stall: an aerodynamic model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Nierop, Ernst A; Alben, Silas; Brenner, Michael P

    2008-02-08

    Wind tunnel experiments have shown that bumps on the leading edge of model humpback whale flippers cause them to "stall" (i.e., lose lift dramatically) more gradually and at a higher angle of attack. Here we develop an aerodynamic model which explains the observed increase in stall angle. The model predicts that as the amplitude of the bumps is increased, the lift curve flattens out, leading to potentially desirable control properties. We find that stall delay is insensitive to the wavelength of the bumps, in accordance with experimental observations.

  3. Quota disputes and subsistence whaling in Qeqertarsuaq, Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tejsner, Pelle

    2014-01-01

    In Qeqertarsuaq (Disco Island), northwest Greenland, local disputes about the allocation of annual whaling quotas for beluga and narwhals feature as a source of conflict between state-imposed categories of occupational and non-occupational hunters. The national authorities’ co-management regime...... whalers and their families nevertheless improvise and mould their interests around the legal frameworks in everyday interpretations of national and municipal quota allocations. The article argues that, in the process of receiving and interpreting annual quota allocations, hunters and their families draw...

  4. Target Strength of Southern Resident Killer Whales (Orcinus orca): Measurement and Modeling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xu, Jinshan; Deng, Zhiqun; Carlson, Thomas J.; Moore, Brian

    2012-04-04

    A major criterion for tidal power licensing in Washington’s Puget Sound is the management of the risk of injury to killer whales due to collision with moving turbine blades. An active monitoring system is being proposed for killer whale detection, tracking, and alerting that links to and triggers temporary turbine shutdown when there is risk of collision. Target strength (TS) modeling of the killer whale is critical to the design and application of any active monitoring system. A 1996 study performed a high-resolution measurement of acoustic reflectivity as a function of frequency of a female bottlenose dolphin (2.2 m length) at broadside aspect and TS as a function of incident angle at 67 kHz frequency. Assuming that killer whales share similar morphology structure with the bottlenose dolphin, we extrapolated the TS of an adult killer whale 7.5 m in length at 67 kHz frequency with -8 dB at broadside aspect and -28 dB at tail side. The backscattering data from three Southern Resident killer whales were analyzed to obtain the TS measurement. These data were collected at Lime Kiln State Park using a split-beam system deployed from a boat. The TS of the killer whale at higher frequency (200 kHz) was estimated based on a three-layer model for plane wave reflection from the lung of the whale. The TS data of killer whales were in good agreement with our model. In this paper, we also discuss and explain possible causes for measurement estimation error.

  5. Competing conservation objectives for predators and prey: estimating killer whale prey requirements for Chinook salmon.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rob Williams

    Full Text Available Ecosystem-based management (EBM of marine resources attempts to conserve interacting species. In contrast to single-species fisheries management, EBM aims to identify and resolve conflicting objectives for different species. Such a conflict may be emerging in the northeastern Pacific for southern resident killer whales (Orcinus orca and their primary prey, Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha. Both species have at-risk conservation status and transboundary (Canada-US ranges. We modeled individual killer whale prey requirements from feeding and growth records of captive killer whales and morphometric data from historic live-capture fishery and whaling records worldwide. The models, combined with caloric value of salmon, and demographic and diet data for wild killer whales, allow us to predict salmon quantities needed to maintain and recover this killer whale population, which numbered 87 individuals in 2009. Our analyses provide new information on cost of lactation and new parameter estimates for other killer whale populations globally. Prey requirements of southern resident killer whales are difficult to reconcile with fisheries and conservation objectives for Chinook salmon, because the number of fish required is large relative to annual returns and fishery catches. For instance, a U.S. recovery goal (2.3% annual population growth of killer whales over 28 years implies a 75% increase in energetic requirements. Reducing salmon fisheries may serve as a temporary mitigation measure to allow time for management actions to improve salmon productivity to take effect. As ecosystem-based fishery management becomes more prevalent, trade-offs between conservation objectives for predators and prey will become increasingly necessary. Our approach offers scenarios to compare relative influence of various sources of uncertainty on the resulting consumption estimates to prioritise future research efforts, and a general approach for assessing the extent of

  6. Competing conservation objectives for predators and prey: estimating killer whale prey requirements for Chinook salmon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Rob; Krkošek, Martin; Ashe, Erin; Branch, Trevor A; Clark, Steve; Hammond, Philip S; Hoyt, Erich; Noren, Dawn P; Rosen, David; Winship, Arliss

    2011-01-01

    Ecosystem-based management (EBM) of marine resources attempts to conserve interacting species. In contrast to single-species fisheries management, EBM aims to identify and resolve conflicting objectives for different species. Such a conflict may be emerging in the northeastern Pacific for southern resident killer whales (Orcinus orca) and their primary prey, Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). Both species have at-risk conservation status and transboundary (Canada-US) ranges. We modeled individual killer whale prey requirements from feeding and growth records of captive killer whales and morphometric data from historic live-capture fishery and whaling records worldwide. The models, combined with caloric value of salmon, and demographic and diet data for wild killer whales, allow us to predict salmon quantities needed to maintain and recover this killer whale population, which numbered 87 individuals in 2009. Our analyses provide new information on cost of lactation and new parameter estimates for other killer whale populations globally. Prey requirements of southern resident killer whales are difficult to reconcile with fisheries and conservation objectives for Chinook salmon, because the number of fish required is large relative to annual returns and fishery catches. For instance, a U.S. recovery goal (2.3% annual population growth of killer whales over 28 years) implies a 75% increase in energetic requirements. Reducing salmon fisheries may serve as a temporary mitigation measure to allow time for management actions to improve salmon productivity to take effect. As ecosystem-based fishery management becomes more prevalent, trade-offs between conservation objectives for predators and prey will become increasingly necessary. Our approach offers scenarios to compare relative influence of various sources of uncertainty on the resulting consumption estimates to prioritise future research efforts, and a general approach for assessing the extent of conflict

