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Sample records for whale orcinus orca

  1. Killer whale (Orcinus orca) behavioral audiograms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branstetter, Brian K; St Leger, Judy; Acton, Doug; Stewart, John; Houser, Dorian; Finneran, James J; Jenkins, Keith

    2017-04-01

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) are one of the most cosmopolitan marine mammal species with potential widespread exposure to anthropogenic noise impacts. Previous audiometric data on this species were from two adult females [Szymanski, Bain, Kiehl, Pennington, Wong, and Henry (1999). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 108, 1322-1326] and one sub-adult male [Hall and Johnson (1972). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 51, 515-517] with apparent high-frequency hearing loss. All three killer whales had best sensitivity between 15 and 20 kHz, with thresholds lower than any odontocete tested to date, suggesting this species might be particularly sensitive to acoustic disturbance. The current study reports the behavioral audiograms of eight killer whales at two different facilities. Hearing sensitivity was measured from 100 Hz to 160 kHz in killer whales ranging in age from 12 to 52 year. Previously measured low thresholds at 20 kHz were not replicated in any individual. Hearing in the killer whales was generally similar to other delphinids, with lowest threshold (49 dB re 1 μPa) at approximately 34 kHz, good hearing (i.e., within 20 dB of best sensitivity) from 5 to 81 kHz, and low- and high-frequency hearing cutoffs (>100 dB re μPa) of 600 Hz and 114 kHz, respectively.

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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......-eating ecotype than the more phylogenetically distant Pacific mammal-eating ecotype. Our study suggests that sociality in killer whales is to some extent plastic and can be adapted to the local ecological conditions. Key words: ecology, killer whale, orca, orcinus, sociality....

  6. On the communicative significance of whistles in wild killer whales (Orcinus orca)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomsen, Frank; Franck, Dierk; Ford, John

    2002-08-01

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) use pulsed calls and whistles in underwater communication. Unlike pulsed calls, whistles have received little study and thus their function is poorly known. In this study, whistle activities of groups of individually known killer whales were compared quantitatively across behavioural categories. Acoustic recordings and simultaneous behavioural observations were made of northern resident killer whales off Vancouver Island in 1996 and 1997. Whistles were produced at greater rates than discrete calls during close-range behavioural activities than during long-range activities. They were the predominant sound-type recorded during socializing. The number of whistles per animal per minute was significantly higher during close-range behavioural activities than during long-range activities. Evidently, whistles play an important role in the close-range acoustic communication in northern resident killer whales.

  7. Complete mitochondrial genome phylogeographic analysis of killer whales (Orcinus orca) indicates multiple species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Morin, Phillip A; Archer, Frederick I.; Foote, Andrew David

    2010-01-01

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) currently comprise a single, cosmopolitan species with a diverse diet. However, studies over the last 30 yr have revealed populations of sympatric "ecotypes" with discrete prey preferences, morphology, and behaviors. Although these ecotypes avoid social interactions...... and are not known to interbreed, genetic studies to date have found extremely low levels of diversity in the mitochondrial control region, and few clear phylogeographic patterns worldwide. This low level of diversity is likely due to low mitochondrial mutation rates that are common to cetaceans. Using killer whales...... as a case study, we have developed a method to readily sequence, assemble, and analyze complete mitochondrial genomes from large numbers of samples to more accurately assess phylogeography and estimate divergence times. This represents an important tool for wildlife management, not only for killer whales...

  8. 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.

  9. Longitudinal evaluation of leukocyte transcripts in killer whales (Orcinus Orca)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitt, Tatjana; Bowen, Lizabeth; Lee, Chia-Shan; Blanchard, Myra; McBain, James; Dold, Christopher; Stott, Jeffrey L.

    2016-01-01

    Early identification of illness and/or presence of environmental and/or social stressors in free-ranging and domestic cetaceans is a priority for marine mammal health care professionals. Incorporation of leukocyte gene transcript analysis into the diagnostic tool kit has the potential to augment classical diagnostics based upon ease of sample storage and shipment, inducible nature and well-defined roles of transcription and associated downstream actions. Development of biomarkers that could serve to identify “insults” and potentially differentiate disease etiology would be of great diagnostic value. To this end, a modest number of peripheral blood leukocyte gene transcripts were selected for application to a domestic killer whale population with a focus on broad representation of inducible immunologically relevant genes. Normalized leukocyte transcript values, longitudinally acquired from 232 blood samples derived from 26 clinically healthy whales, were not visibly influenced temporally nor by sex or the specific Park in which they resided. Stability in leukocyte transcript number during periods of health enhances their potential use in diagnostics through identification of outliers. Transcript levels of two cytokine genes, IL-4 and IL-17, were highly variable within the group as compared to the other transcripts. IL-4 transcripts were typically absent. Analysis of transcript levels on the other genes of interest, on an individual animal basis, identified more outliers than were visible when analyzed in the context of the entire population. The majority of outliers (9 samples) were low, though elevated transcripts were identified for IL-17 from 2 animals and one each for Cox-2 and IL-10. The low number of outliers was not unexpected as sample selection was intentionally directed towards animals that were clinically healthy at the time of collection. Outliers may reflect animals experiencing subclinical disease that is transient and self-limiting. The

  10. Estimation of a Killer Whale (Orcinus orca Population's Diet Using Sequencing Analysis of DNA from Feces.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Ford

    Full Text Available Estimating diet composition is important for understanding interactions between predators and prey and thus illuminating ecosystem function. The diet of many species, however, is difficult to observe directly. Genetic analysis of fecal material collected in the field is therefore a useful tool for gaining insight into wild animal diets. In this study, we used high-throughput DNA sequencing to quantitatively estimate the diet composition of an endangered population of wild killer whales (Orcinus orca in their summer range in the Salish Sea. We combined 175 fecal samples collected between May and September from five years between 2006 and 2011 into 13 sample groups. Two known DNA composition control groups were also created. Each group was sequenced at a ~330bp segment of the 16s gene in the mitochondrial genome using an Illumina MiSeq sequencing system. After several quality controls steps, 4,987,107 individual sequences were aligned to a custom sequence database containing 19 potential fish prey species and the most likely species of each fecal-derived sequence was determined. Based on these alignments, salmonids made up >98.6% of the total sequences and thus of the inferred diet. Of the six salmonid species, Chinook salmon made up 79.5% of the sequences, followed by coho salmon (15%. Over all years, a clear pattern emerged with Chinook salmon dominating the estimated diet early in the summer, and coho salmon contributing an average of >40% of the diet in late summer. Sockeye salmon appeared to be occasionally important, at >18% in some sample groups. Non-salmonids were rarely observed. Our results are consistent with earlier results based on surface prey remains, and confirm the importance of Chinook salmon in this population's summer diet.

  11. Dietary variation within and between populations of northeast Atlantic killer whales Orcinus orca, inferred from δ13C and δ15N analyses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Foote, Andrew David; Vester, Heike; Vikingsson, Gísli A.

    2012-01-01

    Epidermal skin samples from eastern North Atlantic killer whales, Orcinus orca, were analyzed for carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios. From those, compar- isons within a data set of 17 samples collected from Tysfjord, Norway, in November suggested that diet is relatively specialized during...

  12. Prey items and predation behavior of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in Nunavut, Canada based on Inuit hunter interviews

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background Killer whales (Orcinus orca) are the most widely distributed cetacean, occurring in all oceans worldwide, and within ocean regions different ecotypes are defined based on prey preferences. Prey items are largely unknown in the eastern Canadian Arctic and therefore we conducted a survey of Inuit Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) to provide information on the feeding ecology of killer whales. We compiled Inuit observations on killer whales and their prey items via 105 semi-directed interviews conducted in 11 eastern Nunavut communities (Kivalliq and Qikiqtaaluk regions) from 2007-2010. Results Results detail local knowledge of killer whale prey items, hunting behaviour, prey responses, distribution of predation events, and prey capture techniques. Inuit TEK and published literature agree that killer whales at times eat only certain parts of prey, particularly of large whales, that attacks on large whales entail relatively small groups of killer whales, and that they hunt cooperatively. Inuit observations suggest that there is little prey specialization beyond marine mammals and there are no definitive observations of fish in the diet. Inuit hunters and elders also documented the use of sea ice and shallow water as prey refugia. Conclusions By combining TEK and scientific approaches we provide a more holistic view of killer whale predation in the eastern Canadian Arctic relevant to management and policy. Continuing the long-term relationship between scientists and hunters will provide for successful knowledge integration and has resulted in considerable improvement in understanding of killer whale ecology relevant to management of prey species. Combining scientists and Inuit knowledge will assist in northerners adapting to the restructuring of the Arctic marine ecosystem associated with warming and loss of sea ice. PMID:22520955

  13. An Inventory of Peer-reviewed Articles on Killer Whales (Orcinus orca with a Comparison to Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather M. Hill

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The welfare of killer whales (Orcinus orca has received worldwide attention recently. The purpose of this study was to sample the peer-reviewed scientific research on killer whales with a complementary comparison to Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus to ascertain the primary topics of research conducted with these two cetaceans. A second objective of the study was to assess the relationship between the research topic and the setting in which the research was conducted. From a database-driven search of peer-reviewed academic journal articles, 759 unique articles involving killer whales, 2,022 unique articles involving Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, and 38 additional articles that included both species were retained for analysis. Coders categorized each article by topic (Anthropogenic Response, Cognition, Distribution, Echolocation, Foraging/Predation, Health/Physiology, Interactions with Humans, Sociality, and Vocalization and research setting (Natural Habitat, Captivity, or Both. Most studies of killer whales involved animals in their natural habitat (90% and the majority of killer whale studies, regardless of setting, concentrated on health and physiology, such as contaminants and genetic variability (31%, foraging and predation behaviors (26%, and geographic distribution (20%. The majority of the studies (68% involving bottlenose dolphins were also conducted in their natural habitat, but there was significantly more research comparatively with captive animals and with greater diversity. The results suggested that research with killer whales has been dominated by a limited range of topics with relatively little research conducted on topics that directly address issues of welfare. Similar to killer whales, research with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins has been dominated by health and physiology (48.5% and distribution (17.6%. In contrast to killer whales, topics such as sociality (9.5% and cognition (5% were more prominent in research

  14. Evidence for vocal learning in juvenile male killer whales, Orcinus orca, from an adventitious cross-socializing experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crance, Jessica L; Bowles, Ann E; Garver, Alan

    2014-04-15

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) are thought to learn their vocal dialect. Dispersal in the species is rare, but effects of shifts in social association on the dialect can be studied under controlled conditions. Individual call repertoires and social association were measured in three adult female killer whales and three males (two juveniles and an adult) during two periods, 2001-2003 and 2005-2006. Three distinct dialect repertoires were represented among the subjects. An adventitious experiment in social change resulted from the birth of a calf and the transfer of two non-focal subjects in 2004. Across the two periods, 1691 calls were collected, categorized and attributed to individuals. Repertoire overlap for each subject dyad was compared with an index of association. During 2005-2006, the two juvenile males increased association with the unrelated adult male. By the end of the period, both had begun producing novel calls and call features characteristic of his repertoire. However, there was little or no reciprocal change and the adult females did not acquire his calls. Repertoire overlap and association were significantly correlated in the first period. In the second, median association time and repertoire similarity increased, but the relationship was only marginally significant. The results provided evidence that juvenile male killer whales are capable of learning new call types, possibly stimulated by a change in social association. The pattern of learning was consistent with a selective convergence of male repertoires.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 validated and applied temporal measures of progesterone and testosterone metabolites to assess occurrence, stage and health of pregnancy from genotyped killer whale feces collected using detection dogs. Thyroid and glucocorticoid hormone metabolites were measured from these same samples to assess physiological stress. These methods enabled us to assess pregnancy occurrence and failure as well as how pregnancy success was temporally impacted by nutritional and other stressors, between 2008 and 2014. Up to 69% of all detectable pregnancies were unsuccessful; of these, up to 33% failed relatively late in gestation or immediately post-partum, when the cost is especially high. Low availability of Chinook salmon appears to be an important stressor among these fish-eating whales as well as a significant cause of late pregnancy failure, including unobserved perinatal loss. However, release of lipophilic toxicants during fat metabolism in the nutritionally deprived animals may also provide a contributor to these cumulative effects. Results point to the importance of promoting Chinook salmon recovery to enhance population growth of Southern Resident killer whales. The physiological measures used in this study can also be used to monitor the success of actions aimed at promoting adaptive management of this important apex predator to the Pacific Northwest.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel K Wasser

    Full Text Available 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 validated and applied temporal measures of progesterone and testosterone metabolites to assess occurrence, stage and health of pregnancy from genotyped killer whale feces collected using detection dogs. Thyroid and glucocorticoid hormone metabolites were measured from these same samples to assess physiological stress. These methods enabled us to assess pregnancy occurrence and failure as well as how pregnancy success was temporally impacted by nutritional and other stressors, between 2008 and 2014. Up to 69% of all detectable pregnancies were unsuccessful; of these, up to 33% failed relatively late in gestation or immediately post-partum, when the cost is especially high. Low availability of Chinook salmon appears to be an important stressor among these fish-eating whales as well as a significant cause of late pregnancy failure, including unobserved perinatal loss. However, release of lipophilic toxicants during fat metabolism in the nutritionally deprived animals may also provide a contributor to these cumulative effects. Results point to the importance of promoting Chinook salmon recovery to enhance population growth of Southern Resident killer whales. The physiological measures used in this study can also be used to monitor the success of actions aimed at promoting adaptive management of this important apex predator to the Pacific Northwest.

  17. Androgen and glucocorticoid production in the male killer whale (Orcinus orca): influence of age, maturity, and environmental factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, J K; Steinman, K J; Fetter, G A; Robeck, T R

    2017-01-01

    Circulating concentrations of testosterone and its precursor androstenedione, as well as dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and the adrenal hormones cortisol and corticosterone were measured at monthly intervals in 14 male killer whales (Orcinus orca) aged 0.8-38 years. Analyses were performed for examination of the relationships of age, sexual maturation status (STATUS), season, and environmental temperature (monthly air ambient temperature, A-TEMP) with hormone production using a mixed effects linear regression model with animal ID as the random variable. Hormone profiles, derived from enzyme immunoassay procedures validated herein, established that simultaneous up-regulation of androstenedione and testosterone production occurs at puberty, when males are aged 8-12 years. Androgen (testosterone and androstenedione) production in pubertal and adult males was influenced by season, with highest (p effect of STATUS and season on DHEA production was also documented, with higher (p reproductive and adrenocortical function in healthy male killer whales and provide baseline profiles of hormone production for use in the species' health assessment and conservation. © 2016 American Society of Andrology and European Academy of Andrology.

  18. Distinguishing the Impacts of Inadequate Prey and Vessel Traffic on an Endangered Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) Population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayres, Katherine L.; Booth, Rebecca K.; Hempelmann, Jennifer A.; Koski, Kari L.; Emmons, Candice K.; Baird, Robin W.; Balcomb-Bartok, Kelley; Hanson, M. Bradley; Ford, Michael J.; Wasser, Samuel K.

    2012-01-01

    Managing endangered species often involves evaluating the relative impacts of multiple anthropogenic and ecological pressures. This challenge is particularly formidable for cetaceans, which spend the majority of their time underwater. Noninvasive physiological approaches can be especially informative in this regard. We used a combination of fecal thyroid (T3) and glucocorticoid (GC) hormone measures to assess two threats influencing the endangered southern resident killer whales (SRKW; Orcinus orca) that frequent the inland waters of British Columbia, Canada and Washington, U.S.A. Glucocorticoids increase in response to nutritional and psychological stress, whereas thyroid hormone declines in response to nutritional stress but is unaffected by psychological stress. The inadequate prey hypothesis argues that the killer whales have become prey limited due to reductions of their dominant prey, Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). The vessel impact hypothesis argues that high numbers of vessels in close proximity to the whales cause disturbance via psychological stress and/or impaired foraging ability. The GC and T3 measures supported the inadequate prey hypothesis. In particular, GC concentrations were negatively correlated with short-term changes in prey availability. Whereas, T3 concentrations varied by date and year in a manner that corresponded with more long-term prey availability. Physiological correlations with prey overshadowed any impacts of vessels since GCs were lowest during the peak in vessel abundance, which also coincided with the peak in salmon availability. Our results suggest that identification and recovery of strategic salmon populations in the SRKW diet are important to effectively promote SRKW recovery. PMID:22701560

  19. Tooth damage in captive orcas (Orcinus orca).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jett, John; Visser, Ingrid N; Ventre, Jeffrey; Waltz, Jordan; Loch, Carolina

    2017-12-01

    Tooth damage as a result of oral stereotypies is evident in captive orca, yet little research on the topic exists. This study examines the associations between dental pathology, sex, facility, duration of captivity and other factors in captive orca. We evaluated mandibular and maxillary teeth from dental images of 29 captive orca owned by a US-based theme park. Each tooth was scored for coronal wear, wear at or below gum line and bore holes. Fractured and missing teeth were also noted. Summary statistics described the distribution and severity of pathologies; inferential statistics examined how pathologies differed between sexes, between wild-captured and captive-born orcas and between captive orca at four facilities. We also evaluated how dental pathology and duration of captivity were related. Approximately 24% of whales exhibited "major" to "extreme" mandibular coronal tooth wear, with coronal wear and wear at or below gum line highly correlated. More than 60% of mandibular teeth 2 and 3 exhibited fractures. Bore holes were observed primarily among anterior mandibular teeth, with more than 61% of teeth 2 and 3 bearing evidence of having been drilled. Four of five orca with the highest age-adjusted tooth pathology indices were captive-born. Various dental pathologies were observed across all whales, with pathologies beginning at a young age. Oral stereotypies exhibited by captive orca contributed to the observed dental damage. By making dental and health records of captive whales publicly available, the theme park industry is uniquely positioned to provide further insight into dental pathology and resultant health consequences in captive orca. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Bioaccumulation and enantiomeric profiling of organochlorine pesticides and persistent organic pollutants in the killer whale (Orcinus orca) from British and Irish waters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McHugh, Brendan; Law, Robin J.; Allchin, Colin R.; Rogan, Emer; Murphy, Sinead; Foley, M. Barry; Glynn, Denise; McGovern, Evin

    2007-01-01

    Concentrations and enantiomeric profiles for a range of organochlorine compounds are reported in blubber samples from a number of individual killer whales (Orcinus orca) from British and Irish waters. Elevated contaminant levels and enriched isotopic ratios were determined in one individual whale sampled in the Scottish Western Isles compared to the others suggesting marine mammal based dietary influences. The potential application of isotopic ratios to model contaminant uptake, enantioselective enrichment and accumulation is demonstrated. Data are presented which provide information on enantioselective enrichment factors (EFs) for o,p'-DDT, α-HCH and toxaphene congeners CHB26 and CHB 50. This dataset further improves the current database on reported levels of a number of contaminants and provides additional background information on potential metabolic processes in killer whales from British and Irish waters

  1. Bioaccumulation and enantiomeric profiling of organochlorine pesticides and persistent organic pollutants in the killer whale (Orcinus orca) from British and Irish waters

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McHugh, Brendan [Marine Institute, Rinville, Oranmore, Galway (Ireland)], E-mail: brendan.mchugh@marine.ie; Law, Robin J.; Allchin, Colin R. [Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, Cefas Burnham Laboratory, Remembrance Avenue, Burnham on Crouch, Essex CM0 8HA (United Kingdom); Rogan, Emer [Department of Zoology, University College Cork (Ireland); Murphy, Sinead [Department of Zoology, University College Cork (Ireland); Sea Mammal Research Unit, Gatty Marine Laboratory, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Fife KY16 8LB (United Kingdom); Foley, M. Barry [Dublin Institute of Technology, Kevin Street, Dublin 8 (Ireland); Glynn, Denise; McGovern, Evin [Marine Institute, Rinville, Oranmore, Galway (Ireland)

    2007-11-15

    Concentrations and enantiomeric profiles for a range of organochlorine compounds are reported in blubber samples from a number of individual killer whales (Orcinus orca) from British and Irish waters. Elevated contaminant levels and enriched isotopic ratios were determined in one individual whale sampled in the Scottish Western Isles compared to the others suggesting marine mammal based dietary influences. The potential application of isotopic ratios to model contaminant uptake, enantioselective enrichment and accumulation is demonstrated. Data are presented which provide information on enantioselective enrichment factors (EFs) for o,p'-DDT, {alpha}-HCH and toxaphene congeners CHB26 and CHB 50. This dataset further improves the current database on reported levels of a number of contaminants and provides additional background information on potential metabolic processes in killer whales from British and Irish waters.

  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. Assessment of current dietary intake of organochlorine contaminants and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in killer whales (Orcinus orca) through direct determination in a group of whales in captivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Formigaro, Costanza; Henríquez-Hernandez, Luis A; Zaccaroni, Annalisa; Garcia-Hartmann, Manuel; Camacho, María; Boada, Luis D; Zumbado, Manuel; Luzardo, Octavio P

    2014-02-15

    We determined the levels of 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), 19 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and 18 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the plasma of captive adult killer whales and in their food. The goal of this research was the assessment of the dietary exposure of killer whales to these pollutants to gain insight on what is the actual magnitude of the exposure in this species, which is considered among the most contaminated in the planet. Plasma median ∑OCP and ∑PCB contents were 3150.3 and 7985.9 ng g(-1)l.w., respectively. A total of 78.9% of the PCBs were marker-PCBs, and 21.1% were dioxin-like PCBs (6688.7 pg g(-1)l.w. dioxin toxic equivalents). This is the first report of the blood levels of PAHs in killer whales, and their median value was 1023.1 ng g(-1)l.w. In parallel, we also determined the levels of these contaminants in the fish species that are used to feed these animals to estimate the orcas' average daily dietary intake of pollutants. All the contaminants in the fish were detected in the plasma of the killer whales, and proportionality between the intake and the blood levels was observed in all the animals. The calculated intake was extremely high for certain contaminants, which is a concern, giving a glimpse of what possibly occurs in the wild, where exposure to these contaminants can be even higher. Therefore, although many of these chemicals have been banned for decades, even today, the levels of these chemicals could reach very toxic concentrations in the tissues of these endangered animals because of their diet. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. The relationship between the acoustic behaviour and surface activity of killer whales (Orcinus orca) that feed on herring (Clupea harengus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Simon, M.; McGregor, P.K.; Ugarte, F.

    2007-01-01

    We describe the acoustic behaviour of piscivorous killer whales in Norwegian and Icelandic waters. Whales were assigned to one of three activities (feeding, travelling or other), and sound recordings were made in their proximity with a single hydrophone and a digital audiotape (DAT) recorder. A q...

  5. Stable isotope ratios of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen in killer whales (Orcinus orca) stranded on the coast of Hokkaido, Japan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Endo, Tetsuya; Kimura, Osamu; Sato, Rie; Kobayashi, Mari; Matsuda, Ayaka; Matsuishi, Takashi; Haraguchi, Koichi

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • We analyzed δ 13 C, δ 15 N and δ 18 O in the muscle of killer whales. • The δ 15 N values in calves were higher than those of their lactating mothers. • The δ 15 N values were positively correlated with the δ 13 C values and body length. • The δ 18 O values were negatively correlated with the δ 15 N and δ 13 C values. • The δ 18 O may be lower in whales occupying higher trophic positions (δ 15 N). - Abstract: We analyzed δ 13 C, δ 15 N and δ 18 O in the muscle and liver from killer whales stranded on the coast of Japan. The δ 15 N values in the muscle samples from calves were apparently higher than those in their lactating mothers, suggesting that nursing may result in the higher δ 15 N values in the muscle samples of calves. The δ 15 N value in the muscle samples of male and female whales, except for the calves, were positively correlated with the δ 13 C values and body length, suggesting that the increases in δ 15 N were due to the growth of the whales and increase in their trophic level. In contrast, the δ 18 O values in the muscle samples of female whales except for the calves were negatively correlated with the δ 13 C and δ 15 N values. The δ 18 O may be lower in whales occupying higher trophic positions (δ 15 N), although it might also be affected by geographic and climatic conditions

  6. Distribution of total mercury, methyl mercury and selenium in pod of killer whales (Orcinus Orca) stranded in the northern area of Japan: Comparison of mature females with calves

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Endo, Tetsuya [Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Health Sciences University of Hokkaido, 1757 Ishikari-Tobetsu, Hokkaido 061-0293 (Japan)]. E-mail: endotty@hoku-iryo-u.ac.jp; Kimura, Osamu [Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Health Sciences University of Hokkaido, 1757 Ishikari-Tobetsu, Hokkaido 061-0293 (Japan); Hisamichi, Yohsuke [Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Health Sciences University of Hokkaido, 1757 Ishikari-Tobetsu, Hokkaido 061-0293 (Japan); Minoshima, Yasuhiko [Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Health Sciences University of Hokkaido, 1757 Ishikari-Tobetsu, Hokkaido 061-0293 (Japan); Haraguchi, Koichi [Daiichi College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 22-1 Tamagawa-Cho, Minami-Ku, Fukuoka 815-8511 (Japan); Kakumoto, Chiharu [Marine Wildlife Center of JAPAN - Incorporated Non Profit Organization/NPO, 1-35-103, N21W6 Kita-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido 001-0021 (Japan); Kobayashi, Mari [Marine Wildlife Center of JAPAN - Incorporated Non Profit Organization/NPO, 1-35-103, N21W6 Kita-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido 001-0021 (Japan)

    2006-11-15

    Total mercury (T-Hg) and selenium (Se) concentrations in liver, kidney and muscle from a pod of killer whales including five mature females and three calves stranded in the northern area of Japan were analyzed. In the mature female, contamination level of T-Hg in the liver sample (62.2 {+-} 21.9 {mu}g/wet g) was markedly higher than that in kidney sample and muscle sample. The molar ratio of T-Hg to Se in the liver sample was approximately 1, and those in the kidney and muscle samples were markedly lower than 1. These results suggest that the formation of HgSe compound increases the hepatic accumulation of mercury (Hg). In contrast, contamination level of T-Hg in the calf organs was much lower than that in the mature female organs. These results suggest that the transfer of Hg from the mother to the fetus via placenta and/or to calf via milk is trace. - Total mercury, methyl mercury and selenium concentrations in liver, kidney and muscle from a pod of killer whales stranded in the northern area of Japan were analyzed.

  7. Distribution of total mercury, methyl mercury and selenium in pod of killer whales (Orcinus Orca) stranded in the northern area of Japan: Comparison of mature females with calves

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Endo, Tetsuya; Kimura, Osamu; Hisamichi, Yohsuke; Minoshima, Yasuhiko; Haraguchi, Koichi; Kakumoto, Chiharu; Kobayashi, Mari

    2006-01-01

    Total mercury (T-Hg) and selenium (Se) concentrations in liver, kidney and muscle from a pod of killer whales including five mature females and three calves stranded in the northern area of Japan were analyzed. In the mature female, contamination level of T-Hg in the liver sample (62.2 ± 21.9 μg/wet g) was markedly higher than that in kidney sample and muscle sample. The molar ratio of T-Hg to Se in the liver sample was approximately 1, and those in the kidney and muscle samples were markedly lower than 1. These results suggest that the formation of HgSe compound increases the hepatic accumulation of mercury (Hg). In contrast, contamination level of T-Hg in the calf organs was much lower than that in the mature female organs. These results suggest that the transfer of Hg from the mother to the fetus via placenta and/or to calf via milk is trace. - Total mercury, methyl mercury and selenium concentrations in liver, kidney and muscle from a pod of killer whales stranded in the northern area of Japan were analyzed

  8. L'apprentissage chez les orques (Orcinus orca) en captivité

    OpenAIRE

    Sarran, Delphine

    2002-01-01

    Les orques (Orcinus orca) sont les plus grands des Delphinidés, super-prédateurs vivant dans presque tous les océans du globe. Après quelques rappels de phylogenèse et de taxonomie, les particularités physiques et biologiques de l'orque sont présentées. Nous décrivons ensuite les deux modes principaux d'apprentissage animal : l'apprentissage associatif classique (Pavlov), où l'animal associe stimulus et réponse de nature involontaire et incontrôlable, et l'apprentissage associatif instrumenta...

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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

  13. Tracking niche variation over millennial timescales in sympatric killer whale lineages

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Foote, Andrew David; Newton, Jason; Avila Arcos, Maria del Carmen

    2013-01-01

    and investigate the evolutionary outcomes. Isotopic ratios were measured from tissue samples of sympatric killer whale Orcinus orca lineages from the North Sea, spanning over 10 000 years. Isotopic ratios spanned a range similar to the difference in isotopic values of two known prey items, herring Clupea harengus...

  14. Killer whales in South African waters — a review of their biology ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The distribution, seasonality and schooling behaviour of killer whalesOrcinus orca in South African waters have been investigated from 785 records compiled between 1963 and 2009, and their size, morphometrics, growth, reproduction, food and feeding behaviour described from the examination of 54 individuals, 36 of ...

  15. Orchestration: The Movement and Vocal Behavior of Free-Ranging Norwegian Killer Whales (Orcinus Orca)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-06-01

    features of the environment to the active instruction and shaping of behavior more directly ( Caro & Hauser, 1992; Boesch & 25 Tomasello, 1998). Social...comparison of association indices. AnimalBehaviour 35, 1454-1469. Caro , T. M. & Hauser, M. D. 1992. Is there teaching in nonhuman animals? QuarterAy...otel), o/* America: 115, 2346-2357. doi:l 0.1121 /1.1701899. Bordino, P., Kraus, S., Albareda, D., Fazio, A., Palmerio, A., Mendez , M. & Botta, S. 2002

  16. 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....... It is therefore a suitable organism for testing this hypothesis. We compared a global dataset of the complete mitochondrial genomes of 139 individuals for amino acid changes that were associated with radical physico-chemical property changes and were influenced by positive selection. Two such selected non...

  17. Killer whales attack on South American sea lion associated with a fishing vessel: predator and prey tactics Ataque de orcas a un lobo marino sudamericano asociado a un barco pesquero: tácticas del predador y la presa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Florencia Grandi

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Interactions between killer whales and sea lions are widely known. This work describes the predator-prey behaviour of killer whales and South American sea lion associated with a trawling fishery. In Argentina the predatory behaviours of killer whales and anti-predatory behaviours of South American sea lions have been described from costal based observations, but predator-prey behaviour of these species is poorly known at open waters. Here we describe a killer whale group attack on an individual sea lion, using a video recorded from a trawling vessel and an interview of the ship captain. This predator-prey behaviour represents an example of the complexity of interactions between marine mammals and fisheries along the Patagonian coast.Las interacciones entre orcas y lobos marinos son ampliamente conocidas. Este trabajo describe el comportamiento predador-presa entre orcas y un lobo marino sudamericano asociados a un barco pesquero de arrastre. Particularmente en Argentina el comportamiento predatorio de las orcas y el anti-predatorio de los lobos marinos comunes fueron descriptos mediante observaciones costeras, pero se sabe poco sobre el comportamiento de estas especies en aguas abiertas. En este trabajo, a partir de un video grabado desde un barco de pesca arrastrero, junto con la entrevista del capitán del barco, se describe cómo un grupo de orcas ataca a un lobo marino Sudamericano. Este comportamiento predador-presa representa un ejemplo sobre la complejidad de las interacciones entre mamíferos marinos y las pesquerías a lo largo de la costa patagónica.

  18. 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.

  19. Effects of age, sex and reproductive status on persistent organic pollutant concentrations in 'Southern Resident' killer whales

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krahn, Margaret M.; Bradley Hanson, M.; Schorr, Gregory S.; Emmons, Candice K.; Burrows, Douglas G.; Bolton, Jennie L.; Baird, Robin W.; Ylitalo, Gina M.

    2009-01-01

    'Southern Resident' killer whales (Orcinus orca) that comprise three fish-eating 'pods' (J, K and L) were listed as 'endangered' in the US and Canada following a 20% population decline between 1996 and 2001. Blubber biopsy samples from Southern Resident juveniles had statistically higher concentrations of certain persistent organic pollutants than were found for adults. Most Southern Resident killer whales, including the four juveniles, exceeded the health-effects threshold for total PCBs in marine mammal blubber. Maternal transfer of contaminants to the juveniles during rapid development of their biological systems may put these young whales at greater risk than adults for adverse health effects (e.g., immune and endocrine system dysfunction). Pollutant ratios and field observations established that two of the pods (K- and L-pod) travel to California to forage. Nitrogen stable isotope values, supported by field observations, indicated possible changes in the diet of L-pod over the last decade.

  20. Environmental DNA (eDNA From the Wake of the Whales: Droplet Digital PCR for Detection and Species Identification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Scott Baker

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Genetic sampling for identification of species, subspecies or stock of whales, dolphins and porpoises at sea remains challenging. Most samples have been collected with some form of a biopsy dart requiring a close approach of a vessel while the individual is at the surface. Here we have adopted droplet digital (ddPCR technology for detection and species identification of cetaceans using environmental (eDNA collected from seawater. We conducted a series of eDNA sampling experiments during 25 encounters with killer whales, Orcinus orca, in Puget Sound (the Salish Sea. The regular habits of killer whales in these inshore waters allowed us to locate pods and collect seawater, at an initial distance of 200 m and at 15-min intervals, for up to 2 h after the passage of the whales. To optimize detection, we designed a set of oligonucleotide primers and probes to target short fragments of the mitochondrial (mtDNA control region, with a focus on identification of known killer whale ecotypes. We confirmed the potential to detect eDNA in the wake of the whales for up to 2 h, despite movement of the water mass by several kilometers due to tidal currents. Re-amplification and sequencing of the eDNA barcode confirmed that the ddPCR detection included the “southern resident community” of killer whales, consistent with the calls from hydrophone recordings and visual observations.

  1. 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

  2. Killer whale depredation and associated costs to Alaskan sablefish, Pacific halibut and Greenland turbot longliners.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Megan J Peterson

    Full Text Available Killer whale (Orcinus orca depredation (whales stealing or damaging fish caught on fishing gear adversely impacts demersal longline fisheries for sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria, Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis and Greenland turbot (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides in the Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands and Western Gulf of Alaska. These interactions increase direct costs and opportunity costs associated with catching fish and reduce the profitability of longline fishing in western Alaska. This study synthesizes National Marine Fisheries Service observer data, National Marine Fisheries Service sablefish longline survey and fishermen-collected depredation data to: 1 estimate the frequency of killer whale depredation on longline fisheries in Alaska; 2 estimate depredation-related catch per unit effort reductions; and 3 assess direct costs and opportunity costs incurred by longliners in western Alaska as a result of killer whale interactions. The percentage of commercial fishery sets affected by killer whales was highest in the Bering Sea fisheries for: sablefish (21.4%, Greenland turbot (9.9%, and Pacific halibut (6.9%. Average catch per unit effort reductions on depredated sets ranged from 35.1-69.3% for the observed longline fleet in all three management areas from 1998-2012 (p<0.001. To compensate for depredation, fishermen set additional gear to catch the same amount of fish, and this increased fuel costs by an additional 82% per depredated set (average $433 additional fuel per depredated set. In a separate analysis with six longline vessels in 2011 and 2012, killer whale depredation avoidance measures resulted in an average additional cost of $494 per depredated vessel-day for fuel and crew food. Opportunity costs of time lost by fishermen averaged $522 per additional vessel-day on the grounds. This assessment of killer whale depredation costs represents the most extensive economic evaluation of this issue in Alaska to date and will help

  3. Validation of dentine deposition rates in beluga whales by interspecies cross dating of temporal δ13C trends in teeth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cory JD Matthews

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Isotopic time series from sequentially sampled growth layer groups (GLGs in marine mammal teeth can be combined to build chronologies allowing assessment of isotopic variation in marine ecosystems. Synchronous recording of baseline isotopic variation across dentinal GLGs of species with temporal and spatial overlap in foraging offers a unique opportunity for validation of marine mammal age estimation procedures through calibration of GLG deposition rates in one species against another whose GLG deposition has been independently determined. In this study, we compare trends in stable carbon isotope ratios (d13C across dentinal GLGs of three eastern Canadian Arctic (ECA beluga (Delphinapterus leucas populations through the 1960s-2000s with a d13C time series measured across dentinal GLGs of ECA/Northwest Atlantic killer whales (Orcinus orca from 1944-1999. We use confirmed annual GLG deposition in killer whales as a means to assess beluga GLG deposition, and show linear d13C declines across chronologies of both species were statistically indistinguishable when based on annual GLG deposition in beluga whales, but differed when based on biannual deposition. We suggest d13C declines reflect the oceanic 13C Suess effect, and provide additional support for annual GLG deposition in beluga whales by comparing rates of d13C declines across beluga GLGs with published annual d13C declines attributed to the oceanic 13C Suess effect in the North Atlantic.

  4. An 'Orca-stra' of Science and Sound: The Reverberations of Northeast Pacific Whales and How We're Helping People Understand Them Though Games, Demos and Listening

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelz, M.; Dewey, R. K.; Hoeberechts, M.; Kanes, K.; Ewing, N.

    2015-12-01

    Presented by the Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) Leaning and Engagement team, this demonstration focuses on our strategy for engaging and inspiring the next generation of ocean advocates by introducing them to one of the ocean's most charismatic inhabitants: marine mammals (and don't worry, we don't need any tanks or neoprene suits to do it). Using bioacoustic data, we can bring the essence of the animals with us. ONC, an initiative of the University of Victoria, operates cabled ocean observatories which supply continuous power and Internet connectivity to a broad suite of subsea instruments from the coast to the deep sea. This Internet connectivity permits researchers, students and members of the public to download freely available data onto their computers from anywhere around the globe, in real-time. Our demo focuses on the story of bioacoustics from instrument to animal. When visiting classrooms or hosting booths, we enhance user knowledge and experience by connecting familiar animals with their acoustic data from hydrophones. This includes listening to hydrophone clips collected from the network, analyzing sounds using interactive, real-time software and playing interactive games designed to get participants thinking like a scientist and taking a whale's perspective. For example, participants listen to recordings and guess the sound, identify frequencies and try a working hydrophone. The presentation consists of a suite of activities that meet a broad range of Next Generation Science Standards and includes links to the SoundCloud, https://soundcloud.com/oceannetworkscanada the ONC hydrophone FAQ, http://www.oceannetworks.ca/smart-hydrophone-faq and a classroom ready resource, Shouting Whales http://openschool.bc.ca/shouting_whales/index.html . The included links allow users anywhere to have a similar whale "experience" as the data are classroom ready, accessible and free.

  5. 76 FR 14299 - Listing Endangered and Threatened Species: Correction To Codify in the Code of Federal...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-16

    ... Federal Regulations to identify the Southern Resident killer whale (Orcinus orca) distinct population... Sec. 224.101, paragraph (b), add ``Killer whale (Orcinus orca), Southern Resident distinct population... including Southern Resident killer whales placed in captivity prior to listing or their captive born progeny...

  6. Mortality risk and social network position in resident killer whales: sex differences and the importance of resource abundance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, S; Franks, D W; Nattrass, S; Cant, M A; Weiss, M N; Giles, D; Balcomb, K C; Croft, D P

    2017-10-25

    An individual's ecological environment affects their mortality risk, which in turn has fundamental consequences for life-history evolution. In many species, social relationships are likely to be an important component of an individual's environment, and therefore their mortality risk. Here, we examine the relationship between social position and mortality risk in resident killer whales ( Orcinus orca ) using over three decades of social and demographic data. We find that the social position of male, but not female, killer whales in their social unit predicts their mortality risk. More socially integrated males have a significantly lower risk of mortality than socially peripheral males, particularly in years of low prey abundance, suggesting that social position mediates access to resources. Male killer whales are larger and require more resources than females, increasing their vulnerability to starvation in years of low salmon abundance. More socially integrated males are likely to have better access to social information and food-sharing opportunities which may enhance their survival in years of low salmon abundance. Our results show that observable variation in the social environment is linked to variation in mortality risk, and highlight how sex differences in social effects on survival may be linked to sex differences in life-history evolution. © 2017 The Authors.

  7. 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.

