WorldWideScience

Sample records for whale orcinus orca

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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...

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. First longitudinal study of seal-feeding killer whales (Orcinus orca) in Norwegian coastal waters

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Eve Jourdain; Dag Vongraven; Anna Bisther; Richard Karoliussen

    2017-01-01

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) have been documented preying on either fish or marine mammals in several regions, suggesting that this odontocete species has the ability to specialize on different types of prey...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-09-01

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

  6. Experimental evidence for action imitation in killer whales (Orcinus orca).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abramson, José Z; Hernández-Lloreda, Victoria; Call, Josep; Colmenares, Fernando

    2013-01-01

    Comparative experimental studies of imitative learning have focused mainly on primates and birds. However, cetaceans are promising candidates to display imitative learning as they have evolved in socioecological settings that have selected for large brains, complex sociality, and coordinated predatory tactics. Here we tested imitative learning in killer whales, Orcinus orca. We used a 'do-as-other-does' paradigm in which 3 subjects witnessed a conspecific demonstrator's performance that included 15 familiar and 4 novel behaviours. The three subjects (1) learned the copy command signal 'Do that' very quickly, that is, 20 trials on average; (2) copied 100 % of the demonstrator's familiar and novel actions; (3) achieved full matches in the first attempt for 8-13 familiar behaviours (out of 15) and for the 2 novel behaviours (out of 2) in one subject; and (4) took no longer than 8 trials to accurately copy any familiar behaviour, and no longer than 16 trials to copy any novel behaviour. This study provides experimental evidence for body imitation, including production imitation, in killer whales that is comparable to that observed in dolphins tested under similar conditions. These findings suggest that imitative learning may underpin some of the group-specific traditions reported in killer whales in the field.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca Wellard

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

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2014-01-01

    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...

  12. Sightings of killer whales Orcinus orca from longline vessels in South African waters, and consideration of the regional conservation status

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Williams, AJ; Petersen, SL; Goren, M; Watkins, BP

    2009-01-01

    Killer whales Orcinus orca are seldom reported from South African nearshore waters but, allowing for the bias of vessel attraction, observations from longline vessels suggest there is a resident off...

  13. Environmental isolates of fungi from aquarium pools housing killer whales (Orcinus orca).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohata, Erina; Kano, Rui; Akune, Yuichiro; Ohno, Yoshito; Soichi, Makoto; Yanai, Tokuma; Hasegawa, Atsuhiko; Kamata, Hiroshi

    2013-12-01

    Systemic mycoses in killer whales (Orcinus orca) are rare diseases, but have been reported. Two killer whales died by fungal infections at the Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium in Japan. In this study, the fungal flora of the pool environment at the aquarium was characterized. Alternaria spp., Aspergillus spp. (A. fumigatus, A. niger, A. versicolor), Fusarium spp. and Penicillium spp. were isolated from the air and the pool surroundings. The other isolates were identified as fungal species non-pathogenic for mammals. However, the species of fungi isolated from the environmental samples in this study were not the same as those isolated from the cases of disease in killer whales previously reported.

  14. Killer whale (Orcinus orca) whistles from the western South Atlantic Ocean include high frequency signals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andriolo, Artur; Reis, Sarah S; Amorim, Thiago O S; Sucunza, Federico; de Castro, Franciele R; Maia, Ygor Geyer; Zerbini, Alexandre N; Bortolotto, Guilherme A; Dalla Rosa, Luciano

    2015-09-01

    Acoustic parameters of killer whale (Orcinus orca) whistles were described for the western South Atlantic Ocean and highlight the occurrence of high frequency whistles. Killer whale signals were recorded on December of 2012, when a pod of four individuals was observed harassing a group of sperm whales. The high frequency whistles were highly stereotyped and were modulated mostly at ultrasonic frequencies. Compared to other contour types, the high frequency whistles are characterized by higher bandwidths, shorter durations, fewer harmonics, and higher sweep rates. The results add to the knowledge of vocal behavior of this species.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Whistle communication in mammal-eating killer whales (Orcinus orca): further evidence for acoustic divergence between ecotypes

    OpenAIRE

    Deecke, Volker B.; Riesch, Rüdiger

    2011-01-01

    Public signaling plays an important role in territorial and sexual displays in animals; however, in certain situations, it is advantageous to keep signaling private to prevent eavesdropping by unintended receivers. In the northeastern Pacific, two populations of killer whales (Orcinus orca), fish-eating “resident” killer whales and mammal-eating “transient” killer whales, share the same habitat. Previous studies have shown that residents use whistles as private signals during close-range comm...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Ferguson, Steven H; Higdon, Jeff W; Westdal, Kristin H

    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-direc...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2004-01-01

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

  1. Conservation Status of Killer Whales, Orcinus orca, in the Strait of Gibraltar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esteban, R; Verborgh, P; Gauffier, P; Alarcón, D; Salazar-Sierra, J M; Giménez, J; Foote, A D; de Stephanis, R

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) in the Mediterranean Sea are currently restricted to the Strait of Gibraltar and surrounding waters. Thirty-nine individuals were present in 2011, with a well-differentiated social structure, organized into five pods. Killer whale occurrence in the Strait is apparently related to the migration of their main prey, Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus). In spring, whale distribution was restricted to shallow waters off the western coast of the Strait where all pods were observed actively hunting tuna. In summer, the whales were observed in the shallow central waters of the Strait. A relatively new feeding strategy has been observed among two of the five pods. These two pods interact with an artisanal drop-line fishery. Pods depredating the fishery had access to larger tuna in comparison with pods that were actively hunting. The Strait of Gibraltar killer whales are socially and ecologically different from individuals in the Canary Islands. Molecular genetic research has indicated that there is little or no female-mediated gene migration between these areas. Conservation threats include small population size, prey depletion, vessel traffic, and contaminants. We propose the declaration of the Strait of Gibraltar killer whales as an endangered subpopulation. A conservation plan to protect the Strait of Gibraltar killer whales is urgently needed, and we recommend implementation of a seasonal management area where activities producing underwater noise are restricted, and the promotion of bluefin tuna conservation. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ridgway, Sam H

    1979-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Hill, Heather M.; Sara Guarino; Sarah Dietrich; Judy St. Leger

    2016-01-01

    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 ...

  6. Prey selection of offshore killer whales Orcinus orca in the Northeast Atlantic in late summer: spatial associations with mackerel

    OpenAIRE

    Nøttestad, Leif; Sivle, Lise Doksæter; Krafft, Bjørn A.; Langård, Lise; Anthonypillai, Valantine; Bernasconi, Matteo; Langøy, Herdis; Fernö, Anders

    2014-01-01

    The traditional perception of prey species preference of killer whales Orcinus orca L. in the Northeast Atlantic has, to a large extent, been linked to herring Clupea harengus L. Few studies have investigated the feeding ecology of killer whales from the offshore parts of this ecosystem. We conducted 2 summer-season ecosystem-based surveys in the Norwegian Sea, when it is most crucial for these animals to build up their energy reserves, using observational, acoustic, oceanographic, plankton n...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-07-01

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

  8. The relationship between vessel traffic and noise levels received by killer whales (Orcinus orca)

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Whale watching has become increasingly popular as an ecotourism activity around the globe and is beneficial for environmental education and local economies. Southern Resident killer whales (Orcinus orca) comprise an endangered population that is frequently observed by a large whale watching fleet in the inland waters of Washington state and British Columbia. One of the factors identified as a risk to recovery for the population is the effect of vessels and associated noise. An examination of the effects of vessels and associated noise on whale behavior utilized novel equipment to address limitations of previous studies. Digital acoustic recording tags (DTAGs) measured the noise levels the tagged whales received while laser positioning systems allowed collection of geo-referenced data for tagged whales and all vessels within 1000 m of the tagged whale. The objective of the current study was to compare vessel data and DTAG recordings to relate vessel traffic to the ambient noise received by tagged whales. Two analyses were conducted, one including all recording intervals, and one that excluded intervals when only the research vessel was present. For all data, significant predictors of noise levels were length (inverse relationship), number of propellers, and vessel speed, but only 15% of the variation in noise was explained by this model. When research-vessel-only intervals were excluded, vessel speed was the only significant predictor of noise levels, and explained 42% of the variation. Simple linear regressions (ignoring covariates) found that average vessel speed and number of propellers were the only significant correlates with noise levels. We conclude that vessel speed is the most important predictor of noise levels received by whales in this study. Thus, measures that reduce vessel speed in the vicinity of killer whales would reduce noise exposure in this population.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliana Houghton

    Full Text Available Whale watching has become increasingly popular as an ecotourism activity around the globe and is beneficial for environmental education and local economies. Southern Resident killer whales (Orcinus orca comprise an endangered population that is frequently observed by a large whale watching fleet in the inland waters of Washington state and British Columbia. One of the factors identified as a risk to recovery for the population is the effect of vessels and associated noise. An examination of the effects of vessels and associated noise on whale behavior utilized novel equipment to address limitations of previous studies. Digital acoustic recording tags (DTAGs measured the noise levels the tagged whales received while laser positioning systems allowed collection of geo-referenced data for tagged whales and all vessels within 1000 m of the tagged whale. The objective of the current study was to compare vessel data and DTAG recordings to relate vessel traffic to the ambient noise received by tagged whales. Two analyses were conducted, one including all recording intervals, and one that excluded intervals when only the research vessel was present. For all data, significant predictors of noise levels were length (inverse relationship, number of propellers, and vessel speed, but only 15% of the variation in noise was explained by this model. When research-vessel-only intervals were excluded, vessel speed was the only significant predictor of noise levels, and explained 42% of the variation. Simple linear regressions (ignoring covariates found that average vessel speed and number of propellers were the only significant correlates with noise levels. We conclude that vessel speed is the most important predictor of noise levels received by whales in this study. Thus, measures that reduce vessel speed in the vicinity of killer whales would reduce noise exposure in this population.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Whale watching has become increasingly popular as an ecotourism activity around the globe and is beneficial for environmental education and local economies. Southern Resident killer whales (Orcinus orca) comprise an endangered population that is frequently observed by a large whale watching fleet in the inland waters of Washington state and British Columbia. One of the factors identified as a risk to recovery for the population is the effect of vessels and associated noise. An examination of the effects of vessels and associated noise on whale behavior utilized novel equipment to address limitations of previous studies. Digital acoustic recording tags (DTAGs) measured the noise levels the tagged whales received while laser positioning systems allowed collection of geo-referenced data for tagged whales and all vessels within 1000 m of the tagged whale. The objective of the current study was to compare vessel data and DTAG recordings to relate vessel traffic to the ambient noise received by tagged whales. Two analyses were conducted, one including all recording intervals, and one that excluded intervals when only the research vessel was present. For all data, significant predictors of noise levels were length (inverse relationship), number of propellers, and vessel speed, but only 15% of the variation in noise was explained by this model. When research-vessel-only intervals were excluded, vessel speed was the only significant predictor of noise levels, and explained 42% of the variation. Simple linear regressions (ignoring covariates) found that average vessel speed and number of propellers were the only significant correlates with noise levels. We conclude that vessel speed is the most important predictor of noise levels received by whales in this study. Thus, measures that reduce vessel speed in the vicinity of killer whales would reduce noise exposure in this population.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

    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 immunologic

  12. 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

  13. First longitudinal study of seal-feeding killer whales (Orcinus orca) in Norwegian coastal waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bisther, Anna; Karoliussen, Richard

    2017-01-01

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) have been documented preying on either fish or marine mammals in several regions, suggesting that this odontocete species has the ability to specialize on different types of prey. Off Norway, killer whales have been shown to rely on the Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) as a main prey resource. Infrequent observations have revealed seals as an additional component of their diet, yet the extent of predation on marine mammals has remained largely unknown. Here, we present the findings of 29 years of photographic and observational data on seal-feeding killer whale groups identified in Norwegian coastal waters. Four groups have been observed preying and feeding on seals over several years, taking both harbor (Phoca vitulina) and grey (Halichoerus grypus) seals. These stable groups are shown to adopt small group sizes, were typically observed in near-shore areas and were not encountered on herring wintering grounds. Behavioral and social traits adopted by these groups are similar to those of pinniped-feeding killer whales from other regions. The potential ecological reasons and the extent of such prey specializations are discussed. PMID:28666015

  14. First longitudinal study of seal-feeding killer whales (Orcinus orca) in Norwegian coastal waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jourdain, Eve; Vongraven, Dag; Bisther, Anna; Karoliussen, Richard

    2017-01-01

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) have been documented preying on either fish or marine mammals in several regions, suggesting that this odontocete species has the ability to specialize on different types of prey. Off Norway, killer whales have been shown to rely on the Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) as a main prey resource. Infrequent observations have revealed seals as an additional component of their diet, yet the extent of predation on marine mammals has remained largely unknown. Here, we present the findings of 29 years of photographic and observational data on seal-feeding killer whale groups identified in Norwegian coastal waters. Four groups have been observed preying and feeding on seals over several years, taking both harbor (Phoca vitulina) and grey (Halichoerus grypus) seals. These stable groups are shown to adopt small group sizes, were typically observed in near-shore areas and were not encountered on herring wintering grounds. Behavioral and social traits adopted by these groups are similar to those of pinniped-feeding killer whales from other regions. The potential ecological reasons and the extent of such prey specializations are discussed.

  15. First longitudinal study of seal-feeding killer whales (Orcinus orca in Norwegian coastal waters.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eve Jourdain

    Full Text Available Killer whales (Orcinus orca have been documented preying on either fish or marine mammals in several regions, suggesting that this odontocete species has the ability to specialize on different types of prey. Off Norway, killer whales have been shown to rely on the Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus as a main prey resource. Infrequent observations have revealed seals as an additional component of their diet, yet the extent of predation on marine mammals has remained largely unknown. Here, we present the findings of 29 years of photographic and observational data on seal-feeding killer whale groups identified in Norwegian coastal waters. Four groups have been observed preying and feeding on seals over several years, taking both harbor (Phoca vitulina and grey (Halichoerus grypus seals. These stable groups are shown to adopt small group sizes, were typically observed in near-shore areas and were not encountered on herring wintering grounds. Behavioral and social traits adopted by these groups are similar to those of pinniped-feeding killer whales from other regions. The potential ecological reasons and the extent of such prey specializations are discussed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morin, Phillip A; Archer, Frederick I; Foote, Andrew D; Vilstrup, Julia; Allen, Eric E; Wade, Paul; Durban, John; Parsons, Kim; Pitman, Robert; Li, Lewyn; Bouffard, Pascal; Abel Nielsen, Sandra C; Rasmussen, Morten; Willerslev, Eske; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Harkins, Timothy

    2010-07-01

    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 but for many marine taxa. We used high-throughput sequencing to survey whole mitochondrial genome variation of 139 samples from the North Pacific, North Atlantic, and southern oceans. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that each of the known ecotypes represents a strongly supported clade with divergence times ranging from approximately 150,000 to 700,000 yr ago. We recommend that three named ecotypes be elevated to full species, and that the remaining types be recognized as subspecies pending additional data. Establishing appropriate taxonomic designations will greatly aid in understanding the ecological impacts and conservation needs of these important marine predators. We predict that phylogeographic mitogenomics will become an important tool for improved statistical phylogeography and more precise estimates of divergence times.

  17. 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 a...... impacts and conservation needs of these important marine predators. We predict that phylogeographic mitogenomics will become an important tool for improved statistical phylogeography and more precise estimates of divergence times....

  18. Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in killer whales (Orcinus orca) from the Crozet Archipelago, southern Indian Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noël, Marie; Barrett-Lennard, Lance; Guinet, Christophe; Dangerfield, Neil; Ross, Peter S

    2009-10-01

    Persistent organic pollutants (POPs), including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), and dibenzofurans (PCDFs), are ubiquitous environmental contaminants of which significant concentrations are reported in upper trophic level animals. In 1998, we collected blubber biopsy samples (n=11) from killer whales (Orcinus orca) inhabiting the coastal waters around Possession Island, Crozet Archipelago, southern Indian Ocean, for contaminant analyses. Despite inhabiting an isolated region far removed from industrial activities, these killer whales can presently be considered among the most PCB-contaminated cetaceans in the southern hemisphere, with concentrations ranging from 4.4 to 20.5mg/kg lipid weight (lw). PCDD levels ranged from below the detection limit (5 ng/kg) to 77.1 ng/kg lw and PCDF levels from below the detection limit (7 ng/kg) to 36.1 ng/kg lw. Over 70% of our study animals had PCB concentrations which exceeded a 1.3mg/kg PCB threshold established for endocrine disruption and immunotoxicity in free-ranging harbour seals, suggesting that organic contaminants cannot be ruled out as an additional threat to this declining population.