  7. Classification of Sperm Whale Clicks (Physeter Macrocephalus with Gaussian-Kernel-Based Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michel André

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available With the aim of classifying sperm whales, this report compares two methods that can use Gaussian functions, a radial basis function network, and support vector machines which were trained with two different approaches known as C-SVM and ν-SVM. The methods were tested on data recordings from seven different male sperm whales, six containing single click trains and the seventh containing a complete dive. Both types of classifiers could distinguish between the clicks of the seven different whales, but the SVM seemed to have better generalisation towards unknown data, at the cost of needing more information and slower performance.

  8. Edwardsiella tarda sepsis in a live-stranded sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cools, Piet; Haelters, Jan; Lopes dos Santos Santiago, Guido; Claeys, Geert; Boelens, Jerina; Leroux-Roels, Isabel; Vaneechoutte, Mario; Deschaght, Pieter

    2013-09-27

    Whale strandings remain poorly understood, although bacterial infections have been suggested to contribute. We isolated Edwardsiella tarda from the blood of a stranded sperm whale. The pathogen was identified with MALDI-TOF MS, confirmed by 16S rRNA gene sequencing and quantified in blood by qPCR. We report the first case of sepsis in a sperm whale. The zoonotic potential of E. tarda and the possible role of bacterial infections in the enigmatic strandings of cetaceans are discussed. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Detection and Analysis of Low-Frequency Sperm Whale Vocalizations with a Towed Array

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohn, Alexander

    Sperm whale vocalizations recorded during a sea test and calibration experiment in the Gulf of Maine on a single towed, horizontal, densely sampled, low-frequency (whales. Comparison of the vocalizations and background noise levels and the estimated transmission loss suggests the sperm whale detection range after coherent array processing exceeds 60 km in low-to-moderate sea states. Low-frequency source levels of vocalizations are estimated using the received levels and the estimated transmission loss, and applications of both this estimate and the receiver-side statistics are discussed.

  10. Straight as an arrow: humpback whales swim constant course tracks during long-distance migration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horton, Travis W.; Holdaway, Richard N.; Zerbini, Alexandre N.; Hauser, Nan; Garrigue, Claire; Andriolo, Artur; Clapham, Phillip J.

    2011-01-01

    Humpback whale seasonal migrations, spanning greater than 6500 km of open ocean, demonstrate remarkable navigational precision despite following spatially and temporally distinct migration routes. Satellite-monitored radio tag-derived humpback whale migration tracks in both the South Atlantic and South Pacific include constant course segments of greater than 200 km, each spanning several days of continuous movement. The whales studied here maintain these directed movements, often with better than 1° precision, despite the effects of variable sea-surface currents. Such remarkable directional precision is difficult to explain by established models of directional orientation, suggesting that alternative compass mechanisms should be explored. PMID:21508023

  11. Individual, unit and vocal clan level identity cues in sperm whale codas

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gero, Shane; Whitehead, Hal; Rendell, Luke

    2016-01-01

    The ‘social complexity hypothesis’ suggests that complex social structure is a driver of diversity in animal communication systems. Sperm whales have a hierarchically structured society in which the largest affiliative structures, the vocal clans, are marked on ocean-basin scales by culturally...... transmitted dialects of acoustic signals known as ‘codas’. We examined variation in coda repertoires among both individual whales and social units—the basic element of sperm whale society—using data from nine Caribbean social units across six years. Codas were assigned to individuals using photo...

  12. Ancestor–descendant relationships in evolution: origin of the extant pygmy right whale, Caperea marginata

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Cheng-Hsiu; Fordyce, R. Ewan

    2015-01-01

    Ancestor–descendant relationships (ADRs), involving descent with modification, are the fundamental concept in evolution, but are usually difficult to recognize. We examined the cladistic relationship between the only reported fossil pygmy right whale, †Miocaperea pulchra, and its sole living relative, the enigmatic pygmy right whale Caperea marginata, the latter represented by both adult and juvenile specimens. †Miocaperea is phylogenetically bracketed between juvenile and adult Caperea marginata in morphologically based analyses, thus suggesting a possible ADR—the first so far identified within baleen whales (Cetacea: Mysticeti). The †Miocaperea–Caperea lineage may show long-term morphological stasis and, in turn, punctuated equilibrium. PMID:25589485

  13. Effects of fishing rope strength on the severity of large whale entanglements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knowlton, Amy R; Robbins, Jooke; Landry, Scott; McKenna, Henry A; Kraus, Scott D; Werner, Timothy B