  8. Seasonal and pod-specific differences in core use areas by resident killer whales in the Northern Gulf of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsen, Daniel W.; Matkin, Craig O.; Andrews, Russel D.; Atkinson, Shannon

    2018-01-01

    The resident killer whale is a genetically and behaviorally distinct ecotype of killer whale (Orcinus orca) found in the North Pacific that feeds primarily on Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp .). Details regarding core use areas have been inferred by boat surveys, but are subject to effort bias and weather limitations. To investigate core use areas, 37 satellite tags were deployed from 2006 to 2014 on resident killer whales representing 12 pods in the Northern Gulf of Alaska, and transmissions were received during the months of June to January. Core use areas were identified through utilization distributions using a biased Brownian Bridge movement model. Distinct differences in these core use areas were revealed, and were highly specific to season and pod. In June, July, and August, the waters of Hinchinbrook Entrance and west of Kayak Island were primary areas used, mainly by 3 separate pods. These same pods shifted their focus to Montague Strait in August, September, and October. Port Gravina was a focal area for 2 other pods in June, July, and August, but this was not the case in later months. These pods were responsible for seven of eight documented trips into the deeper fjords of Prince William Sound, yet these fjords were not a focus for most groups of killer whales. The seasonal differences in core use may be a response to the seasonal returns of salmon, though details on specific migration routes and timing for the salmon are limited. We found strong seasonal and pod-specific shifts in patterns between core use areas. Future research should investigate pod differences in diet composition and relationships between core area use and bathymetry.

  9. Tracking niche variation over millennial timescales in sympatric killer whale lineages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foote, Andrew D; Newton, Jason; Ávila-Arcos, María C; Kampmann, Marie-Louise; Samaniego, Jose A; Post, Klaas; Rosing-Asvid, Aqqalu; Sinding, Mikkel-Holger S; Gilbert, M Thomas P

    2013-10-07

    Niche variation owing to individual differences in ecology has been hypothesized to be an early stage of sympatric speciation. Yet to date, no study has tracked niche width over more than a few generations. In this study, we show the presence of isotopic niche variation over millennial timescales and investigate the evolutionary outcomes. Isotopic ratios were measured from tissue samples of sympatric killer whale Orcinus orca lineages from the North Sea, spanning over 10 000 years. Isotopic ratios spanned a range similar to the difference in isotopic values of two known prey items, herring Clupea harengus and harbour seal Phoca vitulina. Two proxies of the stage of speciation, lineage sorting of mitogenomes and genotypic clustering, were both weak to intermediate indicating that speciation has made little progress. Thus, our study confirms that even with the necessary ecological conditions, i.e. among-individual variation in ecology, it is difficult for sympatric speciation to progress in the face of gene flow. In contrast to some theoretical models, our empirical results suggest that sympatric speciation driven by among-individual differences in ecological niche is a slow process and may not reach completion. We argue that sympatric speciation is constrained in this system owing to the plastic nature of the behavioural traits under selection when hunting either mammals or fish.

  10. Retrospective characterization of ontogenetic shifts in killer whale diets via δ13C and δ15N analysis of teeth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newsome, Seth D.; Etnier, Michael A.; Monson, Daniel H.; Fogel, Marilyn L.

    2009-01-01

    Metabolically inert, accretionary structures such as the dentin growth layers in teeth provide a life history record of individual diet with near-annual resolution. We constructed ontogenetic δ13C and δ15N profiles by analyzing tooth dentin growth layers from 13 individual killer whales Orcinus orca collected in the eastern northeast Pacific Ocean between 1961 and 2003. The individuals sampled were 6 to 52 yr old, representing 2 ecotypes—resident and transient—collected across ~25° of latitude. The average isotopic values of transient individuals (n = 10) are consistent with a reliance on mammalian prey, while the average isotopic values of residents (n = 3) are consistent with piscivory. Regardless of ecotype, most individuals show a decrease in δ15N values of ~2.5‰ through the first 3 yr of life, roughly equivalent to a decrease of one trophic level. We interpret this as evidence of gradual weaning, after which, ontogenetic shifts in isotopic values are highly variable. A few individuals (n = 2) maintained relatively stable δ15N and δ13C values throughout the remainder of their lives, whereas δ15N values of most (n = 11) increased by ~1.5‰, suggestive of an ontogenetic increase in trophic level. Significant differences in mean δ13C and δ15N values among transients collected off California suggest that individuality in prey preferences may be prevalent within this ecotype. Our approach provides retrospective individual life history and dietary information that cannot be obtained through traditional field observations of free-ranging and elusive species such as killer whales, including unique historic ecological information that pre-dates modern studies. By providing insights into individual diet composition, stable isotope analysis of teeth and/or bones may be the only means of evaluating a number of hypothesized historical dietary shifts in killer whales of the northeast Pacific Ocean

  11. Long term stability and individual distinctiveness in captive orca vocalizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noonan, Michael; Suchak, Malini

    2005-04-01

    With focus on the question of signature calling in killer whales, recordings from five captive orcas (of Icelandic origin) held at Marineland of Canada were compared. For the present analysis, samples of three different call syllables were selected from recordings made five years apart and from instances in which the identity of the calling whale was unambiguous due to temporary isolation, concomitant bubbling, and/or head nodding. The Raven software package was used to ascertain the frequency range, frequency (max), duration, and timing of maximum and minimum power within each sample. For two of the three call syllables, statistically significant differences were found among the five whales for call length and for the timing of maximums and minimums (porcas are distinct from one another in ways that are stable over the course of multiple years.

  12. PODs cruise - Pacific Orcinus Distrbution Survey

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Orcinus spp. occur in the Pacific Ocean throughout the West Coast of North America. Data concerning their precise locations and abundance are critical to...

  13. Distribution and seasonal abundance of large cetaceans in the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Killer whale Orcinus orca presence was coincident with that of offshore minke whales and the southward migrations of other baleen whales, whereas densities of animals deemed as bottlenose whale Hyperoodon planifrons suggest strong early and late summer seasonal abundance in the offshore region. Such extensive ...

  14. Satellite tagging and biopsy sampling of killer whales at subantarctic Marion Island: effectiveness, immediate reactions and long-term responses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan R Reisinger

    Full Text Available Remote tissue biopsy sampling and satellite tagging are becoming widely used in large marine vertebrate studies because they allow the collection of a diverse suite of otherwise difficult-to-obtain data which are critical in understanding the ecology of these species and to their conservation and management. Researchers must carefully consider their methods not only from an animal welfare perspective, but also to ensure the scientific rigour and validity of their results. We report methods for shore-based, remote biopsy sampling and satellite tagging of killer whales Orcinus orca at Subantarctic Marion Island. The performance of these methods is critically assessed using 1 the attachment duration of low-impact minimally percutaneous satellite tags; 2 the immediate behavioural reactions of animals to biopsy sampling and satellite tagging; 3 the effect of researcher experience on biopsy sampling and satellite tagging; and 4 the mid- (1 month and long- (24 month term behavioural consequences. To study mid- and long-term behavioural changes we used multievent capture-recapture models that accommodate imperfect detection and individual heterogeneity. We made 72 biopsy sampling attempts (resulting in 32 tissue samples and 37 satellite tagging attempts (deploying 19 tags. Biopsy sampling success rates were low (43%, but tagging rates were high with improved tag designs (86%. The improved tags remained attached for 26±14 days (mean ± SD. Individuals most often showed no reaction when attempts missed (66% and a slight reaction-defined as a slight flinch, slight shake, short acceleration, or immediate dive-when hit (54%. Severe immediate reactions were never observed. Hit or miss and age-sex class were important predictors of the reaction, but the method (tag or biopsy was unimportant. Multievent trap-dependence modelling revealed considerable variation in individual sighting patterns; however, there were no significant mid- or long-term changes

  15. 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...

  16. Uranium geochemistry of Orca Basin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weber, F.F. Jr.; Sackett, W.M.

    1981-01-01

    Orca Basin, an anoxic, brine-filled depression at a depth of 2200 m in the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico continental slope, has been studied with respect to its uranium geochemistry. Uranium concentration profiles for four cores from within the basin were determined by delayed-neutron counting. Uranium concentrations ranged from 2.1 to 4.1 ppm on a salt-free and carbonate-corrected basis. The highest uranium concentrations were associated with the lowest percentage and delta 13 C organic carbon values. For comparison, cores from the brine-filled Suakin and Atlantis II Deeps, both in the Red Sea, were also analyzed. Uranium concentrations ranged from 1.2 to 2.6 ppm in the Suakin Deep and from 8.0 to 11.0 ppm in the Atlantis II Deep. No significant correlation was found between uranium concentrations and organic carbon concentrations and delta 13 C values for these cores. Although anoxic conditions are necessary for significant uranium uptake by non-carbonate marine sediments, other factors such as dilution by rapidly depositing materials and uranium supply via mixing and diffusion across density gradients may be as important in determining uranium concentrations in hypersaline basin sediments. (author)

  17. Orca Behavior and Subsequent Aggression Associated with Oceanarium Confinement

    OpenAIRE

    Anderson, Robert; Waayers, Robyn; Knight, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Simple Summary Orca behaviors interacting with humans within apparent friendship bonds are reviewed, and some impediments to the human evaluation of delphinid intelligence are discussed. The subsequent involvement of these orcas and their offspring in aggressive incidents with humans is also documented and examined. This is particularly relevant given that the highest recorded rates of aggressive incidents have occurred among orcas who had previously established unstructured human friendship ...

  18. Whale Heart

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2017-01-01

    Student bachelor film. Synopsis:Silas lives in an isolated whaling town, toiling for months in the harsh and bloody trade on which he and his community depend. However, in order to be capable of killing the creatures whose bone and blubber pay his wage, he has developed an ungodly method for extr...

  19. eDNA Barcoding: Using Next-Generation Sequencing of Environmental DNA for Detection and Identification of Cetacean Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    September 2015. Photograph courtesy of Jeanne Hyde. 4 Figure 3: The location of (e)DNA serial sampling encounter from killer whales in the...experiment’ were very success, allowing us to collect serial samples, at a range of distances and times, after the passage of killer whales from a...the first year, we have conducted a series of (e)DNA sampling experiments in the vicinity of killer whales Orcinus orca near San Juan Island in Puget

  20. Orca Behavior and Subsequent Aggression Associated with Oceanarium Confinement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Robert; Waayers, Robyn; Knight, Andrew

    2016-08-18

    Based on neuroanatomical indices such as brain size and encephalization quotient, orcas are among the most intelligent animals on Earth. They display a range of complex behaviors indicative of social intelligence, but these are difficult to study in the open ocean where protective laws may apply, or in captivity, where access is constrained for commercial and safety reasons. From 1979 to 1980, however, we were able to interact with juvenile orcas in an unstructured way at San Diego's SeaWorld facility. We observed in the animals what appeared to be pranks, tests of trust, limited use of tactical deception, emotional self-control, and empathetic behaviors. Our observations were consistent with those of a former Seaworld trainer, and provide important insights into orca cognition, communication, and social intelligence. However, after being trained as performers within Seaworld's commercial entertainment program, a number of orcas began to exhibit aggressive behaviors. The orcas who previously established apparent friendships with humans were most affected, although significant aggression also occurred in some of their descendants, and among the orcas they lived with. Such oceanaria confinement and commercial use can no longer be considered ethically defensible, given the current understanding of orcas' advanced cognitive, social, and communicative capacities, and of their behavioral needs.

  1. 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.

  2. Fluctuations in the population of southern elephant seals Mirounga ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    and seals (Laws 1973). Predation. Carrick and Ingham (1962) indicated that the killer whale. Orcinus orca is an important predator of elephant seals, es- pecially of immature individuals. Moreover, Condy (1977) suggests that the observed decrease in the elephant seal population at Marion Island is due to a lowered recruit-.

  3. The southern elephant seal Mirounga leonina at Gough Island

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    haul-out in December coincided with the elephant seal moulting season, the elephant seals were found on the vegetated areas whilst the majority of fur seals hauled out onto the boulder beach. No interactions between the two species were recorded. Potential predators of elephant seals, i.e. the killer whales Orcinus orca ...

  4. Author Details

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) at Marion Island, Southern Ocean Abstract · Vol 37, No 1 (2002) - Articles Pup growth and maternal attendance patterns in Subantarctic fur seals. Abstract · Vol 37, No 1 (2002) - Articles Juvenile survival and population regulation in southern elephant seals at Marion Island Abstract · Vol 43, No 2 ...

  5. The Marine Mammal Programme at the Prince Edward Islands: 38 ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The Marine Mammal Programme (MMP) conducts research on pinnipeds and killer whales Orcinus orca at Marion Island, Prince Edward Islands, under the auspices of the Mammal Research Institute, Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria. The history of the MMP, which has benefited from ...

  6. Enhanced ORCA and CLARREO Depolarizers Using AR Microstructures, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Next generation Earth Science Satellites ORCA and CLARREO are designed to measure our planet's ocean and climate health. Using hyper-spectral imaging at wavelengths...

  7. 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…

  8. Deeper insights into PCBs in orcas

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dietz, Rune; Eulaers, Igor; Desforges, Jean-Pierre

    2016-01-01

    Having read the recent article by Jepson and Law (DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf9075) we want to emphasise the worrying nature of the fact that at present many marine apex predators, including killer whales, remain highly polluted with PCBs despite world-wide initiatives over past decades to restrict...... PCB-containing equipment by 2025 and perform environmentally sound waste management by 2028. This means nonetheless that PCBs will continue to leach into the environment over the next decade. Given present-day observed reproductive failure in several killer whale populations we must urgently reduce...... are excellent marine sentinel species, indicating that not one nation can address the persistent threat that is environmental PCB pollution. We believe the choice for international PCB mitigation is timely in order to not lose this canary in the coalmine....

  9. 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

  10. An investigation of the roles of geomagnetic and acoustic cues in whale navigation and orientation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Ann Nichole

    reaction of a Blainville's beaked whale to playbacks of Navy mid-frequency active sonar and orca predation calls. Navy sonar exercises have been linked to beaked whale strandings, and identifying whether these are the result of a mistaken predator avoidance reaction may help prevent future strandings. (Copies available exclusively from MIT Libraries, libraries.mit.edu/docs - docs@mit.edu)

  11. War of the Whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blok, Anders

    2011-01-01

    This article examines some of the difficulties of universalistic science in situations of deep conflict over global nature, using empirical material pertaining to ongoing controversies in the context of Japanese whaling practices. Within global-scale whaling assemblages since the 1970s, science has...... become a ‘‘post-sovereign’’ authority, unable to impose any stable definition of nature on all actors. Instead, across spaces of deep antagonistic differences, anti- and pro-whalers now ontologically enact a multiplicity of mutually irreconcilable versions of whales. Empirically, the article attempts...... 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....

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. Acoustic Ecology of Minke Whales

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Costa, Daniel

    1998-01-01

    Calls of minke whales, Balaenoptera acutorostrata, off the coast of NE Australia in July of 1997 were recorded utilizing a newly described population, where minke whales maintain long contacts with vessels...

  16. Whale-Watching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lande, Rivian

    1973-01-01

    Describes a program initiated by the Cabrillo Beach Museum (San Pedro, California) and the American Cetacean Society to take students of the fourth grade through high school on half-day cruises to observe gray whales. College students assist in the program with related field projects and presentations in the schools. (JR)

  17. jORCA: easily integrating bioinformatics Web Services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martín-Requena, Victoria; Ríos, Javier; García, Maximiliano; Ramírez, Sergio; Trelles, Oswaldo

    2010-02-15

    Web services technology is becoming the option of choice to deploy bioinformatics tools that are universally available. One of the major strengths of this approach is that it supports machine-to-machine interoperability over a network. However, a weakness of this approach is that various Web Services differ in their definition and invocation protocols, as well as their communication and data formats-and this presents a barrier to service interoperability. jORCA is a desktop client aimed at facilitating seamless integration of Web Services. It does so by making a uniform representation of the different web resources, supporting scalable service discovery, and automatic composition of workflows. Usability is at the top of the jORCA agenda; thus it is a highly customizable and extensible application that accommodates a broad range of user skills featuring double-click invocation of services in conjunction with advanced execution-control, on the fly data standardization, extensibility of viewer plug-ins, drag-and-drop editing capabilities, plus a file-based browsing style and organization of favourite tools. The integration of bioinformatics Web Services is made easier to support a wider range of users. .

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 77 FR 21540 - Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-10

    ... 230.4(c), forbid the taking of calves or any whale accompanied by a calf. NOAA regulations (at 50 CFR... which are summarized here: Only licensed whaling captains or crew under the control of those captains... crew, supplies, and equipment to engage in an efficient operation. Crew may not receive money for...

  1. 76 FR 16388 - Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-23

    ... well as the NOAA regulation at 50 CFR 230.4(c), forbid the taking of calves or any whale accompanied by... captains or crew under the control of those captains may engage in whaling. They must follow the provisions... aboriginal hunters must have adequate crew, supplies, and equipment. They may not receive money for...

  2. 78 FR 13028 - Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-26

    ... The IWC regulations, as well as the NOAA regulation at 50 CFR 230.4(c), forbid the taking of calves or... whaling captains or crew under the control of those captains may engage in whaling. Captains and crew must... operation. Crew may not receive money for participating in the hunt. No person may sell or offer for sale...

  3. 75 FR 10223 - Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-05

    ... well as the NOAA regulation at 50 CFR 230.4(c), forbid the taking of calves or any whale accompanied by... captains or crew under the control of those captains may engage in whaling. They must follow the provisions... aboriginal hunters must have adequate crew, supplies, and equipment. They may not receive money for...

  4. Integrating wind turbines into the Orcas Island distribution system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zaininger, H.W. [Zaininger Engineering Co., Roseville, CA (United States)

    1998-09-01

    This research effort consists of two years of wind data collection and analysis to investigate the possibility of strategically locating a megawatt (MW) scale wind farm near the end of an Orcas Power and light Company (OPALCO) 25-kilovolt (kV) distribution circuit to defer the need to upgrade the line to 69 kV. The results of this study support the results of previous work in which another year of wind data and collection was performed. Both this study and the previous study show that adding a MW-scale wind farm at the Mt. Constitution site is a feasible alternative to upgrading the OPALCO 25-kV distribution circuit to 69 kV.

  5. A whale of an opportunity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    Sixty hours of direct measurements of fluorescence were collected from six bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) instrumented with fluorometers in Greenland in April 2005 and 2006. The data were used to (1) characterize the three-dimensional spatial pattern of chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) in the water...... 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...... (MOD21, SeaWifs analogue OC3M and SST MOD37). Bowhead whales traversed 1600 km2, providing information on diving, Chl-a structure and temperature profiles to depths below 200 m. Feeding dives frequently passed through surface waters (>50 m) and targeted depths close to the bottom, and whales did...

  6. From whales to tritium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bonnemains, J.

    2007-01-01

    Only 150 years of human actions and innovations separate whale-oil lamps from atomic fission and fusion. During this period, the human quest for lighting, heating and transportation has drained the stock of fuels, ranging from peat and wood to coal and petroleum. The energy necessary for protecting us from the cold and heat, for transportation, lighting and other comforts is a persistent problem. Since the start of the industrial era and the consumer age, the solutions adopted have jeopardized the oceans, atmosphere and earth. (author)

  7. 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...

  8. 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......In sperm whales ~Physeter catodon L. 1758! the nose is vastly hypertrophied, accounting for about one-third of the length or weight of an adult male. Norris and Harvey @in Animal Orientation and Navigation, NASA SP-262 ~1972!, pp. 397–417# ascribed a sound-generating function to this organ complex......, directionality!. Either the theory is not borne out or the data is not representative for the capabilities of the sound-generating mechanism. To increase the amount of relevant data, a five-hydrophone array, suspended from three platforms separated by 1 km and linked by radio, was deployed at the slope...

  9. mORCA: sailing bioinformatics world with mobile devices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz-Del-Pino, Sergio; Falgueras, Juan; Perez-Wohlfeil, Esteban; Trelles, Oswaldo

    2018-03-01

    Nearly 10 years have passed since the first mobile apps appeared. Given the fact that bioinformatics is a web-based world and that mobile devices are endowed with web-browsers, it seemed natural that bioinformatics would transit from personal computers to mobile devices but nothing could be further from the truth. The transition demands new paradigms, designs and novel implementations. Throughout an in-depth analysis of requirements of existing bioinformatics applications we designed and deployed an easy-to-use web-based lightweight mobile client. Such client is able to browse, select, compose automatically interface parameters, invoke services and monitor the execution of Web Services using the service's metadata stored in catalogs or repositories. mORCA is available at http://bitlab-es.com/morca/app as a web-app. It is also available in the App store by Apple and Play Store by Google. The software will be available for at least 2 years. ortrelles@uma.es. Source code, final web-app, training material and documentation is available at http://bitlab-es.com/morca. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press.

  10. A carbon inventory for Orca Basin brines and sediments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sackett, W.M.; Brooks, J.M.; Bernard, B.B.; Schwab, C.R.; Chung, H.; Parker, R.A.

    1979-01-01

    Orca Basin, an intraslope depression at a depth of about 2400 m on the continental slope of the north-central Gulf of Mexico, contains an anoxic, hypersaline brine similar to composition to those reported in the Red Sea. Concentrations and stable carbon isotope compositions of various inorganic and organic carbon species have been determined on the brine and sediments in order to gain an understanding of the origin and cycling of carbon in this unique environment. ΣCO 2 in the brine (55 mg C/l) is about twice seawater with delta 13 C sub(PDB)=-16.4per thousand and Δ 14 C=-501per thousand. CH 4 has a concentration of 12 mg C/l and delta 13 C=-73.5per thousand. Dissolved and particulate organic carbon concentrations are seven times higher and have delta 13 C values several permil different than the overlying seawater, ΣCO 2 and CH 4 in the interstitial waters are considerably higher in concentrations and isotropically light than the overlying brine. Solution of near-surface salt deposits by seawater with subsequent microbial production and consumption of methane can be used to explain most of the data. (Auth.)

  11. Japanese Small Type Coastal Whaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sue Fisher

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available 2016 marks the 70th anniversary of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW as well as the 30th anniversary of the International Whaling Commission’s (IWC moratorium on commercial whaling. It also marks three decades of effort by Japan to overturn this ban. Its strategy to circumvent the moratorium by issuing permits to kill protected whales for scientific research is famous—even the subject of a 2014 lawsuit at the International Court of Justice. Less well known is Japan’s strategy to overturn the ban by persuading the Commission to authorise a category of commercial whaling known as Small Type Coastal Whaling (STCW that is conducted on minke and other small whales in Japanese waters but has never been regulated, or even formally recognised, by the IWC. For three decades Japan has sought STCW catch limits for four communities which it claims are still suffering distress as a result of the moratorium. While the Commission has rejected each proposal, mainly citing concerns that the commercial nature and purpose of STCW violates the moratorium, Japan has persisted, exhibiting great flexibility in its approach. Its tactics changed significantly in 2014; it no longer denied (or defended the commerciality of the hunt, but argued that it is irrelevant since it sought only a small exemption to the moratorium which would remain intact for all other populations. This is a perspective on Japan’s evolving STCW strategy and the risk that lifting, or modifying, the moratorium would pose to the conservation of whales.

  12. 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...

  13. 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

  14. The impact of predation by marine mammals on patagonian toothfish longline fisheries.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Söffker

    Full Text Available Predatory interaction of marine mammals with longline fisheries is observed globally, leading to partial or complete loss of the catch and in some parts of the world to considerable financial loss. Depredation can also create additional unrecorded fishing mortality of a stock and has the potential to introduce bias to stock assessments. Here we aim to characterise depredation in the Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides fishery around South Georgia focusing on the spatio-temporal component of these interactions. Antarctic fur seals (Arctocephalus gazella, sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus, and orcas (Orcinus orca frequently feed on fish hooked on longlines around South Georgia. A third of longlines encounter sperm whales, but loss of catch due to sperm whales is insignificant when compared to that due to orcas, which interact with only 5% of longlines but can take more than half of the catch in some cases. Orca depredation around South Georgia is spatially limited and focused in areas of putative migration routes, and the impact is compounded as a result of the fishery also concentrating in those areas at those times. Understanding the seasonal behaviour of orcas and the spatial and temporal distribution of "depredation hot spots" can reduce marine mammal interactions, will improve assessment and management of the stock and contribute to increased operational efficiency of the fishery. Such information is valuable in the effort to resolve the human-mammal conflict for resources.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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…

  18. Measuring the neutrino mass hierarchy with the future KM3NeT/ORCA detector

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hofestaedt, Jannik

    2017-02-22

    The neutrino mass hierarchy can be determined by measuring the energy- and zenith-angle-dependent oscillation pattern of few-GeV atmospheric neutrinos that have traversed the Earth. This measurement is the main science goal of KM3NeT/ORCA ('Oscillation Research with Cosmics in the Abyss'), a planned multi-megaton underwater Cherenkov detector in the Mediterranean Sea. A key task is the reconstruction of shower-like events induced by electron neutrinos in charged-current interactions, which substantially affect the neutrino mass hierarchy sensitivity. In this thesis, numerous aspects of the expected neutrino detection performance of the planned ORCA detector are investigated. A new reconstruction algorithm for neutrino-induced shower-like events is developed. Excellent reconstruction accuracies are achieved, with a neutrino energy resolution better than 26%/24%, and a median neutrino direction resolution better than 11 /9 for electron neutrinos/antineutrinos in charged-current interactions with energies above 7 GeV. It is shown that these resolutions are close to the reconstruction accuracy limits imposed by intrinsic fluctuations in the Cherenkov light signatures. These intrinsic resolution limits are based on generic assumptions about event reconstruction in Cherenkov detectors and are derived as part of this thesis. Differences in event reconstruction capabilities between water- and ice-based Cherenkov detectors are discussed. The configuration of existing trigger algorithms is optimised for the ORCA detector. Based on the developed shower reconstruction, a detector optimisation study of the photosensor density is performed. In addition, it is shown that optical background noise in the deep Mediterranean Sea is not expected to compromise the feasibility of the neutrino mass hierarchy measurement with ORCA. Together, these investigations contribute significantly to the estimated neutrino mass hierarchy sensitivity of ORCA published in the 'Letter of

  19. Marine mammal sightings around oil and gas installations in the central North Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Delefosse, Matthieu; Rahbek, Malene Louise; Roesen, Lars

    2017-01-01

    288 animals were reported between May 2013 and May 2016. A total of seven marine mammal species were identified, five cetaceans: harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), white-beaked dolphin (Lagenorhynchus albirostris), killer whale (Orcinus orca), pilot whales......Relatively little is known about the distribution and diversity of marine mammals around offshore anthropogenic structures. Wepresentresultsobtainedfromincidentalsightings ofmarinemammalsaroundoilandgasinstallationslocated200 kmoff the Danish coast. A total of 131 sightings corresponding to about...... (Globicephala spp.) and two species of pinnipeds: harbour (Phoca vitulina) and grey seals (Halichoerus grypus). The most sighted species were harbour porpoise (41%) and minke whale (31%). Relative counts and biodiversity of marine mammals observed around installations corresponded well with the expected...

  20. 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

  1. Night-life of Bryde's whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Izadi, Sahar; Johnson, Mark; Aguilar de Soto, Natacha

    2018-01-01

    logging tags on resident Bryde'swhales in a busy gulf to study their daily activity patterns. We found that, while whales were active during daytime making energetic lunges to capture tonnes of plankton, they dedicated much of the night to rest. This suggests that whales may rely on vision to find prey...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Colombia Foundation to educate the communities of the Gulf of. Tribugá about the ... humpback whales (Winn and Winn 1978). Humpback whale song. ARTICLE .... mental (e.g., wind, waves) or anthropogenic (e.g., water craft) fea- tures, as well ..... rine Sanctuary, Division of Aquatic Resources, Department of Land and Na-.

  3. Sex determination of baleen whale artefacts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sinding, Mikkel Holger Strander; Tervo, Outi M.; Grønnow, Bjarne

    2016-01-01

    to 4500 years old bowhead whale samples, and for comparison on dilution series from modern bowhead whales of known sex. DNA sequencing of PCR products obtained from the ancient material confirmed a higher proportion of successful PCR amplifications of the X homologue over the Y homologue. This potentially...

  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. Detection and Classification of Whale Acoustic Signals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xian, Yin

    This dissertation focuses on two vital challenges in relation to whale acoustic signals: detection and classification. In detection, we evaluated the influence of the uncertain ocean environment on the spectrogram-based detector, and derived the likelihood ratio of the proposed Short Time Fourier Transform detector. Experimental results showed that the proposed detector outperforms detectors based on the spectrogram. The proposed detector is more sensitive to environmental changes because it includes phase information. In classification, our focus is on finding a robust and sparse representation of whale vocalizations. Because whale vocalizations can be modeled as polynomial phase signals, we can represent the whale calls by their polynomial phase coefficients. In this dissertation, we used the Weyl transform to capture chirp rate information, and used a two dimensional feature set to represent whale vocalizations globally. Experimental results showed that our Weyl feature set outperforms chirplet coefficients and MFCC (Mel Frequency Cepstral Coefficients) when applied to our collected data. Since whale vocalizations can be represented by polynomial phase coefficients, it is plausible that the signals lie on a manifold parameterized by these coefficients. We also studied the intrinsic structure of high dimensional whale data by exploiting its geometry. Experimental results showed that nonlinear mappings such as Laplacian Eigenmap and ISOMAP outperform linear mappings such as PCA and MDS, suggesting that the whale acoustic data is nonlinear. We also explored deep learning algorithms on whale acoustic data. We built each layer as convolutions with either a PCA filter bank (PCANet) or a DCT filter bank (DCTNet). With the DCT filter bank, each layer has different a time-frequency scale representation, and from this, one can extract different physical information. Experimental results showed that our PCANet and DCTNet achieve high classification rate on the whale

  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. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Hydrate-bearing Submarine Landslides in the Orca Basin, Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawyer, D.; Mason, A.; Cook, A.; Portnov, A.; Hillman, J.

    2017-12-01

    The co-occurrence of submarine landslides and hydrate-bearing sediment suggests that hydrates may play a role in landslide triggering and/or the mobility and dynamic characteristics of the submarine landslide. In turn, the removal of large sections of seafloor perturbs the hydrate stability field by removing overburden pressure and disturbing the temperature field. These potential hydrate-landslide feedbacks are not well understood. Here we combine three-dimensional seismic and petrophysical logs to characterize the deposits of submarine landslides that failed from hydrate-bearing sediments in the Orca Basin in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The Orca Basin contains a regionally mappable bottom simulating reflector, hydrate saturations within sands and muds, as well as numerous landslides. In addition, the Orca Basin features a well-known 123 km2 anoxic hypersaline brine pool that is actively being fed by outcropping salt. Lying at the bottom of the brine pool are deposits of submarine landslides. Slope instability in the Orca Basin is likely associated with near-seafloor salt tectonics. The most prominent landslide scar observable on the seafloor has a correlative deposit that now lies at the bottom of the brine pool 11.6 km away. The headwall is amphitheater-shaped with an average height of 80 meters and with only a minor amount of rubble remaining near the headwall. A total of 8.7 km3 of material was removed and deposited between the lower slopes of the basin and the base of the brine pool. Around the perimeter of the landslide headwall, two industry wells were drilled and well logs show elevated resistivity that are likely caused by gas hydrate. The slide deposits have a chaotic seismic facies with large entrained blocks and the headwall area does not retain much original material, which together suggests a relatively mobile style of landslide and therefore may have generated a wave upon impacting the brine pool. Such a slide-induced wave may have sloshed

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. ETV REPORT: REMOVAL OF ARSENIC IN DRINKING WATER ORCA WATER TECHNOLOGIES KEMLOOP 1000 COAGULATION AND FILTRATION WATER TREATMENT SYSTEM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verification testing of the ORCA Water Technologies KemLoop 1000 Coagulation and Filtration Water Treatment System for arsenic removal was conducted at the St. Louis Center located in Washtenaw County, Michigan, from March 23 through April 6, 2005. The source water was groundwate...

  16. Transfer of 60Co from midwater squid to sperm whales

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1984-01-01

    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 60 Co by sperm whales from the mesopelagic zone (150-1,200m). To elucidate this squid-whale route for this artificial radionuclide, 60 Co content was determined in squid and in predator whales captured by commercial whaling. In the Cephalopoda livers 60 Co levels of 30-500 mBq kg -1 wet were found and in the viscera of Odontoceti (toothed whales) 15-40 mBq kg -1 wet. About 0.3% of 60 Co ingested was estimated to be retained in a 23-year-old male sperm whale. In the livers of Bryde's whales, 60 Co levels of 40-80 mBq kg -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 60 Co/ 59 Co in mBq μg -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 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 60 Co in Bryde's whales is unknown. (author)

  17. 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.

  18. Are Antarctic minke whales unusually abundant because of 20th century whaling?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruegg, Kristen C; Anderson, Eric C; Scott Baker, C; Vant, Murdoch; Jackson, Jennifer A; Palumbi, Stephen R

    2010-01-01

    Severe declines in megafauna worldwide illuminate the role of top predators in ecosystem structure. In the Antarctic, the Krill Surplus Hypothesis posits that the killing of more than 2 million large whales led to competitive release for smaller krill-eating species like the Antarctic minke whale. If true, the current size of the Antarctic minke whale population may be unusually high as an indirect result of whaling. Here, we estimate the long-term population size of the Antarctic minke whale prior to whaling by sequencing 11 nuclear genetic markers from 52 modern samples purchased in Japanese meat markets. We use coalescent simulations to explore the potential influence of population substructure and find that even though our samples are drawn from a limited geographic area, our estimate reflects ocean-wide genetic diversity. Using Bayesian estimates of the mutation rate and coalescent-based analyses of genetic diversity across loci, we calculate the long-term population size of the Antarctic minke whale to be 670,000 individuals (95% confidence interval: 374,000-1,150,000). Our estimate of long-term abundance is similar to, or greater than, contemporary abundance estimates, suggesting that managing Antarctic ecosystems under the assumption that Antarctic minke whales are unusually abundant is not warranted.

  19. 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

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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).

  8. Food and feeding of sperm whales physeter macrocephalus off the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The stomach contents of 1 268 sperm whales Physeter macrocephalus processed at the Donkergat whaling station, South Africa, were examined during the 1962 and 1963 whaling seasons. Results were compared with. Clarkefs analysis of cephalopod beaks collected in 1963 (Clarke 1980). There was no significant ...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    spamer

    Counts and photographs of right whales Eubalaena australis taken on aerial surveys of the southern coast of. South Africa between ... of 0.08–2.89 km.h-1. Theodolite tracking of undisturbed groups of right whales from Cape Columbine produced ...... right whales on the coast of Argentina (Outer Coast) between 1971 and ...

  10. 75 FR 28779 - Prince of Whales Resource Advisory Committee

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-24

    ... DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Prince of Whales Resource Advisory Committee AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice of meeting. SUMMARY: The Prince of Whales Resource Advisory... Ranger District, 504 9th Street, Craig Alaska. Send written comments to Prince of Whales Resource...

  11. 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...

  12. Blue whales Balaenoptera musculus off Angola: recent sightings ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Further survey work is required to better clarify the status of blue whales in Angolan waters, particularly with regard to population structure and potential calving grounds. Keywords: Antarctic blue whale, calving, catch data, pygmy blue whale, South-East Atlantic, stomach contents. African Journal of Marine Science 2014, ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma L Carroll

    Full Text Available 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.

  14. Encountering whales: How encounter rates became the basis for managing whaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim D Smith

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Declining rates of encountering whales, including both sighting and catching, were noted by whalers throughout the 19th century, and these declines became the first indication that whaling was adversely affecting whale abundance. The interpretation of declines in both sighting and catch rates proved to be a difficult scientific task. Satisfactory quantitative methods of interpreting changes in whale encounter rates were not developed until the second half of the 20th century. Rates of encountering whales played a key role in the International Whaling Commission (IWC Scientific Committee from its beginning in the early 1950s, as well as in the US in implementing its Marine Mammal Protection Act beginning in the early 1970s. The development of methods of collecting and interpreting sighting and catch data was intimately interwoven with the development of themanagement of whaling and cetacean by-catches in fisheries throughout the world, but especially within the context of the Scientific Committees of the IWC and the North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission (NAMMCO. Although overfishing of whales was initially identified through the use of sighting rate data, catch rate data provided the IWC’s Committee its first firm footing for management advice. However, it was sighting rate data that ultimately became the basis for the scientific advice on whaling and for management advice in other settings. This led to the development of large scale cetacean sighting programmes, such as the IWC’s International Decade of Cetacean Researchsurveys in Antarctic aboard Japanese ships, the North Atlantic Sighting Surveys (NASS aboard Norwegian, Icelandic, Spanish, Greenlandic and Faroese vessels and aircraft (coordinated by NAMMCO through its Scientific Committee from 1995, and surveys under the US’s Marine Mammal Protection Act and the European Union’s Small Cetacean Abundance in the North Sea (SCANS programme. Fishery independent cetacean sighting surveys

  15. Acoustic Behaviour of Bottlenose Dolphins and Pilot Whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Frants Havmand

    2011-01-01

    and review for the topics addressed in the subsequent chapters, with discussions of these chapters where appropriate. In this thesis, I have undertaken a series of acoustic studies on two species of toothed whales, the bottlenose dolphin and the short-finned pilot whale. The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops sp.......) is one of the best known toothed whales due to studies in captivity over the last 50 years. In contrast, the short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus) is a larger, deep-diving toothed whale that has been studied rather little, in part because their deep-diving ecology regularly takes them out...... their vocal behaviour and sound production to their different ecological niches and habitats. Toothed whales find and capture prey using a sophisticated biosonar system. Little is known about how toothed whales use their biosonar during a complex three-dimensional task of locating and capturing prey...

  16. 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...

  17. The Diet Composition of Beaked Whales and Melon-Headed Whales from the North Pacific

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    description and comparison of diet composition as well as provide insight into the foraging behavior and ecology of these whales in the North...activities. Assessing diet for many species of cetaceans is difficult, given that most foraging occurs far below the surface and that stomach...furthering our understanding of the foraging behavior of this species. Such an examination of food habits from Hawaiian melon-headed whales would be

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Madagascar Conservation & Development ... Song is made up of single units combined together into phrases, which are repeated to make up themes. A song ... to educate the communities of the Gulf of Tribugá about the importance of conservation, and to advocate for stricter guidelines for safe whale-watching practices.

  19. Diel Variation in Beaked Whale Diving Behavior

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Baird, Robin; Webster, Daniel L; Schorr, Gregory S; McSweeney, Daniel J

    2008-01-01

    ...) occurred at similar rates during the day and night for Blainville's beaked whales (daymean=0.38 h-1; nightmean=0.46 h-1), and there were no significant diel differences in depths, durations, ascent or descent rates for deep dives...

  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. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. Investigating ecological speciation in non-model organisms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Foote, Andrew David

    2012-01-01

    Background: Studies of ecological speciation tend to focus on a few model biological systems. In contrast, few studies on non-model organisms have been able to infer ecological speciation as the underlying mechanism of evolutionary divergence. Questions: What are the pitfalls in studying ecological...... speciation in non-model organisms that lead to this bias? What alternative approaches might redress the balance? Organism: Genetically differentiated types of the killer whale (Orcinus orca) exhibiting differences in prey preference, habitat use, morphology, and behaviour. Methods: Review of the literature...... on killer whale evolutionary ecology in search of any difficulty in demonstrating causal links between variation in phenotype, ecology, and reproductive isolation in this non-model organism. Results: At present, we do not have enough evidence to conclude that adaptive phenotype traits linked to ecological...

  7. 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.

  8. 78 FR 34347 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plan for the North Pacific Right Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-07

    ... and Threatened Species; Recovery Plan for the North Pacific Right Whale AGENCY: National Marine... Recovery Plan (Plan) for the North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica). ADDRESSES: Electronic copies...

  9. 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...... of female bowhead whales may function for mate attraction and represent a novel example of partial courtship role reversal in mammals....

  10. Decoupling Tooth Loss from the Evolution of Baleen in Whales

    OpenAIRE

    Peredo, Carlos Mauricio; Pyenson, Nicholas D.; Boersma, Alexandra T.

    2017-01-01

    Baleen whales, or mysticetes, include the largest vertebrates to have ever evolved. Their gigantism, evolutionary success, and ecological diversity have been linked to filter feeding. Mysticetes filter feed using elaborate keratinous baleen plates, which grow from the palate and allow them to strain large quantities of prey out of the water. While the earliest mysticetes retained the adult, mineralized teeth present in ancestral whales, all species of living baleen whales lack teeth and inste...