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. Hematological and serum biochemical analytes reflect physiological challenges during gestation and lactation in killer whales (Orcinus orca).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robeck, Todd R; Nollens, Hendrik H

    2013-01-01

    Gestation and lactation result in metabolic alterations of the dam because of varying demands of the fetus and offspring during the different stages of development. Despite killer whales (Orcinus orca) having one of the longest gestations and highest birth weights of all mammals in human care, these metabolic alterations, and their impact on the physiology of the dam have not been measured. The objectives of this analysis were to determine if physiologic demands on the killer whale during pregnancy and lactation have measurable effects on hematology and biochemical analytes and if detectable, to compare these changes to those which are observed in other mammalian species. Forty hematologic and biochemical analytes from seven female killer whales (22 pregnancies, 1,507 samples) were compared between the following stages: (1) non-pregnant or lactating (control); (2) gestation; and (3) the first 12 months of lactation. Decreased hematocrit, hemoglobin, and red blood cell counts were indicative of plasma volume expansion during mid and late gestation. The killer whales exhibited a progressively increasing physiologic inflammatory state leading up to parturition. Gestation and lactation caused significant shifts in the serum lipid profiles. Gestation and lactation cause significant physiologic changes in the killer whale dam. The last 12 months of gestation had greater physiological impact than lactation, but changes associated with and immediately following parturition were the most dramatic. During this period, killer whales may experience increased susceptibility to illness, and anthropogenic and environmental disturbances. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Loss of Arctic sea ice causing punctuated change in sightings of killer whales (Orcinus orca) over the past century.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higdon, Jeff W; Ferguson, Steven H

    2009-07-01

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) are major predators that may reshape marine ecosystems via top-down forcing. Climate change models predict major reductions in sea ice with the subsequent expectation for readjustments of species' distribution and abundance. Here, we measure changes in killer whale distribution in the Hudson Bay region with decreasing sea ice as an example of global readjustments occurring with climate change. We summarize records of killer whales in Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait, and Foxe Basin in the eastern Canadian Arctic and relate them to an historical sea ice data set while accounting for spatial and temporal autocorrelation in the data. We find evidence for "choke points," where sea ice inhibits killer whale movement, thereby creating restrictions to their Arctic distribution. We hypothesize that a threshold exists in seasonal sea ice concentration within these choke points that results in pulses in advancements in distribution of an ice-avoiding predator. Hudson Strait appears to have been a significant sea ice choke point that opened up .approximately 50 years ago allowing for an initial punctuated appearance of killer whales followed by a gradual advancing distribution within the entire Hudson Bay region. Killer whale sightings have increased exponentially and are now reported in the Hudson Bay region every summer. We predict that other choke points will soon open up with continued sea ice melt producing punctuated predator-prey trophic cascades across the Arctic.

  3. Call types of Bigg's killer whales (Orcinus orca) in western Alaska: Using vocal dialects to assess population structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharpe, Deborah Lynn

    Apex predators are important indicators of ecosystem health, but little is known about the population structure of Bigg's killer whales ( Orcinus orca; i.e. 'transient' ecotype) in western Alaska. Currently, all Bigg's killer whales in western Alaska are ascribed to a single broad stock for management under the US Marine Mammal Protection Act. However, recent nuclear microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA analyses indicate that this stock is likely comprised of genetically distinct sub-populations. In accordance with what is known about killer whale vocal dialects in other locations, I sought to evaluate Bigg's killer whale population structure by examining the spatial distribution of group-specific call types in western Alaska. Digital audio recordings were collected from 33 encounters with Bigg's killer whales throughout the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands in the summers of 2001-2007 and 2009-2010. Recorded calls were perceptually classified into discrete types and then quantitatively described using 12 structural and time-frequency measures. Resulting call categories were objectively validated using a random forest approach. A total of 36 call types and subtypes were identified across the entire study area, and regional patterns of call type usage revealed three distinct dialects, each of which corresponding to proposed genetic delineations. I suggest that at least three acoustically and genetically distinct subpopulations are present in western Alaska, and put forth an initial catalog for this area describing the regional vocal repertoires of Bigg's killer whale call types.

  4. Reproductive physiology and development of artificial insemination technology in killer whales (Orcinus orca).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robeck, T R; Steinman, K J; Gearhart, S; Reidarson, T R; McBain, J F; Monfort, S L

    2004-08-01

    Research was conducted to define the basic reproductive physiology of killer whales (Orcinus orca) and to use this knowledge to facilitate the development of artificial insemination procedures. The specific objectives were 1) to determine the excretory dynamics of urinary LH and ovarian steroid metabolites during the estrous cycle; 2) to evaluate the effect of an exogenously administered, synthetic progesterone analog on reproductive hormone excretion; 3) to validate the use of transabdominal ultrasound for ovarian evaluation and timing of ovulation; 4) to examine the quality of semen after liquid storage and cryopreservation; and 5) to develop an intrauterine insemination technique. Based on urinary endocrine monitoring of 41 follicular phases and 26 complete cycles from five females, estrous cycles were 41 days long and comprised a 17-day follicular phase and a 21-day luteal phase. A consistent temporal relationship was observed between peak estrogen conjugates and the LH surge, the latter of which occurred approximately 0.5 days later. Two animals placed on oral altrenogest (three separate occasions for 30, 17, and 31 days, respectively) excreted peak urinary estrogen concentrations 25 days after withdrawal that were followed by sustained elevations in urinary pregnanediol-3alpha-glucuronide excretion. Mean preovulatory follicle diameter was 3.9 cm (n = 6), and ovulation occurred 38 h (n = 5) after the peak of the LH surge. Based on visual estimates of motility, liquid-stored semen maintained 92% of its raw ejaculate sperm motility index (total progressive motility x kinetic rating [0-5 scale, where 0 = no movement and 5 = rapid progressive movement]) when held at 4 degrees C for 3 days postcollection. Semen cryopreserved using a medium freezing rate demonstrated good postthaw total motility (50%), progressive motility (94%), and kinetic rating (3.5). Insemination during eight estrous cycles resulted in three pregnancies (38%), two from liquid-stored and one

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferguson, Steven H; Higdon, Jeff W; Westdal, Kristin H

    2012-01-30

    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 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. 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.

  6. Echolocation signals of free-ranging killer whales (Orcinus orca) and modeling of foraging for chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Au, Whitlow W. L.; Ford, John K. B.; Horne, John K.; Allman, Kelly A. Newman

    2004-02-01

    Fish-eating ``resident''-type killer whales (Orcinus orca) that frequent the coastal waters off northeastern Vancouver Island, Canada have a strong preference for chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). The whales in this region often forage along steep cliffs that extend into the water, echolocating their prey. Echolocation signals of resident killer whales were measured with a four-hydrophone symmetrical star array and the signals were simultaneously digitized at a sample rate of 500 kHz using a lunch-box PC. A portable VCR recorded the images from an underwater camera located adjacent to the array center. Only signals emanating from close to the beam axis (1185 total) were chosen for a detailed analysis. Killer whales project very broadband echolocation signals (Q equal 0.9 to 1.4) that tend to have bimodal frequency structure. Ninety-seven percent of the signals had center frequencies between 45 and 80 kHz with bandwidths between 35 and 50 kHz. The peak-to-peak source level of the echolocation signals decreased as a function of the one-way transmission loss to the array. Source levels varied between 195 and 224 dB re:1 μPa. Using a model of target strength for chinook salmon, the echo levels from the echolocation signals are estimated for different horizontal ranges between a whale and a salmon. At a horizontal range of 100 m, the echo level should exceed an Orcinus hearing threshold at 50 kHz by over 29 dB and should be greater than sea state 4 noise by at least 9 dB. In moderately heavy rain conditions, the detection range will be reduced substantially and the echo level at a horizontal range of 40 m would be close to the level of the rain noise.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. A small towed beamforming array to identify vocalizing resident killer whales ( Orcinus orca) concurrent with focal behavioral observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Patrick J.; Tyack, Peter L.

    Investigations of communication systems benefit from concurrent observation of vocal and visible behaviors of individual animals. A device has been developed to identify individual vocalizing resident killer whales ( Orcinus orca) during focal behavioral observations. The device consists of a 2-m, 15-element hydrophone array, which is easily towed behind a small vessel, on-board multi-channel recorders, and real-time signal processing equipment. Acoustic data from the hydrophones are digitized and processed using broadband frequency-domain beamforming to yield frequency-azimuth (FRAZ) and "directo-gram" displays of arriving sounds. Based upon statistical analysis of independent portions of typical killer whale calls, the precision of the angle-of-arrival estimate ranges from ±0° to ±2.5° with a mean precision of ±1.5°. Echolocation clicks also are resolved precisely with a typical -6 dB mainlobe width of ±2.0°. Careful positioning of the array relative to the animals minimizes the effects of depth ambiguities and allows identification of individual sources in many circumstances. Several strategies for identifying vocalizing individuals are discussed and an example of a successful identification is described. Use of the array with resident killer whales did not interfere with vessel maneuverability, animal tracking, or behavioral sampling of focal individuals. This localization technique has promise for advancing the abilities of researchers to conduct unbiased behavioral and acoustic sampling of individual free-ranging cetaceans.

  12. 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.

  13. Distinguishing the impacts of inadequate prey and vessel traffic on an endangered killer whale (Orcinus orca population.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine L Ayres

    Full Text Available 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. The significance of respiration timing in the energetics estimates of free-ranging killer whales (Orcinus orca).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roos, Marjoleine M H; Wu, Gi-Mick; Miller, Patrick J O

    2016-07-01

    Respiration rate has been used as an indicator of metabolic rate and associated cost of transport (COT) of free-ranging cetaceans, discounting potential respiration-by-respiration variation in O2 uptake. To investigate the influence of respiration timing on O2 uptake, we developed a dynamic model of O2 exchange and storage. Individual respiration events were revealed from kinematic data from 10 adult Norwegian herring-feeding killer whales (Orcinus orca) recorded with high-resolution tags (DTAGs). We compared fixed O2 uptake per respiration models with O2 uptake per respiration estimated through a simple 'broken-stick' O2-uptake function, in which O2 uptake was assumed to be the maximum possible O2 uptake when stores are depleted or maximum total body O2 store minus existing O2 store when stores are close to saturated. In contrast to findings assuming fixed O2 uptake per respiration, uptake from the broken-stick model yielded a high correlation (r(2)>0.9) between O2 uptake and activity level. Moreover, we found that respiration intervals increased and became less variable at higher swimming speeds, possibly to increase O2 uptake efficiency per respiration. As found in previous studies, COT decreased monotonically versus speed using the fixed O2 uptake per respiration models. However, the broken-stick uptake model yielded a curvilinear COT curve with a clear minimum at typical swimming speeds of 1.7-2.4 m s(-1) Our results showed that respiration-by-respiration variation in O2 uptake is expected to be significant. And though O2 consumption measurements of COT for free-ranging cetaceans remain impractical, accounting for the influence of respiration timing on O2 uptake will lead to more consistent predictions of field metabolic rates than using respiration rate alone. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  17. Influence of life-history parameters on organochlorine concentrations in free-ranging killer whales (Orcinus orca) from Prince William Sound, AK.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ylitalo, G M; Matkin, C O; Buzitis, J; Krahn, M M; Jones, L L; Rowles, T; Stein, J E

    2001-12-17

    Certain populations of killer whales (Orcinus orca) have been extensively studied over the past 30 years, including populations that use Puget Sound, WA, the inside waters of British Columbia, Southeastern Alaska and Kenai Fjords/Prince William Sound, Alaska. Two eco-types of killer whales, 'transient' and 'resident', occur in all of these regions. These eco-types are genetically distinct and differ in various aspects of morphology, vocalization patterns, diet and habitat use. Various genetic and photo-identification studies of eastern North Pacific killer whales have provided information on the male-female composition of most of these resident pods and transient groups, as well as the approximate ages, reproductive status and putative recruitment order (birth order) of the individual whales. Biopsy blubber samples of free-ranging resident and transient killer whales from the Kenai Fjords/Prince William Sound, AK region were acquired during the 1994-1999 field seasons and analyzed for selected organochlorines (OCs), including dioxin-like CB congeners and DDTs. Concentrations of OCs in transient killer whales (marine mammal-eating) were much higher than those found in resident animals (fish-eating) apparently due to differences in diets of these two killer whale eco-types. Certain life-history parameters such as sex, age and reproductive status also influenced the concentrations of OCs in the Alaskan killer whales. Reproductive female whales contained much lower levels of OCs than sexually immature whales or mature male animals in the same age class likely due to transfer of OCs from the female to her offspring during gestation and lactation. Recruitment order also influenced the concentrations of OCs in the Alaskan killer whales. In adult male residents, first-recruited whales contained much higher OC concentrations than those measured in non-first-recruited (e.g. second recruited, third recruited) resident animals in the same age group. This study provides

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Accumulation and transfer of contaminants in killer whales (Orcinus orca) from Norway: indications for contaminant metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolkers, Hans; Corkeron, Peter J; Van Parijs, Sofie M; Similä, Tiu; Van Bavel, Bert

    2007-08-01

    Blubber tissue of one subadult and eight male adult killer whales was sampled in Northern Norway in order to assess the degree and type of contaminant exposure and transfer in the herring-killer whale link of the marine food web. A comprehensive selection of contaminants was targeted, with special attention to toxaphenes and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). In addition to assessing exposure and food chain transfer, selective accumulation and metabolism issues also were addressed. Average total polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and pesticide levels were similar, approximately 25 microg/g lipid, and PBDEs were approximately 0.5 microg/g. This makes killer whales one of the most polluted arctic animals, with levels exceeding those in polar bears. Comparing the contamination of the killer whale's diet with the diet of high-arctic species such as white whales reveals six to more than 20 times higher levels in the killer whale diet. The difference in contaminant pattern between killer whales and their prey and the metabolic index calculated suggested that these cetaceans have a relatively high capacity to metabolize contaminants. Polychlorinated biphenyls, chlordanes, and dichlorodiphenyldichloro-ethylene (DDE) accumulate to some degree in killer whales, although toxaphenes and PBDEs might be partly broken down.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

    Killer whale acoustic behavior has been extensively investigated; however, most studies have focused on pulsed calls and whistles. This study reports the production of low-frequency signals by killer whales at frequencies below 300 Hz. Recordings were made in Iceland and Norway when killer whales were observed feeding on herring and no other marine mammal species were nearby. Low-frequency sounds were identified in Iceland and ranged in duration between 0.14 and 2.77 s and in frequency between 50 and 270 Hz, well below the previously reported lower limit for killer whale tonal sounds of 500 Hz. Low-frequency sounds appeared to be produced close in time to tail slaps, which are indicative of feeding attempts, suggesting that these sounds may be related to a feeding context. However, their precise function is unknown, and they could be the by-product of a non-vocal behavior rather than a vocal signal deliberately produced by the whales. Although killer whales in Norway exhibit similar feeding behavior, this sound has not been detected in recordings from Norway to date. This study suggests that, like other delphinids, killer whales produce low-frequency sounds, but further studies will be required to understand whether similar sounds exist in other killer whale populations.

  2. The influence of ecology on sociality in the killer whale (Orcinus orca)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Beck, Suzanne; Kuningas, Sanna; Esteban, Ruth

    2012-01-01

    a population under different ecological conditions can identify the relative influence of ecological selection on group formation. Here, we compare the size and persistence of social groups within a community of Atlantic killer whales, comparing between data collected from an area around Scotland where...... the whales have mainly been seen to hunt seals and data collected from an area around Iceland where the whales have mainly been seen to hunt herring. Additionally, we compare the observed social structure with that of previously studied Pacific ecotypes. Atlantic killer whale groups in both locations had...... a stable long-term primary social tier (association index level . 0.8) similar to that of Pacific killer whales. However, associations between these groups were much lower when hunting for seals than for fish in both the Atlantic and the Pacific. The occurrence of these differences in sociality between...