    2016-04-01

    Entanglement in fixed fishing gear affects whales worldwide. In the United States, deaths of North Atlantic right (Eubalaena glacialis) and humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) have exceeded management limits for decades. We examined live and dead whales entangled in fishing gear along the U.S. East Coast and the Canadian Maritimes from 1994 to 2010. We recorded whale species, age, and injury severity and determined rope polymer type, breaking strength, and diameter of the fishing gear. For the 132 retrieved ropes from 70 cases, tested breaking strength range was 0.80-39.63 kN (kiloNewtons) and the mean was 11.64 kN (SD 8.29), which is 26% lower than strength at manufacture (range 2.89-53.38 kN, mean = 15.70 kN [9.89]). Median rope diameter was 9.5 mm. Right and humpback whales were found in ropes with significantly stronger breaking strengths at time of manufacture than minke whales (Balaenoptera acuturostrata) (19.30, 17.13, and 10.47 mean kN, respectively). Adult right whales were found in stronger ropes (mean 34.09 kN) than juvenile right whales (mean 15.33 kN) and than all humpback whale age classes (mean 17.37 kN). For right whales, severity of injuries increased since the mid 1980s, possibly due to changes in rope manufacturing in the mid 1990s that resulted in production of stronger ropes at the same diameter. Our results suggest that broad adoption of ropes with breaking strengths of ≤ 7.56 kN (≤ 1700 lbsf) could reduce the number of life-threatening entanglements for large whales by at least 72%, and yet could provide sufficient strength to withstand the routine forces involved in many fishing operations. A reduction of this magnitude would achieve nearly all the mitigation legally required for U.S. stocks of North Atlantic right and humpback whales. Ropes with reduced breaking strength should be developed and tested to determine the feasibility of their use in a variety of fisheries. © 2015 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley

  14. Environmental isolates of fungi from aquarium pools housing killer whales (Orcinus orca).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohata, Erina; Kano, Rui; Akune, Yuichiro; Ohno, Yoshito; Soichi, Makoto; Yanai, Tokuma; Hasegawa, Atsuhiko; Kamata, Hiroshi

    2013-12-01

    Systemic mycoses in killer whales (Orcinus orca) are rare diseases, but have been reported. Two killer whales died by fungal infections at the Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium in Japan. In this study, the fungal flora of the pool environment at the aquarium was characterized. Alternaria spp., Aspergillus spp. (A. fumigatus, A. niger, A. versicolor), Fusarium spp. and Penicillium spp. were isolated from the air and the pool surroundings. The other isolates were identified as fungal species non-pathogenic for mammals. However, the species of fungi isolated from the environmental samples in this study were not the same as those isolated from the cases of disease in killer whales previously reported.

  15. Killer whale (Orcinus orca) whistles from the western South Atlantic Ocean include high frequency signals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andriolo, Artur; Reis, Sarah S; Amorim, Thiago O S; Sucunza, Federico; de Castro, Franciele R; Maia, Ygor Geyer; Zerbini, Alexandre N; Bortolotto, Guilherme A; Dalla Rosa, Luciano

    2015-09-01

    Acoustic parameters of killer whale (Orcinus orca) whistles were described for the western South Atlantic Ocean and highlight the occurrence of high frequency whistles. Killer whale signals were recorded on December of 2012, when a pod of four individuals was observed harassing a group of sperm whales. The high frequency whistles were highly stereotyped and were modulated mostly at ultrasonic frequencies. Compared to other contour types, the high frequency whistles are characterized by higher bandwidths, shorter durations, fewer harmonics, and higher sweep rates. The results add to the knowledge of vocal behavior of this species.

  16. Application of a novel method for age estimation of a baleen whale and a porpoise

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Nynne H.; Garde, Eva; Heide-Jørgensen, Mads Peter

    2013-01-01

    Eyeballs from 121 fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) and 83 harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) were used for age estimation using the aspartic acid racemization (AAR) technique. The racemization rate (kAsp) for fin whales was established from 15 fetuses (age 0) and 15 adult whales where age...... was estimated by reading growth layer groups (GLGs) in the earplugs. The (kAsp) for harbor porpoises was derived from 15 porpoises (two calves and 13 > 1 yr old) age-estimated by counting GLGs in the teeth and two calves classified to age based on length. The (kAsp) values were estimated by regression of GLGs...

  17. Straight as an arrow: humpback whales swim constant course tracks during long-distance migration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horton, Travis W; Holdaway, Richard N; Zerbini, Alexandre N; Hauser, Nan; Garrigue, Claire; Andriolo, Artur; Clapham, Phillip J

    2011-10-23

    Humpback whale seasonal migrations, spanning greater than 6500 km of open ocean, demonstrate remarkable navigational precision despite following spatially and temporally distinct migration routes. Satellite-monitored radio tag-derived humpback whale migration tracks in both the South Atlantic and South Pacific include constant course segments of greater than 200 km, each spanning several days of continuous movement. The whales studied here maintain these directed movements, often with better than 1° precision, despite the effects of variable sea-surface currents. Such remarkable directional precision is difficult to explain by established models of directional orientation, suggesting that alternative compass mechanisms should be explored.

  18. Directionality of sperm whale sonar clicks and its relation to piston radiation theory

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Beedholm, K.; Møhl, Bertel

    2006-01-01

    This paper investigates the applicability to sperm whales of the theory of sound radiating from a piston. The theory is applied to a physical model and to a series of sperm whale clicks. Results show that wave forms of off-axis signals can be reproduced by convolving an on-axis signal...... with the spatial impulse response of a piston. The angle of a recorded click can be estimated as the angle producing the spatial impulse response that gives the best match with the observation when convolved with the on-axis wave form. It is concluded that piston theory applies to sperm whale sonar click emission....