  11. Applying wind turbines and battery storage to defer Orcas Power and Light Company distribution circuit upgrades

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zaininger, H.W.; Barnes, P.R.

    1997-03-01

    The purpose of this study is to conduct a detailed assessment of the Orcas Power and Light Company (OPALCO) system to determine the potential for deferring the costly upgrade of the 25-kV Lopez- Eastsound circuit, by the application of a MW-scale wind farm and battery storage facilities as appropriate. Local wind resource data has been collected over the past year and used to determine MW-scale wind farm performance. This hourly wind farm performance data is used with measured hourly Eastsound load data, and recent OPALCO distribution system expansion plans and cost projections in performing this detailed benefit-cost assessment. The OPALCO distribution circuit expansion project and assumptions are described. MW-scale wind farm performance results are given. The economic benefit-cost results for the wind farm and battery storage applications on the OPALCO system using OPALCO system design criteria and cost assumptions are reported. A recalculation is presented of the benefit-cost results for similar potential wind farm and battery storage applications on other utility systems with higher marginal energy and demand costs. Conclusions and recommendations are presented. costs. Conclusions and recommendations are presented

  12. 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....

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Cetacean mother-calf behavior observed from a small aircraft off Southern California. Animal Behavior and Cognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mari A. Smultea

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available During early developmental stages, cetacean calves are dependent on their mothers for survival. Protection of young whales engaged in behaviors that are biologically important is critical for population recovery, so that appropriate management actions can be taken to minimize human disturbance. However, the occurrence and frequency of whale nursing and calves back-riding their mothers (both considered important to calf survival have rarely been observed nor adequately quantified or defined. Therefore, it may not always be clear when disruption is occurring. We used extended behavioral observations, still photography, and video camera footage obtained during aircraft surveys in the Southern California Bight in 2008 – 2013 to characterize cetacean mother-calf interactions. Based on observations of four mother/calf pairs (two gray whale, Eschrichtius robustus, one fin whale, Balaenoptera physalus, and one blue whale, B. musculus and one killer whale presumed mother/yearling pair (Orcinus orca, we describe bouts of nursing and calves riding on the backs of their presumed mothers, including activity duration, frequency, and relative body positioning. We conclude with specific definitions useful to wildlife conservation agencies authorizing and establishing restrictions to certain human activities when they might constitute behavioral disruptions.

  17. '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.

  18. Cephalopods in the diet of sperm whales caught commercially off ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A collection from stomach contents of 30 sperm whales Physeter catodon comprised a total of 46 cephalopods belonging to six families. Nine species were identified, including Ommastrephes bartramii, which is recorded for the first time in the diet of sperm whales caught off South Africa, and Todarodes filippovae, which has ...

  19. 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

  20. Evolutionary of history of North Pacific Humpback Whales

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verkuil, Yvonne; Bérubé, Martine; Urban-R, Jorge; Darling, J; Mattila, David; Yamaguchi, M; Pastene, Luis A.; Palsboll, Per

    North Pacific Humpback Whales breed on winter grounds at Hawaii, Mexico and Okinawa, and summer on feeding grounds in northern Temperate and sub-Arctic waters. Re-sighting records of photographically identified individual humpback whales suggest that breeding grounds are not isolated. Later genetic

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. Biopsying southern right whales : Their reactions and effects on reproduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Best, PB; Reeb, D; Rew, MB; Palsboll, PJ; Schaeff, C; Brandao, A

    Collecting skin biopsies from large whales for genetic analysis is often subject to national permit, and in the case of cow-calf pairs, it may be prohibited. We present results of 906 biopsy attempts on southern fight whales (Eubalaena australis) in South African waters between 1995 and 1997,

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pinzone, Marianna [Laboratory of Oceanology, MARE Centre, B6c, University of Liege, B6c, Allée du 6 Août, 4000 Liege (Belgium); Budzinski, Hélène [ISM/LPTC, Laboratory of Physical and Chemical Chemistry, University of Bordeaux I, 351 Cours de la Libération, 33405 Bordeaux (France); CNRS, EPOC, UMR 5805, F-33400 Talence (France); Tasciotti, Aurélie; Ody, Denis [WWF-France, 6 Rue des Fabres, 13001 Marseille France (France); Lepoint, Gilles; Schnitzler, Joseph [Laboratory of Oceanology, MARE Centre, B6c, University of Liege, B6c, Allée du 6 Août, 4000 Liege (Belgium); Scholl, George [CART, Laboratory of Mass Spectrometry LSM, University of Liege, B6C, Allée du 6 Août, 4000, Liege (Belgium); Thomé, Jean-Pierre [CART, Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Ecotoxicology LEAE, University of Liege, B6c, Allée du 6 Août 11, 4000 Liege (Belgium); Tapie, Nathalie [ISM/LPTC, Laboratory of Physical and Chemical Chemistry, University of Bordeaux I, 351 Cours de la Libération, 33405 Bordeaux (France); CNRS, EPOC, UMR 5805, F-33400 Talence (France); Eppe, Gauthier [CART, Laboratory of Mass Spectrometry LSM, University of Liege, B6C, Allée du 6 Août, 4000, Liege (Belgium); Das, Krishna, E-mail: krishna.das@ulg.ac.be [Laboratory of Oceanology, MARE Centre, B6c, University of Liege, B6c, Allée du 6 Août, 4000 Liege (Belgium)

    2015-10-15

    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{sup 13}C, δ{sup 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{sup 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{sup 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{sup −1} lw and 22,849±15,566 ng g{sup −1} lw respectively), ΣPBDEs (712±412 ng g{sup −1} lw and 347±173 ng g{sup −1} lw respectively) and ΣDDTs (46,081±37,506 ng g{sup −1} lw and 37,647±38,518 ng g{sup −1} lw respectively). Fin whales presented the lowest values, in accordance with its trophic position (ΣPCBs: 5721±5180 ng g{sup −1} lw, ΣPBDEs: 177±208 ng g{sup −1} lw and ΣDDTs: 6643±5549 ng g{sup −1} lw). Each species was characterized by large inter-individual variations that are more

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  11. Baleen whales and their prey in a coastal environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piatt, John F.; Methven, David A.; Burger, Alan E.; McLagan, Ruth L.; Mercer, Vicki; Creelman, Elizabeth

    1989-01-01

    Patterns of abundance of humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae), fin (Balaenoptera physalus), and minke (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) whales are described in relation to the abundance of their primary prey, capelin (Mallotus villosus), during 1982–1985 at Witless Bay, Newfoundland. The abundance ratio of the three whale species was 10:1:3.5, respectively. Abundance of all whale species was strongly correlated with abundance of capelin through each season and between years. Capelin abundance accounted for 63% of the variation in whale numbers in 1983 and 1984, while environmental parameters (e.g., water temperatures) accounted for little variance. The amount of capelin consumed by whales was small (< 2%) compared with the amount available. All three species overlapped temporally at Witless Bay, but spatial overlap was reduced as fins occurred primarily offshore, minkes primarily inshore, and humpbacks in bay habitats of intermediate depth.

  12. 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

  13. Arctic whaling : proceedings of the International Symposium Arctic Whaling February 1983

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jacob, H.K. s'; Snoeijing, K

    1984-01-01

    Contents: D.M. Hopkins and Louie Marincovich Jr. Whale Biogeography and the history of the Arctic Basin P.M. Kellt, J.H.W. Karas and L.D. Williams Arctic Climate: Past, Present and Future Torgny E. Vinje On the present state and the future fate of the Arctic sea ice cover P.J.H. van Bree On the

  14. 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

  15. Propulsion of a fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus): why the fin whale is a fast swimmer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bose, N; Lien, J

    1989-07-22

    Measurements of an immature fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), which died as a result of entrapment in fishing gear near Frenchmans Cove, Newfoundland (47 degrees 9' N, 55 degrees 25' W), were made to obtain estimates of volume and surface area of the animal. Detailed measurements of the flukes, both planform and sections, were also obtained. A strip theory was developed to calculate the hydrodynamic performance of the whale's flukes as an oscillating propeller. This method is based on linear, two-dimensional, small-amplitude, unsteady hydrofoil theory with correction factors used to account for the effects of finite span and finite amplitude motion. These correction factors were developed from theoretical results of large-amplitude heaving motion and unsteady lifting-surface theory. A model that makes an estimate of the effects of viscous flow on propeller performance was superimposed on the potential-flow results. This model estimates the drag of the hydrofoil sections by assuming that the drag is similar to that of a hydrofoil section in steady flow. The performance characteristics of the flukes of the fin whale were estimated by using this method. The effects of the different correction factors, and of the frictional drag of the fluke sections, are emphasized. Frictional effects in particular were found to reduce the hydrodynamic efficiency of the flukes significantly. The results are discussed and compared with the known characteristics of fin-whale swimming.

  16. Intrinsic limits on resolutions in muon- and electron-neutrino charged-current events in the KM3NeT/ORCA detector

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Adrián-Martínez, S.; Ageron, M.; Aiello, S.; Albert, A.; Amélineau, F.; Anassontzis, E.G.; André, M.; Androulakis, G.; Anghinolfi, M.; Anton, G.; Ardid, M.; Avgitas, T.; Barbarino, G.; Barbarito, E.; Baret, B.; Barrios-Martí, J.; Belias, A.; Berbee, E.; van den Berg, A.; Bertin, V.; Beurthey, S.; van Beveren, V.; Beverini, N.; Biagi, S.; Biagioni, A.; Billault, M.; Bondì, M.; Bormuth, R.; Bouhadef, B.; Bourlis, G.; Bourret, S.; Boutonnet, C.; Bouwhuis, M.; Bozza, C.; Bruijn, R.; Brunner, J.; Buis, E.; Buompane, R.; Busto, J.; Cacopardo, G.; Caillat, L.; Calamai, M.; Calvo, D.; Capone, A.; Caramete, L.; Cecchini, S.; Celli, S.; Champion, C.; Cherubini, S.; Chiarella, V.; Chiarelli, L.; Chiarusi, T.; Circella, M.; Classen, L.; Cobas, D.; Cocimano, R.; Coelho, J.A.B.; Coleiro, A.; Colonges, S.; Coniglione, R.; Cordelli, M.; Cosquer, A.; Coyle, P.; Creusot, A.; Cuttone, G.; D’Amato, C.; D’Amico, A.; D’Onofrio, A.; De Bonis, G.; De Sio, C.; Di Palma, I.; Díaz, A.F.; Distefano, C.; Donzaud, C.; Dornic, D.; Dorosti-Hasankiadeh, Q.; Drakopoulou, E.; Drouhin, D.; Durocher, M.; Eberl, T.; Eichie, S.; van Eijk, D.; El Bojaddaini, I.; Elsaesser, D.; Enzenhöfer, A.; Favaro, M.; Fermani, P.; Ferrara, G.; Frascadore, G.; Furini, M.; Fusco, L.A.; Gal, T.; Galatà, S.; Garufi, F.; Gay, P.; Gebyehu, M.; Giacomini, F.; Gialanella, L.; Giordano, V.; Gizani, N.; Gracia, R.; Graf, K.; Grégoire, T.; Grella, G.; Grmek, A.; Guerzoni, M.; Habel, R.; Hallmann, S.; van Haren, H.; Harissopulos, S.; Heid, T.; Heijboer, A.; Heine, E.; Henrys, S.; Hernandez-Rey, J.J.; Hevinga, M.; Hofestädt, J.; Hugon, C.M.F.; Illuminati, G.; James, C.W.; Jansweijerf, P.; Jongen, M.; de Jong, M.; Kadler, M.; Kalekin, O.; Kappes, A.; Katz, U.F.; Keller, P.; Kieft, G.; Kießling, D.; Koffeman, E.N.; Kooijman, P.; Kouchner, A.; Kreter, M.; Kulikovskiy, V.; Lahmann, R.; Lamare, P.; Larosa, G.; Leisos, A.; Leone, F.; Leonora, E.; Lindsey Clark, M.; Liolios, A.; Llorens Alvarez, C.D.; Lo Presti, D.; Löhner, H.; Lonardo, A.; Lotze, M.; Loucatos, S.; Maccioni, E.; Mannheim, K.; Manzali, M.; Margiotta, A.; Margotti, A.; Marinelli, A.; Maris, O.; Markou, C.; Martínez-Mora, J.A.; Martini, A.; Marzaioli, F.; Mele, R.; Melis, K.W.; Michael, T.; Migliozzi, P.; Migneco, E.; Mijakowski, P.; Miraglia, A.; Mollo, C.M.; Mongelli, M.; Morganti, M.; Moussa, A.; Musico, P.; Musumeci, M.; Navas, S.; Nicolau, C.A.; Olcina, I.; Olivetto, C.; Orlando, A.; Orzelli, A.; Pancaldi, G.; Papaikonomou, A.; Papaleo, R.; Pavalas, G.E.; Peek, H.; Pellegrini, G.; Pellegrino, C.; Perrina, C.; Pfutzner, M.; Piattelli, P.; Pikounis, K.; Pleinert, M.-O.; Poma, G.E.; Popa, V.; Pradier, T.; Pratolongo, F.; Pühlhofer, G.; Pulvirenti, S.; Quinn, L.; Racca, C.; Raffaelli, F.; Randazzo, N.; Rauch, T.; Real, D.; Resvanis, L.; Reubelt, J.; Riccobene, G.; Rossi, C.; Rovelli, A.; Saldaña, M.; Salvadori, I.; Samtleben, D.F.E.; Sánchez García, A.; Sánchez-Losa, A.; Sanguineti, M.; Santangelo, A.; Santonocito, D.; Sapienza, P.; Schimmel, F.; Schmelling, J.; Schnabel, J.; Sciacca, V.; Sedita, M.; Seitz, T.; Sgura, I.; Simeone, F.; Sipala, V.; Spisso, B.; Spurio, M.; Stavropoulos, G.; Steijger, J.; Stellacci, S.M.; Stransky, D.; Taiuti, M.; Tayalati, Y.; Terrasi, F.; Tézier, D.; Theraube, S.; Timmer, P.; Tönnis, C.; Trasatti, L.; Travaglini, R.; Trovato, A.; Tsirigotis, A.; Tzamarias, S.; Tzamariudaki, E.; Vallage, B.; Van Elewyck, V.; Vermeulen, J.; Versari, F.; Vicini, P.; Viola, S.; Vivolo, D.; Volkert, M.; Wiggers, L.; Wilms, J.; de Wolf, E.; Zachariadou, K.; Zani, S.; Zornoza, J.D.; Zúñiga, J.

    2017-01-01

    Studying atmospheric neutrino oscillations in the few-GeV range with a multi-megaton detector promises to determine the neutrino mass hierarchy. This is the main science goal pursued by the future KM3NeT/ORCA water Cherenkov detector in the Mediterranean Sea. In this paper, the processes that limit

  17. Taxonomy Icon Data: sperm whale [Taxonomy Icon

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus Chordata/Vertebrata/Mammalia/Theria/Eutheria/Cetacea Physeter_macrocephal...us_L.png Physeter_macrocephalus_NL.png Physeter_macrocephalus_S.png Physeter_macrocephal...us_NS.png http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Physeter+macrocephalus&t=L http://bioscience...dbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Physeter+macrocephalus&t=NL http://biosciencedbc....jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Physeter+macrocephalus&t=S http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Physeter+macrocephalus&t=NS ...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Correction: Two intense decades of 19th century whaling precipitated rapid decline of right whales around New Zealand and east Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma L Carroll

    Full Text Available 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.

  1. 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...

  2. Humpback whale song: A new review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frankel, Adam S.

    2003-04-01

    The humpback whale song has been described and investigated since the early 1970s. Much has been learned about the humpback whale social structure, but the understanding of the song and its function remains elusive. The hierarchical nature of the song structure was described early on: Songs can be sung for a long period, apparently by males, and primarily during the mating season. However, singers also become physically competitive, suggesting alternative mating strategies. There are a number of unique structural features of song. Its structure evolves over time and combination. The nature of song evolution strongly implies cultural transmission. Song structure appears to be shared within an entire population, even though there appears to be little interchange of individuals between sub populations. Despite over thirty years of inquiry there are still numerous unanswered questions: Why is the song structure so complex? Is song a sexual advertisement, an acoustic space mediation mechanism, or both? How do females choose mates, or do they? What drives song evolution, and why is there so much variation in the rate of change? Are there nonreproductive functions of song? What prompts a male to begin or end singing? Our current understanding and the outstanding questions yet to be answered will be reviewed.

  3. The Cetaceans of Ghana, a Validated Faunal Checklist | Van ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... S. longirostris longirostris*, S. attenuata, S. frontalis, Delphinus capensis capensis*, Lagenodelphis hosei, Steno bredanensis, Grampus griseus, Peponocephala electra*, Feresa attenuata**, Globicephala macrorhynchus, Orcinus orca*, Pseudorca crassidens*, Kogia sima**, Physetermacrocephalus*, Ziphius cavirostris** ...

  4. Necropsy report of a fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) stranded in Denmark in 2010

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alstrup, Aage K. O.; Hedayat, Abdi; Jensen, Trine Hammer

    2013-01-01

    There is little detailed information on stranded fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) in the scientific literature (Notarbartolo di Sciara et al., 2003). In Denmark, at least eight fin whales stranded between the years 1603 and 1958 (Kinze, 1995). On 16 June 2010, a live subadult or adult male fin...... whale stranded in the Bay of Vejle (55º 69' N, 9º 58' E), Denmark. Despite several attempts, it was not possible to rescue the fin whale, which was only partially exposed by the water. The fin whale succumbed after 5 d stranded in shallow water. The dead fin whale was transported to a nearby pier...

  5. AFSC/REFM: Cook Inlet Beluga Whale Economic Survey 2013

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The purpose of this project was to collect data to understand the publics preferences for protecting the Cook Inlet beluga whale (CIBW), a distinct population...

  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...... at which beaked whale clicks can be detected involves their high frequencies, which attenuate rapidly, resulting in limited ranges of detection, especially in adverse environmental conditions. Given current knowledge of source parameters and in good conditions, for example, with a wind speed of 2  m...

  7. Mid-Frequency Sonar Interactions with Beaked Whales

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Foote, Kenneth G; Feijoo, Gonzalo R; Rye, Kent; Reidenberg, Joy; Hastings, Mardi

    2007-01-01

    The top-level goal of this project is to build an interactive online modeling and visualization system, called the Virtual Beaked Whale, to enable users to predict mid-frequency sonar-induced acoustic...

  8. Numbers of Calling Whales in the North Pacific

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Watkins, William

    2001-01-01

    Since November 1995, the U.S. Navy's Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS) and other hydrophone arrays were used to regularly sample the occurrence of whale sounds in four regions bordering the continental margins across the North Pacific...

  9. 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...

  10. PCB pollution continues to impact populations of orcas and other dolphins in European waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jepson, Paul D.; Deaville, Rob; Barber, Jonathan L.; Aguilar, Àlex; Borrell, Asunción; Murphy, Sinéad; Barry, Jon; Brownlow, Andrew; Barnett, James; Berrow, Simon; Cunningham, Andrew A.; Davison, Nicholas J.; Ten Doeschate, Mariel; Esteban, Ruth; Ferreira, Marisa; Foote, Andrew D.; Genov, Tilen; Giménez, Joan; Loveridge, Jan; Llavona, Ángela; Martin, Vidal; Maxwell, David L.; Papachlimitzou, Alexandra; Penrose, Rod; Perkins, Matthew W.; Smith, Brian; de Stephanis, Renaud; Tregenza, Nick; Verborgh, Philippe; Fernandez, Antonio; Law, Robin J.

    2016-01-01

    Organochlorine (OC) pesticides and the more persistent polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have well-established dose-dependent toxicities to birds, fish and mammals in experimental studies, but the actual impact of OC pollutants on European marine top predators remains unknown. Here we show that several cetacean species have very high mean blubber PCB concentrations likely to cause population declines and suppress population recovery. In a large pan-European meta-analysis of stranded (n = 929) or biopsied (n = 152) cetaceans, three out of four species:- striped dolphins (SDs), bottlenose dolphins (BNDs) and killer whales (KWs) had mean PCB levels that markedly exceeded all known marine mammal PCB toxicity thresholds. Some locations (e.g. western Mediterranean Sea, south-west Iberian Peninsula) are global PCB “hotspots” for marine mammals. Blubber PCB concentrations initially declined following a mid-1980s EU ban, but have since stabilised in UK harbour porpoises and SDs in the western Mediterranean Sea. Some small or declining populations of BNDs and KWs in the NE Atlantic were associated with low recruitment, consistent with PCB-induced reproductive toxicity. Despite regulations and mitigation measures to reduce PCB pollution, their biomagnification in marine food webs continues to cause severe impacts among cetacean top predators in European seas.

  11. PCB pollution continues to impact populations of orcas and other dolphins in European waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jepson, Paul D; Deaville, Rob; Barber, Jonathan L; Aguilar, Àlex; Borrell, Asunción; Murphy, Sinéad; Barry, Jon; Brownlow, Andrew; Barnett, James; Berrow, Simon; Cunningham, Andrew A; Davison, Nicholas J; Ten Doeschate, Mariel; Esteban, Ruth; Ferreira, Marisa; Foote, Andrew D; Genov, Tilen; Giménez, Joan; Loveridge, Jan; Llavona, Ángela; Martin, Vidal; Maxwell, David L; Papachlimitzou, Alexandra; Penrose, Rod; Perkins, Matthew W; Smith, Brian; de Stephanis, Renaud; Tregenza, Nick; Verborgh, Philippe; Fernandez, Antonio; Law, Robin J

    2016-01-14

    Organochlorine (OC) pesticides and the more persistent polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have well-established dose-dependent toxicities to birds, fish and mammals in experimental studies, but the actual impact of OC pollutants on European marine top predators remains unknown. Here we show that several cetacean species have very high mean blubber PCB concentrations likely to cause population declines and suppress population recovery. In a large pan-European meta-analysis of stranded (n = 929) or biopsied (n = 152) cetaceans, three out of four species:- striped dolphins (SDs), bottlenose dolphins (BNDs) and killer whales (KWs) had mean PCB levels that markedly exceeded all known marine mammal PCB toxicity thresholds. Some locations (e.g. western Mediterranean Sea, south-west Iberian Peninsula) are global PCB "hotspots" for marine mammals. Blubber PCB concentrations initially declined following a mid-1980s EU ban, but have since stabilised in UK harbour porpoises and SDs in the western Mediterranean Sea. Some small or declining populations of BNDs and KWs in the NE Atlantic were associated with low recruitment, consistent with PCB-induced reproductive toxicity. Despite regulations and mitigation measures to reduce PCB pollution, their biomagnification in marine food webs continues to cause severe impacts among cetacean top predators in European seas.

  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. The PAZAR database of gene regulatory information coupled to the ORCA toolkit for the study of regulatory sequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Portales-Casamar, Elodie; Arenillas, David; Lim, Jonathan; Swanson, Magdalena I.; Jiang, Steven; McCallum, Anthony; Kirov, Stefan; Wasserman, Wyeth W.

    2009-01-01

    The PAZAR database unites independently created and maintained data collections of transcription factor and regulatory sequence annotation. The flexible PAZAR schema permits the representation of diverse information derived from experiments ranging from biochemical protein–DNA binding to cellular reporter gene assays. Data collections can be made available to the public, or restricted to specific system users. The data ‘boutiques’ within the shopping-mall-inspired system facilitate the analysis of genomics data and the creation of predictive models of gene regulation. Since its initial release, PAZAR has grown in terms of data, features and through the addition of an associated package of software tools called the ORCA toolkit (ORCAtk). ORCAtk allows users to rapidly develop analyses based on the information stored in the PAZAR system. PAZAR is available at http://www.pazar.info. ORCAtk can be accessed through convenient buttons located in the PAZAR pages or via our website at http://www.cisreg.ca/ORCAtk. PMID:18971253

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    large animals . The large body size of mysticete whales precludes any meaningful bioacoustic work in captivity. Consequently, our assessment is...that the most effective way to study the vibroacoustic physiology of these animals is to construct a model of mysticete anatomy that can be used to...a postmortem gray whale specimen for this project, as originally planned. Alternatively, we acquired an entire carcass of a freshly postmortem

  16. Mid-Frequency Sonar Interactions with Beaked Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-06-30

    et al. 2006), in the Bahamas and Madeira in 2000 (NOAA 2001, Cox et al. 2006), and in the Canary Islands in 2002 (Proceed. ECS 2004). Cuvier’s beaked...acoustic testing strand whales?" Nature 392. 29 (1998). L. Freitas, "The stranding of three Cuvier’s beaked whales Ziphius caviostris in Madeira ... Madeira , 1999-2002," Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Technical Report. WHOI-2005- 09, 38 pp. (2005). Available online at http://www.whoi.edu

  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. Clinical Diagnosis of Dental Caries in the 21st Century: Introductory Paper - ORCA Saturday Afternoon Symposium, 2016.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machiulskiene, Vita; Carvalho, Joana Christina

    2018-03-05

    Classifications employed to measure dental caries should first of all reflect the dynamics of the disease, in order to provide a solid basis for subsequent treatment decisions and for further monitoring of dental health of individual patients and populations. The contemporary philosophy of dental caries management implies that nonoperative treatment of caries lesions should be implemented whenever possible, limiting operative interventions to the severe and irreversible cases. The ORCA Saturday Afternoon Symposium 2016, held back-to-back to the 63rd ORCA Congress in Athens, Greece, was intended to provide an update on general requirements for clinical caries diagnosis and to overview caries diagnostic classifications including their rationale, validation, advantages, and limitations. Clinical caries diagnostic criteria and caries management outcomes are interrelated, and any diagnostic classification disregarding this concept is outdated, according to the current understanding of oral health care. Choosing clinical caries diagnostic classifications that assess the activity status of detected lesions should be a priority for dental professionals since these classifications favor the best clinical practice directed towards nonoperative interventions. The choice of clinical caries diagnostic classifications in research, in clinical practice, and in public health services should be guided by the best available scientific evidence. The clinical caries diagnostic classifications should be universally applicable in all these fields. Policy making in oral health care and the underlying policy analyses should follow the same standards. Any clinical caries diagnostic classification disregarding the universality of its use is of limited or no interest in the context of the clinical caries diagnosis of today. © 2018 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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. PMID:26999791

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. Acoustic Monitoring of a Previously Unstudied Whale Shark Aggregation in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Cochran, Jesse

    2012-01-01

    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. 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...

  8. Site fidelity of female minke whales in the Gulf of. St Lawrence, Canada

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moreira Lopes, Xenia; Bérubé, Martine; Berrow, Simon D.; Larsen, Finn; Haug, Tore; Hoekendijk, Jeroen; Hoelzel, A. Rus; Kot, Brian; Øien, Nils; Oosting, Tom; Pampoulie, Christophe; Ramp, Christian; Robbins, Jooke; Ryan, Conor; Sears, Richard; Simon, Malene; Skaug, H. J.; Verkuil, Yvonne; Vikingsson, G.A.; Witting, Lars; van der Zee, Jurjan; Palsboll, Per

    2017-01-01

    The minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) is a globally-distributed species whose population ecology is poorly understood. Most knowledge about minke whale populations, including gender differences, originates from historical data collected during commercial harvests. Here we present results from

  9. The Possibility of Passive Whale Tracking With the Use of An Hyperspectral Sensor

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Barnes, Christina

    1999-01-01

    ...) Sensor to detect and recognize whales. This paper gives a detailed discussion of the sensor, describes the spectral image processing used to detect and enhance the whale images, provides sample imagery products, and finally discusses...

  10. 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...

  11. 75 FR 970 - Availability of Seats for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-07

    ... the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council AGENCY: Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric... Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council (council): Native Hawaiians, Fishing, Education...

  12. Migrations of California gray whales tracked by oxygen-18 variations in their epizoic barnacles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Killingley, J.S.

    1980-01-01

    Barnacles attached to the California gray whale have oxygen isotope compositions that serve as a record of changing ocean temperatures as the whale migrates between arctic and subtropical waters. The isotopic values for the barnacles can be used to track whale migrations and to reconstruct the recent movements of beached whales. The method may be useful for tracing the movements of other animals, living or fossil, and for reconstructing the voyages of ancient ships

  13. Development and Validation of a Technique for Detection of Stress and Pregnancy in Large Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    humpback whales, blue whales, and possibly insular false killer whales). 2 2) The second objective is to complete the biological validation using...identification using high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC). Briefly, pooled blubber extract from animals of known gender will be serially diluted 1...progesterone in captive female false killer whales, pseudorca crassidens. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 115:323-332. Atkinson, S., Crocker, D., Houser, D

  14. Out of the Pacific and back again

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    or have been consolidated upon secondary contact due to resource competition. The estimated timing of bidirectional migration between the North Pacific and North Atlantic coincided with the previous inter-glacial when the leakage of fauna from the Indo-Pacific into the Atlantic via the Agulhas current......Killer whales (Orcinus orca) are the most widely distributed marine mammals and have radiated to occupy a range of ecological niches. Disparate sympatric types are found in the North Atlantic, Antarctic and North Pacific oceans, however, little is known about the underlying mechanisms driving...... divergence. Previous phylogeographic analysis using complete mitogenomes yielded a bifurcating tree of clades corresponding to described ecotypes. However, there was low support at two nodes at which two Pacific and two Atlantic clades diverged. Here we apply further phylogenetic and coalescent analyses...

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. Whale Multi-Disciplinary Studies: A Marine Education Infusion Unit. Northern New England Marine Education Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maine Univ., Orono. Coll. of Education.

    This multidisciplinary unit deals with whales, whaling lore and history, and the interaction of the whale with the complex marine ecosystem. It seeks to teach adaptation of marine organisms. It portrays the concept that man is part of the marine ecosystem and man's activities can deplete and degrade marine ecosystems, endangering the survival of…

  18. 50 CFR 229.32 - Atlantic large whale take reduction plan regulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Atlantic large whale take reduction plan... Regulations § 229.32 Atlantic large whale take reduction plan regulations. (a)(1) Purpose and scope. The purpose of this section is to implement the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan to reduce incidental...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-22

    ... and Threatened Species; Recovery Plan for the Sei Whale AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service... review of the draft Recovery Plan (Plan) for the sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis). NMFS is soliciting... recovery plans for each listed species unless such a plan would not promote its recovery. The sei whale has...

  20. 77 FR 6065 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Cook Inlet Beluga Whale Economic Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-07

    ... Collection; Comment Request; Cook Inlet Beluga Whale Economic Survey AGENCY: National Oceanic and Atmospheric... beluga whales found in the Cook Inlet of Alaska is one of five distinct population segments in United... beluga whale, such as population increases, are primarily the result of the non- consumptive value people...

  1. 75 FR 68756 - Eastern North Pacific Gray Whale; Notice of Petition Availability

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-09

    ... North Pacific Gray Whale; Notice of Petition Availability AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service... petition to designate the Eastern North Pacific population of gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) as a... Eastern North Pacific gray whales is available on the Internet at the following address: http://www.nmfs...

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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 trees as an alternative method of analysing multiple-hormone data sets, building on univariate models that have previously been used to describe hormone profiles of individual North Atlantic right 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.

  6. WHALE, a management tool for Tier-2 LCG sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barone, L. M.; Organtini, G.; Talamo, I. G.

    2012-12-01

    The LCG (Worldwide LHC Computing Grid) is a grid-based hierarchical computing distributed facility, composed of more than 140 computing centers, organized in 4 tiers, by size and offer of services. Every site, although indipendent for many technical choices, has to provide services with a well-defined set of interfaces. For this reason, different LCG sites need frequently to manage very similar situations, like jobs behaviour on the batch system, dataset transfers between sites, operating system and experiment software installation and configuration, monitoring of services. In this context we created WHALE (WHALE Handles Administration in an LCG Environment), a software actually used at the T2_IT_Rome site, an LCG Tier-2 for the CMS experiment. WHALE is a generic, site independent tool written in Python: it allows administrator to interact in a uniform and coherent way with several subsystems using a high level syntax which hides specific commands. The architecture of WHALE is based on the plugin concept and on the possibility of connecting the output of a plugin to the input of the next one, in a pipe-like system, giving the administrator the possibility of making complex functions by combining the simpler ones. The core of WHALE just handles the plugin orchestrations, while even the basic functions (eg. the WHALE activity logging) are performed by plugins, giving the capability to tune and possibly modify every component of the system. WHALE already provides many plugins useful for a LCG site and some more for a Tier-2 of the CMS experiment, especially in the field of job management, dataset transfer and analysis of performance results and availability tests (eg. Nagios tests, SAM tests). Thanks to its architecture and the provided plugins WHALE makes easy to perform tasks that, even if logically simple, are technically complex or tedious, like eg. closing all the worker nodes with a job-failure rate greater than a given threshold. Finally, thanks to the

  7. WHALE, a management tool for Tier-2 LCG sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barone, L M; Organtini, G; Talamo, I G

    2012-01-01

    The LCG (Worldwide LHC Computing Grid) is a grid-based hierarchical computing distributed facility, composed of more than 140 computing centers, organized in 4 tiers, by size and offer of services. Every site, although indipendent for many technical choices, has to provide services with a well-defined set of interfaces. For this reason, different LCG sites need frequently to manage very similar situations, like jobs behaviour on the batch system, dataset transfers between sites, operating system and experiment software installation and configuration, monitoring of services. In this context we created WHALE (WHALE Handles Administration in an LCG Environment), a software actually used at the T2 I T R ome site, an LCG Tier-2 for the CMS experiment. WHALE is a generic, site independent tool written in Python: it allows administrator to interact in a uniform and coherent way with several subsystems using a high level syntax which hides specific commands. The architecture of WHALE is based on the plugin concept and on the possibility of connecting the output of a plugin to the input of the next one, in a pipe-like system, giving the administrator the possibility of making complex functions by combining the simpler ones. The core of WHALE just handles the plugin orchestrations, while even the basic functions (eg. the WHALE activity logging) are performed by plugins, giving the capability to tune and possibly modify every component of the system. WHALE already provides many plugins useful for a LCG site and some more for a Tier-2 of the CMS experiment, especially in the field of job management, dataset transfer and analysis of performance results and availability tests (eg. Nagios tests, SAM tests). Thanks to its architecture and the provided plugins WHALE makes easy to perform tasks that, even if logically simple, are technically complex or tedious, like eg. closing all the worker nodes with a job-failure rate greater than a given threshold. Finally, thanks to the

  8. 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.

  9. Acoustic backscatter at a Red Sea whale shark aggregation site

    KAUST Repository

    Hozumi, Aya; Kaartvedt, Stein; Rø stad, Anders; Berumen, Michael L.; Cochran, Jesse E.M.; Jones, Burton

    2018-01-01

    An aggregation of sexually immature whale sharks occurs at a coastal submerged reef near the Saudi Arabian Red Sea coast each spring. We tested the hypothesis that these megaplanktivores become attracted to a prey biomass peak coinciding with their aggregation. Acoustic backscatter of the water column at 120 kHz and 333 kHz –a proxy for potential prey biomass –was continuously measured spanning the period prior to, during, and subsequent to the seasonal whale shark aggregations. No peak in acoustic backscatter was observed at the time of the aggregation. However, we observed a decrease in acoustic backscatter in the last days of deployment, which coincided the trailing end of whale shark season. Organisms forming the main scattering layer performed inverse diel vertical migration, with backscatter peaking at mid-depths during the day and in the deeper half of the water column at night. Target strength analyses suggested the backscatter was likely composed of fish larvae. Subsurface foraging behavior of the whale sharks within this aggregation has not been described, yet this study does not support the hypothesis that seasonal peaks in local whale shark abundance correspond to similar peaks in prey availability.

  10. Acoustic backscatter at a Red Sea whale shark aggregation site

    KAUST Repository

    Hozumi, Aya

    2018-03-28

    An aggregation of sexually immature whale sharks occurs at a coastal submerged reef near the Saudi Arabian Red Sea coast each spring. We tested the hypothesis that these megaplanktivores become attracted to a prey biomass peak coinciding with their aggregation. Acoustic backscatter of the water column at 120 kHz and 333 kHz –a proxy for potential prey biomass –was continuously measured spanning the period prior to, during, and subsequent to the seasonal whale shark aggregations. No peak in acoustic backscatter was observed at the time of the aggregation. However, we observed a decrease in acoustic backscatter in the last days of deployment, which coincided the trailing end of whale shark season. Organisms forming the main scattering layer performed inverse diel vertical migration, with backscatter peaking at mid-depths during the day and in the deeper half of the water column at night. Target strength analyses suggested the backscatter was likely composed of fish larvae. Subsurface foraging behavior of the whale sharks within this aggregation has not been described, yet this study does not support the hypothesis that seasonal peaks in local whale shark abundance correspond to similar peaks in prey availability.

  11. Environmental impact assessment. Investigation of marine mammals in relation to the establishment of a marine wind farm on Horns Reef

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2000-02-15

    Elsamproject has decided to carry out an environmental impact assessment with the aim to investigate whether the establishment of a marine wind farm on Horns Reef may impact on breeding and non-breeding marine mammals, particularly harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena and common seal Phoca vitulina. The marine mammals of the northern part of the German Bight can be characterised by a regular occurrence of harbour porpoise and common seal throughout the year, an irregular occurrence of grey seal Halichoerus grypus and white-beaked dolphin Lagenorhynchus albirostris and rare occurrences of white-sided dolphin Lagenorhynchus acutus, minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata, sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus, long-finned pilot whale Globicephala melas and killer whale Orcinus orca. The environment impact assessment therefore focuses on the evaluation of the possible effects on harbour porpoise and common seal. The investigation constitutes the first phase of a before-after-control-impact (BACI) analysis of the occurrence of harbour porpoise before, during and after the construction of the wind farm. (au)

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  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. 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.

  16. Description of a new fossil beaked whale from the Late Miocene Gram Fm. in Denmark, and aspects of beaked whale evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ramassamy, Benjamin Fernand Guy

    Modern beaked whales (Ziphiidae) are among the least known groups of mammals. This family of toothed whales forage at great depths on cephalopods, their favored prey. The origin and timing of their specialisation to deep diving is almost unknown. The discovery of a new fossil beaked whale from...... Denmark may unveil the origin of deep diving in the family. This project had two mains objectives. First, describing a new fossil specimen from the Miocene of Denmark. Second, investigating deep diving abilities in extinct beaked whales. The fossil specimen represent a new genus and species of Ziphiidae...

  17. Software for real-time localization of baleen whale calls using directional sonobuoys: A case study on Antarctic blue whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Brian S; Calderan, Susannah; Gillespie, Douglas; Weatherup, Graham; Leaper, Russell; Collins, Kym; Double, Michael C

    2016-03-01

    Directional frequency analysis and recording (DIFAR) sonobuoys can allow real-time acoustic localization of baleen whales for underwater tracking and remote sensing, but limited availability of hardware and software has prevented wider usage. These software limitations were addressed by developing a module in the open-source software PAMGuard. A case study is presented demonstrating that this software provides greater efficiency and accessibility than previous methods for detecting, localizing, and tracking Antarctic blue whales in real time. Additionally, this software can easily be extended to track other low and mid frequency sounds including those from other cetaceans, pinnipeds, icebergs, shipping, and seismic airguns.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Fin whales and microplastics: The Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Cortez scenarios

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

    2016-01-01

    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. - Highlights: • Microplastics and phthalates were higher in the Mediterranean Sea than in the Sea of Cortez. • The overlap between the whale feeding areas and high microplastic density shows the risk of interaction. • Data suggest an increasing risk of chemical transfer from microplastic to whales during the foraging. • Mediterranean whales are exposed to higher ecotoxicological threat of than Sea of Cortez whales. - This study identified temporal and regional ecotoxicological variations in free-ranging fin whales inhabiting two seas different characterized by different microplastic abundance.

  2. Methylmercury exposure and adverse cardiovascular effects in Faroese whaling men

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Choi, Anna L; Weihe, Pal; Budtz-Jørgensen, Esben

    2009-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Methylmercury (MeHg), a worldwide contaminant found in fish and seafood, has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular mortality. OBJECTIVE: We examined 42 Faroese whaling men (30-70 years of age) to assess possible adverse effects within a wide range of MeHg exposures from...