  3. Target Strength of Southern Resident Killer Whales (Orcinus orca): Measurement and Modeling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xu, Jinshan; Deng, Zhiqun; Carlson, Thomas J.; Moore, Brian

    2012-04-04

    A major criterion for tidal power licensing in Washington’s Puget Sound is the management of the risk of injury to killer whales due to collision with moving turbine blades. An active monitoring system is being proposed for killer whale detection, tracking, and alerting that links to and triggers temporary turbine shutdown when there is risk of collision. Target strength (TS) modeling of the killer whale is critical to the design and application of any active monitoring system. A 1996 study performed a high-resolution measurement of acoustic reflectivity as a function of frequency of a female bottlenose dolphin (2.2 m length) at broadside aspect and TS as a function of incident angle at 67 kHz frequency. Assuming that killer whales share similar morphology structure with the bottlenose dolphin, we extrapolated the TS of an adult killer whale 7.5 m in length at 67 kHz frequency with -8 dB at broadside aspect and -28 dB at tail side. The backscattering data from three Southern Resident killer whales were analyzed to obtain the TS measurement. These data were collected at Lime Kiln State Park using a split-beam system deployed from a boat. The TS of the killer whale at higher frequency (200 kHz) was estimated based on a three-layer model for plane wave reflection from the lung of the whale. The TS data of killer whales were in good agreement with our model. In this paper, we also discuss and explain possible causes for measurement estimation error.

  4. Molecular characterization of a novel gammaretrovirus in killer whales (Orcinus orca).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamere, Sarah A; St Leger, Judy A; Schrenzel, Mark D; Anthony, Simon J; Rideout, Bruce A; Salomon, Daniel R

    2009-12-01

    There are currently no published data documenting the presence of retroviruses in cetaceans, though the occurrences of cancers and immunodeficiency states suggest the potential. We examined tissues from adult killer whales and detected a novel gammaretrovirus by degenerate PCR. Reverse transcription-PCR also demonstrated tissue and serum expression of retroviral mRNA. The full-length sequence of the provirus was obtained by PCR, and a TaqMan-based copy number assay did not demonstrate evidence of productive infection. PCR on blood samples from 11 healthy captive killer whales and tissues from 3 free-ranging animals detected the proviral DNA in all tissues examined from all animals. A survey of multiple cetacean species by PCR for gag, pol, and env sequences showed homologs of this virus in the DNA of eight species of delphinids, pygmy and dwarf sperm whales, and harbor porpoises, but not in beluga or fin whales. Analysis of the bottlenose dolphin genome revealed two full-length proviral sequences with 97.4% and 96.9% nucleotide identity to the killer whale gammaretrovirus. The results of single-cell PCR on killer whale sperm and Southern blotting are also consistent with the conclusion that the provirus is endogenous. We suggest that this gammaretrovirus entered the delphinoid ancestor's genome before the divergence of modern dolphins or that an exogenous variant existed following divergence that was ultimately endogenized. However, the transcriptional activity demonstrated in tissues and the nearly intact viral genome suggest a more recent integration into the killer whale genome, favoring the latter hypothesis. The proposed name for this retrovirus is killer whale endogenous retrovirus.

  5. Vocalisations of Killer Whales (Orcinus orca) in the Bremer Canyon, Western Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wellard, Rebecca; Erbe, Christine; Fouda, Leila; Blewitt, Michelle

    2015-01-01

    To date, there has been no dedicated study in Australian waters on the acoustics of killer whales. Hence no information has been published on the sounds produced by killer whales from this region. Here we present the first acoustical analysis of recordings collected off the Western Australian coast. Underwater sounds produced by Australian killer whales were recorded during the months of February and March 2014 and 2015 in the Bremer Canyon in Western Australia. Vocalisations recorded included echolocation clicks, burst-pulse sounds and whistles. A total of 28 hours and 29 minutes were recorded and analysed, with 2376 killer whale calls (whistles and burst-pulse sounds) detected. Recordings of poor quality or signal-to-noise ratio were excluded from analysis, resulting in 142 whistles and burst-pulse vocalisations suitable for analysis and categorisation. These were grouped based on their spectrographic features into nine Bremer Canyon (BC) “call types”. The frequency of the fundamental contours of all call types ranged from 600 Hz to 29 kHz. Calls ranged from 0.05 to 11.3 seconds in duration. Biosonar clicks were also recorded, but not studied further. Surface behaviours noted during acoustic recordings were categorised as either travelling or social behaviour. A detailed description of the acoustic characteristics is necessary for species acoustic identification and for the development of passive acoustic tools for population monitoring, including assessments of population status, habitat usage, migration patterns, behaviour and acoustic ecology. This study provides the first quantitative assessment and report on the acoustic features of killer whales vocalisations in Australian waters, and presents an opportunity to further investigate this little-known population. PMID:26352429

  6. Vocalisations of Killer Whales (Orcinus orca) in the Bremer Canyon, Western Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wellard, Rebecca; Erbe, Christine; Fouda, Leila; Blewitt, Michelle

    2015-01-01

    To date, there has been no dedicated study in Australian waters on the acoustics of killer whales. Hence no information has been published on the sounds produced by killer whales from this region. Here we present the first acoustical analysis of recordings collected off the Western Australian coast. Underwater sounds produced by Australian killer whales were recorded during the months of February and March 2014 and 2015 in the Bremer Canyon in Western Australia. Vocalisations recorded included echolocation clicks, burst-pulse sounds and whistles. A total of 28 hours and 29 minutes were recorded and analysed, with 2376 killer whale calls (whistles and burst-pulse sounds) detected. Recordings of poor quality or signal-to-noise ratio were excluded from analysis, resulting in 142 whistles and burst-pulse vocalisations suitable for analysis and categorisation. These were grouped based on their spectrographic features into nine Bremer Canyon (BC) "call types". The frequency of the fundamental contours of all call types ranged from 600 Hz to 29 kHz. Calls ranged from 0.05 to 11.3 seconds in duration. Biosonar clicks were also recorded, but not studied further. Surface behaviours noted during acoustic recordings were categorised as either travelling or social behaviour. A detailed description of the acoustic characteristics is necessary for species acoustic identification and for the development of passive acoustic tools for population monitoring, including assessments of population status, habitat usage, migration patterns, behaviour and acoustic ecology. This study provides the first quantitative assessment and report on the acoustic features of killer whales vocalisations in Australian waters, and presents an opportunity to further investigate this little-known population.

  7. Vocalisations of Killer Whales (Orcinus orca in the Bremer Canyon, Western Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca Wellard

    Full Text Available To date, there has been no dedicated study in Australian waters on the acoustics of killer whales. Hence no information has been published on the sounds produced by killer whales from this region. Here we present the first acoustical analysis of recordings collected off the Western Australian coast. Underwater sounds produced by Australian killer whales were recorded during the months of February and March 2014 and 2015 in the Bremer Canyon in Western Australia. Vocalisations recorded included echolocation clicks, burst-pulse sounds and whistles. A total of 28 hours and 29 minutes were recorded and analysed, with 2376 killer whale calls (whistles and burst-pulse sounds detected. Recordings of poor quality or signal-to-noise ratio were excluded from analysis, resulting in 142 whistles and burst-pulse vocalisations suitable for analysis and categorisation. These were grouped based on their spectrographic features into nine Bremer Canyon (BC "call types". The frequency of the fundamental contours of all call types ranged from 600 Hz to 29 kHz. Calls ranged from 0.05 to 11.3 seconds in duration. Biosonar clicks were also recorded, but not studied further. Surface behaviours noted during acoustic recordings were categorised as either travelling or social behaviour. A detailed description of the acoustic characteristics is necessary for species acoustic identification and for the development of passive acoustic tools for population monitoring, including assessments of population status, habitat usage, migration patterns, behaviour and acoustic ecology. This study provides the first quantitative assessment and report on the acoustic features of killer whales vocalisations in Australian waters, and presents an opportunity to further investigate this little-known population.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-06-01

    a premium on learning and the cognitive and behavioral adaptability associated therein, which may have led to the development of intelligence more...influenced by both pre- existing social dynamics (Coussi-Korbel & Fragaszy, 1995) and the cognitive capacity determining the information content that...or ecological differences. Compared to the fission-fusion societies of bottlenose dolphins described above, killer whale social groupings are

  9. Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) Deaths in Prince William Sound, Alaska, 1985–1990

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraker, Mark A.

    2013-01-01

    During 1985–1990, two groups of killer whales in Prince William Sound, Alaska, experienced unusually high rates of mortality, while seven others did not. Those affected were AB pod, part of the southern Alaska population of resident (fish-eating) killer whales, and the AT1 transient (marine mammal–eating) group, a very small, reproductively isolated population that last reproduced in 1984. In 1985–1986, several AB pod members were shot by fishermen defending their catch from depredation, which explains some of the deaths. Understanding the other deaths is complicated by the Exxon Valdez oil spill (March 1989) and uncertainties about the causes and times of the deaths. For AB pod, possible factors involved in the post-spill mortalities are delayed effects of bullet wounds, continued shooting, oil exposure, and consequences of being orphaned. For the AT1 group, possible factors are oil exposure, small population size, old age, and high-contaminant burdens. An analysis of possible effects of inhalation of volatile organic compounds, contact with the oil slick, and ingestion of oil with water or prey did not reveal route(s) of exposure that could explain the mortalities. The cause(s) of the killer whale deaths recorded following the oil spill remain uncertain. PMID:23335844

  10. The structure of stereotyped calls reflects kinship and social affiliation in resident killer whales ( Orcinus orca)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deecke, Volker B.; Barrett-Lennard, Lance G.; Spong, Paul; Ford, John K. B.

    2010-05-01

    A few species of mammals produce group-specific vocalisations that are passed on by learning, but the function of learned vocal variation remains poorly understood. Resident killer whales live in stable matrilineal groups with repertoires of seven to 17 stereotyped call types. Some types are shared among matrilines, but their structure typically shows matriline-specific differences. Our objective was to analyse calls of nine killer whale matrilines in British Columbia to test whether call similarity primarily reflects social or genetic relationships. Recordings were made in 1985-1995 in the presence of focal matrilines that were either alone or with groups with non-overlapping repertoires. We used neural network discrimination performance to measure the similarity of call types produced by different matrilines and determined matriline association rates from 757 encounters with one or more focal matrilines. Relatedness was measured by comparing variation at 11 microsatellite loci for the oldest female in each group. Call similarity was positively correlated with association rates for two of the three call types analysed. Similarity of the N4 call type was also correlated with matriarch relatedness. No relationship between relatedness and association frequency was detected. These results show that call structure reflects relatedness and social affiliation, but not because related groups spend more time together. Instead, call structure appears to play a role in kin recognition and shapes the association behaviour of killer whale groups. Our results therefore support the hypothesis that increasing social complexity plays a role in the evolution of learned vocalisations in some mammalian species.

  11. Fine-scale foraging movements by fish-eating killer whales (Orcinus orca) relate to the vertical distributions and escape responses of salmonid prey (Oncorhynchusspp.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Brianna M; Ford, John K B; Ellis, Graeme M; Deecke, Volker B; Shapiro, Ari Daniel; Battaile, Brian C; Trites, Andrew W

    2017-01-01

    We sought to quantitatively describe the fine-scale foraging behavior of northern resident killer whales ( Orcinus orca ), a population of fish-eating killer whales that feeds almost exclusively on Pacific salmon ( Oncorhynchus spp.). To reconstruct the underwater movements of these specialist predators, we deployed 34 biologging Dtags on 32 individuals and collected high-resolution, three-dimensional accelerometry and acoustic data. We used the resulting dive paths to compare killer whale foraging behavior to the distributions of different salmonid prey species. Understanding the foraging movements of these threatened predators is important from a conservation standpoint, since prey availability has been identified as a limiting factor in their population dynamics and recovery. Three-dimensional dive tracks indicated that foraging ( N  = 701) and non-foraging dives ( N  = 10,618) were kinematically distinct (Wilks' lambda: λ 16  = 0.321, P  killer whales dove deeper, remained submerged longer, swam faster, increased their dive path tortuosity, and rolled their bodies to a greater extent than during other activities. Maximum foraging dive depths reflected the deeper vertical distribution of Chinook (compared to other salmonids) and the tendency of Pacific salmon to evade predators by diving steeply. Kinematic characteristics of prey pursuit by resident killer whales also revealed several other escape strategies employed by salmon attempting to avoid predation, including increased swimming speeds and evasive maneuvering. High-resolution dive tracks reconstructed using data collected by multi-sensor accelerometer tags found that movements by resident killer whales relate significantly to the vertical distributions and escape responses of their primary prey, Pacific salmon.

  12. 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...

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. 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, Malene Juul; McGregor, Peter K.; Ugarte, Fernando

    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...... behaviour, we suggest that the killer whales in Icelandic and Norwegian waters belong to the same ecotype: Scandinavian herring-eating killer whales. Udgivelsesdato: 18 April 2007......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...

  15. Persistence of skin marks on killer whales (Orcinus orca) caused by the parasitic sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) in Iceland

    OpenAIRE

    Samarra, Filipa I.P.; Fennell, Alexandra; Aoki, Kagari; Deecke, Volker B.; Miller, Patrick J.O.

    2012-01-01

    Lampreys have long been thought to be a cetacean ectoparasite, due to the observation of round marks on the skin of whales caught during whaling operations. Pike (1951), Nemoto (1955), and van Utrecht (1959) compared such marks on the skin of various cetacean species caught in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans with the dentition of lampreys and concluded that most round marks had been caused by this parasite. However, lampreys were never collected from captured whales and, due to the lack of di...

  16. PCB-associated changes in mRNA expression in killer whales (Orcinus orca) from the NE Pacific Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckman, Andrea H; Veldhoen, Nik; Ellis, Graeme; Ford, John K B; Helbing, Caren C; Ross, Peter S

    2011-12-01

    Killer whales in the NE Pacific Ocean are among the world's most PCB-contaminated marine mammals, raising concerns about implications for their health. Sixteen health-related killer whale mRNA transcripts were analyzed in blubber biopsies collected from 35 free-ranging killer whales in British Columbia using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. We observed PCB-related increases in the expression of five gene targets, including the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR; r(2) = 0.83; p physiological effects of persistent environmental contaminants in these endangered killer whales.

  17. 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 quantitative analysis of the production of pulsed calls, whistles and echolocation clicks in the three activities revealed that there was a significant effect of activity on the production of these sound types. Both killer whales in Icelandic and Norwegian waters produced high rates of clicks and calls during...... feeding and low rates of click, calls and whistles during travelling. The differences can be used as acoustical markers and provides new possibilities for acoustic monitoring of killer whales in these areas. Based on the similarity between their prey choice, hunting strategies, phenotype and acoustic...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-15

    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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Identifying Variations in Baseline Behavior of Killer Whales (Orcinus orca) to Contextualize Their Responses to Anthropogenic Noise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samarra, Filipa I P; Miller, Patrick J O

    2016-01-01

    Determining the baseline behavior of a whale requires understanding natural variations occurring due to environmental context, such as changes in prey behavior. Killer whales feeding on herring consistently encircle herring schools; however, depth of feeding differs from near the surface in winter to deeper than 10 m in spring and summer. These variations in feeding depth are probably due to the depth of the prey and the balance between the costs and benefits of bringing schools of herring to the surface. Such variation in baseline behavior may incur different energetic costs and consequently change the motivation of whales to avoid a feeding area. Here, we discuss these variations in feeding behavior in the context of exposure to noise and interpret observed responses to simulated navy sonar signals.