  19. Between a whale bone and the deep blue sea: the provenance of dwarf males in whale bone-eating tubeworms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiteman, Noah K

    2008-10-01

    When researchers first caught a glimpse of the lush carpet of pink tubeworms covering the scattered bones of a dead grey whale 2900 m below the surface of Monterey Bay, the excitement onboard the Western Flyer (the mother ship of the remotely operated vehicle the Tiburon) must have been electrifying. The discovery of a new genus and several species of whale bone-eating Osedax tubeworms (Annelida, Siboglinidae) a mere 6 years ago from the deep sea was itself noteworthy. But what the researchers peering into the video monitors aboard the Western Flyer could not have known at that moment was that in the gelatinous tubes of those worms clung even more peculiar forms: harems of tiny, paedomorphic males of Osedax, numbering in the hundreds at times. Whereas female tubeworms bore into the marrow of whale bones (possibly via enzymes from their endosymbiotic bacteria), the dwarf males secondarily colonize the tubes of the resident females. The number of males in a female's tube increases over time in a curvilinear fashion. Dwarf males are known from all Osedax species examined to date, yet the origin of the males was an open question. In this issue, Vrijenhoek et al. provide compelling evidence that dwarf males found in the tubes of female Osedax worms are derived from a common larval pool and are unlikely to be the sons of host females or the progeny of females in the local genetic neighbourhood. This study provides an important foundation for future work on the ecology and evolution of extreme male dwarfism in Osedax and sexual size dimorphism more generally.

  20. Crowdsourcing modern and historical data identifies sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus habitat offshore of south-western Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Michael Johnson

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The distribution and use of pelagic habitat by sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus is poorly understood in the south-eastern Indian Ocean off Western Australia. However, a variety of data are available via online portals where records of historical expeditions, commercial whaling operations, and modern scientific research voyages can now be accessed. Crowdsourcing these online data allows collation of presence-only information of animals and provides a valuable tool to help augment areas of low research effort. Four data sources were examined, the primary one being the Voyage of the Odyssey expedition, a five-year global study of sperm whales and ocean pollution. From December 2001-May 2002, acoustic surveys were conducted along 5,200 nautical miles of transects off Western Australia including the Perth Canyon and historical whaling grounds off Albany; 60 tissue biopsy samples were also collected. To augment areas not surveyed by the RV Odyssey, historical Yankee whaling data (1712-1920, commercial whaling data (1904-1999, and citizen science reports of sperm whale sightings (1990-2003 were used. Using Maxent, a species distribution modeling tool, we found that the submarine canyons off Albany and Perth provide important habitat for sperm whales. Current technology, along with current understanding of sperm whale bioacoustics and habitat preferences, provides strong motivation for undertaking long-term passive acoustic studies that can monitor the sperm whale population within Australia’s EEZ waters (Perth and Albany canyons as a way of informing future marine management and policy decisions.

  1. Antarctic-type blue whale calls recorded at low latitudes in the Indian and eastern Pacific Oceans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stafford, Kathleen M.; Bohnenstiehl, DelWayne R.; Tolstoy, Maya; Chapp, Emily; Mellinger, David K.; Moore, Sue E.

    2004-10-01

    Blue whales, Balaenoptera musculus, were once abundant around the Antarctic during the austral summer, but intensive whaling during the first half of the 20th century reduced their numbers by over 99%. Although interannual variability of blue whale occurrence on the Antarctic feeding grounds was documented by whalers, little was known about where the whales spent the winter months. Antarctic blue whales produce calls that are distinct from those produced by blue whales elsewhere in the world. To investigate potential winter migratory destinations of Antarctic blue whales, we examined acoustic data for these signals from two low-latitude locales: the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean. Antarctic-type blue whale calls were detected on hydrophones in both regions during the austral autumn and winter (May-September), with peak detections in July. Calls occurred over relatively brief periods in both oceans, suggesting that there may be only a few animals migrating so far north and/or producing calls. Antarctic blue whales appear to use both the Indian and eastern Pacific Oceans concurrently, indicating that there is not a single migratory destination. Acoustic data from the South Atlantic and from mid-latitudes in the Indian or Pacific Oceans are needed for a more global understanding of migratory patterns and destinations of Antarctic blue whales.

  2. Humpback whale “super-groups” – A novel low-latitude feeding behaviour of Southern Hemisphere humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the Benguela Upwelling System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seakamela, S. Mduduzi; Meÿer, Michael A.; Kirkman, Stephen P.; Barendse, Jaco; Cade, David E.; Hurwitz, David; Kennedy, Amy S.; Kotze, Pieter G. H.; McCue, Steven A.; Thornton, Meredith; Vargas-Fonseca, O. Alejandra; Wilke, Christopher G.