  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...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2010-04-21

    Apr 21, 2010 ... tering ground, i.e. Brazil (Horwood 1987). Despite ..... Figure 1. It seems to agree with that described in. 1919, in that very few whales were taken within 40 miles of the ...... a considerable degree of segregation (here called.

  5. 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.

  6. 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 ...

  7. Toxaphene in minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) from the North Atlantic

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gouteux, B. [Aquatic Ecosystem Protection Research Division, Environment Canada, Burlington, ON, L7R 4A6 (Canada); Muir, D.C.G. [Aquatic Ecosystem Protection Research Division, Environment Canada, Burlington, ON, L7R 4A6 (Canada)], E-mail: Derek.Muir@ec.gc.ca; Backus, S. [Aquatic Ecosystem Protection Research Division, Environment Canada, Burlington, ON, L7R 4A6 (Canada); Born, E.W. [Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, P.O. Box 570, DK-3900 Nuuk, Greenland (Denmark); Dietz, R. [National Environmental Research Institute, Department of Arctic Environment, Frederiksborgvej 399, P.O. Box 358, DK-4000 Roskilde (Denmark); Haug, T. [Institute of Marine Research, P.O. Box 6404, N-9294 Tromso (Norway); Metcalfe, T.; Metcalfe, C. [Worsfold Water Quality Centre, Trent University, Peterborough, ON, K9J 7B8 (Canada); Oien, N. [Institute of Marine Research, P.O. Box 1870, N-5817 Bergen (Norway)

    2008-05-15

    Toxaphene contamination of minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) from North Atlantic waters was examined for the first time. Total toxaphene and {sigma}CHB (sum of 11 chlorobornanes) concentrations in blubber samples ranged from 170 {+-} 110 and 41 {+-} 39 ng/g lipid weight (l.w.) for female minke whales from southeastern Greenland to 5800 {+-} 4100 and 1100 {+-} 780 ng/g l.w. for males from the North Sea, respectively. Very large variations in toxaphene concentrations among sampling areas were observed suggesting a spatial segregation of minke whales. However, much of the apparent geographical discrimination was explained by the seasonal fluctuation of animal fat mass. Patterns of CHBs in males revealed that recalcitrant CHBs were in higher proportions in animals from the more easterly areas than in animals from the more westerly areas. This trend may be influenced by the predominance of the US, over the European, input of toxaphene to North Atlantic waters. - High levels of toxaphene were found in different sub-populations of minke whales from North Atlantic waters.

  8. 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.

  9. Toxaphene in minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) from the North Atlantic

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gouteux, B.; Muir, D.C.G.; Backus, S.; Born, E.W.; Dietz, R.; Haug, T.; Metcalfe, T.; Metcalfe, C.; Oien, N.

    2008-01-01

    Toxaphene contamination of minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) from North Atlantic waters was examined for the first time. Total toxaphene and ΣCHB (sum of 11 chlorobornanes) concentrations in blubber samples ranged from 170 ± 110 and 41 ± 39 ng/g lipid weight (l.w.) for female minke whales from southeastern Greenland to 5800 ± 4100 and 1100 ± 780 ng/g l.w. for males from the North Sea, respectively. Very large variations in toxaphene concentrations among sampling areas were observed suggesting a spatial segregation of minke whales. However, much of the apparent geographical discrimination was explained by the seasonal fluctuation of animal fat mass. Patterns of CHBs in males revealed that recalcitrant CHBs were in higher proportions in animals from the more easterly areas than in animals from the more westerly areas. This trend may be influenced by the predominance of the US, over the European, input of toxaphene to North Atlantic waters. - High levels of toxaphene were found in different sub-populations of minke whales from North Atlantic waters

  10. The diet of sperm whales caught commercially off Durban was ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    spamer

    Cephalopod Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolution. Payne, A. I. L., Lipinski, M. R., Clarke, M. R. and M. A. C. Roeleveld (Eds). S. Afr. J. mar. Sci. 20: 41–45. 1998. 41. CEPHALOPODS IN THE DIET OF SPERM WHALES CAUGHT. COMMERCIALLY OFF DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA. M. R. CLARKE* and M. A. C. ROELEVELD†.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Generalised linear models with a Poisson or quasi-Poisson distribution were used to describe the relationship between the number of incidents and time. Taking into account the combined length of shark-net installations per year as an offset variable, entanglement of humpback whales in shark nets increased at 15.1% per ...

  12. Iceland and European Union accession - the whaling issue

    OpenAIRE

    Davies, Peter G.G.

    2011-01-01

    This article seeks to assess one of the important questions regarding Iceland’s potential accession to the EU, namely, whether Iceland could legitimately continue its whaling operations under current EU environmental law if it becomes a member of the regional economic integration organization

  13. Deep Mapping of Teuthivorous Whales and Their Prey Fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    components of this effort including Chad Waluk, David O’Gorman, Ian Robbins, John Calambokidas, Ari Friedlander, Peter Tyack, Patricia Arranz, and David...acoustic testing strand whales? Nature 392:29 Jochens AD, Biggs DC, Benoit-Bird KJ, Engelhaupt D, Gordon J, Hu C, Jaquet N, Johnson MP, Leben RR, Mate BR

  14. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dehn, Larissa-A.; Follmann, Erich H.; Rosa, Cheryl; Duffy, Lawrence K.; Thomas, Dana L.; Bratton, Gerald R.; Taylor, Robert J.; O'Hara, Todd M.

    2006-01-01

    Tissues of bowhead, beluga, and gray whales were analyzed for Ag, Cd, Cu, Se, Zn, THg and MeHg (belugas only). δ 15 N and δ 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

  16. 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

  17. The auditory anatomy of the minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata): a potential fatty sound reception pathway in a baleen whale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamato, Maya; Ketten, Darlene R; Arruda, Julie; Cramer, Scott; Moore, Kathleen

    2012-06-01

    Cetaceans possess highly derived auditory systems adapted for underwater hearing. Odontoceti (toothed whales) are thought to receive sound through specialized fat bodies that contact the tympanoperiotic complex, the bones housing the middle and inner ears. However, sound reception pathways remain unknown in Mysticeti (baleen whales), which have very different cranial anatomies compared to odontocetes. Here, we report a potential fatty sound reception pathway in the minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), a mysticete of the balaenopterid family. The cephalic anatomy of seven minke whales was investigated using computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, verified through dissections. Findings include a large, well-formed fat body lateral, dorsal, and posterior to the mandibular ramus and lateral to the tympanoperiotic complex. This fat body inserts into the tympanoperiotic complex at the lateral aperture between the tympanic and periotic bones and is in contact with the ossicles. There is also a second, smaller body of fat found within the tympanic bone, which contacts the ossicles as well. This is the first analysis of these fatty tissues' association with the auditory structures in a mysticete, providing anatomical evidence that fatty sound reception pathways may not be a unique feature of odontocete cetaceans. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. 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.

  19. 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......-mortem and diagnostic examinations were carried out. The decay of the carcasses progressed quickly. The whales had large (MCE 1644) or moderate (MCE 1645) numbers of squid beaks (Gonatus fabricii) in the stomachventricles, but no evidence of recentfresh feeding. Both whales had acute dermatitis probably due to trauma...... severe localized or systemic infections. The finding of large volumes of bloody pleural fluid with large quantities of C. septicum suggests that MCE 1644 died of infection. However, reservations must be taken due to the pronounced decay of the carcass. Sperm whales have strong social bonds where...

  20. 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

  1. Stable isotopes provide insight into population structure and segregation in eastern North Atlantic sperm whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borrell, Asunción; Velásquez Vacca, Adriana; Pinela, Ana M.

    2013-01-01

    In pelagic species inhabiting large oceans, genetic differentiation tends to be mild and populations devoid of structure. However, large cetaceans have provided many examples of structuring. Here we investigate whether the sperm whale, a pelagic species with large population sizes and reputedly......, use of habitat and/or migratory destinations are dissimilar between whales from the two regions and suggest that the North Atlantic population of sperm whales is more structured than traditionally accepted....

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Toothed whales in the northwestern Mediterranean: Insight into their feeding ecology using chemical tracers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Praca, Emilie; Laran, Sophie; Lepoint, Gilles; Thome, Jean-Pierre; Quetglas, Antoni; Belcari, Paola; Sartor, Paolo; Dhermain, Frank; Ody, Denis; Tapie, Nathalie

    2011-01-01

    Research highlights: →δ 15 N highlights significant different trophic levels. → Similar δ 13 C indicate a habitat superposition or corroborate seasonal migrations. → Congener 180 and tDDT/tPCB show wider migrations for sperm whales. - Abstract: Risso's dolphins, pilot whales and sperm whales rarely strand in the northwestern Mediterranean. Thus, their feeding ecology, through the analysis of stomach contents, is poorly known. The aim of this study was to gain further insight into the segregation/superposition of the diet and habitat of Risso's dolphins, pilot whales and sperm whales using chemical tracers, namely, stable isotopes (δ 13 C, δ 15 N) and organochlorines. Significantly different δ 15 N values were obtained in Risso's dolphins (11.7 ± 0.7 per mille ), sperm whales (10.8 ± 0.3 per mille ) and pilot whales (9.8 ± 0.3 per mille ), revealing different trophic levels. These differences are presumably due to various proportions of Histioteuthidae cephalopods in each toothed whale's diet. Similar δ 13 C contents between species indicated long-term habitat superposition or corroborated important seasonal migrations. Lower congener 180 concentrations (8.20 vs. 21.73 μg.g -1 lw) and higher tDDT/tPCB ratios (0.93 vs. 0.42) were observed in sperm whales compared with Risso's dolphins and may indicate wider migrations for the former. Therefore, competition between these species seems to depend on different trophic levels and migration patterns.

  5. 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.

  6. Recording and quantification of ultrasonic echolocation clicks from free-ranging toothed whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, Peter Teglberg; Wahlberg, Magnus

    2007-01-01

    Toothed whales produce short, ultrasonic clicks of high directionality and source level to probe their environment acoustically. This process, termed echolocation, is to a large part governed by the properties of the emitted clicks. Therefore derivation of click source parameters from free......-ranging animals is of increasing importance to understand both how toothed whales use echolocation in the wild and how they may be monitored acoustically. This paper addresses how source parameters can be derived from free-ranging toothed whales in the wild using calibrated multi-hydrophone arrays and digital...... of discrete versions of toothed whale clicks that are meaningful in a biosonar context....

  7. 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....

  8. 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

  9. Intrinsic limits on resolutions in muon- and electron-neutrino charged-current events in the KM3NeT/ORCA detector

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adrián-Martínez, S.; Ageron, M.; Aiello, S.; Albert, A.; Ameli, F.; Anassontzis, E. G.; Andre, M.; Androulakis, G.; Anghinolfi, M.; Anton, G.; Ardid, M.; Avgitas, T.; Barbarino, G.; Barbarito, E.; Baret, B.; Barrios-Mart, J.; Belias, A.; Berbee, E.; van den Berg, A.; Bertin, V.; Beurthey, S.; van Beveren, V.; Beverini, N.; Biagi, S.; Biagioni, A.; Billault, M.; Bondì, M.; Bormuth, R.; Bouhadef, B.; Bourlis, G.; Bourret, S.; Boutonnet, C.; Bouwhuis, M.; Bozza, C.; Bruijn, R.; Brunner, J.; Buis, E.; Buompane, R.; Busto, J.; Cacopardo, G.; Caillat, L.; Calamai, M.; Calvo, D.; Capone, A.; Caramete, L.; Cecchini, S.; Celli, S.; Champion, C.; Cherubini, S.; Chiarella, V.; Chiarelli, L.; Chiarusi, T.; Circella, M.; Classen, L.; Cobas, D.; Cocimano, R.; Coelho, J. A. B.; Coleiro, A.; Colonges, S.; Coniglione, R.; Cordelli, M.; Cosquer, A.; Coyle, P.; Creusot, A.; Cuttone, G.; D'Amato, C.; D'Amico, A.; D'Onofrio, A.; De Bonis, G.; De Sio, C.; Di Palma, I.; Díaz, A. F.; Distefano, C.; Donzaud, C.; Dornic, D.; Dorosti-Hasankiadeh, Q.; Drakopoulou, E.; Drouhin, D.; Durocher, M.; Eberl, T.; Eichie, S.; van Eijk, D.; El Bojaddaini, I.; Elsaesser, D.; Enzenhöfer, A.; Favaro, M.; Fermani, P.; Ferrara, G.; Frascadore, G.; Furini, M.; Fusco, L. A.; Gal, T.; Galatà, S.; Garufi, F.; Gay, P.; Gebyehu, M.; Giacomini, F.; Gialanella, L.; Giordano, V.; Gizani, N.; Gracia, R.; Graf, K.; Grégoire, T.; Grella, G.; Grmek, A.; Guerzoni, M.; Habel, R.; Hallmann, S.; van Haren, H.; Harissopulos, S.; Heid, T.; Heijboer, A.; Heine, E.; Henry, S.; Hernández-Rey, J. J.; Hevinga, M.; Hofestädt, J.; Hugon, C. M. F.; Illuminati, G.; James, C. W.; Jansweijerf, P.; Jongen, M.; de Jong, M.; Kadler, M.; Kalekin, O.; Kappes, A.; Katz, U. F.; Keller, P.; Kieft, G.; Kießling, D.; Koffeman, E. N.; Kooijman, P.; Kouchner, A.; Kreter, M.; Kulikovskiy, V.; Lahmann, R.; Lamare, P.; Larosa, G.; Leisos, A.; Leone, F.; Leonora, E.; Lindsey Clark, M.; Liolios, A.; Llorens Alvarez, C. D.; Lo Presti, D.; Löhner, H.; Lonardo, A.; Lotze, M.; Loucatos, S.; Maccioni, E.; Mannheim, K.; Manzali, M.; Margiotta, A.; Margotti, A.; Marinelli, A.; Maris, O.; Markou, C.; Martínez-Mora, J. A.; Martini, A.; Marzaioli, F.; Mele, R.; Melis, K. W.; Michael, T.; Migliozzi, P.; Migneco, E.; Mijakowski, P.; Miraglia, A.; Mollo, C. M.; Mongelli, M.; Morganti, M.; Moussa, A.; Musico, P.; Musumeci, M.; Navas, S.; Nicolau, C. A.; Olcina, I.; Olivetto, C.; Orlando, A.; Orzelli, A.; Pancaldi, G.; Papaikonomou, A.; Papaleo, R.; Păvălas, G. E.; Peek, H.; Pellegrini, G.; Pellegrino, C.; Perrina, C.; Pfutzner, M.; Piattelli, P.; Pikounis, K.; Pleinert, M.-O.; Poma, G. E.; Popa, V.; Pradier, T.; Pratolongo, F.; Pühlhofer, G.; Pulvirenti, S.; Quinn, L.; Racca, C.; Raffaelli, F.; Randazzo, N.; Rauch, T.; Real, D.; Resvanis, L.; Reubelt, J.; Riccobene, G.; Rossi, C.; Rovelli, A.; Saldaña, M.; Salvadori, I.; Samtleben, D. F. E.; Sánchez García, A.; Sánchez Losa, A.; Sanguineti, M.; Santangelo, A.; Santonocito, D.; Sapienza, P.; Schimmel, F.; Schmelling, J.; Schnabel, J.; Sciacca, V.; Sedita, M.; Seitz, T.; Sgura, I.; Simeone, F.; Sipala, V.; Spisso, B.; Spurio, M.; Stavropoulos, G.; Steijger, J.; Stellacci, S. M.; Stransky, D.; Taiuti, M.; Tayalati, Y.; Terrasi, F.; Tézier, D.; Theraube, S.; Timmer, P.; Tönnis, C.; Trasatti, L.; Travaglini, R.; Trovato, A.; Tsirigotis, A.; Tzamarias, S.; Tzamariudaki, E.; Vallage, B.; Van Elewyck, V.; Vermeulen, J.; Versari, F.; Vicini, P.; Viola, S.; Vivolo, D.; Volkert, M.; Wiggers, L.; Wilms, J.; de Wolf, E.; Zachariadou, K.; Zani, S.; Zornoza, J. D.; Zúñiga, J.

    2017-05-01

    Studying atmospheric neutrino oscillations in the few-GeV range with a multi-megaton detector promises to determine the neutrino mass hierarchy. This is the main science goal pursued by the future KM3NeT/ORCA water Cherenkov detector in the Mediterranean Sea. In this paper, the processes that limit the obtainable resolution in both energy and direction in charged-current neutrino events in the ORCA detector are investigated. These processes include the composition of the hadronic fragmentation products, the subsequent particle propagation and the photon-sampling fraction of the detector. GEANT simulations of neutrino interactions in seawater produced by GENIE are used to study the effects in the 1-20 GeV range. It is found that fluctuations in the hadronic cascade in conjunction with the variation of the inelasticity y are most detrimental to the resolutions. The effect of limited photon sampling in the detector is of significantly less importance. These results will therefore also be applicable to similar detectors/media, such as those in ice. [Figure not available: see fulltext.

  10. Assessing the role of "bottom-up" emissions and simplified chemical mechanisms in reconciling CESM2.0 with TOGA observations from the ORCAS and ATom-2 campaigns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asher, E.; Emmons, L. K.; Kinnison, D. E.; Tilmes, S.; Hills, A. J.; Hornbrook, R. S.; Stephens, B. B.; Apel, E. C.

    2017-12-01

    Surface albedo and precipitation over the Southern Ocean are sensitive to parameterizations of aerosol formation and cloud dynamics in global climate models. Observations of precursor gases for natural aerosols can help constrain the uncertainty in these parameterizations, if used in conjunction with an appropriately simplified chemical mechanism. We implement current oceanic "bottom-up" emission climatologies of dimethyl sulfide (DMS) and isoprene in CESM2.0 (Lana et al. 2016; Archer et al. 2009) and compare modeled constituents from two separate chemical mechanisms with data obtained from the Trace Organic Gas Analyzer (TOGA) on the O2/N2 Ratios and CO2 Airborne Study in the Southern Ocean (ORCAS) and the Atmospheric Tomography Mission 2 (ATom-2). We use ORCAS measurements of DMS, isoprene, methyl vinyl ketone (MVK) and methacrolein (MACR) from over 10 flights in Jan. - Feb. 2016 as a training dataset to improve "bottom-up" emissions. Thereafter, we evaluate the scaled "top-down" emissions in CESM with TOGA data obtained from the Atmospheric Tomography Mission (ATom-2) in Feb. 2017. Recent laboratory studies at NCAR confirm that TOGA surpasses proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS) and commercial gas chromatography (GC) instruments with respect to accurate measurements of oxygenated VOCs in low nitrogen oxide (NO) environments, such as MVK and MACR.

  11. Archaeocete-like jaws in a baleen whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzgerald, Erich M. G.

    2012-01-01

    The titanic baleen whales (Cetacea, Mysticeti) have a bizarre skull morphology, including an elastic mandibular symphysis, which permits dynamic oral cavity expansion during bulk feeding. How this key innovation evolved from the sutured symphysis of archaeocetes has remained unclear. Now, mandibles of the Oligocene toothed mysticete Janjucetus hunderi show that basal mysticetes had an archaeocete-like sutured symphysis. This archaic morphology was paired with a wide rostrum typical of later-diverging baleen whales. This demonstrates that increased oral capacity via rostral widening preceded the evolution of mandibular innovations for filter feeding. Thus, the initial evolution of the mysticetes' unique cranial form and huge mouths was perhaps not linked to filtering plankton, but to enhancing suction feeding on individual prey. PMID:21849306

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  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. The Genome of the Beluga Whale (Delphinapterus leucas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven J. M. Jones

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The beluga whale is a cetacean that inhabits arctic and subarctic regions, and is the only living member of the genus Delphinapterus. The genome of the beluga whale was determined using DNA sequencing approaches that employed both microfluidic partitioning library and non-partitioned library construction. The former allowed for the construction of a highly contiguous assembly with a scaffold N50 length of over 19 Mbp and total reconstruction of 2.32 Gbp. To aid our understanding of the functional elements, transcriptome data was also derived from brain, duodenum, heart, lung, spleen, and liver tissue. Assembled sequence and all of the underlying sequence data are available at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI under the Bioproject accession number PRJNA360851A.

  16. Omura's whales (Balaenoptera omurai) off northwest Madagascar: ecology, behaviour and conservation needs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerchio, Salvatore; Andrianantenaina, Boris; Lindsay, Alec; Rekdahl, Melinda; Andrianarivelo, Norbert; Rasoloarijao, Tahina

    2015-10-01

    The Omura's whale (Balaenoptera omurai) was described as a new species in 2003 and then soon after as an ancient lineage basal to a Bryde's/sei whale clade. Currently known only from whaling and stranding specimens primarily from the western Pacific and eastern Indian Oceans, there exist no confirmed field observations or ecological/behavioural data. Here we present, to our knowledge, the first genetically confirmed documentation of living Omura's whales including descriptions of basic ecology and behaviour from northwestern Madagascar. Species identification was confirmed through molecular phylogenetic analyses of biopsies collected from 18 adult animals. All individuals shared a single haplotype in a 402 bp sequence of mtDNA control region, suggesting low diversity and a potentially small population. Sightings of 44 groups indicated preference for shallow-water shelf habitat with sea surface temperature between 27.4°C and 30.2°C. Frequent observations were made of lunge feeding, possibly on zooplankton. Observations of four mothers with young calves, and recordings of a song-like vocalization probably indicate reproductive behaviour. Social organization consisted of loose aggregations of predominantly unassociated single individuals spatially and temporally clustered. Photographic recapture of a female re-sighted the following year with a young calf suggests site fidelity or a resident population. Our results demonstrate that the species is a tropical whale without segregation of feeding and breeding habitat, and is probably non-migratory; our data extend the range of this poorly studied whale into the western Indian Ocean. Exclusive range restriction to tropical waters is rare among baleen whale species, except for the various forms of Bryde's whales and Omura's whales. Thus, the discovery of a tractable population of Omura's whales in the tropics presents an opportunity for understanding the ecological factors driving potential convergence of life

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-30

    skiff. This allows us to tow the whale tail-first without hydrodynamic “porpoising” or spinning, etc., and, very importantly, without involving...peduncle. This part of the process helps to preclude any unmanageable hydrodynamic effects from allowing the pectoral fins to trail freely in the...and shear stresses, dissipated energy and heating effects, excessive strains or displacements due to resonance, potential to induce cavitation , and

  19. Population Parameters of Blainvilles and Cuviers Beaked Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    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...functioning (expected in 2018-2019), it is essential to continue monitoring the populations in El Hierro to obtain an uninterrupted long-term dataset of

  20. 75 FR 1582 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Cook Inlet Beluga Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-12

    ... Cook Inlet Beluga Whale AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and... designate critical habitat for the endangered Cook Inlet beluga whale, Delphinapterus leucas, under the... the Cook Inlet beluga whale can be found on our Web site at: http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/ FOR FURTHER...

  1. 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

    ... and Threatened Species; Initiation of 5-Year Review for the North Atlantic Right Whale and the North Pacific Right Whale AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric...: NMFS announces a 5-year review of North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) and North Pacific...

  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

    ... North Pacific Gray Whale; Notice of Extension of Public Comment Period on Marine Mammal Protection Act... whales (Eschrichtius robustus) as a depleted stock under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and... report for Eastern North Pacific gray whales is available on the Internet at the following address: http...

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Distance estimation experiment for aerial minke whale surveys

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lars Witting

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available A comparative study between aerial cue–counting and digital photography surveys for minke whales conducted in Faxaflói Bay in September 2003 is used to check the perpendicular distances estimated by the cue-counting observers. The study involved 2 aircraft with the photo plane at 1,700 feet flying above the cue–counting plane at 750 feet. The observer–based distance estimates were calculated from head angles estimated by angle-boards and declination angles estimated by declinometers. These distances were checked against image–based estimates of the perpendicular distance to the same whale. The 2 independent distance estimates were obtained for 21 sightings of minke whale, and there was a good agreement between the 2 types of estimates. The relative absolute deviations between the 2 estimates were on average 23% (se: 6%, with the errors in the observer–based distance estimates resembling that of a log-normal distribution. The linear regression of the observer–based estimates (obs on the image–based estimates (img was Obs=1.1Img (R2=0.85 with an intercept fixed at zero. There was no evidence of a distance estimation bias that could generate a positive bias in the absolute abundance estimated by cue–counting.

  7. Acoustic, genetic and observational evidence indicate the presence of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) from both hemispheres in Cape Verdean waters during their respective breeding seasons

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ryan, Conor; Berrow, Simon D.; Romagosa, Miriam; Boisseau, Oliver; Lopes-Suarez, Pedro; Jann, Beatrice; Wenzel, F.; Bérubé, Martine; Palsboll, Per

    2018-01-01

    A small population of humpback whales breeds around the Cape Verde Islands off West Africa. These whales exhibit a boreal seasonality, albeit two months later than that in the West Indies. Based on aseasonal observations of humpback whales and calves, Hazevoet et al. (2011) postulated that whales

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 77 FR 71259 - Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; False Killer Whale Take...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-29

    ... (i.e., straighten with less force) than the Japanese-style tuna hooks used by a portion of the... the affected false killer whale stocks, describe the final FKWTRP management measures, summarize the... Report (SAR), there are five Pacific Islands Region management stocks of false killer whales: (1) The...

  11. 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

  12. The Cape Verde Islands are home to a small and genetically distinct humpback whale breeding population

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bérubé, Martine; Ryan, Conor; Berrow, Simon D.; Suarez, Pedro Lopez; Monteiro, Vanda; Wenzel, Frederick; Robbins, Jooke; Mattila, David; Vikingsson, G.A.; Øien, Nils; Palsboll, Per

    2013-01-01

    The Cape Verde Islands appear to be winter breeding ground of the smallest humpback whale population yet known. However, it is unclear whether the humpback whales at the Cape Verde Islands interbreed with those in the West Indies. Here we present the results of the genetic analysis of 50 humpback

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  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. De novo assembling and primary analysis of genome and transcriptome of gray whale Eschrichtius robustus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moskalev, Alexey А; Kudryavtseva, Anna V; Graphodatsky, Alexander S; Beklemisheva, Violetta R; Serdyukova, Natalya A; Krutovsky, Konstantin V; Sharov, Vadim V; Kulakovskiy, Ivan V; Lando, Andrey S; Kasianov, Artem S; Kuzmin, Dmitry A; Putintseva, Yuliya A; Feranchuk, Sergey I; Shaposhnikov, Mikhail V; Fraifeld, Vadim E; Toren, Dmitri; Snezhkina, Anastasia V; Sitnik, Vasily V

    2017-12-28

    Gray whale, Eschrichtius robustus (E. robustus), is a single member of the family Eschrichtiidae, which is considered to be the most primitive in the class Cetacea. Gray whale is often described as a "living fossil". It is adapted to extreme marine conditions and has a high life expectancy (77 years). The assembly of a gray whale genome and transcriptome will allow to carry out further studies of whale evolution, longevity, and resistance to extreme environment. In this work, we report the first de novo assembly and primary analysis of the E. robustus genome and transcriptome based on kidney and liver samples. The presented draft genome assembly is complete by 55% in terms of a total genome length, but only by 24% in terms of the BUSCO complete gene groups, although 10,895 genes were identified. Transcriptome annotation and comparison with other whale species revealed robust expression of DNA repair and hypoxia-response genes, which is expected for whales. This preliminary study of the gray whale genome and transcriptome provides new data to better understand the whale evolution and the mechanisms of their adaptation to the hypoxic conditions.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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,

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Organizational readiness to change assessment (ORCA: Development of an instrument based on the Promoting Action on Research in Health Services (PARIHS framework

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Yu-Fang

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services, or PARIHS, framework is a theoretical framework widely promoted as a guide to implement evidence-based clinical practices. However, it has as yet no pool of validated measurement instruments that operationalize the constructs defined in the framework. The present article introduces an Organizational Readiness to Change Assessment instrument (ORCA, organized according to the core elements and sub-elements of the PARIHS framework, and reports on initial validation. Methods We conducted scale reliability and factor analyses on cross-sectional, secondary data from three quality improvement projects (n = 80 conducted in the Veterans Health Administration. In each project, identical 77-item ORCA instruments were administered to one or more staff from each facility involved in quality improvement projects. Items were organized into 19 subscales and three primary scales corresponding to the core elements of the PARIHS framework: (1 Strength and extent of evidence for the clinical practice changes represented by the QI program, assessed with four subscales, (2 Quality of the organizational context for the QI program, assessed with six subscales, and (3 Capacity for internal facilitation of the QI program, assessed with nine subscales. Results Cronbach's alpha for scale reliability were 0.74, 0.85 and 0.95 for the evidence, context and facilitation scales, respectively. The evidence scale and its three constituent subscales failed to meet the conventional threshold of 0.80 for reliability, and three individual items were eliminated from evidence subscales following reliability testing. In exploratory factor analysis, three factors were retained. Seven of the nine facilitation subscales loaded onto the first factor; five of the six context subscales loaded onto the second factor; and the three evidence subscales loaded on the third factor. Two subscales failed to load

  3. Organizational readiness to change assessment (ORCA): development of an instrument based on the Promoting Action on Research in Health Services (PARIHS) framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helfrich, Christian D; Li, Yu-Fang; Sharp, Nancy D; Sales, Anne E

    2009-07-14

    The Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services, or PARIHS, framework is a theoretical framework widely promoted as a guide to implement evidence-based clinical practices. However, it has as yet no pool of validated measurement instruments that operationalize the constructs defined in the framework. The present article introduces an Organizational Readiness to Change Assessment instrument (ORCA), organized according to the core elements and sub-elements of the PARIHS framework, and reports on initial validation. We conducted scale reliability and factor analyses on cross-sectional, secondary data from three quality improvement projects (n = 80) conducted in the Veterans Health Administration. In each project, identical 77-item ORCA instruments were administered to one or more staff from each facility involved in quality improvement projects. Items were organized into 19 subscales and three primary scales corresponding to the core elements of the PARIHS framework: (1) Strength and extent of evidence for the clinical practice changes represented by the QI program, assessed with four subscales, (2) Quality of the organizational context for the QI program, assessed with six subscales, and (3) Capacity for internal facilitation of the QI program, assessed with nine subscales. Cronbach's alpha for scale reliability were 0.74, 0.85 and 0.95 for the evidence, context and facilitation scales, respectively. The evidence scale and its three constituent subscales failed to meet the conventional threshold of 0.80 for reliability, and three individual items were eliminated from evidence subscales following reliability testing. In exploratory factor analysis, three factors were retained. Seven of the nine facilitation subscales loaded onto the first factor; five of the six context subscales loaded onto the second factor; and the three evidence subscales loaded on the third factor. Two subscales failed to load significantly on any factor. One measured resources

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. Development of the nervus terminalis in mammals including toothed whales and humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oelschläger, H A; Buhl, E H; Dann, J F

    1987-01-01

    The early ontogenesis and topography of the mammalian terminalis system was investigated in 43 microslide series of toothed whale and human embryos and fetuses. In early embryonal stages the development of the nasal pit, the olfacto-terminalis placode, and the olfactory bulb anlage is rather similar in toothed whales and humans. However, toothed whales do not show any trace of the vomeronasalis complex. In early fetal stages the olfactory bulb anlage in toothed whales is reduced and leaves the isolated future terminalis ganglion (ganglia) which contains the greatest number of cells within Mammalia. The ganglion is connected with the nasal mucosa via peripheral fiber bundles and with the telencephalon via central terminalis rootlets. The functional implications of the terminalis system in mammals and its evolution in toothed whales are discussed. Obviously, the autonomic component has been enlarged in the course of perfect adaptation to an aquatic environment.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. The first historic record of a humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) from the Low Countries (Southern Bight of the North Sea)

    OpenAIRE

    Haelters, J.; Kerckhof, F.; Camphuysen, K.C.J.

    2010-01-01

    In 1751 the corpse of a large whale was found floating at sea near Blankenberge (currently Belgium). The case was illustrated at the time by a water-colour of the whale and of an associated barnacle. In earlier publications, this whale has been regarded as a northern right whale (Eubalaena glacialis). However, morphological characteristics depicted in the original water-colour, published here for the first time, and in a copy of the original, point towards a humpback whale (Megaptera novaeang...

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Spatial distribution of common Minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) as an indication of a biological hotspot in the East Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Dasom; An, Yong Rock; Park, Kyum Joon; Kim, Hyun Woo; Lee, Dabin; Joo, Hui Tae; Oh, Young Geun; Kim, Su Min; Kang, Chang Keun; Lee, Sang Heon

    2017-09-01

    The minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) is the most common baleen whale among several marine mammal species observed in Korea. Since a high concentrated condition of prey to whales can be obtained by physical structures, the foraging whale distribution can be an indicator of biological hotspot. Our main objective is verifying the coastal upwelling-southwestern East Sea as a productive biological hotspot based on the geographical distribution of minke whales. Among the cetacean research surveys of the National Institute of Fisheries Science since 1999, 9 years data for the minke whales available in the East Sea were used for this study. The regional primary productivity derived from Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) was used for a proxy of biological productivity. Minke whales observed during the sighting surveys were mostly concentrated in May and found mostly (approximately 70%) in the southwestern coastal areas (whales was found in recent years, which indicate that the major habitats of mink whales have been shifted into the north of the common coastal upwelling regions. This is consistent with the recently reported unprecedented coastal upwelling in the mid-eastern coast of Korea. Based on high phytoplankton productivity and high distribution of minke whales, the southwestern coastal regions can be considered as one of biological hotspots in the East Sea. These regions are important for ecosystem dynamics and the population biology of top marine predators, especially migratory whales and needed to be carefully managed from a resource management perspective.

  13. Endangered Right Whales Enhance Primary Productivity in the Bay of Fundy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joe Roman

    Full Text Available Marine mammals have recently been documented as important facilitators of rapid and efficient nutrient recycling in coastal and offshore waters. Whales enhance phytoplankton nutrition by releasing fecal plumes near the surface after feeding and by migrating from highly productive, high-latitude feeding areas to low-latitude nutrient-poor calving areas. In this study, we measured NH4+ and PO43- release rates from the feces of North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis, a highly endangered baleen whale. Samples for this species were primarily collected by locating aggregations of whales in surface-active groups (SAGs, which typically consist of a central female surrounded by males competing for sexual activity. When freshly collected feces were incubated in seawater, high initial rates of N release were generally observed, which decreased to near zero within 24 hours of sampling, a pattern that is consistent with the active role of gut microflora on fecal particles. We estimate that at least 10% of particulate N in whale feces becomes available as NH4+ within 24 hours of defecation. Phosphorous was also abundant in fecal samples: initial release rates of PO43- were higher than for NH4+, yielding low N/P nutrient ratios over the course of our experiments. The rate of PO43- release was thus more than sufficient to preclude the possibility that nitrogenous nutrients supplied by whales would lead to phytoplankton production limited by P availability. Phytoplankton growth experiments indicated that NH4+ released from whale feces enhance productivity, as would be expected, with no evidence that fecal metabolites suppress growth. Although North Atlantic right whales are currently rare (approximately 450 individuals, they once numbered about 14,000 and likely played a substantial role in recycling nutrients in areas where they gathered to feed and mate. Even though the NH4+ released from fresh whale fecal material is a small fraction of total whale

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. From whales to tritium; Du cachalot au tritium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bonnemains, J. [Robin des Bois, Association de Protection de l' Homme et de l' Environnement, 75 - Paris (France)

    2007-02-15

    Only 150 years of human actions and innovations separate whale-oil lamps from atomic fission and fusion. During this period, the human quest for lighting, heating and transportation has drained the stock of fuels, ranging from peat and wood to coal and petroleum. The energy necessary for protecting us from the cold and heat, for transportation, lighting and other comforts is a persistent problem. Since the start of the industrial era and the consumer age, the solutions adopted have jeopardized the oceans, atmosphere and earth. (author)

  19. Mercury speciation and selenium in toothed-whale muscles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sakamoto, Mineshi, E-mail: sakamoto@nimd.go.jp [National Institute for Minamata Disease, Hama 4058-18, Minamata, Kumamoto 867-0008 (Japan); Itai, Takaaki [Ehime University, Bunkyo 2-5, Matsuyama 790-8755 (Japan); Yasutake, Akira [National Institute for Minamata Disease, Hama 4058-18, Minamata, Kumamoto 867-0008 (Japan); Iwasaki, Toshihide [Tohoku National Fisheries Research Institute, 25-259 Shimomekurakubo, Aomori 031-0841 (Japan); Yasunaga, Genta; Fujise, Yoshihiro [Institute of Cetacean Research, 4-5 Toyomi, Tokyo 104-0055 (Japan); Nakamura, Masaaki [National Institute for Minamata Disease, Hama 4058-18, Minamata, Kumamoto 867-0008 (Japan); Murata, Katsuyuki [Akita University School of Medicine, Hondo 1-1-1, Akita 010-8543 (Japan); Man Chan, Hing [University of Ottawa, Marie-Curie, Ottawa, ON, Canada KIN 6N5 (Canada); Domingo, José L. [School of Medicine, IISPV, Universitat “Rovira i Virgili”, Reus (Spain); Marumoto, Masumi [National Institute for Minamata Disease, Hama 4058-18, Minamata, Kumamoto 867-0008 (Japan)

    2015-11-15

    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. - Highlights: • T-Hg, MeHg, I-Hg and Se were determined in the muscles of four toothed-whales. • MeHg increased with increasing T-Hg and tended to reach a plateau in all species. • Se/I-Hg molar ratios rapidly decreased with increase of I-Hg and reached almost 1. • XAFS of bottlenose dolphin muscle confirmed that HgSe was dominant chemical form. • EPMA of bottlenose dolphin muscle showed that HgSe deposited in muscle cells.

  20. Mercury speciation and selenium in toothed-whale muscles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sakamoto, Mineshi; Itai, Takaaki; Yasutake, Akira; Iwasaki, Toshihide; Yasunaga, Genta; Fujise, Yoshihiro; Nakamura, Masaaki; Murata, Katsuyuki; Man Chan, Hing; Domingo, José L.; Marumoto, Masumi

    2015-01-01

    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. - Highlights: • T-Hg, MeHg, I-Hg and Se were determined in the muscles of four toothed-whales. • MeHg increased with increasing T-Hg and tended to reach a plateau in all species. • Se/I-Hg molar ratios rapidly decreased with increase of I-Hg and reached almost 1. • XAFS of bottlenose dolphin muscle confirmed that HgSe was dominant chemical form. • EPMA of bottlenose dolphin muscle showed that HgSe deposited in muscle cells.

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Lifetime Stable isotopes profiles in whale earplug: assessment of foraging and migrations in the Northern Hemisphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansouri, F.; Crain, D.; Winfield, Z.; Trumble, S.; Usenko, S.

    2017-12-01

    Whale earplugs, historically used for aging, were used to reconstruct lifetime stable isotope profiles for carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) for individual whales by delaminating lamina within the earplug. These stable isotope profile, which provide Continuous lifetime records of feeding, foraging ecology, and migration, were determined for 20 individuals from 4 baleen species including fin, minke, humpback, and blue whales spanning more than a century (1869 - 2014) using stable isotope analysis. Approximately 1 mg tissue from each lamina (n=1200) was analyzed for carbon and nitrogen stable isotope using continuous flow isotope ratio mass spectrometer (CF-IRMS). This research using whale earplugs have combined age estimates with stable isotope measurements to reconstruct lifetime foraging profiles with a 6-month resolution, providing an unprecedented opportunity to assess periods and trends in dietary fluctuations as well as migration between different foraging area which have distinct isotope values. Trends with these profiles suggest long-term changing in migration, while annual variability highlights seasonal fasting and feeding. Isotopic ratios were also used to identify subpopulations of Atlantic fin whales, which enabled us to assign unidentified humpback and minke whales to the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans. This historical archive of data provides us an unprecedented tool to assess long term marine ecosystem and subsequently marine organism transition to alternate foraging area and shed light on the whale's population status in the Northern hemisphere.

  5. ORCA: the versatile CPR

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    A.M. van Ginneken (Astrid); H. Stam (Hendrik); E.M. van Mulligen (Erik); M. de Wilde (Marcel); J.H. van Bemmel (Jan); R. van Mastrigt (Robbert)

    2000-01-01

    textabstractThe introduction of computer-based patient records (CPRs) that fully replace paper records proves especially difficult in specialized care, despite the potential advantages of CPRs for patient care and research. Improved data legibility, availability, sharing of records, and decision

  6. 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

  7. 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....