  20. Development of sociality and emergence of independence in a killer whale (Orcinus orca) calf from birth to 36 months.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guarino, Sara; Hill, Heather M; Sigman, Julie

    2017-01-01

    Dolphin calves spend most of their time swimming with their mother immediately after birth. As they mature, the calves become increasingly independent, and begin to interact more often with other calves, juveniles, and sub-adults. For bottlenose dolphin calves, sociality is related to maternal behaviors. Unfortunately, much less is known about the development of sociality and emergence of independence for killer whale calves. The purpose of this study was to examine the developmental changes in social behaviors and solitary activities of a killer whale calf across a 36-month period. Focal follow video recordings of a mother-calf pair housed at SeaWorld San Antonio were collected 2-6 times a day for 5-15 min at 6-month intervals. Using a sample of randomly selected video recordings at each month, developmental changes in swims and social interactions with her mother, swims and social interactions with non-maternal partners, and solitary activities (e.g., solitary swims, solitary play) were observed across the months. The calf spent most of her time swimming with the mother across the 36-month period. The time the calf socialized with her mother was greater than the time she socialized with others at each month. Besides her mother, the calf socialized more often with the other adult female compared to adult males. As the calf matured, the increase in the time she spent socializing with adult killer whales other than the mother corresponded with an increase in the rate and time spent in solitary play. The developmental trends of sociality and emerging independence replicate research conducted with calves of other dolphin species. Zoo Biol. 36:11-20, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Low genetic variation among killer whales (Orcinus orca) in the eastern north Pacific and genetic differentiation between foraging specialists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoelzel, A R; Dahlheim, M; Stern, S J

    1998-01-01

    Killer whales from the coastal waters off California through Alaska were compared for genetic variation at three nuclear DNA markers and sequenced for a total of 520 bp from the mitochondrial control region. Two putative sympatric populations that range throughout this region were compared. They can be distinguished by social and foraging behavior and are known as "residents" and "transients". We found low levels of variation within populations compared to other cetacean species. Comparisons between fish (resident) versus marine mammal (transient) foraging specialists indicated highly significant genetic differentiation at both nuclear and mitochondrial loci. This differentiation is at a level consistent with intraspecific variation. A comparison between two parapatric resident populations showed a small but fixed mtDNA haplotype difference. Together these data suggest low levels of genetic dispersal between foraging specialists and a pattern of genetic differentiation consistent with matrifocal population structure and small effective population size.

  2. Predation by killer whales (Orcinus orca) and the evolution of whistle loss and narrow-band high frequency clicks in odontocetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morisaka, T; Connor, R C

    2007-07-01

    A disparate selection of toothed whales (Odontoceti) share striking features of their acoustic repertoires including the absence of whistles and high frequency but weak (low peak-to-peak source level) clicks that have a relatively long duration and a narrow bandwidth. The non-whistling, high frequency click species include members of the family Phocoenidae, members of one genus of delphinids, Cephalorhynchus, the pygmy sperm whale, Kogia breviceps, and apparently the sole member of the family Pontoporiidae. Our review supports the 'acoustic crypsis' hypothesis that killer whale predation risk was the primary selective factor favouring an echolocation and communication system in cephalorhynchids, phocoenids and possibly Pontoporiidae and Kogiidae restricted to sounds that killer whales hear poorly or not at all ( 100 kHz).

  3. The Severity of behavioral changes observed during experimental exposures of killer (Orcinus orca), long-finned Pilot (Globicephala melas), and sperm (Physeter macrocephalus) whales to naval sonar

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Miller, P.J.O.; Kvadsheim, P.H.; Lam, F.A.; Wensveen, P.J.; Antunes, R.; Alves, A.C.; Visser, F.; Kleivane, L.; Tyack, P.L.; Sivle, L.D.

    2012-01-01

    This study describes behavioral changes of wild cetaceans observed during controlled exposures of naval sonar. In 2006 through 2009, 14 experiments were conducted with killer (n = 4), long-finned pilot (n = 6), and sperm (n = 4) whales. A total of 14 6-7 kHz upsweep, 13 1-2 kHz upsweep, and five 1-2

  4. 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.

  5. Walrus and whale interactions: An eyewitness account

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2009-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Killer whales and whaling: the scavenging hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehead, Hal; Reeves, Randall

    2005-12-22

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Bickett, Natalie

    2017-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Orca

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Orca is a data-driven, unsupervised anomaly detection algorithm that uses a distance-based approach. It uses a novel pruning rule that allows it to run in nearly...

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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...

  16. Blubber-depth distribution and bioaccumulation of PCBs and organochlorine pesticides in Arctic-invading killer whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedro, Sara; Boba, Conor; Dietz, Rune

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Sightings of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in Greenland have increased in recent years, coincident with sea ice loss. These killer whales are likely from fish-feeding North Atlantic populations, but may have access to marine mammal prey in Greenlandic waters,...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Reconstruction of Acoustic Exposure on Orcas in Haro Strait

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    Resident killer whales (Orcinus orca) (J pod).1 The class shadowed the J pod from their boat , recording its behavior, the GPS loca- tion of the... boat , and the time of day. Figure 1 shows the tracks of USS Shoup and Dr. Bain’s boat shadowing the J pod overlaid on the bathymetry. Additionally...reverberation, i.e., sound energy that scattered from interactions with the ocean surface and bottom. The time series showed up to 19 s of

  19. 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

  20. Seasonal distribution and abundance of killer whales around Lofoten and Vesterålen Islands, northern Norway

    OpenAIRE

    Similä, Tiu; Christensen, Ivar

    1992-01-01

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) have been pohotoidentified around Lofoten and Vesterålen islands northern Norway during fall-winter (October-February) and summer (June-August) in 1990 and 1991. Some background data exists from 1983-1989. To date 302 killer whale individuals belonging to 44 different groups have been identified. The yearly distribution and abundance of whales is closely related to the distribution of springspawning herring (Clupea harengus) in the area. Since...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. 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 ...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Vessel Noise Affects Beaked Whale Behavior: Results of a Dedicated Acoustic Response Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-08-01

    frequencies, overlapping with toothed whale vocalizations and hearing sensitivity, with potential behavioral or physiological consequences (e.g. [8–11...whales (Orcinus orca ) increase their call amplitude in response to vessel noise. J Acoust Soc Am 125: 27–32. 12. Tyack PL, Johnson M, Aguilar de Soto N...fast should I swim? Behavioral implications of diving physiology . Sym Zool S Lond 66: 349–368. 37. Thompson D, Fedak MA (2001) How long should a dive

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-07-01

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

  6. Adaptive prolonged postreproductive life span in killer whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-14

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lise Doksæter Sivle

    2012-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Offshore killer whale tracking using multiple hydrophone arrays.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charlotte Curé

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

  13. 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.

  14. 76 FR 10560 - Marine Mammals; File No. 15530

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-25

    ... endangered: blue whale (Balaenoptera ] musculus), fin whale (B. physalus), humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), right whale (Eubalaena japonica), sei whale (B. borealis), beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) Cook Inlet stock, killer whale (Orcinus orca) southern resident stock, and sperm whale (Physeter...

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-10-01

    "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.

  17. Geographic patterns of genetic differentiation among killer whales in the northern North Pacific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, Kim M; Durban, John W; Burdin, Alexander M; Burkanov, Vladimir N; Pitman, Robert L; Barlow, Jay; Barrett-Lennard, Lance G; LeDuc, Richard G; Robertson, Kelly M; Matkin, Craig O; Wade, Paul R

    2013-01-01

    The difficulties associated with detecting population boundaries have long constrained the conservation and management of highly mobile, wide-ranging marine species, such as killer whales (Orcinus orca). In this study, we use data from 26 nuclear microsatellite loci and mitochondrial DNA sequences (988bp) to test a priori hypotheses about population subdivisions generated from a decade of killer whale surveys across the northern North Pacific. A total of 462 remote skin biopsies were collected from wild killer whales primarily between 2001 and 2010 from the northern Gulf of Alaska to the Sea of Okhotsk, representing both the piscivorous "resident" and the mammal-eating "transient" (or Bigg's) killer whales. Divergence of the 2 ecotypes was supported by both mtDNA and microsatellites. Geographic patterns of genetic differentiation were supported by significant regions of genetic discontinuity, providing evidence of population structuring within both ecotypes and corroborating direct observations of restricted movements of individual whales. In the Aleutian Islands (Alaska), subpopulations, or groups with significantly different mtDNA and microsatellite allele frequencies, were largely delimited by major oceanographic boundaries for resident killer whales. Although Amchitka Pass represented a major subdivision for transient killer whales between the central and western Aleutian Islands, several smaller subpopulations were evident throughout the eastern Aleutians and Bering Sea. Support for seasonally sympatric transient subpopulations around Unimak Island suggests isolating mechanisms other than geographic distance within this highly mobile top predator.

  18. Antarctic killer whales make rapid, round-trip movements to subtropical waters: evidence for physiological maintenance migrations?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durban, J W; Pitman, R L

    2012-04-23

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) are important predators in high latitudes, where their ecological impact is mediated through their movements. We used satellite telemetry to provide the first evidence of migration for killer whales, characterized by fast (more than 12 km h(-1), 6.5 knots) and direct movements away from Antarctic waters by six of 12 type B killer whales tagged when foraging near the Antarctic Peninsula, including all tags transmitting for more than three weeks. Tags on five of these whales revealed consistent movements to subtropical waters (30-37° S) off Uruguay and Brazil, in surface water temperatures ranging from -1.9°C to 24.2°C; one 109 day track documented a non-stop round trip of almost 9400 km (5075 nmi) in just 42 days. Although whales travelled slower in the warmest waters, there was no obvious interruption in swim speed or direction to indicate calving or prolonged feeding. Furthermore, these movements were aseasonal, initiating over 80 days between February and April; one whale returned to within 40 km of the tagging site at the onset of the austral winter in June. We suggest that these movements may represent periodic maintenance migrations, with warmer waters allowing skin regeneration without the high cost of heat loss: a physiological constraint that may also affect other whales.

  19. Using Vocal Dialects to Assess the Population Structure of Bigg's Killer Whales in Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharpe, D. L.; Wade, P. R.; Castellote, M.; Cornick, L. A.

    2016-02-01

    Apex predators are important indicators of ecosystem health, but little is known about the population structure of Bigg's killer whales (Orcinus orca; i.e. "transient" ecotype) in western Alaska. Currently, all Bigg's killer whales in western Alaska are ascribed to a single broad stock for management under the US Marine Mammal Protection Act. However, recent nuclear microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA analyses indicate that this stock is likely comprised of genetically distinct sub-populations. In accordance with what is known about group-specific killer whale vocal dialects in other locations, we sought to evaluate and refine Bigg's killer whale population structure by using acoustic recordings to examine the spatial distribution of call types in western Alaska. Digital audio recordings were collected from 34 encounters with Bigg's killer whales throughout the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands in the summers of 2001-2007 and 2009-2010, then visually and aurally reviewed using the software Adobe Audition. High quality calls were identified and classified into discrete call types based on spectrographic characteristics and aural uniqueness. A comparative analysis of call types recorded throughout the study area revealed spatial segregation of call types, corresponding well with proposed genetic delineations. These results suggest that Bigg's killer whales exhibit regional vocal dialects, which can be used to help refine the putative sub-populations that have been genetically identified throughout western Alaska. Our findings support the proposal to restructure current stock designations.

  20. Captive bottlenose dolphins and killer whales harbor a species-specific skin microbiota that varies among individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiarello, M; Villéger, S; Bouvier, C; Auguet, J C; Bouvier, T

    2017-11-10

    Marine animals surfaces host diverse microbial communities, which play major roles for host's health. Most inventories of marine animal surface microbiota have focused on corals and fishes, while cetaceans remain overlooked. The few studies focused on wild cetaceans, making difficult to distinguish intrinsic inter- and/or intraspecific variability in skin microbiota from environmental effects. We used high-throughput sequencing to assess the skin microbiota from 4 body zones of 8 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and killer whales (Orcinus orca), housed in captivity (Marineland park, France). Overall, cetacean skin microbiota is more diverse than planktonic communities and is dominated by different phylogenetic lineages and functions. In addition, the two cetacean species host different skin microbiotas. Within each species, variability was higher between individuals than between body parts, suggesting a high individuality of cetacean skin microbiota. Overall, the skin microbiota of the assessed cetaceans related more to the humpback whale and fishes' than to microbiotas of terrestrial mammals.

  1. Use of chemical tracers in assessing the diet and foraging regions of eastern North Pacific killer whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krahn, Margaret M; Herman, David P; Matkin, Craig O; Durban, John W; Barrett-Lennard, Lance; Burrows, Douglas G; Dahlheim, Marilyn E; Black, Nancy; LeDuc, Richard G; Wade, Paul R

    2007-03-01

    Top predators in the marine environment integrate chemical signals acquired from their prey that reflect both the species consumed and the regions from which the prey were taken. These chemical tracers-stable isotope ratios of carbon and nitrogen; persistent organic pollutant (POP) concentrations, patterns and ratios; and fatty acid profiles-were measured in blubber biopsy samples from North Pacific killer whales (Orcinus orca) (n=84) and were used to provide further insight into their diet, particularly for the offshore group, about which little dietary information is available. The offshore killer whales were shown to consume prey species that were distinctly different from those of sympatric resident and transient killer whales. In addition, it was confirmed that the offshores forage as far south as California. Thus, these results provide evidence that the offshores belong to a third killer whale ecotype. Resident killer whale populations showed a gradient in stable isotope profiles from west (central Aleutians) to east (Gulf of Alaska) that, in part, can be attributed to a shift from off-shelf to continental shelf-based prey. Finally, stable isotope ratio results, supported by field observations, showed that the diet in spring and summer of eastern Aleutian Island transient killer whales is apparently not composed exclusively of Steller sea lions.

  2. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

    Ecosystem-based management (EBM) of marine resources attempts to conserve interacting species. In contrast to single-species fisheries management, EBM aims to identify and resolve conflicting objectives for different species. Such a conflict may be emerging in the northeastern Pacific for southern resident killer whales (Orcinus orca) and their primary prey, Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). Both species have at-risk conservation status and transboundary (Canada-US) ranges. We modeled individual killer whale prey requirements from feeding and growth records of captive killer whales and morphometric data from historic live-capture fishery and whaling records worldwide. The models, combined with caloric value of salmon, and demographic and diet data for wild killer whales, allow us to predict salmon quantities needed to maintain and recover this killer whale population, which numbered 87 individuals in 2009. Our analyses provide new information on cost of lactation and new parameter estimates for other killer whale populations globally. Prey requirements of southern resident killer whales are difficult to reconcile with fisheries and conservation objectives for Chinook salmon, because the number of fish required is large relative to annual returns and fishery catches. For instance, a U.S. recovery goal (2.3% annual population growth of killer whales over 28 years) implies a 75% increase in energetic requirements. Reducing salmon fisheries may serve as a temporary mitigation measure to allow time for management actions to improve salmon productivity to take effect. As ecosystem-based fishery management becomes more prevalent, trade-offs between conservation objectives for predators and prey will become increasingly necessary. Our approach offers scenarios to compare relative influence of various sources of uncertainty on the resulting consumption estimates to prioritise future research efforts, and a general approach for assessing the extent of conflict

  4. From the eye of the albatrosses: a bird-borne camera shows an association between albatrosses and a killer whale in the Southern Ocean.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kentaro Q Sakamoto

    Full Text Available Albatrosses fly many hundreds of kilometers across the open ocean to find and feed upon their prey. Despite the growing number of studies concerning their foraging behaviour, relatively little is known about how albatrosses actually locate their prey. Here, we present our results from the first deployments of a combined animal-borne camera and depth data logger on free-ranging black-browed albatrosses (Thalassarche melanophrys. The still images recorded from these cameras showed that some albatrosses actively followed a killer whale (Orcinus orca, possibly to feed on food scraps left by this diving predator. The camera images together with the depth profiles showed that the birds dived only occasionally, but that they actively dived when other birds or the killer whale were present. This association with diving predators or other birds may partially explain how albatrosses find their prey more efficiently in the apparently 'featureless' ocean, with a minimal requirement for energetically costly diving or landing activities.

  5. 75 FR 68757 - Marine Mammals; File No. 781-1824

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-09

    ... whales (Balaenoptera musculus), fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus), humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus), and Southern Resident killer whales (SRKW, Orcinus orca... the abundance, distribution, movement patterns, habitat use, contaminant levels, prey, behavior...