    2017-01-01

    Southern Hemisphere humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) generally undertake annual migrations from polar summer feeding grounds to winter calving and nursery grounds in subtropical and tropical coastal waters. Evidence for such migrations arises from seasonality of historic whaling catches by latitude, Discovery and natural mark returns, and results of satellite tagging studies. Feeding is generally believed to be limited to the southern polar region, where Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) has been identified as the primary prey item. Non-migrations and / or suspended migrations to the polar feeding grounds have previously been reported from a summer presence of whales in the Benguela System, where feeding on euphausiids (E. lucens), hyperiid amphipods (Themisto gaudichaudii), mantis shrimp (Pterygosquilla armata capensis) and clupeid fish has been described. Three recent research cruises (in October/November 2011, October/November 2014 and October/November 2015) identified large tightly-spaced groups (20 to 200 individuals) of feeding humpback whales aggregated over at least a one-month period across a 220 nautical mile region of the southern Benguela System. Feeding behaviour was identified by lunges, strong milling and repetitive and consecutive diving behaviours, associated bird and seal feeding, defecations and the pungent “fishy” smell of whale blows. Although no dedicated prey sampling could be carried out within the tightly spaced feeding aggregations, observations of E. lucens in the region of groups and the full stomach contents of mantis shrimp from both a co-occurring predatory fish species (Thyrsites atun) and one entangled humpback whale mortality suggest these may be the primary prey items of at least some of the feeding aggregations. Reasons for this recent novel behaviour pattern remain speculative, but may relate to increasing summer humpback whale abundance in the region. These novel, predictable, inter-annual, low latitude feeding

  3. Humpback whale "super-groups" - A novel low-latitude feeding behaviour of Southern Hemisphere humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the Benguela Upwelling System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Findlay, Ken P; Seakamela, S Mduduzi; Meÿer, Michael A; Kirkman, Stephen P; Barendse, Jaco; Cade, David E; Hurwitz, David; Kennedy, Amy S; Kotze, Pieter G H; McCue, Steven A; Thornton, Meredith; Vargas-Fonseca, O Alejandra; Wilke, Christopher G

    2017-01-01

    Southern Hemisphere humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) generally undertake annual migrations from polar summer feeding grounds to winter calving and nursery grounds in subtropical and tropical coastal waters. Evidence for such migrations arises from seasonality of historic whaling catches by latitude, Discovery and natural mark returns, and results of satellite tagging studies. Feeding is generally believed to be limited to the southern polar region, where Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) has been identified as the primary prey item. Non-migrations and / or suspended migrations to the polar feeding grounds have previously been reported from a summer presence of whales in the Benguela System, where feeding on euphausiids (E. lucens), hyperiid amphipods (Themisto gaudichaudii), mantis shrimp (Pterygosquilla armata capensis) and clupeid fish has been described. Three recent research cruises (in October/November 2011, October/November 2014 and October/November 2015) identified large tightly-spaced groups (20 to 200 individuals) of feeding humpback whales aggregated over at least a one-month period across a 220 nautical mile region of the southern Benguela System. Feeding behaviour was identified by lunges, strong milling and repetitive and consecutive diving behaviours, associated bird and seal feeding, defecations and the pungent "fishy" smell of whale blows. Although no dedicated prey sampling could be carried out within the tightly spaced feeding aggregations, observations of E. lucens in the region of groups and the full stomach contents of mantis shrimp from both a co-occurring predatory fish species (Thyrsites atun) and one entangled humpback whale mortality suggest these may be the primary prey items of at least some of the feeding aggregations. Reasons for this recent novel behaviour pattern remain speculative, but may relate to increasing summer humpback whale abundance in the region. These novel, predictable, inter-annual, low latitude feeding events

  4. Humpback whale "super-groups" - A novel low-latitude feeding behaviour of Southern Hemisphere humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae in the Benguela Upwelling System.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken P Findlay

    Full Text Available Southern Hemisphere humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae generally undertake annual migrations from polar summer feeding grounds to winter calving and nursery grounds in subtropical and tropical coastal waters. Evidence for such migrations arises from seasonality of historic whaling catches by latitude, Discovery and natural mark returns, and results of satellite tagging studies. Feeding is generally believed to be limited to the southern polar region, where Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba has been identified as the primary prey item. Non-migrations and / or suspended migrations to the polar feeding grounds have previously been reported from a summer presence of whales in the Benguela System, where feeding on euphausiids (E. lucens, hyperiid amphipods (Themisto gaudichaudii, mantis shrimp (Pterygosquilla armata capensis and clupeid fish has been described. Three recent research cruises (in October/November 2011, October/November 2014 and October/November 2015 identified large tightly-spaced groups (20 to 200 individuals of feeding humpback whales aggregated over at least a one-month period across a 220 nautical mile region of the southern Benguela System. Feeding behaviour was identified by lunges, strong milling and repetitive and consecutive diving behaviours, associated bird and seal feeding, defecations and the pungent "fishy" smell of whale blows. Although no dedicated prey sampling could be carried out within the tightly spaced feeding aggregations, observations of E. lucens in the region of groups and the full stomach contents of mantis shrimp from both a co-occurring predatory fish species (Thyrsites atun and one entangled humpback whale mortality suggest these may be the primary prey items of at least some of the feeding aggregations. Reasons for this recent novel behaviour pattern remain speculative, but may relate to increasing summer humpback whale abundance in the region. These novel, predictable, inter-annual, low latitude

  5. Breeding behaviour of pilot whales revealed by DNA fingerprinting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amos, B; Barrett, J; Dover, G A

    1991-08-01

    Most species of whale spend the majority of their lives well away from land, are capable of migrating over large distances and are difficult to identify individually. However, conservation measures require a detailed understanding of their social structure, breeding behaviour and migration patterns. The advent of DNA fingerprinting permits a systematic investigation of such parameters. In the Faeroe Islands there exists a traditional harvest of long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas), in which intact social groups (pods) are captured. This affords a unique opportunity to study genetic relationships within and between pods. We report here on a paternity analysis, using DNA fingerprinting, of mother-fetus pairs and males sampled from complete pods. In addition, a single, highly polymorphic minisatellite locus was used to infer degrees of relatedness between groups of fetuses and females. Taken together, our results suggest that pods consist of closely related adult females and their offspring. Sexually mature males either move frequently between pods or remain in their natal pod but refrain from mating with female relatives. Whichever hypothesis is correct, the data suggest that each male spends only a few months with the female post-mating and individual males often father several fetuses within a pod.