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Getting it right for the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaenaglacialis): A last opportunity for effective marine spatial planning?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Petruny, Loren M.; Wright, Andrew J.; Smith, Courtney E.

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Placement of shipping routes and offshore wind farms are mutually exclusive. • Shipping likely has greater impacts on right whales than operating wind farms. • Siting by Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) would consider impacts of both on whales. • Placing wind farms in right whale migration corridors would exclude shipping. • Effective MSP would benefit right whales, wind energy development and ship safety. - Abstract: The North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) faces increasing pressure from commercial shipping traffic and proposed marine renewable energy developments. Drawing upon the successful Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary model, we propose a multi-stakeholder marine spatial planning process that considers both appropriate positioning of offshore wind farms and redefining commercial shipping lanes relative to whale migration routes: placement of wind turbines within certain right whale habitats may prove beneficial for the species. To that end, it may be advisable to initially relocate the shipping lanes for the benefit of the whales prior to selecting wind energy areas. The optimal end-state is the commercial viability of renewable energy, as well as a safe shipping infrastructure, with minimal risk of collision and exposure to shipping noise for the whales. This opportunity to manage impacts on right whales could serve as a model for other problematic interactions between marine life and commercial activities

  12. 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.

  13. Seasonal presence and potential influence of humpback whales on wintering Pacific herring populations in the Gulf of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Straley, Janice M.; Moran, John R.; Boswell, Kevin M.; Vollenweider, Johanna J.; Heintz, Ron A.; Quinn, Terrance J., II; Witteveen, Briana H.; Rice, Stanley D.

    2018-01-01

    This study addressed the lack of recovery of Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii) in Prince William Sound, Alaska, in relation to humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) predation. As humpback whales rebound from commercial whaling, their ability to influence their prey through top-down forcing increases. We compared the potential influence of foraging humpback whales on three herring populations in the coastal Gulf of Alaska: Prince William Sound, Lynn Canal, and Sitka Sound (133-147°W; 57-61°N) from 2007 to 2009. Information on whale distribution, abundance, diet and the availability of herring as potential prey were used to correlate populations of overwintering herring and humpback whales. In Prince William Sound, the presence of whales coincided with the peak of herring abundance, allowing whales to maximize the consumption of overwintering herring prior to their southern migration. In Lynn Canal and Sitka Sound peak attendance of whales occurred earlier, in the fall, before the herring had completely moved into the areas, hence, there was less opportunity for predation to influence herring populations. North Pacific humpback whales in the Gulf of Alaska may be experiencing nutritional stress from reaching or exceeding carrying capacity, or oceanic conditions may have changed sufficiently to alter the prey base. Intraspecific competition for food may make it harder for humpback whales to meet their annual energetic needs. To meet their energetic demands whales may need to lengthen their time feeding in the northern latitudes or by skipping the annual migration altogether. If humpback whales extended their time feeding in Alaskan waters during the winter months, the result would likely be an increase in herring predation.

  14. 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.

  15. The Great Whale review and the federal government's disappearing act

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fenge, T.

    1991-01-01

    After considerable political and legal pressure, the Canadian and Quebec governments, plus the electric utility Hydro-Quebec, agreed to a global review and environmental assessment of the Great Whale hydroelectric project in northern Quebec. The assessment is being handled by five committees, each covering distinct areas of geography and responsibility. The initial task of the review committees was to determine the scope of the assessment, and 23 days of public hearings were held in northern and southern Quebec and on the Belcher Islands. The federal government's absence from the scoping hearings was a curious development, since federal agencies normally participate actively in such hearings. A federal guidelines order upheld recently by the Canadian Supreme Court requires federal participation in environmental assessment processes. The Great Whale project affects areas of federal jurisdiction as well as areas outside Quebec, and federal expertise in such matters as the marine environment is crucial in airing environmental issues related to the project. Interviews with federal officials on the reasons for federal absence are summarized. It is concluded that the federal agencies did not really regard scoping hearings as part of the public review, and that this review does not start until hearings begin on the environmental impact statement

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. On the olfactory anatomy in an archaic whale (Protocetidae, Cetacea) and the minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata (Balaenopteridae, Cetacea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godfrey, Stephen J; Geisler, Jonathan; Fitzgerald, Erich M G

    2013-02-01

    The structure of the olfactory apparatus is not well known in both archaic and extant whales; the result of poor preservation in most fossils and locational isolation deep within the skulls in both fossil and Recent taxa. Several specimens now shed additional light on the subject. A partial skull of an archaic cetacean is reported from the Pamunkey River, Virginia, USA. The specimen probably derives from the upper middle Eocene (Piney Point Formation) and is tentatively assigned to the Protocetidae. Uncrushed cranial cavities associated with the olfactory apparatus were devoid of sediment. CT scans clearly reveal the dorsal nasal meatus, ethmoturbinates within the olfactory recess, the cribriform plate, the area occupied by the olfactory bulbs, and the olfactory nerve tract. Several sectioned skulls of the minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) were also examined, and olfactory structures are remarkably similar to those observed in the fossil skull from the Pamunkey River. One important difference between the two is that the fossil specimen has an elongate olfactory nerve tract. The more forward position of the external nares in extant balaenopterids when compared with those of extant odontocetes is interpreted to be the result of the need to retain a functional olfactory apparatus and the forward position of the supraoccipital/cranial vertex. An increase in the distance between the occipital condyles and the vertex in balaenopterids enhances the mechanical advantage of the epaxial musculature that inserts on the occiput, a specialization that likely stabilizes the head of these enormous mammals during lunge feeding. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. AFSC/NMML: North Pacific Right Whale Vessel Surveys in the Southeastern Bering Sea, 2007 - 2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The North Pacific right whale (NPRW) was heavily hunted between the 17th and the 20th centuries. Protection was supposedly afforded by international treaties in the...

  20. 75 FR 57441 - Availability of Seats for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-21

    ... National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council: Commercial Shipping, Whale Watching, Ocean Recreation, Business/Commerce, Citizen-at-Large, Conservation, Tourism, Lana`i Island Representative, and Moloka`i Island...

  1. Discovery of a blue whale feeding and nursing ground in southern Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hucke-Gaete, Rodrigo; Osman, Layla P; Moreno, Carlos A; Findlay, Ken P; Ljungblad, Don K

    2004-05-07

    After the extensive exploitation that reduced the Southern Hemisphere blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) populations to less than 3% of its original numbers, studies on its recovery have been compounded by the inaccessibility of most populations and the extensive migrations between low and high latitudes, thus ensuring that knowledge about blue whale ecology and status remains limited. We report the recent discovery of, arguably, the most important blue whale feeding and nursing ground known to date in the Southern Hemisphere, which is located near the fjords off southern Chile. Through aerial and marine surveys (n = 7) 47 groups, comprising 153 blue whales including at least 11 mother-calf pairs, were sighted during the austral summer and early autumn of 2003. The implications of this discovery on the biological understanding and conservation of this endangered species are discussed.

  2. SWFSC/MMTD: Collaborative Large Whale Survey (CLaWS) 2015

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Collaborative Large Whale Survey is a joint field effort by Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC) and Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC). The 4-month...

  3. Whale shark economics: a valuation of wildlife tourism in South Ari Atoll, Maldives

    KAUST Repository

    Cagua, Edgar F.; Collins, Neal; Hancock, James; Rees, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Whale sharks attract large numbers of tourists, divers and snorkelers each year to South Ari Atoll in the Republic of Maldives. Yet without information regarding the use and economic extent of the attraction, it is difficult to prioritize

  4. Body size shifts and early warning signals precede the historic collapse of whale stocks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clements, Christopher F; Blanchard, Julia L; Nash, Kirsty L; Hindell, Mark A; Ozgul, Arpat

    2017-06-22

    Predicting population declines is a key challenge in the face of global environmental change. Abundance-based early warning signals have been shown to precede population collapses; however, such signals are sensitive to the low reliability of abundance estimates. Here, using historical data on whales harvested during the 20th century, we demonstrate that early warning signals can be present not only in the abundance data, but also in the more reliable body size data of wild populations. We show that during the period of commercial whaling, the mean body size of caught whales declined dramatically (by up to 4 m over a 70-year period), leading to early warning signals being detectable up to 40 years before the global collapse of whale stocks. Combining abundance and body size data can reduce the length of the time series required to predict collapse, and decrease the chances of false positive early warning signals.

  5. Fossil traces of the bone-eating worm Osedax in early Oligocene whale bones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiel, Steffen; Goedert, James L; Kahl, Wolf-Achim; Rouse, Greg W

    2010-05-11

    Osedax is a recently discovered group of siboglinid annelids that consume bones on the seafloor and whose evolutionary origins have been linked with Cretaceous marine reptiles or to the post-Cretaceous rise of whales. Here we present whale bones from early Oligocene bathyal sediments exposed in Washington State, which show traces similar to those made by Osedax today. The geologic age of these trace fossils ( approximately 30 million years) coincides with the first major radiation of whales, consistent with the hypothesis of an evolutionary link between Osedax and its main food source, although older fossils should certainly be studied. Osedax has been destroying bones for most of the evolutionary history of whales and the possible significance of this "Osedax effect" in relation to the quality and quantity of their fossils is only now recognized.

  6. 78 FR 42653 - Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Atlantic Large Whale Take...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-16

    ... defines a strategic stock of marine mammals as a stock: (1) For which the level of direct human-caused... Whales, Eubalaena australis. Behaviour 88(1/2):42-60. BILLING CODE 3510-22-P [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED...

  7. Movement patterns of juvenile whale sharks tagged at an aggregation site in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Berumen, Michael L.; Braun, Camrin D.; Cochran, Jesse; Skomal, Gregory B.; Thorrold, Simon R.

    2014-01-01

    Conservation efforts aimed at the whale shark, Rhincodon typus, remain limited by a lack of basic information on most aspects of its ecology, including global population structure, population sizes and movement patterns. Here we report

  8. Acoustic Ecology and Remote Acoustic Monitoring of a Minke Whale Population

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Gedamke, Jason

    2000-01-01

    Sound is the most effective means of communication in the ocean. A uniquely inquisitive minke whale population on the northern Great Barrier Reef presents an unprecedented research opportunity to study minke acoustics...

  9. An Assessment of Gray Whale Movements in Acoustically Changing Nearshore Environments

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Mate, Bruce

    1999-01-01

    This grant helped fluid six field seasons over four years. The initial objective was to investigate the movements of gray whales in environments with varying levels of development and acoustic stimuli...

  10. Analysis of Sperm Whale Acoustic Signals in the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Thode, Aaron

    2003-01-01

    The objectives of the program was to develop and demonstrate an automated procedure for passively tracking sperm whales in three-dimensions, using natural vocalizations recorded on two towed arrays...

  11. The Effects of Ambient Noise Field on the Behavior of Baleen Whales - Pilot Program

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Stokes, M

    2003-01-01

    .... The work was a Pilot Study for a Main Study in 2003 and 2004 concerning the setting to work of a system for passive acoustic and visual tracking of whales, as well as collecting acoustic and remotely...

  12. 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

    In June of 1998 and 1999, two and three years after the raising of the Irving Whale, sediment sampling was conducted at the site where the barge was recovered to determine the extent and distribution...

  13. 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.

  14. AFSC/NMML: Beluga whale Counts from Aerial Surveys in Cook Inlet, Alaska, 1993-2014

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Marine Mammal Laboratory conducted aerial surveys to monitor the abundance and distribution of beluga whales in Cook Inlet, Alaska. This database...

  15. Demographics and feeding ecology of whale sharks at Mafia Island, Tanzania

    KAUST Repository

    Cagua, Edgar F.; Cochran, Jesse; Rohner, Chris; Igulu, Mathias M; Rubens, Jason; Pierce, Simon J; Berumen, Michael L.

    2013-01-01

    . The size range and gender distribution of whale sharks at Mafia Island is similar to other coastal aggregations in the Indian Ocean, but the relatively high site fidelity and residency time stands in contrast.

  16. AFSC/NMML: Bowhead whale aerial surveys and photography near Barrow, Alaska, from 1979-1992

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Bowhead whales were documented during their spring migration most years from 1979 to 1992 by biologists from NMML. This documentation consisted of flying aerial...

  17. 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...

  18. AFSC/NMML: Cetacean Assessment and Ecology Program Humpback Whale Catalog

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Since 1980, the Cetacean Assessment and Ecology Program of the National Marine Mammal Laboratory has been collecting photos of humpback whales (Megaptera...

  19. AFSC/NMML: Bowhead Whale Aerial Abundance Survey off Barrow, Alaska, Spring 2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Aerial photographic surveys for bowhead whales were conducted near Point Barrow, Alaska, from 19 April to 6 June in 2011. Approximately 4,594 photographs containing...

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. A large-aperture low-cost hydrophone array for tracking whales from small boats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, B; Dawson, S

    2009-11-01

    A passive sonar array designed for tracking diving sperm whales in three dimensions from a single small vessel is presented, and the advantages and limitations of operating this array from a 6 m boat are described. The system consists of four free floating buoys, each with a hydrophone, built-in recorder, and global positioning system receiver (GPS), and one vertical stereo hydrophone array deployed from the boat. Array recordings are post-processed onshore to obtain diving profiles of vocalizing sperm whales. Recordings are synchronized using a GPS timing pulse recorded onto each track. Sensitivity analysis based on hyperbolic localization methods is used to obtain probability distributions for the whale's three-dimensional location for vocalizations received by at least four hydrophones. These localizations are compared to those obtained via isodiachronic sequential bound estimation. Results from deployment of the system around a sperm whale in the Kaikoura Canyon in New Zealand are shown.

  3. AFSC/NMML: Beluga whale aerial survey in Cook Inlet, Alaska, 1993-2014

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has conducted aerial counts of Cook Inlet beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) from 1993 to 2014 (excluding 2013)....

  4. Comparative In silico Study of Sex-Determining Region Y (SRY) Protein Sequences Involved in Sex-Determining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vakili Azghandi, Masoume; Nasiri, Mohammadreza; Shamsa, Ali; Jalali, Mohsen; Shariati, Mohammad Mahdi

    2016-04-01

    The SRY gene (SRY) provides instructions for making a transcription factor called the sex-determining region Y protein. The sex-determining region Y protein causes a fetus to develop as a male. In this study, SRY of 15 spices included of human, chimpanzee, dog, pig, rat, cattle, buffalo, goat, sheep, horse, zebra, frog, urial, dolphin and killer whale were used for determine of bioinformatic differences. Nucleotide sequences of SRY were retrieved from the NCBI databank. Bioinformatic analysis of SRY is done by CLC Main Workbench version 5.5 and ClustalW (http:/www.ebi.ac.uk/clustalw/) and MEGA6 softwares. The multiple sequence alignment results indicated that SRY protein sequences from Orcinus orca (killer whale) and Tursiopsaduncus (dolphin) have least genetic distance of 0.33 in these 15 species and are 99.67% identical at the amino acid level. Homosapiens and Pantroglodytes (chimpanzee) have the next lowest genetic distance of 1.35 and are 98.65% identical at the amino acid level. These findings indicate that the SRY proteins are conserved in the 15 species, and their evolutionary relationships are similar.

  5. Comparative In silico Study of Sex-Determining Region Y (SRY Protein Sequences Involved in Sex-Determining

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masoume Vakili Azghandi

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Background: The SRY gene (SRY provides instructions for making a transcription factor called the sex-determining region Y protein. The sex-determining region Y protein causes a fetus to develop as a male. In this study, SRY of 15 spices included of human, chimpanzee, dog, pig, rat, cattle, buffalo, goat, sheep, horse, zebra, frog, urial, dolphin and killer whale were used for determine of bioinformatic differences. Methods: Nucleotide sequences of SRY were retrieved from the NCBI databank. Bioinformatic analysis of SRY is done by CLC Main Workbench version 5.5 and ClustalW (http:/www.ebi.ac.uk/clustalw/ and MEGA6 softwares. Results: The multiple sequence alignment results indicated that SRY protein sequences from Orcinus orca (killer whale and Tursiopsaduncus (dolphin have least genetic distance of 0.33 in these 15 species and are 99.67% identical at the amino acid level. Homosapiens and Pantroglodytes (chimpanzee have the next lowest genetic distance of 1.35 and are 98.65% identical at the amino acid level. Conclusion: These findings indicate that the SRY proteins are conserved in the 15 species, and their evolutionary relationships are similar.

  6. Animal vocal sequences: not the Markov chains we thought they were.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kershenbaum, Arik; Bowles, Ann E; Freeberg, Todd M; Jin, Dezhe Z; Lameira, Adriano R; Bohn, Kirsten

    2014-10-07

    Many animals produce vocal sequences that appear complex. Most researchers assume that these sequences are well characterized as Markov chains (i.e. that the probability of a particular vocal element can be calculated from the history of only a finite number of preceding elements). However, this assumption has never been explicitly tested. Furthermore, it is unclear how language could evolve in a single step from a Markovian origin, as is frequently assumed, as no intermediate forms have been found between animal communication and human language. Here, we assess whether animal taxa produce vocal sequences that are better described by Markov chains, or by non-Markovian dynamics such as the 'renewal process' (RP), characterized by a strong tendency to repeat elements. We examined vocal sequences of seven taxa: Bengalese finches Lonchura striata domestica, Carolina chickadees Poecile carolinensis, free-tailed bats Tadarida brasiliensis, rock hyraxes Procavia capensis, pilot whales Globicephala macrorhynchus, killer whales Orcinus orca and orangutans Pongo spp. The vocal systems of most of these species are more consistent with a non-Markovian RP than with the Markovian models traditionally assumed. Our data suggest that non-Markovian vocal sequences may be more common than Markov sequences, which must be taken into account when evaluating alternative hypotheses for the evolution of signalling complexity, and perhaps human language origins. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  7. Getting it right for the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaenaglacialis): a last opportunity for effective marine spatial planning?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petruny, Loren M; Wright, Andrew J; Smith, Courtney E

    2014-08-15

    The North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) faces increasing pressure from commercial shipping traffic and proposed marine renewable energy developments. Drawing upon the successful Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary model, we propose a multi-stakeholder marine spatial planning process that considers both appropriate positioning of offshore wind farms and redefining commercial shipping lanes relative to whale migration routes: placement of wind turbines within certain right whale habitats may prove beneficial for the species. To that end, it may be advisable to initially relocate the shipping lanes for the benefit of the whales prior to selecting wind energy areas. The optimal end-state is the commercial viability of renewable energy, as well as a safe shipping infrastructure, with minimal risk of collision and exposure to shipping noise for the whales. This opportunity to manage impacts on right whales could serve as a model for other problematic interactions between marine life and commercial activities. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Whole-genome sequencing of the blue whale and other rorquals finds signatures for introgressive gene flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Árnason, Úlfur; Kumar, Vikas

    2018-01-01

    Reconstructing the evolution of baleen whales (Mysticeti) has been problematic because morphological and genetic analyses have produced different scenarios. This might be caused by genomic admixture that may have taken place among some rorquals. We present the genomes of six whales, including the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus), to reconstruct a species tree of baleen whales and to identify phylogenetic conflicts. Evolutionary multilocus analyses of 34,192 genome fragments reveal a fast radiation of rorquals at 10.5 to 7.5 million years ago coinciding with oceanic circulation shifts. The evolutionarily enigmatic gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) is placed among rorquals, and the blue whale genome shows a high degree of heterozygosity. The nearly equal frequency of conflicting gene trees suggests that speciation of rorqual evolution occurred under gene flow, which is best depicted by evolutionary networks. Especially in marine environments, sympatric speciation might be common; our results raise questions about how genetic divergence can be established. PMID:29632892

  9. Detection and Classification of Baleen Whale Foraging Calls Combining Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning Techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-12-01

    for a call is also a time- consuming task. None of these chores bothers the analyst when applying the selection algorithm. With help from the...1365- 2907.2007.00106.x. Castellote, M., C. W. Clark, and M. O. Lammers, 2012: Acoustic and behavioural changes by fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus...separation of blue whale call types on a southern California feeding ground. Animal Behaviour , 74, 881–894, doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2007.01.022. Rocha, R

  10. Inter-Annual Variability in Blue Whale Distribution off Southern Sri Lanka between 2011 and 2012

    OpenAIRE

    Vos, Asha de; Pattiaratchi, Charitha; Harcourt, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) movements are often driven by the availability of their prey in space and time. While globally blue whale populations undertake long-range migrations between feeding and breeding grounds, those in the northern Indian Ocean remain in low latitude waters throughout the year with the implication that the productivity of these waters is sufficient to support their energy needs. A part of this population remains around Sri Lanka where they are usually recorded cl...

  11. 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...acoustic disturbance and prey variability into the PCOD model. OBJECTIVES The objectives for this study are to: 1) develop a Hierarchical...the model to assessing the effects of acoustics on the population. We have refined and applied the PCOD model developed for right whales (Schick et

  12. DNA evidence of bowhead whale exploitation by Greenlandic Paleo-Inuit 4,000 years ago

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Seersholm, Frederik Valeur; Pedersen, Mikkel Winther; Søe, Martin Jensen

    2016-01-01

    -described midden deposits. Our results confirm that the species found in the fossil record, like harp seal and ringed seal, were a vital part of Inuit subsistence, but also add a new dimension with evidence that caribou, walrus and whale species played a more prominent role for the survival of Paleo-Inuit cultures...... than previously reported. Most notably, we report evidence of bowhead whale exploitation by the Saqqaq culture 4,000 years ago....

  13. A spatially explicit estimate of the prewhaling abundance of the endangered North Atlantic right whale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monsarrat, Sophie; Pennino, M Grazia; Smith, Tim D; Reeves, Randall R; Meynard, Christine N; Kaplan, David M; Rodrigues, Ana S L

    2016-08-01

    The North Atlantic right whale (NARW) (Eubalaena glacialis) is one of the world's most threatened whales. It came close to extinction after nearly a millennium of exploitation and currently persists as a population of only approximately 500 individuals. Setting appropriate conservation targets for this species requires an understanding of its historical population size, as a baseline for measuring levels of depletion and progress toward recovery. This is made difficult by the scarcity of records over this species' long whaling history. We sought to estimate the preexploitation population size of the North Atlantic right whale and understand how this species was distributed across its range. We used a spatially explicit data set on historical catches of North Pacific right whales (NPRWs) (Eubalaena japonica) to model the relationship between right whale relative density and the environment during the summer feeding season. Assuming the 2 right whale species select similar environments, we projected this model to the North Atlantic to predict how the relative abundance of NARWs varied across their range. We calibrated these relative abundances with estimates of the NPRW total prewhaling population size to obtain high and low estimates for the overall NARW population size prior to exploitation. The model predicted 9,075-21,328 right whales in the North Atlantic. The current NARW population is thus <6% of the historical North Atlantic carrying capacity and has enormous potential for recovery. According to the model, in June-September NARWs concentrated in 2 main feeding areas: east of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland and in the Norwegian Sea. These 2 areas may become important in the future as feeding grounds and may already be used more regularly by this endangered species than is thought. © 2015 Society for Conservation Biology.

  14. Multispecies functional response of the minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata based on small-scale foraging studies

    OpenAIRE

    Smout, Sophie; Lindstrøm, Ulf

    2007-01-01

    Atlantic minke whales are important predators in the Barents Sea ecosystem; capelin Mallotus villosus, krill Thysanoessa sp. and Meganyctephanes norvegica and herring Clupea harengus are their major prey. Their consumption of commercial species may present an economic problem for the local fishery. In order to estimate this consumption and understand the potential consequences for prey dynamics, it is essential to determine the multispecies functional response of the whales. The parameterisat...

  15. A bizarre new toothed mysticete (Cetacea) from Australia and the early evolution of baleen whales

    OpenAIRE

    Fitzgerald, Erich M.G

    2006-01-01

    Extant baleen whales (Cetacea, Mysticeti) are all large filter-feeding marine mammals that lack teeth as adults, instead possessing baleen, and feed on small marine animals in bulk. The early evolution of these superlative mammals, and their unique feeding method, has hitherto remained enigmatic. Here, I report a new toothed mysticete from the Late Oligocene of Australia that is more archaic than any previously described. Unlike all other mysticetes, this new whale was small, had enormous eye...

  16. Recreational valuation of whale watching safaris, a case study from the Andøy region

    OpenAIRE

    Robertsen, Liv Tone Olsen

    2014-01-01

    Due to increased activity level along the Norwegian coast and ocean, there is an increasing need of estimating the non-market values from potentially affected marine ecosystem services. One activity that might be impacted from marine activities and regulations is whale watching. The demand of whale watching has increased rapidly the past decades, and generates remarkable economic and recreational benefits to the society. The recreational benefits are not directly obtained through the market p...

  17. 76 FR 68161 - Marine Mammals; File Nos. 16163, 16160, and 15569

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-03

    ...: Northwest Fisheries Science Center, requests a permit to conduct scientific research on thirty seven species... novaeangliae), North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica), sei whale (B. borealis), killer whale (Orcinus... guidelines and regulations through the Soundwatch program. Research methods would include close vessel...

  18. Observation of a Whale Shark Rhincodon typus (Orectolobiformes: Rhincodontidae in the offshore waters of Rushikulya, Orissa, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. John

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available A Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus was sighted on the water surface, three km offshore and 12 km north of Rushikulya river mouth on 22 February 2009. The length of the whale shark indicates that it is likely to be a juvenile. Some physico-chemical parameters along with previous sighting records of the Whale Shark from this region as well as from other coastal states of the country are also mentioned.

  19. Regional variation in the intensity of humpback whale predation on Pacific herring in the Gulf of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moran, J. R.; Heintz, R. A.; Straley, J. M.; Vollenweider, J. J.

    2018-01-01

    We modeled the biomass of Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii) consumed by humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) to determine if whales are preventing the recovery of some herring populations in the Gulf of Alaska. We estimated consumption, by whales, of two depressed (Lynn Canal, Prince William Sound) and one robust (Sitka Sound) herring populations during fall/winter of 2007-2008 and 2008-2009. Consumption estimates relied on observations of whale abundance, prey selection, and herring energy content along with published data on whale size and metabolic rate. Herring biomass removed by whales was compared with independent estimates of herring abundance to assess the impact of predation on each population. Whales removed a greater proportion of the total biomass of herring available in Lynn Canal and Prince William Sound than in Sitka Sound. Biomass removals were greatest in Prince William Sound where we observed the largest number of whales foraging on herring. The biomass of herring consumed in Prince William Sound approximated the biomass lost to natural mortality over winter as projected by age-structured stock assessments. Though whales also focused their foraging on herring during the fall in Lynn Canal, whales were less abundant resulting in lower estimated consumption rates. Whales were more abundant in Sitka Sound than in Lynn Canal but foraged predominately on euphausiids. Herring abundance was greater in Sitka Sound, further reducing the overall impact on the herring population. These data indicate that the focused predation in Prince William Sound can exert top-down controlling pressure, but whale populations are not a ubiquitous constraint on forage fish productivity in the Gulf of Alaska at this time.

  20. Long-range movement of humpback whales and their overlap with anthropogenic activity in the South Atlantic Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenbaum, Howard C; Maxwell, Sara M; Kershaw, Francine; Mate, Bruce

    2014-04-01

    Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) are managed by the International Whaling Commission as 7 primary populations that breed in the tropics and migrate to 6 feeding areas around the Antarctic. There is little information on individual movements within breeding areas or migratory connections to feeding grounds. We sought to better understand humpback whale habitat use and movements at breeding areas off West Africa, and during the annual migration to Antarctic feeding areas. We also assessed potential overlap between whale habitat and anthropogenic activities. We used Argos satellite-monitored radio tags to collect data on 13 animals off Gabon, a primary humpback whale breeding area. We quantified habitat use for 3 cohorts of whales and used a state-space model to determine transitions in the movement behavior of individuals. We developed a spatial metric of overlap between whale habitat and models of cumulative human activities, including oil platforms, toxicants, and shipping. We detected strong heterogeneity in movement behavior over time that is consistent with previous genetic evidence of multiple populations in the region. Breeding areas for humpback whales in the eastern Atlantic were extensive and extended north of Gabon late in the breeding season. We also observed, for the first time, direct migration between West Africa and sub-Antarctic feeding areas. Potential overlap of whale habitat with human activities was the highest in exclusive economic zones close to shore, particularly in areas used by both individual whales and the hydrocarbon industry. Whales potentially overlapped with different activities during each stage of their migration, which makes it difficult to implement mitigation measures over their entire range. Our results and existing population-level data may inform delimitation of populations and actions to mitigate potential threats to whales as part of local, regional, and international management of highly migratory marine species.

  1. Whale sharks target dense prey patches of sergestid shrimp off Tanzania

    KAUST Repository

    Rohner, C. A.; Armstrong, A. J.; Pierce, S. J.; Prebble, C. E. M.; Cagua, E. F.; Cochran, J. E. M.; Berumen, Michael L.; Richardson, A. J.

    2015-01-01

    Large planktivores require high-density prey patches to make feeding energetically viable. This is a major challenge for species living in tropical and subtropical seas, such as whale sharks Rhincodon typus. Here, we characterize zooplankton biomass, size structure and taxonomic composition from whale shark feeding events and background samples at Mafia Island, Tanzania. The majority of whale sharks were feeding (73%, 380 of 524 observations), with the most common behaviour being active surface feeding (87%). We used 20 samples collected from immediately adjacent to feeding sharks and an additional 202 background samples for comparison to show that plankton biomass was ∼10 times higher in patches where whale sharks were feeding (25 vs. 2.6 mg m-3). Taxonomic analyses of samples showed that the large sergestid Lucifer hanseni (∼10 mm) dominated while sharks were feeding, accounting for ∼50% of identified items, while copepods (<2 mm) dominated background samples. The size structure was skewed towards larger animals representative of L.hanseni in feeding samples. Thus, whale sharks at Mafia Island target patches of dense, large, zooplankton dominated by sergestids. Large planktivores, such as whale sharks, which generally inhabit warm oligotrophic waters, aggregate in areas where they can feed on dense prey to obtain sufficient energy. © 2015 © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

  2. Sperm whale long-range echolocation sounds revealed by ANTARES, a deep-sea neutrino telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    André, M.; Caballé, A.; van der Schaar, M.; Solsona, A.; Houégnigan, L.; Zaugg, S.; Sánchez, A. M.; Castell, J. V.; Solé, M.; Vila, F.; Djokic, D.; Adrián-Martínez, S.; Albert, A.; Anghinolfi, M.; Anton, G.; Ardid, M.; Aubert, J.-J.; Avgitas, T.; Baret, B.; Barrios-Martí, J.; Basa, S.; Bertin, V.; Biagi, S.; Bormuth, R.; Bouwhuis, M. C.; Bruijn, R.; Brunner, J.; Busto, J.; Capone, A.; Caramete, L.; Carr, J.; Celli, S.; Chiarusi, T.; Circella, M.; Coleiro, A.; Coniglione, R.; Costantini, H.; Coyle, P.; Creusot, A.; Deschamps, A.; De Bonis, G.; Distefano, C.; Di Palma, I.; Donzaud, C.; Dornic, D.; Drouhin, D.; Eberl, T.; El Bojaddaini, I.; Elsässer, D.; Enzenhöfer, A.; Fehn, K.; Felis, I.; Fusco, L. A.; Galatà, S.; Gay, P.; Geißelsöder, S.; Geyer, K.; Giordano, V.; Gleixner, A.; Glotin, H.; Gracia-Ruiz, R.; Graf, K.; Hallmann, S.; van Haren, H.; Heijboer, A. J.; Hello, Y.; Hernandez-Rey, J. J.; Hößl, J.; Hofestädt, J.; Hugon, C.; Illuminati, G.; James, C. W.; de Jong, M.; Jongen, M.; Kadler, M.; Kalekin, O.; Katz, U.; Kießling, D.; Kouchner, A.; Kreter, M.; Kreykenbohm, I.; Kulikovskiy, V.; Lachaud, C.; Lahmann, R.; Lefèvre, D.; Leonora, E.; Loucatos, S.; Marcelin, M.; Margiotta, A.; Marinelli, A.; Martínez-Mora, J. A.; Mathieu, A.; Melis, K.; Michael, T.; Migliozzi, P.; Moussa, A.; Mueller, C.; Nezri, E.; Păvălaş, G. E.; Pellegrino, C.; Perrina, C.; Piattelli, P.; Popa, V.; Pradier, T.; Racca, C.; Riccobene, G.; Roensch, K.; Saldaña, M.; Samtleben, D. F. E.; Sanguineti, M.; Sapienza, P.; Schnabel, J.; Schüssler, F.; Seitz, T.; Sieger, C.; Spurio, M.; Stolarczyk, Th.; Sánchez-Losa, A.; Taiuti, M.; Trovato, A.; Tselengidou, M.; Turpin, D.; Tönnis, C.; Vallage, B.; Vallée, C.; Van Elewyck, V.; Vivolo, D.; Wagner, S.; Wilms, J.; Zornoza, J. D.; Zuñiga, J.

    2017-01-01

    Despite dedicated research has been carried out to adequately map the distribution of the sperm whale in the Mediterranean Sea, unlike other regions of the world, the species population status 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 with the availability of cephalopods in the region. The presence of the Ligurian Sea sperm whales was demonstrated through the real-time analysis of audio data streamed from a cabled-to-shore deep-sea observatory that allowed the hourly tracking of their long-range echolocation behaviour on the Internet. Interestingly, the same acoustic analysis indicated that the occurrence of surface shipping noise would apparently not condition the foraging behaviour of the sperm whale in the area, since shipping noise was almost always present when sperm whales were acoustically detected. The continuous presence of the sperm whale in the region confirms the ecological value of the Ligurian sea and the importance of ANTARES to help monitoring its ecosystems. PMID:28401960

  3. Calling under pressure: short-finned pilot whales make social calls during deep foraging dives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Frants H; Perez, Jacobo Marrero; Johnson, Mark; Soto, Natacha Aguilar; Madsen, Peter T

    2011-10-22

    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 that the energy content of calls is lower at depths where lungs are collapsed and where the air volume available for sound generation is limited by ambient pressure. Frequency content was unaffected, providing a possible cue for group or species identification of diving whales. Social calls may be important to maintain social ties for foraging animals, but may be impacted adversely by vessel noise.

  4. Organization and distribution of glomeruli in the bowhead whale olfactory bulb

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takushi Kishida

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Although modern baleen whales (Mysticeti retain a functional olfactory system that includes olfactory bulbs, cranial nerve I and olfactory receptor genes, their olfactory capabilities have been reduced to a great degree. This reduction likely occurred as a selective response to their fully aquatic lifestyle. The glomeruli that occur in the olfactory bulb can be divided into two non-overlapping domains, a dorsal domain and a ventral domain. Recent molecular studies revealed that all modern whales have lost olfactory receptor genes and marker genes that are specific to the dorsal domain. Here we show that olfactory bulbs of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus lack glomeruli on the dorsal side, consistent with the molecular data. In addition, we estimate that there are more than 4,000 glomeruli elsewhere in the bowhead whale olfactory bulb, which is surprising given that bowhead whales possess only 80 intact olfactory receptor genes. Olfactory sensory neurons that express the same olfactory receptors in rodents generally project to two specific glomeruli in an olfactory bulb, implying an approximate 1:2 ratio of the number of olfactory receptors to the number of glomeruli. Here we show that this ratio does not apply to bowhead whales, reiterating the conceptual limits of using rodents as model organisms for understanding the initial coding of odor information among mammals.

  5. Sperm whale long-range echolocation sounds revealed by ANTARES, a deep-sea neutrino telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    André, M.; Caballé, A.; van der Schaar, M.; Solsona, A.; Houégnigan, L.; Zaugg, S.; Sánchez, A. M.; Castell, J. V.; Solé, M.; Vila, F.; Djokic, D.; Adrián-Martínez, S.; Albert, A.; Anghinolfi, M.; Anton, G.; Ardid, M.; Aubert, J.-J.; Avgitas, T.; Baret, B.; Barrios-Martí, J.; Basa, S.; Bertin, V.; Biagi, S.; Bormuth, R.; Bouwhuis, M. C.; Bruijn, R.; Brunner, J.; Busto, J.; Capone, A.; Caramete, L.; Carr, J.; Celli, S.; Chiarusi, T.; Circella, M.; Coleiro, A.; Coniglione, R.; Costantini, H.; Coyle, P.; Creusot, A.; Deschamps, A.; de Bonis, G.; Distefano, C.; di Palma, I.; Donzaud, C.; Dornic, D.; Drouhin, D.; Eberl, T.; El Bojaddaini, I.; Elsässer, D.; Enzenhöfer, A.; Fehn, K.; Felis, I.; Fusco, L. A.; Galatà, S.; Gay, P.; Geißelsöder, S.; Geyer, K.; Giordano, V.; Gleixner, A.; Glotin, H.; Gracia-Ruiz, R.; Graf, K.; Hallmann, S.; van Haren, H.; Heijboer, A. J.; Hello, Y.; Hernandez-Rey, J. J.; Hößl, J.; Hofestädt, J.; Hugon, C.; Illuminati, G.; James, C. W.; de Jong, M.; Jongen, M.; Kadler, M.; Kalekin, O.; Katz, U.; Kießling, D.; Kouchner, A.; Kreter, M.; Kreykenbohm, I.; Kulikovskiy, V.; Lachaud, C.; Lahmann, R.; Lefèvre, D.; Leonora, E.; Loucatos, S.; Marcelin, M.; Margiotta, A.; Marinelli, A.; Martínez-Mora, J. A.; Mathieu, A.; Melis, K.; Michael, T.; Migliozzi, P.; Moussa, A.; Mueller, C.; Nezri, E.; Păvălaş, G. E.; Pellegrino, C.; Perrina, C.; Piattelli, P.; Popa, V.; Pradier, T.; Racca, C.; Riccobene, G.; Roensch, K.; Saldaña, M.; Samtleben, D. F. E.; Sanguineti, M.; Sapienza, P.; Schnabel, J.; Schüssler, F.; Seitz, T.; Sieger, C.; Spurio, M.; Stolarczyk, Th.; Sánchez-Losa, A.; Taiuti, M.; Trovato, A.; Tselengidou, M.; Turpin, D.; Tönnis, C.; Vallage, B.; Vallée, C.; van Elewyck, V.; Vivolo, D.; Wagner, S.; Wilms, J.; Zornoza, J. D.; Zuñiga, J.

    2017-04-01

    Despite dedicated research has been carried out to adequately map the distribution of the sperm whale in the Mediterranean Sea, unlike other regions of the world, the species population status 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 with the availability of cephalopods in the region. The presence of the Ligurian Sea sperm whales was demonstrated through the real-time analysis of audio data streamed from a cabled-to-shore deep-sea observatory that allowed the hourly tracking of their long-range echolocation behaviour on the Internet. Interestingly, the same acoustic analysis indicated that the occurrence of surface shipping noise would apparently not condition the foraging behaviour of the sperm whale in the area, since shipping noise was almost always present when sperm whales were acoustically detected. The continuous presence of the sperm whale in the region confirms the ecological value of the Ligurian sea and the importance of ANTARES to help monitoring its ecosystems.

  6. Aerial surveys of endangered whales in the Beaufort Sea, Fall 1989. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Treacy, S.D.