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Stable isotopes of captive cetaceans (killer whales and bottlenose dolphins).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caut, Stéphane; Laran, Sophie; Garcia-Hartmann, Emmanuel; Das, Krishna

    2011-02-15

    There is currently a great deal of interest in using stable isotope methods to investigate diet, trophic level and migration in wild cetaceans. In order to correctly interpret the results stemming from these methods, it is crucial to understand how diet isotopic values are reflected in consumer tissues. In this study, we investigated patterns of isotopic discrimination between diet and blood constituents of two species of cetaceans (killer whale, Orcinus orca, and bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus) fed controlled diets over 308 and 312 days, respectively. Diet discrimination factors (Δ; mean ± s.d.) for plasma were estimated to Δ(13)C=2.3±0.6‰ and Δ(15)N=1.8±0.3‰, respectively, for both species and to Δ(13)C=2.7±0.3‰ and Δ(15)N=0.5±0.1‰ for red blood cells. Delipidation did not have a significant effect on carbon and nitrogen isotopic values of blood constituents, confirming that cetacean blood does not serve as a reservoir of lipids. In contrast, carbon isotopic values were higher in delipidated samples of blubber, liver and muscle from killer whales. The potential for conflict between fisheries and cetaceans has heightened the need for trophic information about these taxa. These results provide the first published stable isotope incorporation data for cetaceans, which are essential if conclusions are to be drawn on issues concerning trophic structures, carbon sources and diet reconstruction.

  9. The giant bite of a new raptorial sperm whale from the Miocene epoch of Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambert, Olivier; Bianucci, Giovanni; Post, Klaas; de Muizon, Christian; Salas-Gismondi, Rodolfo; Urbina, Mario; Reumer, Jelle

    2010-07-01

    The modern giant sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus, one of the largest known predators, preys upon cephalopods at great depths. Lacking a functional upper dentition, it relies on suction for catching its prey; in contrast, several smaller Miocene sperm whales (Physeteroidea) have been interpreted as raptorial (versus suction) feeders, analogous to the modern killer whale Orcinus orca. Whereas very large physeteroid teeth have been discovered in various Miocene localities, associated diagnostic cranial remains have not been found so far. Here we report the discovery of a new giant sperm whale from the Middle Miocene of Peru (approximately 12-13 million years ago), Leviathan melvillei, described on the basis of a skull with teeth and mandible. With a 3-m-long head, very large upper and lower teeth (maximum diameter and length of 12 cm and greater than 36 cm, respectively), robust jaws and a temporal fossa considerably larger than in Physeter, this stem physeteroid represents one of the largest raptorial predators and, to our knowledge, the biggest tetrapod bite ever found. The appearance of gigantic raptorial sperm whales in the fossil record coincides with a phase of diversification and size-range increase of the baleen-bearing mysticetes in the Miocene. We propose that Leviathan fed mostly on high-energy content medium-size baleen whales. As a top predator, together with the contemporaneous giant shark Carcharocles megalodon, it probably had a profound impact on the structuring of Miocene marine communities. The development of a vast supracranial basin in Leviathan, extending on the rostrum as in Physeter, might indicate the presence of an enlarged spermaceti organ in the former that is not associated with deep diving or obligatory suction feeding.

  10. Vocal behavior of resident killer whale matrilines with newborn calves: the role of family signatures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, Brigitte M; Ladich, Friedrich; Spong, Paul; Symonds, Helena

    2006-01-01

    Studies of the vocal behavior of resident killer whales or orcas, Orcinus orca, in British Columbia have shown that matrilines have unique call repertoires consisting of up to 17 different call types. These call types cannot be attributed exclusively to specific behaviors, and their function in social contexts is poorly understood. This study investigated the change in call patterns of three resident matrilines in a changed social environment, before and up to one year after the birth of a calf. Acoustic data were collected with a network of hydrophones and were supplemented by visual observations. Call use changed distinctly after the birth of a calf in all three observed matrilines. All call types that were recorded in control situations were also recorded in postbirth situations; however, aberrant versions of discrete calls and excitement calls made up a higher proportion of calls after birth. Most conspicuously, family-specific call types occurred significantly more frequently in the days following a birth in two of the three matrilines and gradually returned to prebirth values within 2 weeks. Their increased use after a calf's birth may facilitate the learning process of this "acoustic family badge" and thereby help to recognize and maintain cohesion with family members.

  11. Ecological knowledge, leadership, and the evolution of menopause in killer whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brent, Lauren J N; Franks, Daniel W; Foster, Emma A; Balcomb, Kenneth C; Cant, Michael A; Croft, Darren P

    2015-03-16

    Classic life-history theory predicts that menopause should not occur because there should be no selection for survival after the cessation of reproduction [1]. Yet, human females routinely live 30 years after they have stopped reproducing [2]. Only two other species-killer whales (Orcinus orca) and short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) [3, 4]-have comparable postreproductive lifespans. In theory, menopause can evolve via inclusive fitness benefits [5, 6], but the mechanisms by which postreproductive females help their kin remain enigmatic. One hypothesis is that postreproductive females act as repositories of ecological knowledge and thereby buffer kin against environmental hardships [7, 8]. We provide the first test of this hypothesis using a unique long-term dataset on wild resident killer whales. We show three key results. First, postreproductively aged females lead groups during collective movement in salmon foraging grounds. Second, leadership by postreproductively aged females is especially prominent in difficult years when salmon abundance is low. This finding is critical because salmon abundance drives both mortality and reproductive success in resident killer whales [9, 10]. Third, females are more likely to lead their sons than they are to lead their daughters, supporting predictions of recent models [5] of the evolution of menopause based on kinship dynamics. Our results show that postreproductive females may boost the fitness of kin through the transfer of ecological knowledge. The value gained from the wisdom of elders can help explain why female resident killer whales and humans continue to live long after they have stopped reproducing. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  12. 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.

  13. Population genomics of the killer whale indicates ecotype evolution in sympatry involving both selection and drift.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moura, Andre E; Kenny, John G; Chaudhuri, Roy; Hughes, Margaret A; J Welch, Andreanna; Reisinger, Ryan R; de Bruyn, P J Nico; Dahlheim, Marilyn E; Hall, Neil; Hoelzel, A Rus

    2014-11-01

    The evolution of diversity in the marine ecosystem is poorly understood, given the relatively high potential for connectivity, especially for highly mobile species such as whales and dolphins. The killer whale (Orcinus orca) has a worldwide distribution, and individual social groups travel over a wide geographic range. Even so, regional populations have been shown to be genetically differentiated, including among different foraging specialists (ecotypes) in sympatry. Given the strong matrifocal social structure of this species together with strong resource specializations, understanding the process of differentiation will require an understanding of the relative importance of both genetic drift and local adaptation. Here we provide a high-resolution analysis based on nuclear single-nucleotide polymorphic markers and inference about differentiation at both neutral loci and those potentially under selection. We find that all population comparisons, within or among foraging ecotypes, show significant differentiation, including populations in parapatry and sympatry. Loci putatively under selection show a different pattern of structure compared to neutral loci and are associated with gene ontology terms reflecting physiologically relevant functions (e.g. related to digestion). The pattern of differentiation for one ecotype in the North Pacific suggests local adaptation and shows some fixed differences among sympatric ecotypes. We suggest that differential habitat use and resource specializations have promoted sufficient isolation to allow differential evolution at neutral and functional loci, but that the process is recent and dependent on both selection and drift. © 2014 The Authors. Molecular Ecology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Population genomics of the killer whale indicates ecotype evolution in sympatry involving both selection and drift

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moura, Andre E; Kenny, John G; Chaudhuri, Roy; Hughes, Margaret A; J Welch, Andreanna; Reisinger, Ryan R; de Bruyn, P J Nico; Dahlheim, Marilyn E; Hall, Neil; Hoelzel, A Rus

    2014-01-01

    The evolution of diversity in the marine ecosystem is poorly understood, given the relatively high potential for connectivity, especially for highly mobile species such as whales and dolphins. The killer whale (Orcinus orca) has a worldwide distribution, and individual social groups travel over a wide geographic range. Even so, regional populations have been shown to be genetically differentiated, including among different foraging specialists (ecotypes) in sympatry. Given the strong matrifocal social structure of this species together with strong resource specializations, understanding the process of differentiation will require an understanding of the relative importance of both genetic drift and local adaptation. Here we provide a high-resolution analysis based on nuclear single-nucleotide polymorphic markers and inference about differentiation at both neutral loci and those potentially under selection. We find that all population comparisons, within or among foraging ecotypes, show significant differentiation, including populations in parapatry and sympatry. Loci putatively under selection show a different pattern of structure compared to neutral loci and are associated with gene ontology terms reflecting physiologically relevant functions (e.g. related to digestion). The pattern of differentiation for one ecotype in the North Pacific suggests local adaptation and shows some fixed differences among sympatric ecotypes. We suggest that differential habitat use and resource specializations have promoted sufficient isolation to allow differential evolution at neutral and functional loci, but that the process is recent and dependent on both selection and drift. PMID:25244680

  15. 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.

  16. 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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Florencia Grandi; Rocío Loizaga de Castro; Enrique A Crespo

    2012-01-01

      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...

  17. Middle/late Miocene hoplocetine sperm whale remains (Odontoceti: Physeteridae of North Germany with an emended classification of the Hoplocetinae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. Hampe

    2006-02-01

    Full Text Available Hoplocetus ritzi n. sp. is a new hoplocetine physeterid from the Bolboforma fragori /subfragoris Zone of the middle/late Miocene mica-clay of Groß Pampau in Schleswig-Holstein, North Germany. The Hoplocetinae are known from the early Miocene to the Pliocene. Comparative studies of cranial characters and tooth morphology allow an emended diagnosis of the Hoplocetinae Cabrera, 1926. Four genera, Diaphorocetus, Idiorophus, Scaldicetus, and Hoplocetus are included in this subfamily. The pattern of functional tooth wear deduced from the described Hoplocetus ritzi n. sp. remains is reminescent of that known from Orcinus orca. The hoplocetine physeterids possibly occupied the killer whale niche before the killer whales appeared during the middle Pliocene. Mit Hoplocetusritzi n. sp. wird ein neuer hoplocetiner Physeteride beschrieben. Der Fund stammt aus der Bolboformafragori /subfragoris Zone des mittel-/obermiozänen Glimmertons von Groß Pampau in Schleswig-Holstein, Norddeutschland. Die Hoplocetinae sind vom unteren Miozän bis ins Pliozän nachgewiesen. Anhand vergleichender Untersuchungen an wenigen Schädelmerkmalen und der Zahnmorphologie gelingt eine Neudiagnose der Hoplocetinae Cabrera, 1926 und eine vorläufige Abgrenzung zwischen den als valid angesehenen Gattungen dieser Unterfamilie, Diaphorocetus, Idiorophus, Scaldicetus und Hoplocetus. Das Abkauungsmuster der Zähne von Hoplocetusritzi n. sp. erinnert an das des heutigen Orcinusorca. Möglicherweise sind die hoplocetinen Pottwale habituell den Schwertwalen, die erdgeschichtlich erstmals im mittleren Pliozän auftreten, vergleichbar. doi:10.1002/mmng.200600002

  18. Out of the Pacific and back again: insights into the matrilineal history of Pacific killer whale ecotypes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew D Foote

    Full Text Available 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 to partitioned mitochondrial genome sequences to better resolve the pattern of past radiations in this species. Our phylogenetic reconstructions indicate that in the North Pacific, sympatry between the maternal lineages that make up each ecotype arises from secondary contact. Both the phylogenetic reconstructions and a clinal decrease in diversity suggest a North Pacific to North Atlantic founding event, and the later return of killer whales to the North Pacific. Therefore, ecological divergence could have occurred during the allopatric phase through drift or selection and/or may have either commenced 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 was particularly vigorous.

  19. 77 FR 56613 - Marine Mammals; File No. 16325

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-13

    ... for a permit to conduct research on humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus), blue whales (B. musculus), sei whales (B. borealis), minke whales (B. acutorostrata), sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus), and killer whales (Orcinus orca) had been submitted by the above-named...

  20. 76 FR 81916 - Marine Mammals; File No. 16685

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-29

    ... Thomas A. Jefferson, Ph.D., Clymene Enterprises, 5495 Camino Playa Malaga, San Diego, CA 92124 to conduct... northern right whale dolphins (Lissodelphis borealis); killer whale (Orcinus orca, excluding Southern...

  1. 76 FR 75524 - Marine Mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-02

    ... griseus), killer whale (Orcinus orca) and Mesoplodont beaked whales (Mesoplodon spp); (3) add a new... cetacean behavior, sound production, and responses to sound. The research methods include tagging marine... measures vocalization, behavior, and physiological parameters. Research also involves conducting sound...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-16

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

  3. 78 FR 56218 - Marine Mammals; File No. 18171

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-12

    ... (Tursiops truncates), spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris), striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba... dolphins (Tursiops truncates), spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris), striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba), false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens), and killer whales (Orcinus orca) in waters off...

  4. Diel and seasonal patterns of underwater sounds by Weddell seals, leopard seals, and killer whales in the Antarctic: When it's adaptive to be quiet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mindach, Debrah; Thomas, Jeanette

    2005-09-01

    Automated underwater recordings taken during the austral breeding season of the Weddell seal (Leptonychotes weddellii) in Antarctica also provided data on the vocalizations of predators in the area; leopard seals (Hydrurga leptonyx) and killer whales (Orcinus orca). Weddell seals inhabit fast ice areas to give birth, mate, and molt. Near the end of the breeding season in December the fast ice often breaks out and the two pack ice predators are able to move near the Weddell seal colonies and prey on them, especially pups. Recordings were taken continuously for a 2.5-min period each hour from mid-October 1977 and late-January 1978 at Hutton Cliffs and South Turtle Rock Crack, in McMurdo Sound. The leopard seals increased their trill calls when killer whales came into the area as evidenced by an increase in their frequency-modulated squeak calls. Weddell seals decreased their vocalization rate dramatically (~10 sounds/min) compared to during the peak of the breeding season (~75 sounds/min). Perhaps by being quiet, Weddell seals do not attract predators to their area.

  5. 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.

  6. 76 FR 30919 - Marine Mammals; File No. 15844

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-27

    ... feeding behaviors of humpback, killer, and minke whales, which would enhance information-based resource... novaeangliae), killer whales (Orcinus orca) and minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata). DATES: Written... collect sloughed skin and/or feces to study humpback whales, killer whales and minke whale. Research would...

  7. 75 FR 49465 - Marine Mammals; File No. 14682

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-08-13

    ... determine aspects of the behavior and use of the acoustic environment by large whales, and to determine the... whale (Ziphius cavirostris), killer whale (Orcinus orca), humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), dwarf... macrorhynchus), false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens), pygmy killer whale (Feresa attenuata), melon- headed...

  8. 75 FR 13502 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Manette Bridge Replacement in...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-22

    ... whales that vary in morphology, ecology, behavior, and genetics. Both ecotypes of killer whales are not... ubatus), transient and Southern Resident killer whales (Orcinus orca), and gray whale (Eschrichtius...'' under the ESA. 5. Killer Whale Two distinct forms, or ecotypes, of killer whales ``residents'' and...

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-30

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

  11. Beluga whale summer habitat associations in the Nelson River estuary, western Hudson Bay, Canada.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander J Smith

    Full Text Available To understand beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas estuarine use in the Nelson River estuary, southwest Hudson Bay, we recorded and examined beluga movements and habitat associations for the July through August period in 2002-2005. We compared locations of belugas fitted with satellite transmitters ("tags" (2002-2005 and aerial-surveyed (2003 and 2005 belugas for years of differing freshwater flow from the Nelson River which is influenced by hydroelectric activity. Using the beluga telemetry location data, we estimated an early August behavioral shift in beluga distribution patterns from local estuarine use to a progressively more migratory behavior away from the estuary. The timing of this shift in behavior was also apparent in results of beluga aerial surveys from the 1940s-1960s, despite environmental changes including later freeze-up and warming ocean temperatures. Overall, during the higher than average discharge ("wet" year of 2005, the three tagged belugas ranged farther from the Nelson River but not farther from the nearest shore along southwestern Hudson Bay, compared to the 10 tagged belugas tracked during the "dry" years of 2002-2004 with below average discharges. Aerial survey data for 2003 and 2005 display a similar dry vs. wet year shift in spatial patterns, with no significant change in overall density of belugas within the study area. In the Nelson estuary, proximity to the fresh-salt water mixing area may be more important than the shallow waters of the upper estuary. Killer whales (Orcinus orca were observed in the Churchill area (200 km northwest during each year of study, 2002-05, and belugas may benefit from the proximity to shallow estuary waters that provide protection from the larger-bodied predator. Study results contribute to an understanding of the influence of environmental variation on how and why belugas use estuaries although considerable uncertainties exist and additional research is required.