  6. Stable isotopes of captive cetaceans (killer whales and bottlenose dolphins).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caut, Stéphane; Laran, Sophie; Garcia-Hartmann, Emmanuel; Das, Krishna

    2011-02-15

    There is currently a great deal of interest in using stable isotope methods to investigate diet, trophic level and migration in wild cetaceans. In order to correctly interpret the results stemming from these methods, it is crucial to understand how diet isotopic values are reflected in consumer tissues. In this study, we investigated patterns of isotopic discrimination between diet and blood constituents of two species of cetaceans (killer whale, Orcinus orca, and bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus) fed controlled diets over 308 and 312 days, respectively. Diet discrimination factors (Δ; mean ± s.d.) for plasma were estimated to Δ(13)C=2.3±0.6‰ and Δ(15)N=1.8±0.3‰, respectively, for both species and to Δ(13)C=2.7±0.3‰ and Δ(15)N=0.5±0.1‰ for red blood cells. Delipidation did not have a significant effect on carbon and nitrogen isotopic values of blood constituents, confirming that cetacean blood does not serve as a reservoir of lipids. In contrast, carbon isotopic values were higher in delipidated samples of blubber, liver and muscle from killer whales. The potential for conflict between fisheries and cetaceans has heightened the need for trophic information about these taxa. These results provide the first published stable isotope incorporation data for cetaceans, which are essential if conclusions are to be drawn on issues concerning trophic structures, carbon sources and diet reconstruction.

  7. Aerodynamic Design of Wing based on Humpback Whale Flipper

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akram, Saif; Baig, Faisal

    2013-11-01

    The tubercles provide a bio-inspired design that has commercial viability for wing-like structures. Wind tunnel tests at low speeds of model humpback flippers with leading-edge tubercles have demonstrated improvements tubercles make, such as a staggering 32% reduction in drag, 8% improvement in lift, and a 40% increase in angle of attack over smooth flippers before stalling. The tubercles on the leading edge act as a passive-flow control device that improves the performance and maneuverability of the flipper. Possible fluid-dynamic mechanisms for improved performance include delay of stall through generation of a vortex and modification of the boundary layer, and increase in effective span by reduction of both spanwise flow and strength of the tip vortex. In the present work, numerical investigation of a 3D wing with scalloped leading edge inspired by the humpback whale flipper is carried out at high subsonic speeds with variation in angle of attack from 0 to 25 degrees. The effect of using different turbulence models is also investigated in order to attain a better understanding of mechanism(s) responsible for improved aerodynamic performance. This new understanding of humpback whale flipper aerodynamics has strong implications for wing design.

  8. Hydrodynamics of a Digitized Adult Humpback Whale Flipper

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fassmann, Wesley N.; McDonald, Samuel J.; Thomson, Scott L.; Fish, Frank E.

    2013-11-01

    During feeding, humpback whales turn with a turn radius of up to 1 /6th of their length towards schools of fish enclosed by bubble nets. This high maneuverability requirement is facilitated by high aspect ratio flippers with leading edge tubercles that delay stall. Previous experimental and computational studies have used idealized models, such as airfoils with scalloped leading edges, to explore the influence of leading edge tubercles on boundary layer separation, vortex generation, and airfoil lift and drag characteristics. Owing to the substantial size of the flipper, no studies have been performed on a digitized adult humpback flipper with real geometry. In this study the hydrodynamics of a realistic humpback flipper model were explored. The model was developed by digitizing a sequence of 18 images circumscribing the suspended flipper of a beached humpback whale. A physical prototype was constructed based on the resulting 3D model, along with a complementary model with the tubercles removed. Experimentally-obtained measurements of lift and drag were used to study the influence of the tubercles. In the presentation, digitization and flow measurement methods are described, and the flow data and results are presented and discussed.

  9. Non-song social call bouts of migrating humpback whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rekdahl, Melinda L; Dunlop, Rebecca A; Goldizen, Anne W; Garland, Ellen C; Biassoni, Nicoletta; Miller, Patrick; Noad, Michael J

    2015-06-01

    The use of stereotyped calls within structured bouts has been described for a number of species and may increase the information potential of call repertoires. Humpback whales produce a repertoire of social calls, although little is known about the complexity or function of these calls. In this study, digital acoustic tag recordings were used to investigate social call use within bouts, the use of bouts across different social contexts, and whether particular call type combinations were favored. Call order within bouts was investigated using call transition frequencies and information theory techniques. Call bouts were defined through analysis of inter-call intervals, as any calls within 3.9 s of each other. Bouts were produced significantly more when new whales joined a group compared to groups that did not change membership, and in groups containing multiple adults escorting a female and calf compared to adult only groups. Although social calls tended to be produced in bouts, there were few repeated bout types. However, the order in which most call types were produced within bouts was non-random and dependent on the preceding call type. These bouts appear to be at least partially governed by rules for how individual components are combined.