    1990-11-01

    The OCSLA Amendments of 1978 (43 U.S.C. 1802) established a policy for the management of oil and natural gas in the OCS and for protection of the marine and coastal environments. The amended OCSLA authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to conduct studies in areas or regions of sales to ascertain the environmental impacts on the marine and coastal environments of the outer Continental Shelf and the coastal areas which may be affected by oil and gas development (43 U.S.C. 1346). The report describes field activities and data analyses for aerial surveys of bowhead whales conducted between 1 September 1989 and 20 October 1989 in the Beaufort Sea, primarily between 140 W. and 154 W. longitudes south of 72 N. latitude. Ice cover during September and October 1989 was exceptionally light. A total of 215 bowhead whales, 104 belukha whales, 9 bearded seals, 84 ringed seals, and 32 unidentified pinnipeds were observed in 1989 during 98.70 hours of survey effort that included 38.10 hours on randomized transects. The last sighting of a bowhead whale made during the survey occurred in open water on 19 October 1989. No whales were sighted during a subsequent flight on 20 October 1989. Estimated median and mean water depths were shallower than for previous surveys (1982-1989). This is consistent with a trend for whales to be located in shallower water during years of generally light ice cover

  7. Dietary recommendations regarding pilot whale meat and blubber in the Faroe Islands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pál Weihe

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available For centuries the pilot whale has been an important part Faroese life – both in regard to food and culture. However, studies dating back to 1977 have shown an increase in contamination of the meat, blubber, liver and kidneys of pilot whales. Several birth cohorts have been established in the Faroes in order to discover the health effects related to mercury and organchlorine exposure. In short the results have so far shown that: mercury from pilot whale meat adversely affects the foetal development of the nervous system; the mercury effect is still detectable during adolescence; the mercury from the maternal diet affects the blood pressure of the children; the contaminants of the blubber adversely affect the immune system so that the children react more poorly to immunizations; contaminants in pilot whales appear to increase the risk of developing Parkinson's disease in those who often eat pilot whale; the risk of hypertension and arteriosclerosis of the carotid arteries is increased in adults who have an increased exposure to mercury; septuagenarians with type 2 diabetes or impaired fasting glycaemia tended to have higher PCB concentrations and higher past intake of traditional foods, especially during childhood and adolescence. Also impaired insulin secretion appears to constitute an important part of the type 2 diabetes pathogenesis associated with exposure to persistent lipophilic food contaminants. From the latest research results, the authors consider that the conclusion from a human health perspective must be to recommend that pilot whale is no longer used for human consumption.

  8. Whale sharks target dense prey patches of sergestid shrimp off Tanzania

    KAUST Repository

    Rohner, C. A.

    2015-03-17

    Large planktivores require high-density prey patches to make feeding energetically viable. This is a major challenge for species living in tropical and subtropical seas, such as whale sharks Rhincodon typus. Here, we characterize zooplankton biomass, size structure and taxonomic composition from whale shark feeding events and background samples at Mafia Island, Tanzania. The majority of whale sharks were feeding (73%, 380 of 524 observations), with the most common behaviour being active surface feeding (87%). We used 20 samples collected from immediately adjacent to feeding sharks and an additional 202 background samples for comparison to show that plankton biomass was ∼10 times higher in patches where whale sharks were feeding (25 vs. 2.6 mg m-3). Taxonomic analyses of samples showed that the large sergestid Lucifer hanseni (∼10 mm) dominated while sharks were feeding, accounting for ∼50% of identified items, while copepods (<2 mm) dominated background samples. The size structure was skewed towards larger animals representative of L.hanseni in feeding samples. Thus, whale sharks at Mafia Island target patches of dense, large, zooplankton dominated by sergestids. Large planktivores, such as whale sharks, which generally inhabit warm oligotrophic waters, aggregate in areas where they can feed on dense prey to obtain sufficient energy. © 2015 © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

  9. Gonadal Morphology, Histology, and Endocrinological Characteristics of Immature Female Whale Sharks, Rhincodon typus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nozu, Ryo; Murakumo, Kiyomi; Matsumoto, Rui; Nakamura, Masaru; Ueda, Keiichi; Sato, Keiichi

    2015-10-01

    Captive breeding of whale sharks is one of the great challenges for aquariums. However, there is limited information available related to reproductive physiology due to the difficulty of sampling and long-term observation. In the present report, we provide information on the reproductive physiology of female whale sharks, which were incidentally captured as bycatch in a set-net off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. Total lengths of three captured female whale sharks were 403, 665, and 761 cm, respectively, at the time of their death. Collected paired ovaries differed in size between right and left. However, it seems not to determine which side of ovary becomes developed. Histological observations revealed that oocytes surrounded by follicle cell layers localized in the developed ovary, and most developed oocytes exhibited yolk vesicle stage. Additionally, in the largest specimen, there were low levels of three steroid hormones (Testosterone, Dihydrotestosterone, and Estradiol-17ß) that did not show seasonal variation. The present results indicate that even the whale shark over 7 m in TL are still histologically and endocrinologically immature. We expect that the present data will provide fundamental information related to reproductive physiology of female whale sharks, and will contribute to protection activities and increased success in captive breeding of whale sharks.

  10. Bones as biofuel: a review of whale bone composition with implications for deep-sea biology and palaeoanthropology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higgs, Nicholas D; Little, Crispin T S; Glover, Adrian G

    2011-01-07

    Whales are unique among vertebrates because of the enormous oil reserves held in their soft tissue and bone. These 'biofuel' stores have been used by humans from prehistoric times to more recent industrial-scale whaling. Deep-sea biologists have now discovered that the oily bones of dead whales on the seabed are also used by specialist and generalist scavenging communities, including many unique organisms recently described as new to science. In the context of both cetacean and deep-sea invertebrate biology, we review scientific knowledge on the oil content of bone from several of the great whale species: Balaenoptera musculus, Balaenoptera physalus, Balaenoptera borealis, Megaptera novaeangliae, Eschrichtius robustus, Physeter macrocephalus and the striped dolphin, Stenella coeruleoalba. We show that data collected by scientists over 50 years ago during the heyday of industrial whaling explain several interesting phenomena with regard to the decay of whale remains. Variations in the lipid content of bones from different parts of a whale correspond closely with recently observed differences in the taphonomy of deep-sea whale carcasses and observed biases in the frequency of whale bones at archaeological sites.

  11. iDNA at Sea: Recovery of Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus Mitochondrial DNA Sequences from the Whale Shark Copepod (Pandarus rhincodonicus Confirms Global Population Structure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Meekan

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The whale shark (Rhincodon typus is an iconic and endangered species with a broad distribution spanning warm-temperate and tropical oceans. Effective conservation management of the species requires an understanding of the degree of genetic connectivity among populations, which is hampered by the need for sampling that involves invasive techniques. Here, the feasibility of minimally-invasive sampling was explored by isolating and sequencing whale shark DNA from a commensal or possibly parasitic copepod, Pandarus rhincodonicus that occurs on the skin of the host. We successfully recovered mitochondrial control region DNA sequences (~1,000 bp of the host via DNA extraction and polymerase chain reaction from whole copepod specimens. DNA sequences obtained from multiple copepods collected from the same shark exhibited 100% sequence similarity, suggesting a persistent association of copepods with individual hosts. Newly-generated mitochondrial haplotypes of whale shark hosts derived from the copepods were included in an analysis of the genetic structure of the global population of whale sharks (644 sequences; 136 haplotypes. Our results supported those of previous studies and suggested limited genetic structuring across most of the species range, but the presence of a genetically unique and potentially isolated population in the Atlantic Ocean. Furthermore, we recovered the mitogenome and nuclear ribosomal genes of a whale shark using a shotgun sequencing approach on copepod tissue. The recovered mitogenome is the third mitogenome reported for the species and the first from the Mozambique population. Our invertebrate DNA (iDNA approach could be used to better understand the population structure of whale sharks, particularly in the Atlantic Ocean, and also for genetic analyses of other elasmobranchs parasitized by pandarid copepods.

  12. The use of sperm whale ivory in Chalcolithic Portugal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schuhmacher, Thomas X.

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Scientific analysis were undertaken within a research project concerning ivory objects from the Chalcolithic to Early Bronze Age of the Iberian Peninsula. In several of the analyses of objects from Portuguese Estremadura, especially V-perforated buttons, we could detect for the first time the presence of sperm whale ivory. This highlights the advantage and necessity of scientific analysis of ivory. It also clearly demonstrates that not all ivory used was ivory from African or Asian elephants, but we also did find ivory from the extinct Elephas antiquus, the hippopotamus and in this case sperm-whale. Thus, already in the Chalcolithic the raw material provenience was highly diverse, which in the absence of scientific analysis might lead to an erroneous interpretation of prehistoric exchange networks. Different methods, including optical microscopy, measurement of hardness and specific gravity, Micro-Raman Spectroscopy, elemental analysis and Isotopic Ratio Mass Spectrometry have been applied. In this paper we present these methods and the results, and we discuss about the implications of these results for the reconstruction of prehistoric economy and life in this region. Finally, taking into account the natural conditions as well as prehistoric and historic data of whale hunting and scavenging of beached animals, we conclude that the most plausible explanation for the presence of sperm whale ivory in Chalcolithic Portugal is the use of the teeth obtained from stranded animals. This interpretation is possible because of the human populations using this ivory are those living close to the sea and exploiting – among others– marine resources.En el marco de un proyecto de investigación sobre objetos de marfil del Calcolítico al Bronce Antiguo en la Península Ibérica efectuamos análisis científicos. En varios de los objetos de la Estremadura portuguesa, en especial en los botones con perforación en V, detectamos por primera vez la presencia

  13. Gigantism Precedes Filter Feeding in Baleen Whale Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fordyce, R Ewan; Marx, Felix G

    2018-05-21

    Baleen whales (Mysticeti) are the largest animals on Earth, thanks to their ability to filter huge volumes of small prey from seawater. Mysticetes appeared during the Late Eocene, but evidence of their early evolution remains both sparse and controversial [1, 2], with several models competing to explain the origin of baleen-based bulk feeding [3-6]. Here, we describe a virtually complete skull of Llanocetus denticrenatus, the second-oldest (ca. 34 Ma) mysticete known. The new material represents the same individual as the type and only specimen, a fragmentary mandible. Phylogenetic analysis groups Llanocetus with the oldest mysticete, Mystacodon selenensis [2], into the basal family Llanocetidae. Llanocetus is gigantic (body length ∼8 m) compared to other early mysticetes [7-9]. The broad rostrum has sharp, widely spaced teeth with marked dental abrasion and attrition, suggesting biting and occlusal shearing. As in extant mysticetes, the palate bears many sulci, commonly interpreted as osteological correlates of baleen [3]. Unexpectedly, these sulci converge on the upper alveoli, suggesting a peri-dental blood supply to well-developed gums, rather than to inter-alveolar racks of baleen. We interpret Llanocetus as a raptorial or suction feeder, revealing that whales evolved gigantism well before the emergence of filter feeding. Rather than driving the origin of mysticetes, baleen and filtering most likely only arose after an initial phase of suction-assisted raptorial feeding [2, 4, 5]. This scenario differs strikingly from that proposed for odontocetes, whose defining adaptation-echolocation-was present even in their earliest representatives [10]. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Oil Spills and Marine Mammals in British Columbia, Canada: Development and Application of a Risk-Based Conceptual Framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarvela Rosenberger, Adrianne L; MacDuffee, Misty; Rosenberger, Andrew G J; Ross, Peter S

    2017-07-01

    Marine mammals are inherently vulnerable to oil spills. We developed a conceptual framework to evaluate the impacts of potential oil exposure on marine mammals and applied it to 21 species inhabiting coastal British Columbia (BC), Canada. Oil spill vulnerability was determined by examining both the likelihood of species-specific (individual) oil exposure and the consequent likelihood of population-level effects. Oil exposure pathways, ecology, and physiological characteristics were first used to assign species-specific vulnerability rankings. Baleen whales were found to be highly vulnerable due to blowhole breathing, surface filter feeding, and invertebrate prey. Sea otters (Enhydra lutris) were ranked as highly vulnerable due to their time spent at the ocean surface, dense pelage, and benthic feeding techniques. Species-specific vulnerabilities were considered to estimate the likelihood of population-level effects occurring after oil exposure. Killer whale (Orcinus orca) populations were deemed at highest risk due to small population sizes, complex social structure, long lives, slow reproductive turnover, and dietary specialization. Finally, we related the species-specific and population-level vulnerabilities. In BC, vulnerability was deemed highest for Northern and Southern Resident killer whales and sea otters, followed by Bigg's killer whales and Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus). Our findings challenge the typical "indicator species" approach routinely used and underscore the need to examine marine mammals at a species and population level for risk-based oil spill predictions. This conceptual framework can be combined with spill probabilities and volumes to develop more robust risk assessments and may be applied elsewhere to identify vulnerability themes for marine mammals.

  15. Haul-out behavior of harbor seals (Phoca vitulina in Hood Canal, Washington.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josh M London

    Full Text Available The goal of this study was to model haul-out behavior of harbor seals (Phoca vitulina in the Hood Canal region of Washington State with respect to changes in physiological, environmental, and temporal covariates. Previous research has provided a solid understanding of seal haul-out behavior. Here, we expand on that work using a generalized linear mixed model (GLMM with temporal autocorrelation and a large dataset. Our dataset included behavioral haul-out records from archival and VHF radio tag deployments on 25 individual seals representing 61,430 seal hours. A novel application for increased computational efficiency allowed us to examine this large dataset with a GLMM that appropriately accounts for temporal autocorellation. We found significant relationships with the covariates hour of day, day of year, minutes from high tide and year. Additionally, there was a significant effect of the interaction term hour of day : day of year. This interaction term demonstrated that seals are more likely to haul out during nighttime hours in August and September, but then switch to predominantly daylight haul-out patterns in October and November. We attribute this change in behavior to an effect of human disturbance levels. This study also examined a unique ecological event to determine the role of increased killer whale (Orcinus orca predation on haul-out behavior. In 2003 and 2005 these harbor seals were exposed to unprecedented levels of killer whale predation and results show an overall increase in haul-out probability after exposure to killer whales. The outcome of this study will be integral to understanding any changes in population abundance as a result of increased killer whale predation.

  16. Does a strong pycnocline impact organic-matter preservation and accumulation in an anoxic setting? The case of the Orca Basin, Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tribovillard, Nicolas; Bout-Roumazeilles, Viviane; Sionneau, Thomas; Serrano, Jean Carlos Montero; Riboulleau, Armelle; Baudin, François

    2009-01-01

    The Orca Basin (an intraslope depression located in the Gulf of Mexico) collects sedimentary particles of terrestrial origin (clastic and organic particles mainly supplied by the Mississippi River) and of marine origin (biogenic productivity). The basin is partly filled with dense brines leached from salt diapirs cropping out on the sea floor, and is permanently stratified. A strong pycnocline induces anoxic bottom conditions, expectedly favorable to organic matter (OM) preservation. Here, we report on OM in the upper 750 cm below sea floor of Core MD02-2552 (Holocene). The organic content is dominated by marine-derived amorphous OM. The organic assemblage is unexpectedly degraded to some extent, which may be accounted for by a relatively long residence time of organic particles at the halocline-pycnocline at ˜2240 m. Thus the organic particles are temporarily trapped and kept in contact with the dissolved oxygen-rich overlying water mass. Lastly, the land-derived organic fraction shows co-variations with the land-derived clay mineral supply.

  17. Caries Epidemiology and Community Dentistry: Chances for Future Improvements in Caries Risk Groups. Outcomes of the ORCA Saturday Afternoon Symposium, Greifswald, 2014. Part 1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Splieth, Christian H; Christiansen, Jette; Foster Page, Lyndie A

    2016-01-01

    This paper reviews the first part of the outcomes of the ORCA Saturday Afternoon Symposium 2014 dealing with 'caries epidemiology and community dentistry: chances for future improvements in caries risk groups'. After the caries decline in many countries, there are remaining pockets of higher caries levels, mostly in the primary dentition and/or linked to a low socio-economic status (SES). The review into the evidence of caries-preventive measures clearly points to the use of fluorides, especially toothbrushing with fluoridated toothpaste and collective measures such as water fluoridation. In contrast to several unsuccessful high-risk approaches, community and public health programmes seem to be able to ensure a population-wide access and compliance in risk groups. Their simple and evidence-based measures mostly combine regular plaque removal and fluoride applications via toothbrushing, at least for children and adolescents. For the future, the common risk factor approach which addresses associations between oral health, social deprivation, diet, hygiene, smoking, alcohol use and stress should lead to combined efforts with other community health and education specialists. Further engagement with public policy, community leaders and administration is needed in order to strengthen healthy choices and behaviour, e.g. in 'healthy' schools and kindergartens. It seems advisable that these population programmes also aim at improving upstream factors. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  18. Following a Foraging Fish-Finder: Diel Habitat Use of Blainville's Beaked Whales Revealed by Echolocation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arranz, Patricia; de Soto, Natacha Aguilar; Madsen, Peter T.; Brito, Alberto; Bordes, Fernando; Johnson, Mark P.

    2011-01-01

    Simultaneous high resolution sampling of predator behavior and habitat characteristics is often difficult to achieve despite its importance in understanding the foraging decisions and habitat use of predators. Here we tap into the biosonar system of Blainville's beaked whales, Mesoplodon densirostris, using sound and orientation recording tags to uncover prey-finding cues available to echolocating predators in the deep-sea. Echolocation sounds indicate where whales search and encounter prey, as well as the altitude of whales above the sea-floor and the density of organisms around them, providing a link between foraging activity and the bio-physical environment. Tagged whales (n = 9) hunted exclusively at depth, investing most of their search time either in the lower part of the deep scattering layer (DSL) or near the sea-floor with little diel change. At least 43% (420/974) of recorded prey-capture attempts were performed within the benthic boundary layer despite a wide range of dive depths, and many dives included both meso- and bentho-pelagic foraging. Blainville's beaked whales only initiate searching when already deep in the descent and encounter prey suitable for capture within 2 min of the start of echolocation, suggesting that these whales are accessing prey in reliable vertical strata. Moreover, these prey resources are sufficiently dense to feed the animals in what is effectively four hours of hunting per day enabling a strategy in which long dives to exploit numerous deep-prey with low nutritional value require protracted recovery periods (average 1.5 h) between dives. This apparent searching efficiency maybe aided by inhabiting steep undersea slopes with access to both the DSL and the sea-floor over small spatial scales. Aggregations of prey in these biotopes are located using biosonar-derived landmarks and represent stable and abundant resources for Blainville's beaked whales in the otherwise food-limited deep-ocean. PMID:22163295

  19. Following a foraging fish-finder: diel habitat use of Blainville's beaked whales revealed by echolocation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Arranz

    Full Text Available Simultaneous high resolution sampling of predator behavior and habitat characteristics is often difficult to achieve despite its importance in understanding the foraging decisions and habitat use of predators. Here we tap into the biosonar system of Blainville's beaked whales, Mesoplodon densirostris, using sound and orientation recording tags to uncover prey-finding cues available to echolocating predators in the deep-sea. Echolocation sounds indicate where whales search and encounter prey, as well as the altitude of whales above the sea-floor and the density of organisms around them, providing a link between foraging activity and the bio-physical environment. Tagged whales (n = 9 hunted exclusively at depth, investing most of their search time either in the lower part of the deep scattering layer (DSL or near the sea-floor with little diel change. At least 43% (420/974 of recorded prey-capture attempts were performed within the benthic boundary layer despite a wide range of dive depths, and many dives included both meso- and bentho-pelagic foraging. Blainville's beaked whales only initiate searching when already deep in the descent and encounter prey suitable for capture within 2 min of the start of echolocation, suggesting that these whales are accessing prey in reliable vertical strata. Moreover, these prey resources are sufficiently dense to feed the animals in what is effectively four hours of hunting per day enabling a strategy in which long dives to exploit numerous deep-prey with low nutritional value require protracted recovery periods (average 1.5 h between dives. This apparent searching efficiency maybe aided by inhabiting steep undersea slopes with access to both the DSL and the sea-floor over small spatial scales. Aggregations of prey in these biotopes are located using biosonar-derived landmarks and represent stable and abundant resources for Blainville's beaked whales in the otherwise food-limited deep-ocean.

  20. Annual Acoustic Presence of Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus) Offshore Eastern Sicily, Central Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sciacca, Virginia; Caruso, Francesco; Beranzoli, Laura; Chierici, Francesco; De Domenico, Emilio; Embriaco, Davide; Favali, Paolo; Giovanetti, Gabriele; Larosa, Giuseppina; Marinaro, Giuditta; Papale, Elena; Pavan, Gianni; Pellegrino, Carmelo; Pulvirenti, Sara; Simeone, Francesco; Viola, Salvatore; Riccobene, Giorgio

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, an increasing number of surveys have definitively confirmed the seasonal presence of fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) in highly productive regions of the Mediterranean Sea. Despite this, very little is yet known about the routes that the species seasonally follows within the Mediterranean basin and, particularly, in the Ionian area. The present study assesses for the first time fin whale acoustic presence offshore Eastern Sicily (Ionian Sea), throughout the processing of about 10 months of continuous acoustic monitoring. The recording of fin whale vocalizations was made possible by the cabled deep-sea multidisciplinary observatory, “NEMO-SN1”, deployed 25 km off the Catania harbor at a depth of about 2,100 meters. NEMO-SN1 is an operational node of the European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and water-column Observatory (EMSO) Research Infrastructure. The observatory was equipped with a low-frequency hydrophone (bandwidth: 0.05 Hz–1 kHz, sampling rate: 2 kHz) which continuously acquired data from July 2012 to May 2013. About 7,200 hours of acoustic data were analyzed by means of spectrogram display. Calls with the typical structure and patterns associated to the Mediterranean fin whale population were identified and monitored in the area for the first time. Furthermore, a background noise analysis within the fin whale communication frequency band (17.9–22.5 Hz) was conducted to investigate possible detection-masking effects. The study confirms the hypothesis that fin whales are present in the Ionian Sea throughout all seasons, with peaks in call detection rate during spring and summer months. The analysis also demonstrates that calls were more frequently detected in low background noise conditions. Further analysis will be performed to understand whether observed levels of noise limit the acoustic detection of the fin whales vocalizations, or whether the animals vocalize less in the presence of high background noise. PMID:26581104

  1. Underwater Ambient Noise in a Baleen Whale Migratory Habitat Off the Azores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miriam Romagosa

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Assessment of underwater noise is of particular interest given the increase in noise-generating human activities and the potential negative effects on marine mammals which depend on sound for many vital processes. The Azores archipelago is an important migratory and feeding habitat for blue (Balaenoptera musculus, fin (Balaenoptera physalus and sei whales (Balaenoptera borealis en route to summering grounds in northern Atlantic waters. High levels of low frequency noise in this area could displace whales or interfere with foraging behavior, impacting energy intake during a critical stage of their annual cycle. In this study, bottom-mounted Ecological Acoustic Recorders were deployed at three Azorean seamounts (Condor, Açores, and Gigante to measure temporal variations in background noise levels and ship noise in the 18–1,000 Hz frequency band, used by baleen whales to emit and receive sounds. Monthly average noise levels ranged from 90.3 dB re 1 μPa (Açores seamount to 103.1 dB re 1 μPa (Condor seamount and local ship noise was present up to 13% of the recording time in Condor. At this location, average contribution of local boat noise to background noise levels is almost 10 dB higher than wind contribution, which might temporally affect detection ranges for baleen whale calls and difficult communication at long ranges. Given the low time percentatge with noise levels above 120 dB re 1 μPa found here (3.3% at Condor, we woud expect limited behavioral responses to ships from baleen whales. Sound pressure levels measured in the Azores are lower than those reported for the Mediterranean basin and the Strait of Gibraltar. However, the currently unknown effects of baleen whale vocalization masking and the increasing presence of boats at the monitored sites underline the need for continuous monitoring to understand any long-term impacts on whales.

  2. 75 FR 39916 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Notice of Intent to Prepare a Recovery Plan for the Sei Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-13

    ... Fisheries Service (NMFS) is announcing its intent to prepare a recovery plan for the Sei Whale (Balaenoptera... the fax comments as ``Sei Whale Recovery Plan Information'' 3. Mail: National Marine Fisheries Service... under the ESA. The recovery planning process is guided by the statutory language of Section 4(f) of the...

  3. Monitoring and impact mitigation during a 4D seismic survey near a population of gray whales off Sakhalin Island, Russia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bröker, Koen Cornelis Arthur; Gailey, Glenn; Muir, Judy; Racca, Roberto

    2015-01-01

    A 4D seismic survey was conducted in 2010 near the feeding grounds of gray whales off Sakhalin Island, Russia. To minimize disruptions to the whales’ feeding activity and enhance understanding of the potential impacts of seismic surveys on gray whales Eschrichtius robustus, an extensive monitoring

  4. Genetic identification of a small and highly isolated population of fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berube, M; Urban, J; Dizon, AE; Brownell, RL; Palsboll, PJ

    2002-01-01

    For many years, researchers have speculated that fin whales are year-round residents in the Sea of Cortez (= Gulf of California). Previous work by Berube and co-workers has shown that the degree of genetic diversity among fin whales in the Sea of Cortez at nuclear and mitochondrial loci is highly

  5. Generalised additive models to investigate environmental drivers of Antarctic minke whale (Balaenoptera bonaerensis) spatial density in austral summer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beekmans, B.W.P.M.; Forcada, J.; Murphy, E.J.; Baar, H.J.W.; Bathmann, U.V.; Fleming, A.H.

    2010-01-01

    There is a need to characterise the physical environment associated with Antarctic minke whale density in order to understand long-term changes in minke whale distribution and density in open waters of the Southern Ocean during austral summer months. To investigate environmental drivers of Antarctic

  6. Eye, nose, hair, and throat: external anatomy of the head of a neonate gray whale (Cetacea, Mysticeti, Eschrichtiidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berta, Annalisa; Ekdale, Eric G; Zellmer, Nicholas T; Deméré, Thomas A; Kienle, Sarah S; Smallcomb, Meghan

    2015-04-01

    Information is scarce on gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) anatomy and that of mysticetes in general. Dissection of the head of a neonatal gray whale revealed novel anatomical details of the eye, blowhole, incisive papilla with associated nasopalatine ducts, sensory hairs, and throat grooves. Compared to a similar sized right whale calf, the gray whale eyeball is nearly twice as long. The nasal cartilages of the gray whale, located between the blowholes, differ from the bowhead in having accessory cartilages. A small, fleshy incisive papilla bordered by two blind nasopalatine pits near the palate's rostral tip, previously undescribed in gray whales, may be associated with the vomeronasal organ, although histological evidence is needed for definitive identification. Less well known among mysticetes are the numerous elongated, stiff sensory hairs (vibrissae) observed on the gray whale rostrum from the ventral tip to the blowhole and on the mandible. These hairs are concentrated on the chin, and those on the lower jaw are arranged in a V-shaped pattern. We confirm the presence of two primary, anteriorly converging throat grooves, confined to the throat region similar to those of ziphiid and physeteroid odontocetes. A third, shorter groove occurs lateral to the left primary groove. The throat grooves in the gray whale have been implicated in gular expansion during suction feeding. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. 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.

  8. Extensive Core Microbiome in Drone-Captured Whale Blow Supports a Framework for Health Monitoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apprill, Amy; Miller, Carolyn A; Moore, Michael J; Durban, John W; Fearnbach, Holly; Barrett-Lennard, Lance G

    2017-01-01

    The pulmonary system is a common site for bacterial infections in cetaceans, but very little is known about their respiratory microbiome. We used a small, unmanned hexacopter to collect exhaled breath condensate (blow) from two geographically distinct populations of apparently healthy humpback whales ( Megaptera novaeangliae ), sampled in the Massachusetts coastal waters off Cape Cod ( n = 17) and coastal waters around Vancouver Island ( n = 9). Bacterial and archaeal small-subunit rRNA genes were amplified and sequenced from blow samples, including many of sparse volume, as well as seawater and other controls, to characterize the associated microbial community. The blow microbiomes were distinct from the seawater microbiomes and included 25 phylogenetically diverse bacteria common to all sampled whales. This core assemblage comprised on average 36% of the microbiome, making it one of the more consistent animal microbiomes studied to date. The closest phylogenetic relatives of 20 of these core microbes were previously detected in marine mammals, suggesting that this core microbiome assemblage is specialized for marine mammals and may indicate a healthy, noninfected pulmonary system. Pathogen screening was conducted on the microbiomes at the genus level, which showed that all blow and few seawater microbiomes contained relatives of bacterial pathogens; no known cetacean respiratory pathogens were detected in the blow. Overall, the discovery of a shared large core microbiome in humpback whales is an important advancement for health and disease monitoring of this species and of other large whales. IMPORTANCE The conservation and management of large whales rely in part upon health monitoring of individuals and populations, and methods generally necessitate invasive sampling. Here, we used a small, unmanned hexacopter drone to noninvasively fly above humpback whales from two populations, capture their exhaled breath (blow), and examine the associated microbiome. In the

  9. Winter and spring diving behavior of bowhead whales relative to prey

    KAUST Repository

    Heide-Jørgensen, Mads

    2013-10-23

    Background Little is known about bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) foraging behavior and what concentrations of prey are required to balance the energetic trade-offs of feeding. We used satellite telemetry, archival depth recorders, and water column echo sounding data to study bowhead whale diving behavior relative to prey depth and concentration in Disko Bay, West Greenland. Results Between March and May 2008 to 2011, nine bowhead whales were tagged in Disko Bay, West Greenland with instruments that collected data on location and diving over a period of 1 to 33 days. The frequency of U-dives (presumed to be foraging dives) was low during winter months but more than doubled in spring concurrent with a decrease in diving depth. The mean speed of the horizontal bottom phase of the U-dives was 0.9 ms-1 and on average, whales spent 37% of their time at the bottom phase of the dive. In March, bowhead whales presumably fed on copepods (Calanus spp.) close to the seabed (between 100 and 400 m). In April and May, after the copepods ascended to shallower depths, bowhead whales also dove to shallower depths (approximately 30 m) more often. However, echo sounding surveys in the vicinity of feeding whales in early May indicated that patches of copepods could still be found close to the seabed. Conclusions There was a marked change in diving behavior from winter through spring and this was likely in response to the changes in sea ice conditions, primary production and potential copepod abundance in the upper part of the water column. Depth and duration of dives changed significantly during this period; however, other dive parameters (for example the proportion of time spent feeding on the bottom of U-dives) remained fairly constant indicating a constant feeding effort. Bowhead whales target copepods at or close to the seabed in winter months in Disko Bay and continue feeding on copepods when they migrate to the surface. However, bowhead whales leave West Greenland before peak

  10. Synchronous seasonal change in fin whale song in the North Pacific.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin M Oleson

    Full Text Available Fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus song consists of down-swept pulses arranged into stereotypic sequences that can be characterized according to the interval between successive pulses. As in blue (B. musculus and humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae, these song sequences may be geographically distinct and may correlate with population boundaries in some regions. We measured inter-pulse intervals of fin whale songs within year-round acoustic datasets collected between 2000 and 2006 in three regions of the eastern North Pacific: Southern California, the Bering Sea, and Hawaii. A distinctive song type that was recorded in all three regions is characterized by singlet and doublet inter-pulse intervals that increase seasonally, then annually reset to the same shorter intervals at the beginning of each season. This song type was recorded in the Bering Sea and off Southern California from September through May and off Hawaii from December through April, with the song interval generally synchronized across all monitoring locations. The broad geographic and seasonal occurrence of this particular fin whale song type may represent a single population broadly distributed throughout the eastern Pacific with no clear seasonal migratory pattern. Previous studies attempting to infer population structure of fin whales in the North Pacific using synchronous individual song samples have been unsuccessful, likely because they did not account for the seasonal lengthening in song intervals observed here.

  11. An unprecedented aggregation of whale sharks, Rhincodon typus, in Mexican coastal waters of the Caribbean Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafael de la Parra Venegas

    Full Text Available Whale sharks, Rhincodon typus, are often perceived as solitary behemoths that live and feed in the open ocean. To the contrary, evidence is accumulating that they are gregarious and form seasonal aggregations in some coastal waters. One such aggregation occurs annually north of Cabo Catoche, off Isla Holbox on the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico. Here we report a second, much denser aggregation of whale sharks (dubbed "the Afuera" that occurs east of the tip of the Yucatán Peninsula in the Caribbean Sea. The 2009 Afuera event comprised the largest aggregation of whale sharks ever reported, with up to 420 whale sharks observed in a single aerial survey, all gathered in an elliptical patch of ocean approximately 18 km(2. Plankton studies indicated that the sharks were feeding on dense homogenous patches of fish eggs, which DNA barcoding analysis identified as belonging to little tunny, Euthynnus alletteratus. This contrasts with the annual Cabo Catoche aggregation nearby, where prey consists mostly of copepods and sergestid shrimp. Increased sightings at the Afuera coincide with decreased sightings at Cabo Catoche, and both groups have the same sex ratio, implying that the same animals are likely involved in both aggregations; tagging data support this idea. With two whale shark aggregation areas, high coastal productivity and a previously-unknown scombrid spawning ground, the northeastern Yucatán marine region is a critical habitat that deserves more concerted conservation efforts.

  12. Whale shark economics: a valuation of wildlife tourism in South Ari Atoll, Maldives

    KAUST Repository

    Cagua, Edgar F.

    2014-08-12

    Whale sharks attract large numbers of tourists, divers and snorkelers each year to South Ari Atoll in the Republic of Maldives. Yet without information regarding the use and economic extent of the attraction, it is difficult to prioritize conservation or implement effective management plans. We used empirical recreational data and generalized mixed statistical models to conduct the first economic valuation (with direct spend as the primary proxy) of whale shark tourism in Maldives. We estimated that direct expenditures for whale shark focused tourism in the South Ari Marine Protected Area for 2012 and 2013 accounted for US$7.6 and $9.4 million respectively. These expenditures are based on an estimate of 72,000-78,000 tourists who are involved in whale shark excursions annually. That substantial amount of income to resort owners and operators, and tourism businesses in a relatively small area highlights the need to implement regulations and management that safeguard the sustainability of the industry through ensuring guest satisfaction and whale shark conservation. © 2014 Cagua et al.

  13. An Unprecedented Aggregation of Whale Sharks, Rhincodon typus, in Mexican Coastal Waters of the Caribbean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Parra Venegas, Rafael; Hueter, Robert; González Cano, Jaime; Tyminski, John; Gregorio Remolina, José; Maslanka, Mike; Ormos, Andrea; Weigt, Lee; Carlson, Bruce; Dove, Alistair

    2011-01-01

    Whale sharks, Rhincodon typus, are often perceived as solitary behemoths that live and feed in the open ocean. To the contrary, evidence is accumulating that they are gregarious and form seasonal aggregations in some coastal waters. One such aggregation occurs annually north of Cabo Catoche, off Isla Holbox on the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico. Here we report a second, much denser aggregation of whale sharks (dubbed “the Afuera”) that occurs east of the tip of the Yucatán Peninsula in the Caribbean Sea. The 2009 Afuera event comprised the largest aggregation of whale sharks ever reported, with up to 420 whale sharks observed in a single aerial survey, all gathered in an elliptical patch of ocean approximately 18 km2. Plankton studies indicated that the sharks were feeding on dense homogenous patches of fish eggs, which DNA barcoding analysis identified as belonging to little tunny, Euthynnus alletteratus. This contrasts with the annual Cabo Catoche aggregation nearby, where prey consists mostly of copepods and sergestid shrimp. Increased sightings at the Afuera coincide with decreased sightings at Cabo Catoche, and both groups have the same sex ratio, implying that the same animals are likely involved in both aggregations; tagging data support this idea. With two whale shark aggregation areas, high coastal productivity and a previously-unknown scombrid spawning ground, the northeastern Yucatán marine region is a critical habitat that deserves more concerted conservation efforts. PMID:21559508

  14. 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......, or they must swim at slow speeds while filtering to reduce drag and oxygen consumption. Using digital tags with three-axis accelerometers, we studied bowhead whales feeding off West Greenland and present here, to our knowledge, the first detailed data on the kinematics and swimming behaviour of a balaenid...... 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...

  15. Heavy metals in tissues of stranded short-finned pilot whales

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stoneburner, D.L.

    1978-01-01

    Selected tissues from four short-finned pilot whales that stranded at Cumberland Island National Seashore were analyzed for total cadmium, mercury and selenium by neutron activation. Cadmium reached a maximum mean wet weight concentration of 31.4 ppm in the kidney tissues. Maximum mean wet weight concentrations of mercury, 230.9 ppm, and selenium, 44.2 ppm, were found in the liver tissues. The lowest concentration of each metal was found in the blubber. Postmortem examination showed that the whales had no food in their stomachs. The whales must have been utilizing metabolic reserves, contaminated with residual concentrations of heavy metals, prior to beaching. This utilization of reserves probably resulted in the high concentrations of cadmium, mercury and selenium found in the liver and kidney tissues. Since the heavy metal concentrations were three to four times greater in the stranded whales, as compared to apparently healthy whales of the same species, it is suggested that heavy metal toxicosis may have been a factor contributing to this particular stranding. (Auth.)

  16. Tongue and hyoid musculature and functional morphology of a neonate gray whale (Cetacea, Mysticeti, Eschrichtius robustus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kienle, Sarah S; Ekdale, Eric G; Reidenberg, Joy S; Deméré, Tom A

    2015-04-01

    Little is known about the anatomy and musculature of the gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus), especially related to the anatomy of the tongue and hyoid region. The recovery of an extremely fresh head of a neonatal female gray whale provided an opportunity to conduct the first in-depth investigation of the musculoskeletal features of the tongue and hyoid apparatus. Unlike other mysticetes, the gray whale tongue is strong, muscular, and freely mobile inside the buccal cavity. In particular, the genioglossus and hyoglossus muscles are extremely large and robust making up the majority of the body of the tongue. In addition, the genioglossus had a unique position and fiber orientation in the tongue compared to other mammals. The structure of the hyoid apparatus differs between E. robustus and other mysticete species, although there are similarities among individual elements. We provide the first documentation of fungiform papillae that may be associated with taste buds in Mysticeti. The highly mobile, robust tongue and the presence of well-defined tongue and hyoid musculature are in keeping with observations of gray whale feeding that suggest this group of whales utilize oral suction to draw benthic prey into the buccal cavity. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

    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 tagged individuals were recorded along with the social behaviour of their groups. All three disturbance types resulted in larger group sizes, increasing social cohesion during disturbance. However, the nature and magnitude of other responses differed between disturbance types. Tagging effort resulted in a clear increase in synchrony and a tendency to reduce surface logging and to become silent (21% of cases), whereas pilot whales increased surface resting during sonar exposure. Killer whale sounds elicited increased calling rates and the aggregation of multiple groups, which approached the sound source together. This behaviour appears to represent a mobbing response, a likely adaptive social defence against predators or competitors. All observed response-tactics would reduce risk of loss of group coordination, suggesting that, in social pilot whales, this could drive behavioural responses to disturbance. However, the behavioural means used to achieve social coordination depends upon other considerations, which are disturbance-specific.

  18. A MIDDLE MIOCENE BALEEN WHALE FROM BELE VODE IN BELGRADE, SERBIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    PAVEL GOL’DIN

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available There was a fauna of baleen whales (Cetacea: Mysticeti in the Central Paratethys, a Miocene water body which covered the area of present-day Central Europe. Most of the fossil baleen whales from the Central Paratethys have been found in strata assigned to the regional Badenian age and comprise endemic forms, known only from this region. Here a new description is provided for a fragmentary skeleton of a whale found in Belgrade, Serbia, and its age context and biological aspects are discussed. This specimen, consisting of a fragmentary horizontal ramus of the mandible and eight caudal vertebrae, is tentatively identified as ?Parietobalaena sp., a globally known Miocene taxon, with related forms having been recorded earlier from the Eastern Paratethys. An early Sarmatian age (i.e., about 12.7-12.4 Ma is proposed for the specimen. Based on epiphyseal fusion of caudal vertebrae, the specimen’s age is identified as a subadult, with a body length of around 2.5 m and an estimated adult body length around 3-3.5 m, which is extremely small for baleen whales. This find represents one of the latest records of baleen whales in the Central Paratethys and one of the latest published records of Parietobalaena-like taxa in the world.

  19. Shallow food for deep divers: Dynamic foraging behavior of male sperm whales in a high latitude habitat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Teloni, Valeria; Johnson, M.P.; Miller, P.J.O.

    2008-01-01

    Groups of female and immature sperm whales live at low latitudes and show a stereotypical diving and foraging behavior with dives lasting about 45 min to depths of between 400 and 1200 m. In comparison, physically mature male sperm whales migrate to high latitudes where little is known about...... their foraging behavior and ecology. Here we use acoustic recording tags to study the diving and acoustic behavior of male sperm whales foraging off northern Norway. Sixty-five hours of tag data provide detailed information about the movements and sound repertoire of four male sperm whales performing 83 dives...... epipelagic prey, is consistent with the hypothesis that male sperm whales may migrate to high latitudes to access a productive, multi-layered foraging habitat....