  12. 77 FR 21753 - Marine Mammals; File No. 17011

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-11

    ... document the hunting behavior of transient killer whales and to document the food chain that develops from... Eastern North Pacific gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) and killer whales (Orcinus orca) had been... whale and killer whale interactions in the Aleutian Islands from Unimak Pass to Sand Point, Alaska using...

  13. 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...

  14. Journal of Applied Sciences and Environmental Management - Vol ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    pdioxins and Furans (PCDD/Fs), and Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) as Functions of Sample Depth in Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) Blubber · EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD ...

  15. 75 FR 15685 - Marine Mammals; Issuance of Permits

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-30

    ... whales (Balaenoptera acutorstrata), gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus), and killer whales (Orcinus orca... dolphins and whales were added to the LOC. This amended LOC supercedes version 808-1798 issued on September... haul-out behavior and habitat requirements of harbor seals in Alaska. The LOC expires August 1, 2014...

  16. 77 FR 2513 - Marine Mammals; File No. 17011

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-18

    ... would be used to create a film that would document the hunting behavior of transient killer whales and... (Eschrichtius robustus) and killer whales (Orcinus orca). DATES: Written, telefaxed, or email comments must be... requests a photography permit to film gray whale and killer whale interactions in the Aleutian Islands from...

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reisinger, Ryan R; Oosthuizen, W Chris; Péron, Guillaume; Cory Toussaint, Dawn; Andrews, Russel D; de Bruyn, P J Nico

    2014-01-01

    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 following

  19. 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...

  20. Odontocete Studies Off the Pacific Missile Range Facility in February 2013: Satellite-Tagging, Photo-Identification, and Passive Acoustic Monitoring for Species Verification

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-16

    in the main Hawaiian Islands (Baird et al. 2013a). Studies using satellite tags to assess movements and behavior of individual toothed whales on and...bottlenose dolphin, false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens), short-finned pilot whale , killer whale (Orcinus orca), and Blainville’s beaked whale ...Schorr, D.L. Webster, D.J. McSweeney, M.B. Hanson, and R.D. Andrews. 2010. Movements and habitat use of satellite-tagged false killer whales around

  1. Auditory Weighting Functions and TTS/PTS Exposure Functions for Marine Mammals Exposed to Underwater Noise

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-12-01

    R. Henry. 1999. “ Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) Hearing: Auditory Brainstem Response and Behavioral Audiograms,” Journal of the Acoustical Society of...MID-FREQUENCY (MF) CETACEANS The MF cetacean group contains most delphinid species (e.g., bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, killer whale , pilot...headed whales , false/pygmy killer whale , killer whale , pilot whales ) Subfamily Stenoninae (rough-toothed/humpback dolphins) Genus Lissodelphis (right

  2. Detection and Identification of Marine Mammals in Passive Acoustic Recordings from SCORE using a Visual Processing Approach Established for HARP Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-01

    Ziphius cavirostris), sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus), and different delphinid species, including killer whales (Orcinus orca ), Risso’s...Helden, D.M. Allen, and N.B. Barros, 2006: Elements of beaked whale anatomy and diving physiology and some hypothetical causes of sonar-related

  3. 76 FR 39386 - Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the Port of Anchorage...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-06

    ... leucas), harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena), killer whales (Orcinus orca), and harbor seals (Phoca... MMOs to characterize beluga whale frequency, abundance, group composition, movements, behavior, and... movements, and behavior during 2010 were consistent with previous years (2007-2009) with whales primarily...

  4. 76 FR 28421 - Marine Mammals; File No. 15646

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-17

    ... 300 crabeater seals (Lobodon carcinophaga), 200 Weddell seals (Leptonychotes weddellii), 50 Ross seals (Ommatophoca Rossii), 25 leopard seals (Hydrurga leptonyx), and 20 killer whales (Orcinus orca) that were... the dietary preferences and feeding ecology of Antarctic marine mammals by analyzing seal and whale...

  5. Ceteacean Social Behavioral Response to Sonar

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

    behavioral responses to sonar signals and other stimuli (tagging effort, killer whale playbacks) as well as baseline behavior , are studied within the...multiple stimuli (tagging, sonar, killer whale playbacks) and their controls, as well as baseline behavior , while incorporating social, dive and...of behavioral changes observed during experimental exposures of killer (Orcinus orca), long-finned pilot whale (Globicephala melas), and sperm whale

  6. Behavioral Ecology of Narwhals in a Changing Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    offshore Greenland halibut stock? 4. Predation: What are the spatial and temporal trends in the occurrence of killer whales in West Greenland? Given...the loss of annual sea ice and purported increase in killer whales in the Canadian Arctic, do killer whale catch and observation data from West...kHz. Recent studies using wide-band acoustic sampling in the Northeast Atlantic have documented killer whales (Orcinus orca), the largest delphinid

  7. Baseline Hearing Measurements in Alaskan Belugas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-30

    DE, Kiehl K, Pennington S, Wong S, Henry KR (1999) Killer whale (Orcinus orca) hearing: Auditory brainstem response and behavioral audiograms. J...Supin AY (2005) Behavioral and auditory evoked potential audiograms of a false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens). J Acoust Soc Am 118:2688-2695...documented in older bottlenose dolphins and suggested in a false killer whale ; hearing loss has also been related to antibiotic treatment in belugas

  8. 3S2: Behavioral Response Studies of Cetaceans to Navy Sonar Signals in Norwegian Waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

    different exposure types (controls vs sonar exposures). As we had found previously for the 3S species (killer, long-finned pilot, and sperm whales ...experiments to study the effects of airguns on the foraging behavior of sperm whales in the Gulf of Mexico . Deep-Sea Research I 56, 1168-1181...segment characterization of Norwegian killer whale (Orcinus orca) call types . Animal Behavior 81: 377-386. Sivle, LD, Kvadsheim, PH, Fahlman, A, Lam

  9. 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...... the ultimate industrial PCB phase-out deadline before conservation of this species surpasses a tipping point. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species does not state concern for killer whales as data are deficient. This urgently asks for international risk assessment, requiring in vivo and in vitro approaches...

  10. Enhanced ORCA and CLARREO Depolarizers Using AR Microstructures Project

    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...

  11. 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.

  12. 77 FR 36999 - Marine Mammals; File No. 16160

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-20

    ... (Orcinus orca) from the Southern Resident stock and humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae). Other species... Permits for Protected Species home page, https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov , and then selecting File No. 16160... importing of marine mammals (50 CFR part 216), the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA, 16 U.S.C...

  13. Author Details

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... No 1 (2009) - Articles Sightings of killer whales Orcinus orca from longline vessels in South African waters, and consideration of the regional conservation status. Abstract · Vol 18 (1997) - Articles International experience of marine protected areas and their relevance to South Africa Abstract PDF · Vol 22 (2000) - Articles

  14. Marine mammals and contaminants in the diet of coastal feeding ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    High PCB concentrations in free-ranging Pacific killer whales, Orcinus orca: effects of age, sex and dietary preference. Marine Pollution Bulletin 40: 504-515. Scholin, C.A., Gulland, F., Doucette, G.J., Benson, S., Busman, M., Chavez, F.P.,. Cordaro, J., DeLong, R., De Vogelaere, A., Harvey, J., Haulena, M., Lefebvre, K.,.

  15. African Journal of Marine Science - Vol 31, No 1 (2009)

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Sightings of killer whales Orcinus orca from longline vessels in South African waters, and consideration of the regional conservation status · EMAIL FULL TEXT EMAIL FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT ... Short Communication Primary production in the Benguela ecosystem, 1999–2002 · EMAIL ...

  16. Browse Title Index

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Items 251 - 300 of 1247 ... Vol 11, No 2 (2007), Concentrations of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), Polychlorinated Dibenzo-pdioxins and Furans (PCDD/Fs), and Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) as Functions of Sample Depth in Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) Blubber, Abstract PDF. MG Ikonomou, S Rayne, NF Crewe.

  17. Concentrations of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    MICHAEL

    ABSTRACT: Concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were examined as a function of depth in killer whale (Orcinus orca) blubber samples. Lipid-normalized concentrations of PCBs, PCDD/Fs, and ...

  18. 76 FR 76949 - Marine Mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-09

    ... 902 killer whales (Orcinus orca). These three species are currently only taken incidental to... to sound, and other behavior. The research is focused in the waters within the U.S. Navy's Southern... involves temporarily attaching individual recording tags to measure vocalization, behavior, and...

  19. 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…

  20. 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

  1. Comparison of Real and Idealized Cetacean Flippers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-10-16

    whale, Balaenoptera physalus; long-finned pilot whale, Globicephala melas ; killer whale, Orcinus orca; harbour porpoise, Phocoena phocoena; bottlenose...0.232 20/0.32 Idealized 0.059 120 0.239 Long-finned pilot whale ( Globicephala melas ) Real 0.107 115 0.159 10.82/0.43 Idealized 0.106 116 0.160 (a) (b...Experimental data for long-finned pilot whale Globicephala melas flipper models. Note the nonlinear nature of the lift curves. The results for the

  2. Comparative and Cumulative Energetic Costs of Odontocete Responses to Anthropogenic Disturbance

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    3), bottlenose dolphin ( Tursiops truncatus , n = 2), killer whale (Orcinus orca, n = 2), and two beaked whale species (M. densitrostris = 1, Z...Muscle Samples (n) Samples Analyzed Mb (n) AB (n) Tursiops truncatus 4 Right Nasal Musculature (NM) 4 4 4 Left Nasal Musculature (NM) 4 4 4...Kamolnick, T., Todd, M. A., & Ridgway, S. H. 2011. Observation and analysis of sonar signal generation in the bottlenose dolphin ( Tursiops truncatus

  3. Soundwatch: Eighteen years of monitoring whale watch vessel activities in the Salish Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth Seely

    Full Text Available The Soundwatch Boater Education Program is a vessel monitoring and public education outreach program. Soundwatch has been run by The Whale Museum (TWM during the whale watch season (May through September in the Haro Strait Region of the Central Salish Sea since 1993. Data collection has been in a consistent manner since 1998 and is presented here. The program compiles data on vessel types and vessel interactions with marine mammals with a focus on the Southern Resident killer whale (SRKW, Orcinas orca, which was listed as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA in 2005. The primary goal of the Soundwatch program is to reduce vessel disturbance to SRKWs and other marine wildlife through the education of boaters on regional, local and federal guidelines and regulations and the systematic monitoring of vessel activities around cetaceans. Since 1998, the number of active commercial whale watching vessels has increased over time; ranging from a low of 63 in 1999, to a high of 96 in 2015. In addition, the number of vessel incidents or violation of regulations and guidelines has also increased; ranging from a low of 398 in 1998 to a high of 2621 in 2012. Soundwatch collected data on 23 incident types, some remaining the same over the 18-year data set and some changing over time. The most common incidents over the 18 years were "Within 880 m of Lime Kiln" and "Crossing the path of whales". The numbers of people kayaking near whales also significantly increased since 2004 with the incident "kayaks spread out" with a significantly increasing trend making it difficult for whales to avoid vessels. These results suggest a need for further outreach for effective education and enforcement of whale watching guidelines and regulations in the Central Salish Sea.

  4. Transparent Fault-tolerance in Parallel Orca Programs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kaashoek, M.F.; Michiels, R.; Bal, H.E.; Tanenbaum, A.S.

    1992-01-01

    With the advent of large-scale parallel computing systems, making parallel programs fault-tolerant becomes an important problem, because the probability of a failure increases with the number of processors. In this paper, we describe a very simple scheme for rendering a class of parallel Orca

  5. War of the Whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blok, Anders

    2011-01-01

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

  6. 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...... (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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Large whale incident database

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  10. Gray Whale Calf Production Data

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  11. 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...

  12. Arteriovenous Patterns in Beaked Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

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

  13. 78 FR 23910 - Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Construction at Orcas Island and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-04-23

    ...-intensity noise exposure for a brief time period during vibratory pile driving and pile removal. Any animals... received noise levels above 120 dB re 1 Pa (rms) from the dolphin replacement work at the Friday Harbor... whales, 8 gray whales, 8 humpback whales, and 20 minke whales could be exposure to received noise levels...

  14. 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. .

  15. The Metabolic Cost of Sound Production in Odontocete Cetaceans

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-30

    The_Marine_Mammal_Physiology_Project/Home.html REFERENCES Holt, M.M., Noren, D., Veirs, V., Emmons, C., Veirs, S. 2009. Speaking up: Killer whales (Orcinus orca...is being measured in two captive male Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) maintained at Dr. Terrie Williams’ Mammalian Physiology ...analyzing the acoustic data. WORK COMPLETED In 2010, four, one week trips to Dr. Terrie Williams’ Mammalian Physiology Laboratory at the

  16. The Metabolic Cost of Click Production in Bottlenose Dolphins

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

    America 64, 411-422. Holt, M.M., Noren, D.P., Veirs, V., Emmons, C.K., Veirs, S. 2009. Speaking up: Killer whales (Orcinus orca) increase their call...compensation behavior are unknown. To date, the only empirical data on the metabolic cost of sound production as well as the metabolic cost of...sound types in an echolocation context to compensate for masking noise. Given that changes in vocal behavior in response to masking noise has been

  17. The Metabolic Costs of Sound Production in Odontocete Cetaceans

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-30

    Veirs, V., Emmons, C., Veirs, S. 2009. Speaking up: Killer whales (Orcinus orca) increase their call amplitude in response to vessel noise. Journal...species readily modify the parameters of their acoustic signals to compensate for masking noise, potential energetic costs of such compensation behavior ...changes in vocal behavior in response to masking noise has been documented in several species, assessing the biological significance of these effects is

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    Environmental DNA for Detection and Identification of Cetacean Species Scott Baker Oregon State University Hatfield Marine Science Center Newport...identification of cetaceans using environmental (e) DNA collected from seawater. Referred to here as ‘(e) DNA barcoding’, this new methodology can be used...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

  19. Counting whales in a challenging, changing environment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Listening to Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allchin, Douglas

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Whales: Incredible Ocean Mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devona, Henry

    1992-01-01

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

  2. Whales Are Big With Little People.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dommers, John J.

    1981-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  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

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

  6. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter T Fretwell

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

  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...... of the continental shelf off Andenes, Norway, in the summers of 1997 and 1998. With this system, source levels up to 223 dB re 1 mPa peRMS were recorded. Also, source level differences of 35 dB for the same click at different directions were seen, which are interpreted as evidence for high directionality....... This implicates sonar as a possible function of the clicks. Thus, previously published properties of sperm whale clicks underestimate the capabilities of the sound generator and therefore cannot falsify the Norris and Harvey theory....

  9. Engineering overexpression of ORCA3 and strictosidine glucosidase in Catharanthus roseus hairy roots increases alkaloid production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Jiayi; Peebles, Christie A M

    2016-09-01

    Catharanthus roseus produces many pharmaceutically important terpenoid indole alkaloids (TIAs) such as vinblastine, vincristine, ajmalicine, and serpentine. Past metabolic engineering efforts have pointed to the tight regulation of the TIA pathway and to multiple rate-limiting reactions. Transcriptional regulator ORCA3 (octadecanoid responsive Catharanthus AP2-domain protein), activated by jasmonic acid, plays a central role in regulating the TIA pathway. In this study, overexpressing ORCA3 under the control of a glucocorticoid-inducible promoter in C. roseus hairy roots resulted in no change in the total amount of TIAs measured. RT-qPCR results showed that ORCA3 overexpression triggered the upregulation of transcripts of most of the known TIA pathway genes. One notable exception was the decrease in strictosidine glucosidase (SGD) transcripts. These results corresponded to previously published results. In this study, ORCA3 and SGD were both engineered in hairy roots under the control of a glucocorticoid-inducible promoter. Co-overexpression of ORCA3 and SGD resulted in a significant (p < 0.05) increase in serpentine by 44 %, ajmalicine by 32 %, catharanthine by 38 %, tabersonine by 40 %, lochnericine by 60 % and hörhammericine by 56 % . The total alkaloid pool was increased significantly by 47 %. Thus, combining overexpression of a positive regulator and a pathway gene which is not controlled by this regulator provided a way to enhance alkaloid production.