  10. A hydrodynamically active flipper-stroke in humpback whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segre, Paolo S; Seakamela, S Mduduzi; Meÿer, Michael A; Findlay, Ken P; Goldbogen, Jeremy A

    2017-07-10

    A central paradigm of aquatic locomotion is that cetaceans use fluke strokes to power their swimming while relying on lift and torque generated by the flippers to perform maneuvers such as rolls, pitch changes and turns [1]. Compared to other cetaceans, humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) have disproportionately large flippers with added structural features to aid in hydrodynamic performance [2,3]. Humpbacks use acrobatic lunging maneuvers to attack dense aggregations of krill or small fish, and their large flippers are thought to increase their maneuverability and thus their ability to capture prey. Immediately before opening their mouths, humpbacks will often rapidly move their flippers, and it has been hypothesized that this movement is used to corral prey [4,5] or to generate an upward pitching moment to counteract the torque caused by rapid water engulfment [6]. Here, we demonstrate an additional function for the rapid flipper movement during lunge feeding: the flippers are flapped using a complex, hydrodynamically active stroke to generate lift and increase propulsive thrust. We estimate that humpback flipper-strokes are capable of producing large forward oriented forces, which may be used to enhance lunge feeding performance. This behavior is the first observation of a lift-generating flipper-stroke for propulsion cetaceans and provides an additional function for the uniquely shaped humpback whale flipper. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Vocalization Source Level Distributions and Pulse Compression Gains of Diverse Baleen Whale Species in the Gulf of Maine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Delin Wang

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The vocalization source level distributions and pulse compression gains are estimated for four distinct baleen whale species in the Gulf of Maine: fin, sei, minke and an unidentified baleen whale species. The vocalizations were received on a large-aperture densely-sampled coherent hydrophone array system useful for monitoring marine mammals over instantaneous wide areas via the passive ocean acoustic waveguide remote sensing technique. For each baleen whale species, between 125 and over 1400 measured vocalizations with significantly high Signal-to-Noise Ratios (SNR > 10 dB after coherent beamforming and localized with high accuracies (<10% localization errors over ranges spanning roughly 1 km–30 km are included in the analysis. The whale vocalization received pressure levels are corrected for broadband transmission losses modeled using a calibrated parabolic equation-based acoustic propagation model for a random range-dependent ocean waveguide. The whale vocalization source level distributions are characterized by the following means and standard deviations, in units of dB re 1 μ Pa at 1 m: 181.9 ± 5.2 for fin whale 20-Hz pulses, 173.5 ± 3.2 for sei whale downsweep chirps, 177.7 ± 5.4 for minke whale pulse trains and 169.6 ± 3.5 for the unidentified baleen whale species downsweep calls. The broadband vocalization equivalent pulse-compression gains are found to be 2.5 ± 1.1 for fin whale 20-Hz pulses, 24 ± 10 for the unidentified baleen whale species downsweep calls and 69 ± 23 for sei whale downsweep chirps. These pulse compression gains are found to be roughly proportional to the inter-pulse intervals of the vocalizations, which are 11 ± 5 s for fin whale 20-Hz pulses, 29 ± 18 for the unidentified baleen whale species downsweep calls and 52 ± 33 for sei whale downsweep chirps. The source level distributions and pulse compression gains are essential for determining signal-to-noise ratios and hence detection regions for baleen whale

  12. Sperm whale long-range echolocation sounds revealed by ANTARES, a deep-sea neutrino telescope

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    ...; M André; A Caballé; M Van Der Schaar; A Solsona; L Houégnigan; S Zaugg; A M Sánchez; J V Castell; M Solé; F Vila; D Djokic; S Adrián-martínez; A Albert; M Anghinolfi; G Anton; M Ardid; J-j Aubert; T Avgitas; B Baret; J Barrios-martí; S Basa; V Bertin; S Biagi; R Bormuth; M C Bouwhuis; R Bruijn; J Brunner; J Busto; A Capone; L Caramete; J Carr; S Celli; T Chiarusi; M Circella; A Coleiro; R Coniglione; H Costantini; P Coyle; A Creusot; A Deschamps; G De Bonis; C Distefano; I Di Palma; C Donzaud; D Dornic; D Drouhin; T Eberl; I El Bojaddaini; D Elsässer; A Enzenhöfer; K Fehn; I Felis; L A Fusco; S Galatà; P Gay; S Geißelsöder; K Geyer; V Giordano; A Gleixner; H Glotin; R Gracia-ruiz; K Graf; S Hallmann; H Van Haren; A J Heijboer; Y Hello; J J Hernandez-rey; J Hößl; J Hofestädt; C Hugon; G Illuminati; C W James; M De Jong; M Jongen; M Kadler; O Kalekin; U Katz; D Kießling; A Kouchner; M Kreter; I Kreykenbohm; V Kulikovskiy; C Lachaud; R Lahmann; D Lefèvre; E Leonora; S Loucatos; M Marcelin; A Margiotta; A Marinelli; J A Martínez-mora; A Mathieu; K Melis; T Michael; P Migliozzi; A Moussa; C Mueller; E Nezri; G E Pavalas; C Pellegrino

    2017-01-01

    ... is still presently uncertain. The analysis of two years of continuous acoustic data provided by the ANTARES neutrino telescope revealed the year-round presence of sperm whales in the Ligurian Sea, probably associated...