  20. Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios and mercury concentration in the scalp hair of residents from Taiji, a whaling town

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Endo, Tetsuya; Hayasaka, Moriaki; Hisamichi, Yohsuke; Kimura, Osamu; Haraguchi, Koichi

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: ► We analyzed δ 13 C, δ 15 N and Hg in hair from Japanese whale meat-eaters and non-eaters. ► The δ 15 N and δ 13 C values in whale meat-eaters were higher than those in non-eaters. ► The Hg concentration in whale meat-eaters was higher than that in non-eaters. ► A positive correlation was seen between δ 15 N and Hg in whale meat-eaters. ► Consumption of whale meat may increase δ 15 N, δ 13 C and Hg in the scalp hair. -- Abstract: We analyzed stable isotope ratios of carbon (δ 13 C) and nitrogen (δ 15 N) as well as mercury (Hg) concentration in the scalp hair of Japanese who consumed whale meat and those who did not, and investigated the relationships among the δ 13 C and δ 15 N values and Hg concentration. The average δ 15 N and δ 13 C values of whale meat-eaters (10.11‰ and −18.5‰) were significantly higher than those of non-eaters (9.28‰ and −18.9‰), respectively. The average Hg concentration of whale meat-eaters (20.6 μg/g) was significantly higher than that of non-eaters (2.20 μg/g). Significant positive correlations were found between the δ 13 C and δ 15 N values and between the δ 15 N value and Hg concentration in the hair of whale meat-eaters, while the correlation between the δ 15 N value and Hg concentration was not statistically significant in the non-eaters. The consumption of whale meat may increase Hg concentration as well as δ 15 N and δ 13 C values in scalp hair

  1. Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus Behavior and Group Dynamics as Observed from an Aircraft off Southern California

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kate Lomac-MacNair

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Group behavior and interactions of endangered blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus have not been systematically studied. Such behavioral data are often overlooked when assessing anthropogenic effects. Yet behavioral data are necessary to compare “normal” behaviors with behavior affected by anthropogenic factors of concern relative to effective management and recovery of blue whales. For a baseline study, we hypothesized that the response variables sighting rate, group size, calf presence and group cohesion (i.e., spacing between individuals within a group differed according to the spatio-temporal explanatory variables behavioral state, time of day, season, water depth and distance from shore. To address our hypotheses, we flew systematic line transect surveys in southern California and collected focal group data. Two sets of data were separately analyzed using different sampling approaches: (1 point sample data associated with the first sighting of a blue whale(s, and (2 extended all-occurrence focal group behavioral sampling data (i.e., focal follows collected on a subsample of all sightings while the aircraft circled at a radial distance of approximately 0.5-1 km and an altitude of 1,500 m for extended periods of 5 – 60 minutes. Chi-square contingency table and G² analyses were used to assess statistical relationships between response and explanatory variables. We conducted 18 one-week-long aerial surveys spanning October 2008 through May 2013 (at least once during every month except December, totaling 87,555 km of observation effort. Seventy blue whale sightings (117 individuals were seen, ranging in size from 1 – 6 whales, and focal follow was performed on over half (55% of these sightings. Results supported our hypotheses that blue whale group characteristics were related to behavioral state and spatio-temporal variables. Sighting rates were significantly highest during summer followed by spring, fall, and winter. Group type differed

  2. Utility of telomere length measurements for age determination of humpback whales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morten Tange Olsen

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This study examines the applicability of telomere length measurements by quantitative PCR as a tool for minimally invasive age determination of free-ranging cetaceans. We analysed telomere length in skin samples from 28 North Atlantic humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae, ranging from 0 to 26 years of age. The results suggested a significant correlation between telomere length and age in humpback whales. However, telomere length was highly variable among individuals of similar age, suggesting that telomere length measured by quantitative PCR is an imprecise determinant of age in humpback whales. The observed variation in individual telomere length was found to be a function of both experimental and biological variability, with the latter perhaps reflecting patterns of inheritance, resource allocation trade-offs, and stochasticity of the marine environment.

  3. Sperm whale predator-prey interactions involve chasing and buzzing, but no acoustic stunning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fais, Andrea; Johnson, M.; Wilson, Maria

    2016-01-01

    The sperm whale carries a hypertrophied nose that generates powerful clicks for long-range echolocation. However, it remains a conundrum how this bizarrely shaped apex predator catches its prey. Several hypotheses have been advanced to propose both active and passive means to acquire prey......, including acoustic debilitation of prey with very powerful clicks. Here we test these hypotheses by using sound and movement recording tags in a fine-scale study of buzz sequences to relate the acoustic behaviour of sperm whales with changes in acceleration in their head region during prey capture attempts....... We show that in the terminal buzz phase, sperm whales reduce inter-click intervals and estimated source levels by 1-2 orders of magnitude. As a result, received levels at the prey are more than an order of magnitude below levels required for debilitation, precluding acoustic stunning to facilitate...

  4. Halogenated organic compounds in archived whale oil: A pre-industrial record

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Teuten, Emma L.; Reddy, Christopher M.

    2007-01-01

    To provide additional evidence that several halogenated organic compounds (HOCs) found in environmental samples are natural and not industrially produced, we analyzed an archived whale oil sample collected in 1921 from the last voyage of the whaling ship Charles W. Morgan. This sample, which pre-dates large-scale industrial manufacture of HOCs, contained two methoxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers (MeO-PBDEs), five halogenated methyl bipyrroles (MBPs), one halogenated dimethyl bipyrrole (DMBP), and tentatively one dimethoxylated polybrominated biphenyl (diMeO-PBB). This result indicates, at least in part, a natural source of the latter compounds. - Nine halogenated organic compounds have been detected in archived whale oil from the early 1920s

  5. 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. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  6. X-ray and neutron tomography on the bony inner ear of baleen whales

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arlt, Tobias; Wieder, Frank; Hampe, Oliver; Manke, Ingo; Ritsche, Indira; Fahlke, Julia M.

    2018-01-01

    During their evolution whales and dolphins developed a highly specialized hearing organ for orientation in their deep sea territory covering a broad acoustic spectrum. The internal anatomy of the periotic bone, especially the morphology of the cochlea, has a significant influence on the hearing capability of mammals. The bony and fossilized cochleae of several fossil representatives of extinct baleen whales (e.g., Cetotheriidae) and modern rorquals (Balaenopteridae) and right whales, as well as cochleae of an archaeocete and some land mammals are investigated by X-ray and neutron tomography in order to record morphological changes that may be responsible for the development of low frequency hearing. Differences in the cochlear morphology have been determined by means of morphometric parameters, such as the number of turns, the length of the cochlea, and the curvature of the cochlear canal. In particular, X-ray tomography enables a high resolution display of the bony inner ear.

  7. Halogenated organic compounds in archived whale oil: A pre-industrial record

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Teuten, Emma L. [Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 360 Woods Hole Road, Woods Hole, MA 02543 (United States)]. E-mail: emma.teuten@plymouth.ac.uk; Reddy, Christopher M. [Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 360 Woods Hole Road, Woods Hole, MA 02543 (United States)]. E-mail: creddy@whoi.edu

    2007-02-15

    To provide additional evidence that several halogenated organic compounds (HOCs) found in environmental samples are natural and not industrially produced, we analyzed an archived whale oil sample collected in 1921 from the last voyage of the whaling ship Charles W. Morgan. This sample, which pre-dates large-scale industrial manufacture of HOCs, contained two methoxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers (MeO-PBDEs), five halogenated methyl bipyrroles (MBPs), one halogenated dimethyl bipyrrole (DMBP), and tentatively one dimethoxylated polybrominated biphenyl (diMeO-PBB). This result indicates, at least in part, a natural source of the latter compounds. - Nine halogenated organic compounds have been detected in archived whale oil from the early 1920s.

  8. FPGA Implementation of Blue Whale Calls Classifier Using High-Level Programming Tool

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed Bahoura

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we propose a hardware-based architecture for automatic blue whale calls classification based on short-time Fourier transform and multilayer perceptron neural network. The proposed architecture is implemented on field programmable gate array (FPGA using Xilinx System Generator (XSG and the Nexys-4 Artix-7 FPGA board. This high-level programming tool allows us to design, simulate and execute the compiled design in Matlab/Simulink environment quickly and easily. Intermediate signals obtained at various steps of the proposed system are presented for typical blue whale calls. Classification performances based on the fixed-point XSG/FPGA implementation are compared to those obtained by the floating-point Matlab simulation, using a representative database of the blue whale calls.

  9. Actor-networking ceta-sociality, or, what is sociological about contemporary whales?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blok, Anders

    2007-01-01

    theory (ANT) allows for the inclusion of non-human ‘actants' (like whales) into the fabric of sociality. In the ontology of ANT, sociality emerges as semiotic-material configurations of humans, animals and technologies. Starting from a critical review of the work by Adrian Franklin on growing......In contemporary urban Euro-American societies, whales have become hugely popular and iconic creatures, arousing controversies more intense than most other instances of animal politics. How to account sociologically, however, for the dramatic social transformation of whales, from natural resource...... to near-sacrosanct agent, is far from self-evident. This article advocates a change of theoretical perspective, inspired by the work of actor-network theorists Bruno Latour and Michel Callon. Rather than focussing solely on the ‘humanity' of human-animal relations, as does most of sociology, actor-network...

  10. The Painful Side of Trap and Fixed Net Fisheries: Chronic Entanglement of Large Whales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J. Moore

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Concern over the well-being of marine mammals at sea has focused on intentional harvests, both in terms of individual welfare and population sustainability. Unintentional mortalities from fishing gear entanglement are primarily seen as a risk to population viability. Additionally, larger whales breaking free of, and subsequently carrying, fixed trap and net gear are subject to a very slow demise, averaging 6 months in the case of the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis. Chronic cases can involve impaired foraging, increased drag, infection, hemorrhage, and severe tissue damage. The individual suffering of these cases appears to be extreme. Thus management measures should go beyond legally mandated conservation measures to include avoidance of such scenarios. Seafood consumers could succeed, where laws have failed, to demand fishing practices that do not kill whales in this manner. The effective absence of such demands would seem to reflect the cryptic nature of these cases to most consumers.

  11. Mathematics of pulsed vocalizations with application to killer whale biphonation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Judith C

    2008-05-01

    Formulas for the spectra of pulsed vocalizations for both the continuous and discrete cases are rigorously derived from basic formulas for Fourier analysis, a topic discussed qualitatively in Watkins' classic paper on "the harmonic interval" ["The harmonic interval: Fact or artifact in spectral analysis of pulse trains," in Marine Bioacoustics 2, edited by W. N. Tavogla (Pergamon, New York, 1967), pp. 15-43]. These formulas are summarized in a table for easy reference, along with most of the corresponding graphs. The case of a "pulse tone" is shown to involve multiplication of two temporal wave forms, corresponding to convolution in the frequency domain. This operation is discussed in detail and shown to be equivalent to a simpler approach using a trigonometric formula giving sum and difference frequencies. The presence of a dc component in the temporal wave form, which implies physically that there is a net positive pressure at the source, is discussed, and examples of the corresponding spectra are calculated and shown graphically. These have application to biphonation (two source signals) observed for some killer whale calls and implications for a source mechanism. A MATLAB program for synthesis of a similar signal is discussed and made available online.

  12. Acoustic telemetry reveals cryptic residency of whale sharks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cagua, E Fernando; Cochran, Jesse E M; Rohner, Christoph A; Prebble, Clare E M; Sinclair-Taylor, Tane H; Pierce, Simon J; Berumen, Michael L

    2015-04-01

    Although whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) have been documented to move thousands of kilometres, they are most frequently observed at a few predictable seasonal aggregation sites. The absence of sharks at the surface during visual surveys has led to the assumption that sharks disperse to places unknown during the long 'off-seasons' at most of these locations. Here we compare 2 years of R. typus visual sighting records from Mafia Island in Tanzania to concurrent acoustic telemetry of tagged individuals. Sightings revealed a clear seasonal pattern with a peak between October and February and no sharks observed at other times. By contrast, acoustic telemetry demonstrated year-round residency of R. typus. The sharks use a different habitat in the off-season, swimming deeper and further away from shore, presumably in response to prey distributions. This behavioural change reduces the sharks' visibility, giving the false impression that they have left the area. We demonstrate, for the first time to our knowledge, year-round residency of unprovisioned, individual R. typus at an aggregation site, and highlight the importance of using multiple techniques to study the movement ecology of marine megafauna. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  13. Estimates of Abundance and Trend of Chilean Blue Whales off Isla de Chiloé, Chile.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Galletti Vernazzani

    Full Text Available Since 1970, blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus have been seen feeding in the waters off southern Chile during the summer and autumn (December to May. Investigation of the genetic, acoustic and morphological characteristics of these blue whales shows that they are a distinct but unnamed subspecies, called the Chilean blue whales. Photo-identification surveys have been conducted in the waters off northwestern Isla Grande de Chiloé, southern Chile from 2004-2012 and Isla Chañaral, central Chile in 2012. Over this time, 1,070 blue whales were encountered yielding, after photo-quality control, 318 and 267 unique photographs of the left and right side of the flank respectively. Using mark-recapture analysis of left and right side photographs collected from Isla Grande de Chiloé (2004-2012, open population models estimate that ~570-760 whales are feeding seasonally in this region. POPAN superpopulation abundance estimates for the same feeding ground in 2012 are 762 (95% confidence intervals, CI = 638-933 and 570 (95% CI 475-705 for left and right side datasets respectively, very similar to results from closed population models. Estimates of trend revealed strong variation in abundance, peaking in 2009 and [suggesting] fluctuating use in the survey area over time, likely related to the density of their prey. High inter-annual return rates suggest a degree of site-fidelity of individuals to Isla Grande de Chiloé and that the number of whales using this feeding ground is relatively small.

  14. Estimating historical eastern North Pacific blue whale catches using spatial calling patterns.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cole C Monnahan

    Full Text Available Blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus were exploited extensively around the world and remain endangered. In the North Pacific their population structure is unclear and current status unknown, with the exception of a well-studied eastern North Pacific (ENP population. Despite existing abundance estimates for the ENP population, it is difficult to estimate pre-exploitation abundance levels and gauge their recovery because historical catches of the ENP population are difficult to separate from catches of other populations in the North Pacific. We collated previously unreported Soviet catches and combined these with known catches to form the most current estimates of North Pacific blue whale catches. We split these conflated catches using recorded acoustic calls from throughout the North Pacific, the knowledge that the ENP population produces a different call than blue whales in the western North Pacific (WNP. The catches were split by estimating spatiotemporal occurrence of blue whales with generalized additive models fitted to acoustic call patterns, which predict the probability a catch belonged to the ENP population based on the proportion of calls of each population recorded by latitude, longitude, and month. When applied to the conflated historical catches, which totaled 9,773, we estimate that ENP blue whale catches totaled 3,411 (95% range 2,593 to 4,114 from 1905-1971, and amounted to 35% (95% range 27% to 42% of all catches in the North Pacific. Thus most catches in the North Pacific were for WNP blue whales, totaling 6,362 (95% range 5,659 to 7,180. The uncertainty in the acoustic data influence the results substantially more than uncertainty in catch locations and dates, but the results are fairly insensitive to the ecological assumptions made in the analysis. The results of this study provide information for future studies investigating the recovery of these populations and the impact of continuing and future sources of anthropogenic

  15. Big and slow: phylogenetic estimates of molecular evolution in baleen whales (suborder mysticeti).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, J A; Baker, C S; Vant, M; Steel, D J; Medrano-González, L; Palumbi, S R

    2009-11-01

    Baleen whales are the largest animals that have ever lived. To develop an improved estimation of substitution rate for nuclear and mitochondrial DNA for this taxon, we implemented a relaxed-clock phylogenetic approach using three fossil calibration dates: the divergence between odontocetes and mysticetes approximately 34 million years ago (Ma), between the balaenids and balaenopterids approximately 28 Ma, and the time to most recent common ancestor within the Balaenopteridae approximately 12 Ma. We examined seven mitochondrial genomes, a large number of mitochondrial control region sequences (219 haplotypes for 465 bp) and nine nuclear introns representing five species of whales, within which multiple species-specific alleles were sequenced to account for within-species diversity (1-15 for each locus). The total data set represents >1.65 Mbp of mitogenome and nuclear genomic sequence. The estimated substitution rate for the humpback whale control region (3.9%/million years, My) was higher than previous estimates for baleen whales but slow relative to other mammal species with similar generation times (e.g., human-chimp mean rate > 20%/My). The mitogenomic third codon position rate was also slow relative to other mammals (mean estimate 1%/My compared with a mammalian average of 9.8%/My for the cytochrome b gene). The mean nuclear genomic substitution rate (0.05%/My) was substantially slower than average synonymous estimates for other mammals (0.21-0.37%/My across a range of studies). The nuclear and mitogenome rate estimates for baleen whales were thus roughly consistent with an 8- to 10-fold slowing due to a combination of large body size and long generation times. Surprisingly, despite the large data set of nuclear intron sequences, there was only weak and conflicting support for alternate hypotheses about the phylogeny of balaenopterid whales, suggesting that interspecies introgressions or a rapid radiation has obscured species relationships in the nuclear genome.

  16. Size and trends of the bowhead whale, beluga and narwhal stocks wintering off West Greenland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MP Heide-Jørgensen

    2002-07-01

    Full Text Available To assess the size and trends of the abundance of the bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus, the beluga, or white whale (Delphinapterus leucas, and the narwhal (Monodon monoceros visual aerial surveys were conducted in West Greenland in March 1998 and 1999. An estimated 49 bowhead whales (95% CI: 13 to 188 were present at the surface in 1998. Data from land-based observations enabled correction for bowhead whales that were not available at the surface to be seen during the survey. By applying a rounded average of 80% (SE=3 for submergence an estimate of 246 bowhead whales (95% CI: 62 to 978 in 1998 was obtained. The 76 and 47 sightings of beluga pods in 1998 and 1999, respectively, had distributions similar to those of previous surveys with the highest concentration at the northern edge of the northern part of Store Hellefiskebanke. No belugas were seen in the southernmost area between Maniitsoq and Paamiut. The index estimate of the abundance of belugas comparable with previous surveys was 929 (95% CI: 563 to 1,533 in 1998 and 735 (95% CI: 436 to 1,239 in 1999. When analysing the sightings as a line-transect survey and correcting for whales that were either submerged or at the surface but missed by the observers an estimated 7,941 (95% CI: 3,650 to 17,278 belugas wintered in West Greenland in 1998-1999. The uncorrected estimate of narwhal abundance was 524 (95% CI: 214 to 1,284 and correcting for the same biases as for the belugas gives a total abundance of 2,861 (95% CI: 954 to 8,578 narwhals in 1998-1999.

  17. Adrenal responses of large whales: Integrating fecal aldosterone as a complementary biomarker to glucocorticoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgess, Elizabeth A; Hunt, Kathleen E; Kraus, Scott D; Rolland, Rosalind M

    2017-10-01

    Until now, physiological stress assessment of large whales has predominantly focused on adrenal glucocorticoid (GC) measures. Elevated GC concentrations in feces (fGC) are known to reflect stressful disturbances, such as fishing gear entanglement and human-generated underwater noise, in North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis). However, there can be considerable variation in GC production as a function of sex and life history stage, which may confound the interpretation of fGC levels. Additionally, GC antibodies used in immunoassays can cross-react with other fecal metabolites (i.e., non-target steroids), potentially influencing fGC data. Here, aldosterone concentrations (fALD; aldosterone and related metabolites) were measured in fecal samples from right whales (total n=315 samples), including samples from identified individuals of known life history (n=82 individual whales), to evaluate its utility as a complementary biomarker to fGC for identifying adrenal activation. Concentrations of fALD were positively correlated with fGCs in right whales (r=0.59, Pwhales, fALD concentrations showed similar patterns to those reported for fGC, with higher levels in pregnant females (35.9±7.6ng/g) followed by reproductively mature males (9.5±0.9ng/g) (Pwhales. The addition of fALD measurement as a biomarker of adrenal activation may help distinguish between intrinsic and external causes of stress hormone elevations in large whales, as well as other free-living wildlife species, providing a more comprehensive approach for associating adrenal activation with specific natural and anthropogenic stressors. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Structure and Steroidogenesis of the Placenta in the Antarctic Minke Whale (Balaenoptera bonaerensis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    SASAKI, Motoki; AMANO, Yoko; HAYAKAWA, Daisuke; TSUBOTA, Toshio; ISHIKAWA, Hajime; MOGOE, Toshihiro; OHSUMI, Seiji; TETSUKA, Masafumi; MIYAMOTO, Akio; FUKUI, Yutaka; BUDIPITOJO, Teguh; KITAMURA, Nobuo

    2012-01-01

    Abstract There are few reports describing the structure and function of the whale placenta with the advance of pregnancy. In this study, therefore, the placenta and nonpregnant uterus of the Antarctic minke whale were observed morphologically and immunohistochemically. Placentas and nonpregnant uteri were collected from the 15th, 16th and 18th Japanese Whale Research Programme with Special Permit in the Antarctic (JARPA) and 1st JARPA II organized by the Institute of Cetacean Research in Tokyo, Japan. In the macro- and microscopic observations, the placenta of the Antarctic minke whale was a diffuse and epitheliochorial placenta. The chorion was interdigitated to the endometrium by primary, secondary and tertiary villi, which contained no specialized trophoblast cells such as binucleate cells, and the interdigitation became complicated with the progress of gestation. Furthermore, fetal and maternal blood vessels indented deeply into the trophoblast cells and endometrial epithelium respectively with fetal growth. The minke whale placenta showed a fold-like shape as opposed to a finger-like shape. In both nonpregnant and pregnant uteri, many uterine glands were distributed. The uterine glands in the superficial layer of the pregnant endometrium had a wide lumen and large epithelial cells as compared with those in the deep layer. On the other hand, in the nonpregnant endometrium, the uterine glands had a narrower lumen and smaller epithelial cells than in the pregnant endometrium. In immunohistochemical detection, immunoreactivity for P450scc was detected in most trophoblast cells, but not in nonpregnant uteri, suggesting that trophoblast epithelial cells synthesized and secreted the sex steroid hormones and/or their precursors to maintain the pregnancy in the Antarctic minke whale. PMID:23269486

  19. Fin whale sound reception mechanisms: skull vibration enables low-frequency hearing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ted W Cranford

    Full Text Available Hearing mechanisms in baleen whales (Mysticeti are essentially unknown but their vocalization frequencies overlap with anthropogenic sound sources. Synthetic audiograms were generated for a fin whale by applying finite element modeling tools to X-ray computed tomography (CT scans. We CT scanned the head of a small fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus in a scanner designed for solid-fuel rocket motors. Our computer (finite element modeling toolkit allowed us to visualize what occurs when sounds interact with the anatomic geometry of the whale's head. Simulations reveal two mechanisms that excite both bony ear complexes, (1 the skull-vibration enabled bone conduction mechanism and (2 a pressure mechanism transmitted through soft tissues. Bone conduction is the predominant mechanism. The mass density of the bony ear complexes and their firmly embedded attachments to the skull are universal across the Mysticeti, suggesting that sound reception mechanisms are similar in all baleen whales. Interactions between incident sound waves and the skull cause deformations that induce motion in each bony ear complex, resulting in best hearing sensitivity for low-frequency sounds. This predominant low-frequency sensitivity has significant implications for assessing mysticete exposure levels to anthropogenic sounds. The din of man-made ocean noise has increased steadily over the past half century. Our results provide valuable data for U.S. regulatory agencies and concerned large-scale industrial users of the ocean environment. This study transforms our understanding of baleen whale hearing and provides a means to predict auditory sensitivity across a broad spectrum of sound frequencies.

  20. Entanglement is a costly life-history stage in large whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Hoop, Julie; Corkeron, Peter; Moore, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Individuals store energy to balance deficits in natural cycles; however, unnatural events can also lead to unbalanced energy budgets. Entanglement in fishing gear is one example of an unnatural but relatively common circumstance that imposes energetic demands of a similar order of magnitude and duration of life-history events such as migration and pregnancy in large whales. We present two complementary bioenergetic approaches to estimate the energy associated with entanglement in North Atlantic right whales, and compare these estimates to the natural energetic life history of individual whales. Differences in measured blubber thicknesses and estimated blubber volumes between normal and entangled, emaciated whales indicate between 7.4 × 10 10  J and 1.2 × 10 11  J of energy are consumed during the course to death of a lethal entanglement. Increased thrust power requirements to overcome drag forces suggest that when entangled, whales require 3.95 × 10 9 to 4.08 × 10 10  J more energy to swim. Individuals who died from their entanglements performed significantly more work (energy expenditure × time) than those that survived; entanglement duration is therefore critical in determining whales' survival. Significant sublethal energetic impacts also occur, especially in reproductive females. Drag from fishing gear contributes up to 8% of the 4-year female reproductive energy budget, delaying time of energetic equilibrium (to restore energy lost by a particular entanglement) for reproduction by months to years. In certain populations, chronic entanglement in fishing gear can be viewed as a costly unnatural life-history stage, rather than a rare or short-term incident.

  1. How large is the world's largest fish? Measuring whale sharks Rhincodon typus with laser photogrammetry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohner, C A; Richardson, A J; Marshall, A D; Weeks, S J; Pierce, S J

    2011-01-01

    Laser photogrammetry was found to be a promising new cost-effective technique for measuring free-swimming whale sharks Rhincodon typus. Photogrammetric measurements were more precise than visual size estimates by experienced researchers, with results from the two methods differing by 9· 8 ± 1· 1% (mean ±s.e.). A new metric of total length and the length between the fifth gill and first dorsal fin (r² = 0· 93) is proposed to facilitate easy, accurate length measurements of whale sharks in the field. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Fish Biology © 2011 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  2. Assessing Stress Responses in Beaked and Sperm Whales in the Bahamas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-05-23

    sex and reproductive status (i.e. other physiologic influences) when interpreting levels of GCs as indicators of stress responses. 2.2 2.2 0 Adult... Stress Responses in Beaked and Sperm Whales in the Bahamas" Please find attached final reports for the above referenced ONR award for the period ending...Assessing Stress Responses in Beaked and Sperm Whales in the Bahamas Rosalind M. Rolland D.V.M., Kathleen E. Hunt Ph.D., Elizabeth A. Burgess M.Sc. Ph.D

  3. Maternal body size and condition determine calf growth rates in southern right whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Fredrik; Vivier, Fabien; Charlton, Claire

    2018-01-01

    The cost of reproduction is a key parameter determining a species' life history strategy. Despite exhibiting some of the fastest offspring growth rates among mammals, the cost of reproduction in baleen whales is largely unknown since standard field metabolic techniques cannot be applied. We...... quantified the cost of reproduction for southern right whales Eubalaena australis over a 3 mo breeding season. We did this by determining the relationship between calf growth rate and maternal rate of loss in energy reserves, using repeated measurements of body volume obtained from unmanned aerial vehicle...... period, and highlights the importance of sufficient maternal energy reserves for reproduction in this capital breeding species....

  4. Characteristics of fin whale vocalizations recorded on instruments in the northeast Pacific Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weirathmueller, Maria Michelle Josephine

    This thesis focuses on fin whale vocalizations recorded on ocean bottom seismometers (OBSs) in the Northeast Pacific Ocean, using data collected between 2003 and 2013. OBSs are a valuable, and largely untapped resource for the passive acoustic monitoring of large baleen whales. This dissertation is divided into three parts, each of which uses the recordings of fin whale vocalizations to better understand their calling behaviors and distributions. The first study describes the development of a technique to extract source levels of fin whale vocalizations from OBS recordings. Source levels were estimated using data collected on a network of eight OBSs in the Northeast Pacific Ocean. The acoustic pressure levels measured at the instruments were adjusted for the propagation path between the calling whales and the instruments using the call location and estimating losses along the acoustic travel path. A total of 1241 calls were used to estimate an average source level of 189 +/-5.8 dB re 1uPa 1m. This variability is largely attributed to uncertainties in the horizontal and vertical position of the fin whale at the time of each call, and the effect of these uncertainties on subsequent calculations. The second study describes a semi-automated method for obtaining horizontal ranges to vocalizing fin whales using the timing and relative amplitude of multipath arrivals. A matched filter is used to detect fin whale calls and pick the relative times and amplitudes of multipath arrivals. Ray-based propagation models are used to predict multipath times and amplitudes as function of range. Because the direct and first multiple arrivals are not always observed, three hypotheses for the paths of the observed arrivals are considered; the solution is the hypothesis and range that optimizes the fit to the data. Ray-theoretical amplitudes are not accurate and solutions are improved by determining amplitudes from the observations using a bootstrap method. Data from ocean bottom

  5. Underwater behavior of sperm whales off Kaikoura, New Zealand, as revealed by a three-dimensional hydrophone array.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Brian; Dawson, Stephen; Vennell, Ross

    2013-10-01

    Observations are presented of the vocal behavior and three dimensional (3D) underwater movements of sperm whales measured with a passive acoustic array off the coast of Kaikoura, New Zealand. Visual observations and vocal behaviors of whales were used to divide dive tracks into different phases, and depths and movements of whales are reported for each of these phases. Diving depths and movement information from 75 3D tracks of whales in Kaikoura are compared to one and two dimensional tracks of whales studied in other oceans. While diving, whales in Kaikoura had a mean swimming speed of 1.57 m/s, and, on average, dived to a depth of 427 m (SD = 117 m), spending most of their time at depths between 300 and 600 m. Creak vocalizations, assumed to be the prey capture phase of echolocation, occurred throughout the water column from sea surface to sea floor, but most occurred at depths of 400-550 m. Three dimensional measurement of tracking revealed several different "foraging" strategies, including active chasing of prey, lining up slow-moving or unsuspecting prey, and foraging on demersal or benthic prey. These movements provide the first 3D descriptions underwater behavior of whales at Kaikoura.

  6. Effects of oceanographic factors on spatial distribution of Whale Shark in Cendrawasih Bay National Park, West Papua

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranintyari, Maulida; Sunarto; Syamsuddin, Mega L.; Astuty, Sri

    2018-05-01

    Whale sharks are a leading species in Cendrawasih Bay due to its benign nature and its regular appearance. Recently, whale sharks are vulnerable to scarcity and even extinction. One of the efforts to maintain the existence of the whale shark population is by knowing its spatial distribution. This study aims to analyze how the oceanographic factors affect the spatial distribution of whale sharks in Cendrawasih Bay National Park. The method used in this research is descriptive with the quantitative approach using the Generalized Additive Model (GAM) analysis. The data consisted of the whale shark monitoring data in TNTC taken by WWF-Indonesia, and image data of sea surface temperature (SST) and chlorophyll-a concentration of Aqua-MODIS, and also sea surface current from Aviso. Analyses were conducted for the period of January 2012 until March 2015. The GAM result indicated that sea surface current was better than the other environment (SST and chlorophyll-a concentration) as an oceanographic predictor of whale shark appearance. High probabilities of the whale shark’s to appear on the surface were observed in sea surface current velocities between 0.30-0.60 m/s, for SST ranged from 30.50-31.80 °C, and for chlorophyll-a concentration ranged from 0.20-0.40 mg/m3.

  7. Multi-Year Impacts of Ecotourism on Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus) Visitation at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanzogni, R L; Meekan, M G; Meeuwig, J J

    2015-01-01

    In-water viewing of sharks by tourists has become a popular and lucrative industry. There is some concern that interactions with tourists with ecotourism operations might harm sharks through disruption of behaviours. Here, we analysed five years of whale shark (Rhincodon typus) encounter data by an ecotourism industry at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia, to assess the impact of ecotourism interactions on shark visitation, within the context of the biological and physical oceanography of the region. Our data base consisted of 2823 encounter records for 951 individual whale sharks collected by ecotourism operators between 2007 and 2011. We found that total encounters per whale shark and encounters per boat trip increased through time. On average, whale sharks re-encountered in subsequent years were encountered earlier, stayed longer and tended to be encountered more often within a season than sharks that were only encountered in a single year. Sequential comparisons between years did not show any patterns consistent with disturbance and the rate of departure of whale sharks from the aggregation was negatively correlated to the number of operator trips. Overall, our analysis of this multi-year data base found no evidence that interactions with tourists affected the likelihood of whale shark re-encounters and that instead, physical and biological environmental factors had a far greater influence on whale shark visitation rates. Our approach provides a template for assessing the effects of ecotourism interactions and environmental factors on the visitation patterns of marine megafauna over multiple years.

  8. Migratory movements of pygmy blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus brevicauda between Australia and Indonesia as revealed by satellite telemetry.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael C Double

    Full Text Available 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 were tracked from between 8 and 308 days covering an average distance of 3,009±892 km (mean ± se; range: 832 km-14,101 km at a rate of 21.94±0.74 km per day (0.09 km-455.80 km/day. Whales were tagged during March and April and ultimately migrated northwards post tag deployment with the exception of a single animal which remained in the vicinity of the Perth Canyon/Naturaliste Plateau for its eight day tracking period. The tagged whales travelled relatively near to the Australian coastline (100.0±1.7 km until reaching a prominent peninsula in the north-west of the state of Western Australia (North West Cape after which they travelled offshore (238.0±13.9 km. Whales reached the northern terminus of their migration and potential breeding grounds in Indonesian waters by June. One satellite tag relayed intermittent information to describe aspects of the southern migration from Indonesia with the animal departing around September to arrive in the subtropical frontal zone, south of western Australia in December. Throughout their migratory range, these whales are exposed to impacts associated with industry, fishing and vessel traffic. These movements therefore provide a valuable tool to industry when assessing potential interactions with pygmy blue whales and should be considered by conservation managers and regulators when mitigating impacts of development. This is particularly relevant for this species as it continues to recover from past exploitation.

  9. Two hegemonies – two technological regimes : American and Norwegian whaling in the 19th and 20th Century

    OpenAIRE

    Basberg, Bjørn L.

    2006-01-01

    The 19th century whaling industry was dominated by the United States while the 20th century industry had its origins in Norway and was dominated for years by that nation. The focus of the paper, is to explore the relationship between the two so-called hegemonic whaling nations. Specifically, we are looking for encounters between the two industries that in one way or another may explain why the Norwegians did not enter into traditional pelagic whaling in the mid 19th century, an...

  10. Visual laterality of calf-mother interactions in wild whales.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karina Karenina

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Behavioral laterality is known for a variety of vertebrate and invertebrate animals. Laterality in social interactions has been described for a wide range of species including humans. Although evidence and theoretical predictions indicate that in social species the degree of population level laterality is greater than in solitary ones, the origin of these unilateral biases is not fully understood. It is especially poorly studied in the wild animals. Little is known about the role, which laterality in social interactions plays in natural populations. A number of brain characteristics make cetaceans most suitable for investigation of lateralization in social contacts. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Observations were made on wild beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas in the greatest breeding aggregation in the White Sea. Here we show that young calves (in 29 individually identified and in over a hundred of individually not recognized mother-calf pairs swim and rest significantly longer on a mother's right side. Further observations along with the data from other cetaceans indicate that found laterality is a result of the calves' preference to observe their mothers with the left eye, i.e., to analyze the information on a socially significant object in the right brain hemisphere. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Data from our and previous work on cetacean laterality suggest that basic brain lateralizations are expressed in the same way in cetaceans and other vertebrates. While the information on social partners and novel objects is analyzed in the right brain hemisphere, the control of feeding behavior is performed by the left brain hemisphere. Continuous unilateral visual contacts of calves to mothers with the left eye may influence social development of the young by activation of the contralateral (right brain hemisphere, indicating a possible mechanism on how behavioral lateralization may influence species life and welfare. This hypothesis is

  11. The whale barnacle Cryptolepas rhachianecti (Cirripedia: Coronulidae), a phoront of the grey whale Eschrichtius robustus (Cetacea: Eschrichtiidae), from a sandy beach in The Netherlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosselaers, Mark; Collareta, Alberto

    2016-08-22

    An isolated compartment of a whale barnacle is herein described from Recent beach deposits in Zoutelande (Walcheren, The Netherlands). This specimen is identified as belonging to the extant coronulid species Cryptolepas rhachianecti, currently known as an epizoic symbiont of the grey whale Eschrichtius robustus. This find represents the first occurrence of C. rhachianecti outside the North Pacific, and the first one as a (sub)fossil. In view of the fact that E. robustus, which is currently confined to the North Pacific, is known as a subfossil from the northeastern Atlantic between late Late Pleistocene (c. 45,000 years ago) and historical (c. 1700 AD) times, we propose a similar (late Quaternary) age for the isolated compartment. The find indicates that the extinct late Quaternary northeastern Atlantic population of E. robustus was infected by Cryptolepas rhachianecti. Our find is, therefore, compatible with the hypothesis of an ancient grey whale migration route running between the subtropical/temperate waters of the northeast Atlantic (or Mediterranean Basin), and the cold waters of the Baltic Sea (or southern Arctic Ocean), through the southern North Sea. Finally, we discuss the systematic placement of the fossil barnacle species Cryptolepas murata and propose the possibility of its removal from the genus Cryptolepas pending further investigations.

  12. Climate impacts on transocean dispersal and habitat in gray whales from the Pleistocene to 2100

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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

    2015-01-01

    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

  13. Blue whale sightings in Antarctica west of the Greenwich meridian, Januart 2015

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geelhoed, S.C.V.; Feij, B.; Franeker, van J.A.; Herr, H.; Janinhoff, N.; McKay, S.J.; Muller, S.; Thomisch, K.; Verdaat, J.P.; Viquerat, S.

    2015-01-01

    During the RV Polarstern PS 89 (ANT-XXX/2) expedition from Cape Town to Atka Bay and back, 20 sightings of 26 individual blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) were recorded in Antarctic waters west of the Greenwich Meridian between 16-20 January 2015. These observations suggest a more westerly

  14. Timing of migratory baleen whales at the Azores in relation to the North Atlantic spring bloom

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Visser, F.; Hartman, K.L.; Pierce, G.J.; Valavanis, V.D.; Huisman, J.

    2011-01-01

    Each year, a phytoplankton spring bloom starts just north of the North Atlantic Subtropical Gyre, and then expands northwards across the entire North Atlantic. Here, we investigate whether the timing of the spring migration of baleen whales is related to the timing of the phytoplankton spring bloom,

  15. Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises of the Western North Atlantic: A Guide to Their Identification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leatherwood, Stephen; And Others

    This field guide is designed to permit observers to identify the cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) they see in western North Atlantic, including the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, and the coastal waters of the United States and Canada. The animals described are not grouped by scientific relationships but by similarities in appearance…

  16. Microsatellite genetic distances between oceanic populations of the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Valsecchi, E; Palsboll, P; Hale, P; GlocknerFerrari, D; Ferrari, M; Clapham, P; Larsen, F; Mattila, D; Sears, R; Sigurjonsson, J; Brown, M; Corkeron, P; Amos, B

    Mitochondrial DNA haplotypes of humpback whales show strong segregation between oceanic populations and between feeding grounds within oceans, but this highly structured pattern does not exclude the possibility of extensive nuclear gene flow. Here we present allele frequency data for four

  17. Isotopic Evidence of a Wide Spectrum of Feeding Strategies in Southern Hemisphere Humpback Whale Baleen Records.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisenmann, Pascale; Fry, Brian; Holyoake, Carly; Coughran, Douglas; Nicol, Steve; Bengtson Nash, Susan

    2016-01-01

    Our current understanding of Southern hemisphere humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) ecology assumes high-fidelity feeding on Antarctic krill in Antarctic waters during summer, followed by fasting during their annual migration to and from equatorial breeding grounds. An increase in the number of reported departures from this feeding/fasting model suggests that the current model may be oversimplified or, alternatively, undergoing contemporary change. Information about the feeding and fasting cycles of the two Australian breeding populations of humpback whales were obtained through stable isotope analysis of baleen plates from stranded adult individuals. Comparison of isotope profiles showed that individuals from the West Australian breeding population strongly adhered to the classical feeding model. By contrast, East Australian population individuals demonstrated greater heterogeneity in their feeding. On a spectrum from exclusive Antarctic feeding to exclusive feeding in temperate waters, three different strategies were assigned and discussed: classical feeders, supplemental feeders, and temperate zone feeders. Diversity in the inter-annual feeding strategies of humpback whales demonstrates the feeding plasticity of the species, but could also be indicative of changing dynamics within the Antarctic sea-ice ecosystem. This study presents the first investigation of trophodynamics in Southern hemisphere humpback whales derived from baleen plates, and further provides the first estimates of baleen plate elongation rates in the species.