  10. The ORCA2 transcription factor plays a key role in regulation of the terpenoid indole alkaloid pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Chun Yao; Leopold, Alex L; Sander, Guy W; Shanks, Jacqueline V; Zhao, Le; Gibson, Susan I

    2013-10-08

    The terpenoid indole alkaloid (TIA) pathway leads to the production of pharmaceutically important drugs, such as the anticancer compounds vinblastine and vincristine. Unfortunately, these drugs are produced in trace amounts, causing them to be very costly. To increase production of these drugs, an improved understanding of the TIA regulatory pathway is needed. Towards this end, transgenic Catharanthus roseus hairy roots that overexpress the ORCA2 TIA transcriptional activator were generated and characterized. Transcriptional profiling experiments revealed that overexpression of ORCA2 results in altered expression of key genes from the indole and terpenoid pathways, which produce precursors for the TIA pathway, and from the TIA pathway itself. In addition, metabolite-profiling experiments revealed that overexpression of ORCA2 significantly affects the levels of several TIA metabolites. ORCA2 overexpression also causes significant increases in transcript levels of several TIA regulators, including TIA transcriptional repressors. Results presented here indicate that ORCA2 plays a critical role in regulation of TIA metabolism. ORCA2 regulates expression of key genes from both feeder pathways, as well as the genes (STR and SGD) encoding the enzymes that catalyze the first two steps in TIA biosynthesis. ORCA2 may play an especially important role in regulation of the downstream branches of the TIA pathway, as it regulates four out of five genes characterized from this part of the pathway. Regulation of TIA transcriptional repressors by ORCA2 may provide a mechanism whereby increases in TIA metabolite levels in response to external stimuli are transient and limited in magnitude.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Probing the neutrino mass ordering with KM3NeT-ORCA: analysis and perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capozzi, Francesco; Lisi, Eligio; Marrone, Antonio

    2018-02-01

    The discrimination of the two possible options for the neutrino mass ordering (normal or inverted) is a major goal for current and future neutrino oscillation experiments. Such a goal might be reached by observing high-statistics energy-angle spectra of events induced by atmospheric neutrinos and antineutrinos propagating in the Earth matter. Large volume water-Cherenkov detectors envisaged to this purpose include the so-called KM3NeT-ORCA project (in seawater) and the IceCube-PINGU project (in ice). Building upon a previous work focused on PINGU, we study in detail the effects of various systematic uncertainties on the ORCA sensitivity to the mass ordering, for the reference configuration with 9 m vertical spacing. We point out the need to control spectral shape uncertainties at the percent level, the effects of better priors on the {θ }23 mixing parameter, and the benefits of an improved flavor identification in reconstructed ORCA events.

  13. Out of the Pacific and back again

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    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...... reconstructions and a clinal decrease in diversity suggest a North Pacific to North Atlantic founding event, and the later return of killer whales to the North Pacific. Therefore, ecological divergence could have occurred during the allopatric phase through drift or selection and/or may have either commenced...

  14. 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...

  15. Gray Whale Population Count Data

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  16. Mx1 and Mx2 key antiviral proteins are surprisingly lost in toothed whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braun, Benjamin A; Marcovitz, Amir; Camp, J Gray; Jia, Robin; Bejerano, Gill

    2015-06-30

    Viral outbreaks in dolphins and other Delphinoidea family members warrant investigation into the integrity of the cetacean immune system. The dynamin-like GTPase genes Myxovirus 1 (Mx1) and Mx2 defend mammals against a broad range of viral infections. Loss of Mx1 function in human and mice enhances infectivity by multiple RNA and DNA viruses, including orthomyxoviruses (influenza A), paramyxoviruses (measles), and hepadnaviruses (hepatitis B), whereas loss of Mx2 function leads to decreased resistance to HIV-1 and other viruses. Here we show that both Mx1 and Mx2 have been rendered nonfunctional in Odontoceti cetaceans (toothed whales, including dolphins and orcas). We discovered multiple exon deletions, frameshift mutations, premature stop codons, and transcriptional evidence of decay in the coding sequence of both Mx1 and Mx2 in four species of Odontocetes. We trace the likely loss event for both proteins to soon after the divergence of Odontocetes and Mystocetes (baleen whales) ∼33-37 Mya. Our data raise intriguing questions as to what drove the loss of both Mx1 and Mx2 genes in the Odontoceti lineage, a double loss seen in none of 56 other mammalian genomes, and suggests a hitherto unappreciated fundamental genetic difference in the way these magnificent mammals respond to viral infections.

  17. Killer whale caller localization using a hydrophone array in an oceanarium pool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowles, Ann E.; Greenlaw, Charles F.; McGehee, Duncan E.; van Holliday, D.

    2004-05-01

    A system to localize calling killer whales was designed around a ten-hydrophone array in a pool at SeaWorld San Diego. The array consisted of nine ITC 8212 and one ITC 6050H hydrophones mounted in recessed 30×30 cm2 niches. Eight of the hydrophones were connected to a Compaq Armada E500 laptop computer through a National Instruments DAQ 6024E PCMCIA A/D data acquisition card and a BNC-2120 signal conditioner. The system was calibrated with a 139-dB, 4.5-kHz pinger. Acoustic data were collected during four 48-72 h recording sessions, simultaneously with video recorded from a four-camera array. Calling whales were localized by one of two methods, (1) at the hydrophone reporting the highest sound exposure level and (2) using custom-designed 3-D localization software based on time-of-arrival (ORCA). Complex reverberations in the niches and pool made locations based on time of arrival difficult to collect. Based on preliminary analysis of data from four sessions (400+ calls/session), the hydrophone reporting the highest level reliably attributed callers 51%-100% of the time. This represents a substantial improvement over attribution rates of 5%-15% obtained with single hydrophone recordings. [Funding provided by Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute and the Hubbs Society.

  18. 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...

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Tagging and Playback Studies to Toothed Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-30

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Whaling: will the Phoenix rise again?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, Sidney J

    2007-08-01

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

  5. The world's smallest whale population?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  6. Cetaceans of the Atlantic Frontier, north and west of Scotland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weir, C. R.; Pollock, C.; Cronin, C.; Taylor, S.

    2001-05-01

    Surveys carried out to the north and west of Scotland have recorded 15 species of cetacean between 1979 and 1998. These were fin whale ( Balaenoptera physalus) , sei whale ( B. borealis) , minke whale ( B. acutorostrata) , humpback whale ( Megaptera novaeangliae) , sperm whale ( Physeter macrocephalus) , northern bottlenose whale ( Hyperoodon ampullatus) , Sowerby's beaked whale ( Mesoplodon bidens) , killer whale ( Orcinus orca) , long-finned pilot whale ( Globicephala melas) , Atlantic white-sided dolphin ( Lagenorhynchus acutus) , white-beaked dolphin ( L. albirostris) , Risso's dolphin ( Grampus griseus) , bottlenose dolphin ( Tursiops truncatus) , common dolphin ( Delphinus delphis) and harbour porpoise ( Phocoena phocoena) . Atlantic white-sided dolphin was the most abundant species in the region with a total of 6317 animals recorded. Harbour porpoise was the most frequently sighted cetacean species. The geographical distribution of sightings indicate that cetacean species have varying ecological requirements, with species such as sperm whale, pilot whale and white-sided dolphin favouring deep water off the continental shelf edge, while minke whale, white-beaked dolphin and harbour porpoise were apparently limited to the continental shelf. The diversity of species recorded in the region suggests that the Atlantic Frontier is an important habitat for cetaceans.

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ridgway, Sam H; Hanson, Alicia C

    2014-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Arndt, Ursula Maria

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Neutrino oscillation tomography of the Earth with KM3NeT-ORCA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourret, Simon; Coelho, João A. B.; Van Elewyck, Véronique; KM3NeT Collaboration

    2017-09-01

    KM3NeT-ORCA is a water-Cherenkov neutrino detector designed for studying the oscillations of atmospheric neutrinos, with the primary objective of measuring the neutrino mass ordering. Atmospheric neutrinos crossing the Earth undergo matter effects, modifying the pattern of their flavour oscillations. The study of the angular and energy distribution of neutrino events in ORCA can therefore provide tomographic information on the Earth’s interior with an independent technique, complementary to the standard geophysics methods. Preliminary estimations based on a full Monte Carlo simulation of the detector response show that after ten years of operation the electron density can be measured with a precision of 3-5% in the mantle and 7-10% in the outer core - depending on the mass ordering.

  11. 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…

  12. Studying Fin Whales with Seafloor Seismic Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  13. 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

  14. Mapping the Super-Whale

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blok, Anders

    2010-01-01

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

  15. Arteriovenous Patterns in Beaked Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-30

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  17. Saving Whales and Dolphins through Petroglyphs and Activist Artworks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bae, Jaehan

    2013-01-01

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

  18. 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)

  19. 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

  20. 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...

  1. Humpback whale bioacoustics: From form to function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercado, Eduardo, III

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

  2. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guilherme A Bortolotto

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

  7. 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.

  8. Overexpression of ORCA3 and G10H in Catharanthus roseus plants regulated alkaloid biosynthesis and metabolism revealed by NMR-metabolomics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qifang Pan

    Full Text Available In order to improve the production of the anticancer dimeric indole alkaloids in Catharanthuse roseus, much research has been dedicated to culturing cell lines, hairy roots, and efforts to elucidate the regulation of the monoterpenoid indole alkaloid (MIA biosynthesis. In this study, the ORCA3 (Octadecanoid-derivative Responsive Catharanthus AP2-domain gene alone or integrated with the G10H (geraniol 10-hydroxylase gene were first introduced into C. roseus plants. Transgenic C. roseus plants overexpressing ORCA3 alone (OR lines, or co-overexpressing G10H and ORCA3 (GO lines were obtained by genetic modification. ORCA3 overexpression induced an increase of AS, TDC, STR and D4H transcripts but did not affect CRMYC2 and G10H transcription. G10H transcripts showed a significant increase under G10H and ORCA3 co-overexpression. ORCA3 and G10H overexpression significantly increased the accumulation of strictosidine, vindoline, catharanthine and ajmalicine but had limited effects on anhydrovinblastine and vinblastine levels. NMR-based metabolomics confirmed the higher accumulation of monomeric indole alkaloids in OR and GO lines. Multivariate data analysis of (1H NMR spectra showed change of amino acid, organic acid, sugar and phenylpropanoid levels in both OR and GO lines compared to the controls. The result indicated that enhancement of MIA biosynthesis by ORCA3 and G10H overexpression might affect other metabolic pathways in the plant metabolism of C. roseus.

  9. Overexpression of ORCA3 and G10H in Catharanthus roseus plants regulated alkaloid biosynthesis and metabolism revealed by NMR-metabolomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Qifang; Wang, Quan; Yuan, Fang; Xing, Shihai; Zhao, Jingya; Choi, Young Hae; Verpoorte, Robert; Tian, Yuesheng; Wang, Guofeng; Tang, Kexuan

    2012-01-01

    In order to improve the production of the anticancer dimeric indole alkaloids in Catharanthuse roseus, much research has been dedicated to culturing cell lines, hairy roots, and efforts to elucidate the regulation of the monoterpenoid indole alkaloid (MIA) biosynthesis. In this study, the ORCA3 (Octadecanoid-derivative Responsive Catharanthus AP2-domain) gene alone or integrated with the G10H (geraniol 10-hydroxylase) gene were first introduced into C. roseus plants. Transgenic C. roseus plants overexpressing ORCA3 alone (OR lines), or co-overexpressing G10H and ORCA3 (GO lines) were obtained by genetic modification. ORCA3 overexpression induced an increase of AS, TDC, STR and D4H transcripts but did not affect CRMYC2 and G10H transcription. G10H transcripts showed a significant increase under G10H and ORCA3 co-overexpression. ORCA3 and G10H overexpression significantly increased the accumulation of strictosidine, vindoline, catharanthine and ajmalicine but had limited effects on anhydrovinblastine and vinblastine levels. NMR-based metabolomics confirmed the higher accumulation of monomeric indole alkaloids in OR and GO lines. Multivariate data analysis of (1)H NMR spectra showed change of amino acid, organic acid, sugar and phenylpropanoid levels in both OR and GO lines compared to the controls. The result indicated that enhancement of MIA biosynthesis by ORCA3 and G10H overexpression might affect other metabolic pathways in the plant metabolism of C. roseus.

  10. KM3NeT-ORCA: Oscillation Research with Cosmics in the Abyss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coyle, Paschal; KM3NeT Collaboration

    2017-09-01

    KM3NeT, currently under construction in the abysses of the Mediterranean Sea, is a distributed research infrastructure that will host a km3-scale neutrino telescope (ARCA) for high-energy neutrino astronomy, and a megaton scale detector (ORCA) for neutrino oscillation studies of atmospheric neutrinos. ORCA is optimised for a measurement of the mass hierarchy, providing a sensitivity of 3σ after 3-4 years. It will also measure the atmospheric mixing parameters Δm2 atm and θ23 with a precision comparable to the NOvA and T2K experiments using both the muon neutrino disappearance and tau neutrino appearance channels. It will provide a measurement of the tau neutrino appearance rate with better than 10% precision, a crucial ingredient for tests of unitarity. It will probe the octant of the mixing angle θ23 via matter resonance effects on neutrinos and antineutrinos crossing the core and mantle, which are largely independent on the CP phase. The observation of neutrino oscillations over a wide range of baselines and energies will provide broad sensitivity to new physics such as non-standard neutrino interactions (NSI) and sterile neutrinos.

  11. 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...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  17. Sound production by singing humpback whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-04-01

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

  18. Source levels of foraging humpback whale calls.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

  19. Blue Whales Respond to Anthropogenic Noise

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Blue whales respond to anthropogenic noise.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. Comparative anatomy of the foramen ovale in the hearts of cetaceans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macdonald, Alastair A; Carr, Peter A; Currie, Richard J W

    2007-07-01

    The structure of the cardiac foramen ovale from 17 species representing six cetacean families, the Monodontidae, Phocoenidae, Delphinidae, Ziphiidae, Balaenidae and the Balaenopteridae, was studied using the scanning electron microscope. Eight white whale fetuses (Delphinapterus leucas) and a narwhal fetus (Monodon monoceros) represented the Monodontidae; one fetal and nine neonatal harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) and a finless porpoise fetus (Neophocoena phocoenoides) represented the Phocoenidae; two white-beaked dolphin fetuses (Lagenorhynchus albirostris), four fetal and one neonatal Atlantic white-sided dolphins (Lagenorhynchus acutus), a Risso's dolphin fetus (Grampus griseus), two common bottle-nosed dolphin neonates (Tursiops truncatus), a female short-beaked common dolphin fetus (Delphinus delphis), four killer whale fetuses (Orcinus orca) and two long-finned pilot whale fetuses (Globicephala melas) represented the Delphinidae; two northern bottlenose whale fetuses (Hyperoodon ampullatus) represented the Ziphiidae; one bowhead whale fetus (Balaena mysticetus) represented the Balaenidae and five Common minke whale fetuses (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), one blue whale fetus (Balaenoptera musculus), nine fin whale fetuses (Balaenoptera physalus) and four humpback whale fetuses (Megaptera novaeangliae) represented the Balaenopteridae. The hearts of an additional two incompletely identified toothed and four baleen whale fetuses were also studied. In each species the fold of tissue derived from the cardiac septum primum and subtended by the foramen ovale had the appearance of a short tunnel or sleeve which was fenestrated at its distal end. In the toothed whales the tissue fold was tunnel-shaped with the interatrial septum as the floor whereas in baleen whales it was more sleeve-like. In toothed whales thin threads extended from the fold to insert into the interatrial septum whereas a network of threads covered the distal end of the sleeve in the baleen

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-04-01

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

  12. 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).

  13. Atlantic Canada : Dancing with whales

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reid, W.

    2003-03-03

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

  14. 75 FR 28779 - Prince of Whales Resource Advisory Committee

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-24

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

  15. 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...

  16. 75 FR 2853 - False Killer Whale Take Reduction Team Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-19

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hacquebord, L; Skreslet, S

    2004-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tervo, Outi; Christoffersen, Mads; FØrasier, Timothy

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter L Tyack

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-14

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

  3. How large should whales be?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron Clauset

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvadeo Christian J.

    2013-01-01

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

  5. 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...