  13. PCB contamination and effects on benthic invertebrate communities at the Irving Whale salvage site

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ernst, W

    2000-01-01

    ... patterns of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination. In addition, snow crab tissue sampling, toxicity testing of sediments as well as analysis of the integrity of benthic biological communities was conducted around the Irving Whale footprint...

  14. Cadmium, copper, lead, and zinc in five toothed whale species of the Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frodello, J P; Marchand, B

    2001-01-01

    The cadmium, lead, copper, and zinc levels were measured in six organs (lung, liver, kidney, skin, muscle, and bone) from 18 specimens of toothed whales, belonging to five species, found stranded along the Corsican coast between November 1993 and December 1998. The five species examined were the bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus, the common dolphin Delphinus delphis, the striped dolphin Stenella coeruleoalba, the pilot whale Globicephala melas, and the Risso's dolphin Grampus griseus. The values obtained demonstrate that there is a great variability in the accumulation of toxic metals. A comparison of the values with those obtained in other geographical regions also demonstrates an extensive variability in metal levels. The presence of metals in the stomach contents of three of the individuals studied shows that the food source is responsible for a significant input of pollutants to the whales. Measured pollutant levels in whales are thus the result of an accumulation occurring throughout the animal's life.

  15. Pulmonary carcinoma with metastasis in a long-finned pilot whale (Globicephala melas)

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Suárez-Santana, Cristian M; Fernández-Maldonado, Carolina; Díaz-Delgado, Josué; Arbelo, Manuel; Suárez-Bonnet, Alejandro; Espinosa de los Monteros, Antonio; Câmara, Nakita; Sierra, Eva; Fernández, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    ... of a pulmonary carcinoma with disseminated metastases in a long-finned pilot whale (Globicephala melas), as well as the immunohistochemical analysis performed on various tissues of cetaceans belonging to the genus Globicephala...

  16. Compliance with vessel speed restrictions to protect North Atlantic right whales

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Silber, Gregory K; Adams, Jeffrey D; Fonnesbeck, Christopher J

    2014-01-01

    .... We assessed vessel operator compliance with a December 2008 regulation aimed at reducing collisions with the endangered North Atlantic right whale that requires vessels 65 feet or greater in length...

  17. Brucella ceti Infection in a Common Minke Whale ( Balaenoptera acutorostrata ) with Associated Pathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davison, Nicholas J; Perrett, Lorraine L; Dawson, Claire; Dagleish, Mark P; Haskins, Gary; Muchowski, Jakub; Whatmore, Adrian M

    2017-07-01

    There are three major lineages of marine mammal strains of Brucella spp.: Brucella ceti ST23, found predominantly in porpoises; B. ceti ST26, in pelagic delphinids and ziphiids; and Brucella pinnipedialis ST24/25, predominantly in seals. The isolation of Brucella spp. in mysticetes has been described only in common minke whales ( Balaenoptera acutorostrata ) in Norway and Scotland. We report a third case of Brucella infection and isolation in a minke whale associated with a large abscess. In contrast to the two previous reports that involved isolates of B. pinnipedialis ST24 or the porpoise-associated B. ceti complex ST23, this case was associated with the dolphin-associated B. ceti ST26. Thus, minke whales can be infected naturally with members of all the distinct major lineages of Brucella associated with marine mammals. This report is unique in that the B. ceti ST26 did not originate from a pelagic delphinid or a beaked whale.

  18. Steroid hormones and persistent organic pollutants in plasma from North-eastern Atlantic pilot whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hoydal, Katrin S; Styrishave, Bjarne; Ciesielski, Tomasz M

    2017-01-01

    Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are known to have endocrine disruptive effects, interfering with endogenous steroid hormones. The present study examined nine steroid hormones and their relationships with the concentrations of selected POPs in pilot whales (Globicephala melas) from the Faroe...

  19. Monitoring and Mitigation Alternatives for Protection of North Atlantic Right Whales during Offshore Wind Farm Installation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carlson, Thomas J. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Halvorsen, Michele B. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Matzner, Shari [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Copping, Andrea E. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Stavole, Jessica [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2012-09-01

    Progress report on defining and determining monitoring and mitigation measures for protecting North Atlantic Right Whales from the effects of pile driving and other activities associated with installation of offshore wind farms.

  20. Behaviour and kinematics of continuous ram filtration in bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Simon, Malene Juul; Johnson, Mark; Madsen, Peter Teglberg

    2009-01-01

    Balaenid whales perform long breath-hold foraging dives despite a high drag from their ram filtration of zooplankton. To maximize the volume of prey acquired in a dive with limited oxygen supplies, balaenids must either filter feed only occasionally when prey density is particularly high, or they......Balaenid whales perform long breath-hold foraging dives despite a high drag from their ram filtration of zooplankton. To maximize the volume of prey acquired in a dive with limited oxygen supplies, balaenids must either filter feed only occasionally when prey density is particularly high...... whale filter feeding at depth. Bowhead whales employ a continuous fluking gait throughout the bottom phase of foraging dives, moving at very slow speeds (less than 1 m s-1), allowing them to filter feed continuously at depth. Despite the slow speeds, the large mouth aperture provides a water filtration...