  18. Radiocarbon as a Novel Tracer of Extra-Antarctic Feeding in Southern Hemisphere Humpback Whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisenmann, Pascale; Fry, Brian; Mazumder, Debashish; Jacobsen, Geraldine; Holyoake, Carlysle Sian; Coughran, Douglas; Bengtson Nash, Susan

    2017-06-29

    Bulk stable isotope analysis provides information regarding food web interactions, and has been applied to several cetacean species for the study of migration ecology. One limitation in bulk stable isotope analysis arises when a species, such as Southern hemisphere humpback whales, utilises geographically distinct food webs with differing isotopic baselines. Migrations to areas with different baselines can result in isotopic changes that mimic changes in feeding relations, leading to ambiguous food web interpretations. Here, we demonstrate the novel application of radiocarbon measurement for the resolution of such ambiguities. Radiocarbon was measured in baleen plates from humpback whales stranded in Australia between 2007 and 2013, and in skin samples collected in Australia and Antarctica from stranded and free-ranging animals. Radiocarbon measurements showed lower values for Southern Ocean feeding than for extra-Antarctic feeding in Australian waters. While the whales mostly relied on Antarctic-derived energy stores during their annual migration, there was some evidence of feeding within temperate zone waters in some individuals. This work, to our knowledge, provides the first definitive biochemical evidence for supplementary feeding by southern hemisphere humpback whales within temperate waters during migration. Further, the work contributes a powerful new tool (radiocarbon) for tracing source regions and geographical feeding.

  19. Isotopic Evidence of a Wide Spectrum of Feeding Strategies in Southern Hemisphere Humpback Whale Baleen Records.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pascale Eisenmann

    Full Text Available Our current understanding of Southern hemisphere humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae ecology assumes high-fidelity feeding on Antarctic krill in Antarctic waters during summer, followed by fasting during their annual migration to and from equatorial breeding grounds. An increase in the number of reported departures from this feeding/fasting model suggests that the current model may be oversimplified or, alternatively, undergoing contemporary change. Information about the feeding and fasting cycles of the two Australian breeding populations of humpback whales were obtained through stable isotope analysis of baleen plates from stranded adult individuals. Comparison of isotope profiles showed that individuals from the West Australian breeding population strongly adhered to the classical feeding model. By contrast, East Australian population individuals demonstrated greater heterogeneity in their feeding. On a spectrum from exclusive Antarctic feeding to exclusive feeding in temperate waters, three different strategies were assigned and discussed: classical feeders, supplemental feeders, and temperate zone feeders. Diversity in the inter-annual feeding strategies of humpback whales demonstrates the feeding plasticity of the species, but could also be indicative of changing dynamics within the Antarctic sea-ice ecosystem. This study presents the first investigation of trophodynamics in Southern hemisphere humpback whales derived from baleen plates, and further provides the first estimates of baleen plate elongation rates in the species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    1), 39-53, DOI 10.1578/AM.41.1.2015.39 Calambokidis, J and J. Barlow . 2013. Trends in humpback and blue whales off the US West Coast and their...in Technology and Experimental Methods. Marine Technology Society Journal 46(4): 46- 59. Southall, B, Calambokidis, J. Moretti, D, Barlow , J

  1. 76 FR 34209 - International Whaling Commission; 63rd Annual Meeting; Nominations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-06-13

    ... Commissioner representing the positions of non-governmental organizations. Generally, only one non-governmental... recommendations to the U.S. IWC Commissioner representing the positions of non-governmental organizations... International Whaling Commission; 63rd Annual Meeting; Nominations AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service...

  2. 77 FR 19646 - International Whaling Commission; 64th Annual Meeting; Nominations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-02

    ... Commissioner representing the positions of non-governmental organizations. Generally, only one non-governmental... the U.S. IWC Commissioner representing the positions of non-governmental organizations. Generally... International Whaling Commission; 64th Annual Meeting; Nominations AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service...

  3. Trophic interactions in the St. Lawrence Estuary (Canada): Must the blue whale compete for krill?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savenkoff, C.; Comtois, S.; Chabot, D.

    2013-09-01

    Inverse methodology was used to construct a mass-balance model of the Lower St. Lawrence Estuary (LSLE) for the 2008-2010 time period. Our first objective was to make an overall description of community structure, trophic interactions, and the effects of fishing and predation on the vertebrate and invertebrate communities of the ecosystem. A second objective was to identify other important predators of krill, and to assess if these compete with blue whales, listed as endangered under the Canadian Species at Risk Act in 2005 (northwest Atlantic population). The Estuary and the Gulf of St. Lawrence are summer feeding grounds for blue whales and other marine mammals. Blue whales eat only euphausiids (krill) and require dense concentrations of prey to meet their energy requirements, which makes them particularly vulnerable to changes in prey availability. In the LSLE, many species from secondary producers (hyperiid amphipods, other macrozooplankton) to top predators (fish, birds, and marine mammals) consumed euphausiids. Consequently, krill predators were found at all consumer trophic levels. However, our results showed that only about 35% of the estimated euphausiid production was consumed by all predator species combined. Euphausiid did not seem to be a restricted resource in the LSLE ecosystem, at least during the study period. The blue whale did not appear to have to compete for krill in the LSLE.

  4. Mitogenomic phylogenetics of fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus spp.) : Genetic evidence for revision of subspecies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Archer, Frederick I.; Morin, Phillip A.; Hancock-Hanser, Brittany L.; Robertson, Kelly M.; Leslie, Matthew S.; Bérubé, Martine; Panigada, Simone; Taylor, Barbara L.

    2013-01-01

    There are three described subspecies of fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus): B. p. physalus Linnaeus, 1758 in the Northern Hemisphere, B. p. quoyi Fischer, 1829 in the Southern Hemisphere, and a recently described pygmy form, B. p. patachonica Burmeister, 1865. The discrete distribution in the North

  5. 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...

  6. Spectral identification of sperm whales from Littoral Acoustic Demonstration Center passive acoustic recordings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidorovskaia, Natalia A.; Richard, Blake; Ioup, George E.; Ioup, Juliette W.

    2005-09-01

    The Littoral Acoustic Demonstration Center (LADC) made a series of passive broadband acoustic recordings in the Gulf of Mexico and Ligurian Sea to study noise and marine mammal phonations. The collected data contain a large amount of various types of sperm whale phonations, such as isolated clicks and communication codas. It was previously reported that the spectrograms of the extracted clicks and codas contain well-defined null patterns that seem to be unique for individuals. The null pattern is formed due to individual features of the sound production organs of an animal. These observations motivated the present studies of adapting human speech identification techniques for deep-diving marine mammal phonations. A three-state trained hidden Markov model (HMM) was used with the phonation spectra of sperm whales. The HHM-algorithm gave 75% accuracy in identifying individuals when it had been initially tested for the acoustic data set correlated with visual observations of sperm whales. A comparison of the identification accuracy based on null-pattern similarity analysis and the HMM-algorithm is presented. The results can establish the foundation for developing an acoustic identification database for sperm whales and possibly other deep-diving marine mammals that would be difficult to observe visually. [Research supported by ONR.

  7. Classification of large acoustic datasets using machine learning and crowdsourcing: Application to whale calls

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Shamir, L.; Carol Yerby, C.; Simpson, R.; Benda-Beckmann, A.M. von; Tyack, P.; Samarra, F.; Miller, P.; Wallin, J.

    2014-01-01

    Vocal communication is a primary communication method of killer and pilot whales, and is used for transmitting a broad range of messages and information for short and long distance. The large variation in call types of these species makes it challenging to categorize them. In this study, sounds

  8. Inter-Annual Variability in Blue Whale Distribution off Southern Sri Lanka between 2011 and 2012

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Asha de Vos

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus movements are often driven by the availability of their prey in space and time. While globally blue whale populations undertake long-range migrations between feeding and breeding grounds, those in the northern Indian Ocean remain in low latitude waters throughout the year with the implication that the productivity of these waters is sufficient to support their energy needs. A part of this population remains around Sri Lanka where they are usually recorded close to the southern coast during the Northeast Monsoon. To investigate inter-annual variability in sighting locations, we conducted systematic Conductivity-Temperature-Depth (CTD and visual surveys between January–March 2011 and January–March 2012. In 2011, there was a notable decrease in inshore sightings compared to 2009 and 2012 (p < 0.001. CTD data revealed that in 2011 there was increased freshwater in the upper water column accompanied by deeper upwelling than in 2012. We hypothesise that anomalous rainfall, along with higher turbidity resulting from river discharge, affected the productivity of the inshore waters and caused a shift in blue whale prey and, consequently, the distribution of the whales themselves. An understanding of how predators and their prey respond to environmental variability is important for predicting how these species will respond to long-term changes. This is especially important given the rapid temperature increases predicted for the semi-enclosed northern Indian Ocean.

  9. Feasibility of Acoustic Remote Sensing of Large Herring Shoals and Seafloor by Baleen Whales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dong Hoon Yi

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Recent research has found a high spatial and temporal correlation between certain baleen whale vocalizations and peak herring spawning processes in the Gulf of Maine. These vocalizations are apparently related to feeding activities with suggested functions that include communication, prey manipulation, and echolocation. Here, the feasibility of the echolocation function is investigated. Physical limitations on the ability to detect large herring shoals and the seafloor by acoustic remote sensing are determined with ocean acoustic propagation, scattering, and statistical theories given baleen whale auditory parameters. Detection is found to be highly dependent on ambient noise conditions, herring shoal distributions, baleen whale time-frequency vocalization spectra, and geophysical parameters of the ocean waveguide. Detections of large herring shoals are found to be physically feasible in common Gulf of Maine herring spawning scenarios at up to 10 ± 6 km in range for humpback parameters and 1 ± 1 km for minke parameters but not for blue and fin parameters even at zero horizontal range. Detections of the seafloor are found to be feasible up to 2 ± 1 km for blue and humpback parameters and roughly 1 km for fin and minke parameters, suggesting that the whales share a common acoustic sensation of rudimentary features of the geophysical environment.

  10. Age determination of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) from the west coast of Jutland, Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pagh, Sussie; Chriél, Mariann; Hedayat, Abdi

    Age determination of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) by counting growth layer groups (GLG´s) in the teeth is to some extent considered to be subjective and only relative, due to: 1) Limited validation of GLG counts to “known age” of the individual; 2) Variation in methods for preparation...... of teeth e.g. acid (pH) and duration of etching; 3) Difference in interpretations of GLG´s between readers1,2. Bearing in mind these challenges, the age of three sperm whales stranded in Denmark in 2012 and 2014 were determined by counts of GLG´s in the erupted teeth from the lower jaw and comparing...... these with the number of GLG´s obtained from rudimentary teeth in the upper jaw. Teeth were obtained from 3 adult male sperm whales; MCE 1642, stranded at Nr. Lyngby Strand, Denmark in 2012; and MCE 1644 and MCE 1645, who stranded at Henne Strand, Denmark in 2014. From each whale one non-erupted tooth from the maxilla...

  11. Satellite tracking and stable isotope analysis link wintering and feeding grounds of North Atlantic baleen whales

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    e Silva, Monica Almeida; Prieto, Rui; Gauffier, Pauline; Palsboll, Per; Bérubé, Martine; Colaco, Ana

    2017-01-01

    Knowledge of the distribution of baleen whales throughout their annual cycle is critical for understanding their ecology, life history and behavior, and for their effective conservation. We combined analysis of stable isotopes (δ15N and δ13C) and satellite tracking data of blue (Balaenoptera

  12. Utility of telomere length measurements for age determination of humpback whales

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olsen, Morten T.; Robbins, Jooke; Bérubé, Martine; Rew, Mary Beth; Palsboll, Per

    2014-01-01

    This study examines the applicability of telomere length measurements by quantitative PCR as a tool for minimally invasive age determination of free-ranging cetaceans. We analysed telomere length in skin samples from 28 North Atlantic humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), ranging from 0 to 26

  13. Mitochondrial and nuclear genetic variation across calving lagoons in Eastern North Pacific gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alter, S Elizabeth; Ramirez, Sergio Flores; Nigenda, Sergio; Ramirez, Jorge Urbán; Bracho, Lorenzo Rojas; Palumbi, Stephen R

    2009-01-01

    Accurate knowledge of population structure in cetaceans is critical for preserving and managing breeding habitat, particularly when habitat is not uniformly protected. Most eastern gray whales return to their major breeding range each winter along the Pacific coast of Baja California, Mexico, concentrating in 3 major calving lagoons, but it is unknown whether genetic differences exist between lagoons. Previous photo-identification studies and genetic studies suggest that gray whales may return to their natal lagoons to breed, potentially resulting in the buildup of genetic differences. However, an earlier genetic study used only one genetic marker and did not include samples from Bahia Magdalena, a major calving lagoon not currently designated as a wildlife refuge. To expand on this previous study, we collected genetic data from the mitochondrial control region (442 bp) and 9 microsatellite markers from 112 individuals across all 3 major calving lagoons. Our data suggest that migration rates between calving lagoons are high but that a small but significant departure from panmixia exists between Bahia Magdalena and Laguna San Ignacio (Fisher's Exact test, P 10% per generation). In addition, microsatellite data showed evidence of a severe population bottleneck. Eastern gray whales are still recovering from the impacts of whaling on their breeding grounds, and these populations should be protected and monitored for future genetic changes.

  14. Ancient DNA reveals that bowhead whale lineages survived Late Pleistocene climate change and habitat shifts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Foote, Andrew David; Kaschner, Kristin; Schultze, Sebastian E.

    2013-01-01

    that a true Arctic species, the bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus), shifted its range and tracked its core suitable habitat northwards during the rapid climate change of the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. Late Pleistocene lineages survived into the Holocene and effective female population size increased...

  15. The Makah Whale Hunt: A Social Studies Symposium in the Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bornstein-Grove, Matthew; Hamel, Fred L.

    2013-01-01

    The conversation starts quickly as two students come together in a 10th grade social studies classroom, half-way through a role play activity a symposium begins. Both students are sporting "Hello, my name is…" stickers on their shirts, and each attempts to speak in character. One represents an anti-whaling activist. Helen stands holding…

  16. Ecological, morphological and genetic divergence of sympatric North Atlantic killer whale populations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Foote, Andrew D; Newton, Jason; Piertney, Stuart B

    2009-01-01

    promoting divergence. Here we use morphological traits, nitrogen stable isotope ratios and tooth wear to characterize two disparate types of North Atlantic killer whale. We find a highly specialist type, which reaches up to 8.5 m in length and a generalist type which reaches up to 6.6 m in length...

  17. The Whale House of the Chilkat: Community House of the Gaanaxteidi Clan of Klukwan, Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manning, Thomas; Knecht, Elizabeth

    This collection of photographic plates and drawings provides a visual record of a communal house of the Chilkat clan of southeast Alaska's Tlingit Tribe. The packet contains written descriptions of the history, interior design, living arrangements, and decorations of the Whale House. These illustrations of traditional Tlingit art and architecture…

  18. A new baleen whale from the Late Miocene of Denmark and early mysticete hearing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Steeman, Mette Elstrup

    2009-01-01

    here is a new, almost complete fossil baleen whale Uranocetus gramensis gen. et sp. nov. from the Upper Miocene Gram Formation in South West Denmark. It is the first stem-balaenopterid that has an initial stage of reduction in the mandibular cavity and a rostral configuration that is intermediate...

  19. Killer whale presence in relation to naval sonar activity and prey abundance in northern Norway

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuningas, S.; Kvadsheim, P.H.; Lam, F.P.A.; Miller, P.J.O.

    2013-01-01

    In this study, retrospective data on naval sonar activity and prey abundance were correlated with killer whale sightings within a fjord basin in northern Norway. In addition, passive acoustic and visual marine mammal surveys were conducted before, during, and after a specific navy exercise in 2006.

  20. Dolphin Morbillivirus in a Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus) in Denmark, 2016

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jo, Wendy K.; Grilo, Miguel L.; Wohlsein, Peter

    2017-01-01

    We studied the etiology of encephalitis in a fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) that stranded in 2016 on the coast of Denmark. Dolphin morbillivirus (DMV) was detected in the brain and other organs. Phylogenetics showed close relation to DMV isolated from a striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba...

  1. Movement patterns of juvenile whale sharks tagged at an aggregation site in the Red Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael L Berumen

    Full Text Available Conservation efforts aimed at the whale shark, Rhincodon typus, remain limited by a lack of basic information on most aspects of its ecology, including global population structure, population sizes and movement patterns. Here we report on the movements of 47 Red Sea whale sharks fitted with three types of satellite transmitting tags from 2009-2011. Most of these sharks were tagged at a single aggregation site near Al-Lith, on the central coast of the Saudi Arabian Red Sea. Individuals encountered at this site were all juveniles based on size estimates ranging from 2.5-7 m total length with a sex ratio of approximately 1∶1. All other known aggregation sites for juvenile whale sharks are dominated by males. Results from tagging efforts showed that most individuals remained in the southern Red Sea and that some sharks returned to the same location in subsequent years. Diving data were recorded by 37 tags, revealing frequent deep dives to at least 500 m and as deep as 1360 m. The unique temperature-depth profiles of the Red Sea confirmed that several whale sharks moved out of the Red Sea while tagged. The wide-ranging horizontal movements of these individuals highlight the need for multinational, cooperative efforts to conserve R. typus populations in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean.

  2. The cochlea of the enigmatic pygmy right whale Caperea marginata informs mysticete phylogeny.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

    The pygmy right whale, Caperea marginata, is the least understood extant baleen whale (Cetacea, Mysticeti). Knowledge on its basic anatomy, ecology, and fossil record is limited, even though its singular position outside both balaenids (right whales) and balaenopteroids (rorquals + grey whales) gives Caperea a pivotal role in mysticete evolution. Recent investigations of the cetacean cochlea have provided new insights into sensory capabilities and phylogeny. Here, we extend this advance to Caperea by describing, for the first time, the inner ear of this enigmatic species. The cochlea is large and appears to be sensitive to low-frequency sounds, but its hearing limit is relatively high. The presence of a well-developed tympanal recess links Caperea with cetotheriids and balaenopteroids, rather than balaenids, contrary to the traditional morphological view of a close Caperea-balaenid relationship. Nevertheless, a broader sample of the cetotheriid Herpetocetus demonstrates that the presence of a tympanal recess can be variable at the specific and possibly even the intraspecific level. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Re-Birthing the Monstrous: James Whale's (Mis)Reading of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein."

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picart, Caroline Joan S.

    1998-01-01

    Contributes to scholarship on film and feminism by showing how James Whale's film attempts to excise or severely delimit the disturbing critique of the Romantic politics of gender in Mary Shelley's novel "Frankenstein." Discusses parthenogenesis, showing how the novel critiques the Romantic rhetorical reconstructions of masculine…

  4. 75 FR 81584 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plan for the Sperm Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-28

    ..., and monitor habitat essential to sperm whale populations; (6) investigate causes of and reduce the... extinction in 100 years) and the global population has at least 1,500 mature, reproductive individuals... factors or circumstances that are thought to substantially contribute to a real risk of extinction that...

  5. Immune functions in beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas): Evaluation of natural killer cell activity.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    S. De Guise (Sylvain); P.S. Ross (Peter); A.D.M.E. Osterhaus (Albert); D. Martineau (Daniel); P. Beland; M. Fournier (Michel)

    1997-01-01

    textabstractNatural killer (NK) activity, an important non-specific defense mechanism against viral infections and tumors, was demonstrated in beluga whales using two different methods: 51Cr release and flow cytometry. Using the 51Cr release assay, NK activity in belugas was shown to be higher

  6. Movement patterns of juvenile whale sharks tagged at an aggregation site in the Red Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berumen, Michael L; Braun, Camrin D; Cochran, Jesse E M; Skomal, Gregory B; Thorrold, Simon R

    2014-01-01

    Conservation efforts aimed at the whale shark, Rhincodon typus, remain limited by a lack of basic information on most aspects of its ecology, including global population structure, population sizes and movement patterns. Here we report on the movements of 47 Red Sea whale sharks fitted with three types of satellite transmitting tags from 2009-2011. Most of these sharks were tagged at a single aggregation site near Al-Lith, on the central coast of the Saudi Arabian Red Sea. Individuals encountered at this site were all juveniles based on size estimates ranging from 2.5-7 m total length with a sex ratio of approximately 1∶1. All other known aggregation sites for juvenile whale sharks are dominated by males. Results from tagging efforts showed that most individuals remained in the southern Red Sea and that some sharks returned to the same location in subsequent years. Diving data were recorded by 37 tags, revealing frequent deep dives to at least 500 m and as deep as 1360 m. The unique temperature-depth profiles of the Red Sea confirmed that several whale sharks moved out of the Red Sea while tagged. The wide-ranging horizontal movements of these individuals highlight the need for multinational, cooperative efforts to conserve R. typus populations in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean.

  7. Predator sound playbacks reveal strong avoidance responses in a fight strategist baleen whale

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Curé, C.; Doksæter Sivle, L.; Visser, F.; Wensveen, P.J.; Isojunno, S.; Harris, C.M.; Kvadsheim, P.H.; Lam, F.P.; Millewr, P.J.O.

    2015-01-01

    Anti-predator strategies are often defined as ‘flight’ or ‘fight’, based upon prey anatomical adaptations for size, morphology and weapons, as well as observed behaviours in the presence of predators. The humpback whale Megaptera nova eangliae is considered a ‘fight’ specialist based upon anatomy

  8. Movement patterns of juvenile whale sharks tagged at an aggregation site in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Berumen, Michael L.

    2014-07-30

    Conservation efforts aimed at the whale shark, Rhincodon typus, remain limited by a lack of basic information on most aspects of its ecology, including global population structure, population sizes and movement patterns. Here we report on the movements of 47 Red Sea whale sharks fitted with three types of satellite transmitting tags from 2009-2011. Most of these sharks were tagged at a single aggregation site near Al-Lith, on the central coast of the Saudi Arabian Red Sea. Individuals encountered at this site were all juveniles based on size estimates ranging from 2.5-7 m total length with a sex ratio of approximately 1:1. All other known aggregation sites for juvenile whale sharks are dominated by males. Results from tagging efforts showed that most individuals remained in the southern Red Sea and that some sharks returned to the same location in subsequent years. Diving data were recorded by 37 tags, revealing frequent deep dives to at least 500 m and as deep as 1360 m. The unique temperature-depth profiles of the Red Sea confirmed that several whale sharks moved out of the Red Sea while tagged. The wide-ranging horizontal movements of these individuals highlight the need for multinational, cooperative efforts to conserve R. typus populations in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. © 2014 Berumen et al.

  9. Composition and possible function of social groupings of southern right whales in South African waters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Best, PB; Schaeff, CM; Reeb, D; Palsboll, PJ

    2003-01-01

    We collected behavioural data and skin samples for molecular sex determination from 327 right whales (Eubalaena australis) in the coastal waters of South Africa between July and October, 1995 and 1996, as well as from 147 cows with calves-of-the-year between August and October 1996, September and

  10. Cellular and ultrastructural characterization of the grey-morph phenotype in southern right whales (Eubalaena australis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eroh, Guy D; Clayton, Fred C; Florell, Scott R; Cassidy, Pamela B; Chirife, Andrea; Marón, Carina F; Valenzuela, Luciano O; Campbell, Michael S; Seger, Jon; Rowntree, Victoria J; Leachman, Sancy A

    2017-01-01

    Southern right whales (SRWs, Eubalena australis) are polymorphic for an X-linked pigmentation pattern known as grey morphism. Most SRWs have completely black skin with white patches on their bellies and occasionally on their backs; these patches remain white as the whale ages. Grey morphs (previously referred to as partial albinos) appear mostly white at birth, with a splattering of rounded black marks; but as the whales age, the white skin gradually changes to a brownish grey color. The cellular and developmental bases of grey morphism are not understood. Here we describe cellular and ultrastructural features of grey-morph skin in relation to that of normal, wild-type skin. Melanocytes were identified histologically and counted, and melanosomes were measured using transmission electron microscopy. Grey-morph skin had fewer melanocytes when compared to wild-type skin, suggesting reduced melanocyte survival, migration, or proliferation in these whales. Grey-morph melanocytes had smaller melanosomes relative to wild-type skin, normal transport of melanosomes to surrounding keratinocytes, and normal localization of melanin granules above the keratinocyte nuclei. These findings indicate that SRW grey-morph pigmentation patterns are caused by reduced numbers of melanocytes in the skin, as well as by reduced amounts of melanin production and/or reduced sizes of mature melanosomes. Grey morphism is distinct from piebaldism and albinism found in other species, which are genetic pigmentation conditions resulting from the local absence of melanocytes, or the inability to synthesize melanin, respectively.

  11. Environmental Factors Affecting the Whale Shark Aggregation site in the South Central Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Hozumi, Aya

    2015-12-01

    Motivation behind the spring whale shark (Rhincodon typus) aggregation in Al-Lith, on the Saudi Arabian coast of the South Central Red Sea, is uncertain. A plausible hypothesis is that whale sharks gather to feed on high prey density, leading to questions about the cause of the prey density. A bottom-up process fueled by nutrient input or accumulation from physical advection could create a peak in prey biomass. Wastewater discharged from an aquaculture facility could affect productivity or provide a chemosensory cue for whale sharks. Yet, basic physico-biological oceanography of this region is unresolved. Monthly profiles, long-term moorings, and spatial surveys were used to describe the temporal variability of potential prey biomass and water masses in this region for the first time. Plankton abundance of individuals larger than ~0.7 cm did not peak during whale shark season. Rather, a decrease coinciding the trailing end of whale shark detections was observed. Sites 180 m apart had differences in acoustic backscatter, suggesting small-scale biomass patchiness, supporting the small-scale variability in whale shark habitat selectivity. Red Sea Deep Water, a nutrient-rich water mass formed in the northern Red Sea, appeared in July at the same time the Tokar wind jet from the Sudanese mountain gap is the highest. Gulf of Aden Water, a nutrient-rich water mass from the Indian Ocean, arrived as episodes from May to September, contrary to previous expectations that the water arrives continuously. It is unlikely that these natural nutrient sources are directly responsible for the high prey density attracting the whale sharks. The aquaculture plume, observed at the aggregation site, had a distinct seasonality from the ambient waters. The plume’s highest salinity (>48) approached the extreme limits of coral tolerances. Nutrient concentrations (nitrate, nitrite, phosphate, silica), suspended particulate matter, phytoplankton biomass, bacteria and cyanobacteria cell counts

  12. Establishment of the first humpback whale fibroblast cell lines and their application in chemical risk assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burkard, Michael, E-mail: Michael.burkard@eawag.ch [Griffith University, Environmental Futures Research Institute, Southern Ocean Persistent Organic Pollutants Program, Brisbane, QLD (Australia); Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Dübendorf (Switzerland); Whitworth, Deanne [The University of Queensland, School of Veterinary Science, Gatton, QLD (Australia); Schirmer, Kristin [Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Dübendorf (Switzerland); ETH Zürich, Institute of Biogechemistry and Pollutant Dynamics, Zürich (Switzerland); EPF Lausanne, School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Lausanne (Switzerland); Nash, Susan Bengtson [Griffith University, Environmental Futures Research Institute, Southern Ocean Persistent Organic Pollutants Program, Brisbane, QLD (Australia)

    2015-10-15

    Highlights: • We established and characterised the first humpback whale fibroblast cell lines. • Cell lines have a stable karyotype with 2n = 44. • Exposure to p,p′-DDE resulted in a concentration-dependent loss of cell viability. • p,p′-DDE sensitivity differed considerably from human fibroblasts. • Exposure to a whale blubber extract showed higher sensitivity than to p,p′-DDE alone. - Abstract: This paper reports the first successful derivation and characterization of humpback whale fibroblast cell lines. Primary fibroblasts were isolated from the dermal connective tissue of skin biopsies, cultured at 37 °C and 5% CO{sub 2} in the standard mammalian medium DMEM/F12 supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS). Of nine initial biopsies, two cell lines were established from two different animals and designated HuWa1 and HuWa2. The cells have a stable karyotype with 2n = 44, which has commonly been observed in other baleen whale species. Cells were verified as being fibroblasts based on their spindle-shaped morphology, adherence to plastic and positive immunoreaction to vimentin. Population doubling time was determined to be ∼41 h and cells were successfully cryopreserved and thawed. To date, HuWa1 cells have been propagated 30 times. Cells proliferate at the tested temperatures, 30, 33.5 and 37 °C, but show the highest rate of proliferation at 37 °C. Short-term exposure to para,para′-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p′-DDE), a priority compound accumulating in southern hemisphere humpback whales, resulted in a concentration-dependent loss of cell viability. The effective concentration which caused a 50% reduction in HuWa1 cell viability (EC{sub 50} value) was approximately six times greater than the EC{sub 50} value for the same chemical measured with human dermal fibroblasts. HuWa1 exposed to a natural, p,p′-DDE-containing, chemical mixture extracted from whale blubber showed distinctively higher sensitivity than to p,p′-DDE alone

  13. Establishment of the first humpback whale fibroblast cell lines and their application in chemical risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burkard, Michael; Whitworth, Deanne; Schirmer, Kristin; Nash, Susan Bengtson

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • We established and characterised the first humpback whale fibroblast cell lines. • Cell lines have a stable karyotype with 2n = 44. • Exposure to p,p′-DDE resulted in a concentration-dependent loss of cell viability. • p,p′-DDE sensitivity differed considerably from human fibroblasts. • Exposure to a whale blubber extract showed higher sensitivity than to p,p′-DDE alone. - Abstract: This paper reports the first successful derivation and characterization of humpback whale fibroblast cell lines. Primary fibroblasts were isolated from the dermal connective tissue of skin biopsies, cultured at 37 °C and 5% CO_2 in the standard mammalian medium DMEM/F12 supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS). Of nine initial biopsies, two cell lines were established from two different animals and designated HuWa1 and HuWa2. The cells have a stable karyotype with 2n = 44, which has commonly been observed in other baleen whale species. Cells were verified as being fibroblasts based on their spindle-shaped morphology, adherence to plastic and positive immunoreaction to vimentin. Population doubling time was determined to be ∼41 h and cells were successfully cryopreserved and thawed. To date, HuWa1 cells have been propagated 30 times. Cells proliferate at the tested temperatures, 30, 33.5 and 37 °C, but show the highest rate of proliferation at 37 °C. Short-term exposure to para,para′-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p′-DDE), a priority compound accumulating in southern hemisphere humpback whales, resulted in a concentration-dependent loss of cell viability. The effective concentration which caused a 50% reduction in HuWa1 cell viability (EC_5_0 value) was approximately six times greater than the EC_5_0 value for the same chemical measured with human dermal fibroblasts. HuWa1 exposed to a natural, p,p′-DDE-containing, chemical mixture extracted from whale blubber showed distinctively higher sensitivity than to p,p′-DDE alone. Thus, we

  14. Aerial surveys of bowhead and beluga whales along with incidental sighting of other marine mammals in the Bering, Beaufort and Chukchi Seas for the Bowhead Whale Aerial Survey Project (BWASP), 1979 - 2004 (NODC Accession 0001941)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Minerals Management Service (MMS), previously Bureau of Land Management, has funded fall bowhead whale aerial surveys in this area each year since 1978, using a...

  15. Oral cavity hydrodynamics and drag production in Balaenid whale suspension feeding.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean Potvin

    Full Text Available Balaenid whales feed on large aggregates of small and slow-moving prey (predominantly copepods through a filtration process enabled by baleen. These whales exhibit continuous filtration, namely, with the mouth kept partially opened and the baleen exposed to oncoming prey-laden waters while fluking. The process is an example of crossflow filtration (CFF in which most of the particulates (prey are separated from the substrate (water without ever coming into contact with the filtering surface (baleen. This paper discusses the simulation of baleen filtration hydrodynamics based on a type of hydraulic circuit modeling commonly used in microfluidics, but adapted to the much higher Reynolds number flows typical of whale hydrodynamics. This so-called Baleen Hydraulic Circuit (BHC model uses as input the basic characteristics of the flows moving through a section of baleen observed in a previous flume study by the authors. The model has low-spatial resolution but incorporates the effects of fluid viscosity, which doubles or more a whale's total body drag in comparison to non-feeding travel. Modeling viscous friction is crucial here since exposing the baleen system to the open ocean ends up tripling a whale's total wetted surface area. Among other findings, the BHC shows how CFF is enhanced by a large filtration surface and hence large body size; how it is carried out via the establishment of rapid anteroposterior flows transporting most of the prey-water slurry towards the oropharyngeal wall; how slower intra-baleen flows manage to transfer most of the substrate out of the mouth, all the while contributing only a fraction to overall oral cavity drag; and how these anteroposterior and intra-baleen flows lose speed as they approach the oropharyngeal wall.

  16. Abundance and survival of Pacific humpback whales in a proposed critical habitat area.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin Ashe

    Full Text Available Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae were hunted commercially in Canada's Pacific region until 1966. Depleted to an estimated 1,400 individuals throughout the North Pacific, humpback whales are listed as Threatened under Canada's Species at Risk Act (SARA and Endangered under the US Endangered Species Act. We conducted an 8-year photo-identification study to monitor humpback whale usage of a coastal fjord system in British Columbia (BC, Canada that was recently proposed as candidate critical habitat for the species under SARA. This participatory research program built collaborations among First Nations, environmental non-governmental organizations and academics. The study site, including the territorial waters of Gitga'at First Nation, is an important summertime feeding destination for migratory humpback whales, but is small relative to the population's range. We estimated abundance and survivorship using mark-recapture methods using photographs of naturally marked individuals. Abundance of humpback whales in the region was large, relative to the site's size, and generally increased throughout the study period. The resulting estimate of adult survivorship (0.979, 95% CI: 0.914, 0.995 is at the high end of previously reported estimates. A high rate of resights provides new evidence for inter-annual site fidelity to these local waters. Habitat characteristics of our study area are considered ecologically significant and unique, and this should be considered as regulatory agencies consider proposals for high-volume crude oil and liquefied natural gas tanker traffic through the area. Monitoring population recovery of a highly mobile, migratory species is daunting for low-cost, community-led science. Focusing on a small, important subset of the animals' range can make this challenge more tractable. Given low statistical power and high variability, our community is considering simpler ecological indicators of population health, such as the number

  17. Oral cavity hydrodynamics and drag production in Balaenid whale suspension feeding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potvin, Jean; Werth, Alexander J

    2017-01-01

    Balaenid whales feed on large aggregates of small and slow-moving prey (predominantly copepods) through a filtration process enabled by baleen. These whales exhibit continuous filtration, namely, with the mouth kept partially opened and the baleen exposed to oncoming prey-laden waters while fluking. The process is an example of crossflow filtration (CFF) in which most of the particulates (prey) are separated from the substrate (water) without ever coming into contact with the filtering surface (baleen). This paper discusses the simulation of baleen filtration hydrodynamics based on a type of hydraulic circuit modeling commonly used in microfluidics, but adapted to the much higher Reynolds number flows typical of whale hydrodynamics. This so-called Baleen Hydraulic Circuit (BHC) model uses as input the basic characteristics of the flows moving through a section of baleen observed in a previous flume study by the authors. The model has low-spatial resolution but incorporates the effects of fluid viscosity, which doubles or more a whale's total body drag in comparison to non-feeding travel. Modeling viscous friction is crucial here since exposing the baleen system to the open ocean ends up tripling a whale's total wetted surface area. Among other findings, the BHC shows how CFF is enhanced by a large filtration surface and hence large body size; how it is carried out via the establishment of rapid anteroposterior flows transporting most of the prey-water slurry towards the oropharyngeal wall; how slower intra-baleen flows manage to transfer most of the substrate out of the mouth, all the while contributing only a fraction to overall oral cavity drag; and how these anteroposterior and intra-baleen flows lose speed as they approach the oropharyngeal wall.

  18. Organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls in fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) from the Gulf of California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niño-Torres, Carlos Alberto; Zenteno-Savín, Tania; Gardner, Susan C; Urbán R, Jorge

    2010-08-01

    The present study reports unique data on concentrations of several classes of organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls in blubber biopsies from healthy living fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) from the Gulf of California, Mexico, one of the most isolated and unstudied population in the world. OC levels in this population were generally lower than levels reported in fin whales from other regions. The rank order of OCs were SigmaDDTs (range from 300 to 2400 ng g(-1) lw) > SigmaPCBs (range from 40 to 290 ng g(-1) lw) > SigmaHCHs (range from or = SigmaCHLORs (from pesticide measured was the DDT metabolite, p,p'-DDE. The PCBs 138, 153, and 180 were the most abundant PCBs congeners found in the fin whales samples. Males had significant higher concentrations of SigmaOC, SigmaDDTs and SigmaPCBs than females (P < 0.05), although the p,p'-DDE/SigmaDDTs ratios were similar between the sexes. Although the OC concentrations found in this population were generally below the levels that would be expected to cause deleterious health effects, the maximum values observed (2700 ng g(-1) lw) in some animals were higher than those associated with reproductive effects in whales. Given the small population size and highly isolated characteristics of Gulf of California fin whales, health effects in individuals could readily translate into population-level effects. Future research on this topic will be necessary to better understand the role that these compounds may have on the health of this population.

  19. Marine 14C reservoir ages for 19th century whales and molluscs from the North Atlantic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangerud, Jan; Bondevik, Stein; Gulliksen, Steinar; Karin Hufthammer, Anne; Høisæter, Tore

    2006-12-01

    In order to compare radiocarbon dates on marine and terrestrial samples the former have to be corrected for a reservoir age. We present reservoir ages from dating 21 whales collected 1860-1901 and recalculating dates of 23 molluscs collected 1857-1926. Most of the whales were caught along the coast of Norway, but one is from France and one from Iceland. We assume the former mainly lived in the North and equatorial Atlantic and in the Norwegian Sea. Whales feed only on pelagic organisms and will provide the reservoir age for the open ocean surface water. However, they travel long distances and will integrate the reservoir ages of the different water masses along their way. Molluscs (dated from Norway, Spitsbergen and Arctic Canada) are stationary and monitor the sea water passing their dwelling site, but some also take up carbon from particulate food or sediment pore water. Coastal water also often contains some continental carbon. We present two different views on how to analyze and interpret the data. Mangerud recommends to use reservoir ages based on a combination of the whale and mollusc dates, i.e. 380±30 and 360±30 yr relative to Intcal04 and British oak, respectively, and a Δ R value of 20±30 for the surface water in the N-Atlantic and Norwegian Sea. Bondevik and Gulliksen maintain that the reservoir age—and Δ R—along the Norwegian coast is latitude dependant, with Δ R-values increasing from -3±22 in the South to 105±24 at Spitsbergen. Whales, reflecting North Atlantic open ocean surface water have lower Δ R (7±11) than most molluscs.

  20. Stable isotopes indicate population structuring in the southwest Atlantic population of right whales (Eubalaena australis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morgana Vighi

    Full Text Available From the early 17th century to the 1970s southern right whales, Eubalaena australis, were subject to intense exploitation along the Atlantic coast of South America. Catches along this coast recorded by whalers originally formed a continuum from Brazil to Tierra del Fuego. Nevertheless, the recovery of the population has apparently occurred fragmentarily, and with two main areas of concentration, one off southern Brazil (Santa Catarina and another off central Argentina (Peninsula Valdés. This pattern suggests some level of heterogeneity amongst the population, which is apparently contradicted by records that traced individuals moving throughout the whole geographical extension covered by the species in the Southwest Atlantic. To test the hypothesis of the potential occurrence of discrete subpopulations exploiting specific habitats, we investigated N, C and O isotopic values in 125 bone samples obtained from whaling factories operating in the early 1970s in southern Brazil (n=72 and from contemporary and more recent strandings occurring in central Argentina (n=53. Results indicated significant differences between the two sampling areas, being δ13C and δ18O values significantly higher in samples from southern Brazil than in those from central Argentina. This variation was consistent with isotopic baselines from the two areas, indicating the occurrence of some level of structure in the Southwest Atlantic right whale population and equally that whales more likely feed in areas commonly thought to exclusively serve as nursing grounds. Results aim at reconsidering of the units currently used in the management of the southern right whale in the Southwest Atlantic Ocean. In the context of the current die-off affecting the species in Peninsula Valdés, these results also highlight the necessity to better understand movements of individuals and precisely identify their feeding areas.