  6. Observations of shifts in cetacean distribution in the Norwegian Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leif eNøttestad

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to assess possible shifts in distributional patterns of cetaceans residing in the Norwegian Sea, and if possible relate the distribution to their feeding ecology during the summer seasons of 2009, 2010 and 2012. During this same period, historically large abundances in the order of 15 million tonnes pelagic planktivorous fish such as Norwegian spring-spawning herring (Clupea harengus, northeast Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus and blue whiting (Micromesistius poutassou, have been reported feeding in the Norwegian Sea during the summer. There is also observed elevated average surface temperatures and a reduction in zooplankton biomasses. Such changes might influence species composition, distribution patterns and feeding preferences of cetaceans residing the region. Our results show higher densities of toothed whales, killer whales (Orcinus orca and pilot whales (Globicephala melas, than the previous norm for these waters. Baleen whales, such as minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata and fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus, which is often associated with zooplankton, displayed a distribution overlap with pelagic fish abundances. Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae were observed in low numbers, indicating shift in habitat preference, compared to sighting data collected only few years earlier. Our study illustrate that both small and large cetaceans that reside in the Norwegian Sea have the capability to rapidly perform shifts in distribution and abundance patterns dependent of the access to different types and behaviour of prey species.

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1998-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-01

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

  11. 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…

  12. Successful euthanasia of a juvenile fin whale.

    OpenAIRE

    Daoust, P Y; Ortenburger, A I

    2001-01-01

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

  13. Automated detection of Antarctic blue whale calls.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. 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…

  20. Semi-Automatic Identification of Humpback Whales

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  2. 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.

  3. The novel evolution of the sperm whale genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-13

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

  4. The Novel Evolution of the Sperm Whale Genome

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  6. Distribution patterns and migratory behavior of Antarctic blue whales

    OpenAIRE

    Thomisch, Karolin

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Hartvig, Eva Christel

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Jasmonate-dependent alkaloid biosynthesis in Catharanthus Roseus hairy root cultures is correlated with the relative expression of Orca and Zct transcription factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goklany, Sheba; Rizvi, Noreen F; Loring, Ralph H; Cram, Erin J; Lee-Parsons, Carolyn W T

    2013-01-01

    The effects of methyl jasmonate (MJ) dosage on terpenoid indole alkaloid (TIA) biosynthesis in Catharanthus roseus are correlated with the relative levels of specific MJ-responsive transcription factors. In this study, the expression of transcription factors (Orca, Zct, Gbf, Myc2, At-hook, and Wrky1), TIA pathway genes (G10h, Tdc, Str, and Sgd), and TIA metabolites (secologanin, strictosidine, and tabersonine) were investigated in C. roseus hairy root cultures elicited with a range of MJ dosages (0-1,000 µM) during mid-exponential growth. The highest production of TIA metabolites occurs at 250 μM MJ, increasing by 150-370% compared with untreated controls. At this MJ dosage, the expression of the transcriptional activators (Orca) is dramatically increased (29-40 fold) while the levels of the transcriptional repressors (Zct) remain low (2-7 fold). Simultaneously, the expression of genes coding for key enzymes involved in TIA biosynthesis increases by 8-15 fold. In contrast, high MJ dosages (1,000 µM) inhibit the production of TIA metabolites. This dosage is correlated with elevated expression levels of Zct (up to 40-fold) relative to Orca (13-19-fold) and minimal induction of the TIA biosynthetic genes (0-6 fold). The significant changes in the expression of Orca and Zct with MJ dosage do not correspond to changes in the expression of the early-response transcription factors (AT-hook, Myc2, and Wrky1) believed to regulate Orca and Zct. In summary, these observations suggest that the dependence of alkaloid production on MJ dosage in C. roseus may be partly mediated through the relative levels of Orca and Zct family transcription factors. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

  10. 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....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  12. Primeros registros de la Orca pigmea Feresa attenuata (Cetacea, delphinidae) y del Cachalote enano Kogia simus (Cetacea, physeteridae) en Ecuador continental

    OpenAIRE

    Félix, F; Haase, B.; Samaniego, J.

    1996-01-01

    Se presenta información sobre los primeros registros de la orca pigmea (Feresa attenuata) y del cachalote enano (Kogia simus) realizados en aguas costeras de Ecuador. La información se basa en un espécímen joven de orca pimea encontrado en la costa y en la cabeza colectada de un cachalote enano atrapado en una red agallera. Además se informa sobre el primer espécimen de un cachalote enano (K. simus) colectado en las islas Galápagos.

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Prakash

    2009-10-29

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boschma, H.

    1938-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-06-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2010-04-21

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

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

  3. Deep Mapping of Teuthivorous Whales and Their Prey Fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

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

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. Marine Subsistence--Case of the Bowhead Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camerino, Vicki

    1977-01-01

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

  8. 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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    spamer

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

  10. 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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, J C; Clark, E

    1963-07-19

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehead, Hal

    2015-03-16

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

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    The KM3NeT collaboration; 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.; Berg, A. van den; Bertin, V.; Beurthey, S.; Beveren, V. van; 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.; Eijk, D. van; 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.; Haren, H. van; 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.; Jong, M. de; 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.; Elewyck, V. van; Vermeulen, J.; Versari, F.; Vicini, P.; Viola, S.; Vivolo, D.; Volkert, M.; Wiggers, L.; Wilms, J.; Wolf, E. de; 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. POPs in free-ranging pilot whales, sperm whales and fin whales from the Mediterranean Sea: Influence of biological and ecological factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. Cetacean records along a coastal-offshore gradient in the Vitória-Trindade Chain, western South Atlantic Ocean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    LL Wedekin

    Full Text Available Oceanic waters are difficult to assess, and there are many gaps in knowledge regarding cetacean occurrence. To fill some of these gaps, this article provides important cetacean records obtained in the winter of 2010 during a dedicated expedition to collect visual and acoustic information in the Vitória-Trindade seamounts. We observed 19 groups of cetaceans along a 1300-km search trajectory, with six species being identified: the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae, N = 9 groups, the fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus, N = 1, the Antarctic minke whale (Balaenoptera bonaerensis, N = 1, the rough-toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis, N = 1, the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus, N = 2, and the killer whale (Orcinus orca, N = 1. Most humpback whale groups (N = 7; 78% were observed in the Vitória-Trindade seamounts, especially the mounts close to the Abrolhos Bank. Only one lone humpback whale was observed near Trindade Island after a search effort encompassing more than 520 km. From a total of 28 acoustic stations, humpback whale songs were only detected near the seamounts close to the Abrolhos Bank, where most groups of this species were visually detected (including a competitive group and groups with calves. The presence of humpback whales at the Trindade Island and surroundings is most likely occasional, with few sightings and low density. Finally, we observed a significant number of humpback whales along the seamounts close to the Abrolhos Bank, which may function as a breeding habitat for this species. We also added important records regarding the occurrence of cetaceans in these mounts and in the Western South Atlantic, including the endangered fin whale.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-30

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

  2. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  4. Trace Gas Distributions and Correlations Observed In The Southern Ocean Atmosphere During the ORCAS Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atlas, E. L.; Schauffler, S.; Donets, V.; Apel, E. C.; Hornbrook, R. S.; Hills, A. J.; Stephens, B. B.; Kort, E. A.; Sweeney, C.; Gierach, M.

    2016-12-01

    The biologically productive waters of the Southern Ocean are potentially a significant source and sink for trace gases that impact atmospheric chemistry and climate. However, relatively little is known about the variations and atmospheric vertical structures of trace gases in this region. During January/February, 2016, we participated in the O2/N2 Ratio and CO2 Airborne Southern Ocean (ORCAS) Study, an airborne mission that included the measurement of a wide range of trace gases. This presentation will focus on a selection of gases measured from the Whole Air Sampler and from an in-situ GC/MS system (TOGA). The gases measured by these instruments included a range of reactive halocarbons produced by marine organisms in the surface ocean (e.g., dimethyl sulfide, bromoform, methyl iodide), produced from marine surface photochemistry (e.g., methyl nitrate), and introduced to the region from long-range transport (e.g., chlorinated solvents, CFCs and HCFCs, non-methane hydrocarbons). Distributions of these gases should reflect the biological productivity of the region, the surface flux rates, and the rates of atmospheric transport and mixing. The concentrations of biogenic trace gases that we measured in the marine boundary layer showed significant regional differences in concentrations and different seasonal changes over the course of the experiment. Vertical profiles of biogenic trace gases could be related to the surface sources, exchange with the free troposphere, and the photochemical lifetime of the different gases. Because of the potential relationship of biogenic trace gases to biological productivity in the surface ocean, the measurements will be compared to distributions of chlorophyll a, as observed remotely from the GV aircraft and from satellites. For trace gases with a large interhemispheric gradient and primarily northern hemisphere source (e.g. mainly anthropogenic sources), atmospheric vertical profiles showed an average increase in mixing ratio with

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-06-22

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Itinerari culturali nell’area dello Stretto di Messina sulle orme dell’Horcynus Orca di Stefano D’Arrigo-Cultural Itineraries in the Strait of Messina following in the footsteps of Stefano D’Arrigo’s Horcynus Orca

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caterina Barilaro

    2017-12-01

      The close relationship between geography and literature has now expanded the horizon of geographical research. Useful information for the creation of tourist-cultural itineraries to exploit the territory and its resources through tourist regeneration can be found in the reading of certain literary works. The starting point for this essay, along a geographic-literary path, is the analysis of Stefano D’Arrigo’s masterpiece, a novel that offers a reading of the cultural landscape of the Straits of Messina through a real geographical framework, rich in symbolic values, to design meaningful thematic routes. From the literary space, in fact, a network of routes can come to life, where the historical and mythical dimensions draw a geographical setting of outstanding natural beauty, crossing areas of extraordinary natural and cultural value, in which the imaginary labyrinthine of Horcynus Orca meets the reading plan of the territory.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1978-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-26

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

  15. Techniques and instrumentation effort for whale migration tracking

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1975-01-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  18. Identification of a Bipartite Jasmonate-Responsive Promoter Element in the Catharanthus roseus ORCA3 Transcription Factor Gene That Interacts Specifically with AT-Hook DNA-Binding Proteins1[W

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vom Endt, Débora; Soares e Silva, Marina; Kijne, Jan W.; Pasquali, Giancarlo; Memelink, Johan

    2007-01-01

    Jasmonates are plant signaling molecules that play key roles in defense against certain pathogens and insects, among others, by controlling the biosynthesis of protective secondary metabolites. In Catharanthus roseus, the APETALA2-domain transcription factor ORCA3 is involved in the jasmonate-responsive activation of terpenoid indole alkaloid biosynthetic genes. ORCA3 gene expression is itself induced by jasmonate. By loss- and gain-of-function experiments, we located a 74-bp region within the ORCA3 promoter, which contains an autonomous jasmonate-responsive element (JRE). The ORCA3 JRE is composed of two important sequences: a quantitative sequence responsible for a high level of expression and a qualitative sequence that appears to act as an on/off switch in response to methyl jasmonate. We isolated 12 different DNA-binding proteins having one of four different types of DNA-binding domains, using the ORCA3 JRE as bait in a yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) one-hybrid transcription factor screening. The binding of one class of proteins bearing a single AT-hook DNA-binding motif was affected by mutations in the quantitative sequence within the JRE. Two of the AT-hook proteins tested had a weak activating effect on JRE-mediated reporter gene expression, suggesting that AT-hook family members may be involved in determining the level of expression of ORCA3 in response to jasmonate. PMID:17496112

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  20. Passive acoustic detection of deep-diving beaked whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  2. 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...

  3. Acoustic Behaviour of Bottlenose Dolphins and Pilot Whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Frants Havmand

    2011-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Climate Change and Baleen Whale Trophic Cascades in Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-09-30

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

  8. Population Parameters of Blainvilles and Cuviers Beaked Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  13. Artemisinic Acid Serves as a Novel ORCA3 Inducer to Enhance Biosynthesis of Terpenoid Indole Alkaloids in Catharanthus roseus Cambial Meristematic Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Mingxuan; Zi, Jiachen; Zhu, Jianhua; Chen, Shan; Wang, Pu; Song, Liyan; Yu, Rongmin

    2016-06-01

    To investigate the effect of artemisinic acid (AA) on improving the production of terpenoid indole alkaloids (TIAs) of Catharanthus roseus cambial meristematic cells (CMCs), feeding AA to C. roseus CMCs caused 2.35-fold and 2.51-fold increases in the production of vindoline and catharanthine, respectively, compared with those of the untreated CMCs. qRT-PCR experiments showed that AA resulted in a 1.36-8.52 fold increase in the transcript levels of several related genes, including octadecanoid-derivative responsive Catharanthus AP2-domain protein 3 (ORCA3), tryptophan decarboxylase (TDC), strictosidine synthase (STR) and desacetoxyvindoline 4-hydroxylase (D4H). However, no effect was observed on the concentration of either jasmonic acid (JA), or the octadecanoid-pathway inhibitors block TIA accumulation caused by AA. The results indicated that AA might serve as a novel ORCA3 inducer to manipulate biosynthesis of TIAs in C. roseus CMCs via an unknown mechanism.

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  17. Gene-culture coevolution in whales and dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehead, Hal

    2017-07-24

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

  18. Gene–culture coevolution in whales and dolphins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehead, Hal

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  1. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  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?

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. Investigation of a FAST-OrcaFlex Coupling Module for Integrating Turbine and Mooring Dynamics of Offshore Floating Wind Turbines: Preprint

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Masciola, M.; Robertson, A.; Jonkman, J.; Driscoll, F.

    2011-10-01

    To enable offshore floating wind turbine design, the following are required: accurate modeling of the wind turbine structural dynamics, aerodynamics, platform hydrodynamics, a mooring system, and control algorithms. Mooring and anchor design can appreciably affect the dynamic response of offshore wind platforms that are subject to environmental loads. From an engineering perspective, system behavior and line loads must be studied well to ensure the overall design is fit for the intended purpose. FAST (Fatigue, Aerodynamics, Structures and Turbulence) is a comprehensive simulation tool used for modeling land-based and offshore wind turbines. In the case of a floating turbine, continuous cable theory is used to emulate mooring line dynamics. Higher modeling fidelity can be gained through the use of finite element mooring theory. This can be achieved through the FASTlink coupling module, which couples FAST with OrcaFlex, a commercial simulation tool used for modeling mooring line dynamics. In this application, FAST is responsible for capturing the aerodynamic loads and flexure of the wind turbine and its tower, and OrcaFlex models the mooring line and hydrodynamic effects below the water surface. This paper investigates the accuracy and stability of the FAST/OrcaFlex coupling operation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-10-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Tyack, Peter

    1998-01-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aldo S Pacheco

    2011-01-01

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

  15. Mimicking the humpback whale: An aerodynamic perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  16. Epigenetic estimation of age in humpback whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-09-30

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stafford, Kathleen M.; Moore, Sue E.

    2005-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-30

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2004-01-01

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

  2. 77 FR 5491 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Initiation of 5-Year Review for Sei Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-03

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-16

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

  7. 78 FR 34347 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plan for the North Pacific Right Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-07

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

  8. 77 FR 6065 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Cook Inlet Beluga Whale Economic Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-07

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

  9. 78 FR 4835 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plan for the North Pacific Right Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-23

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

  10. 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...

  11. 76 FR 43985 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plan for the Sei Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-22

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

  12. 77 FR 71259 - Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; False Killer Whale Take...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-29

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

  13. 76 FR 42082 - Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; False Killer Whale Take...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-18

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

  14. 77 FR 27185 - Availability of Seats for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-09

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-15

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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-04-01

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

  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

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hacquebord, L

    1999-01-01

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

  3. 76 FR 20870 - Protective Regulations for Killer Whales in the Northwest Region Under the Endangered Species Act...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-04-14

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mônica Pontalti

    2011-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-11-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel Nussbaum Wichert

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-22

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

  11. Hearing loss in stranded odontocete dolphins and whales.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Mann

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  13. 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)

  14. Competition among penguins and cetaceans reveals trophic cascades in the western Ross Sea, Antarctica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ainley, David G; Ballard, Grant; Dugger, Katie M

    2006-08-01

    An apparent trophic cascade that appears during summer in the western Ross Sea, Antarctica, explains why the Antarctic silverfish (Pleuragramma antarcticum) there becomes cannibalistic; its principal prey, crystal krill (Euphausia crystallorophias) becomes scarce; and the diatom community is minimally grazed compared to adjacent areas. The krill is the major grazer of diatoms. On the basis of fieldwork at Ross Island, we suggest that the cascade results from foraging by unusually numerous Adélie Penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae), minke whales (Balaenoptera bonaerensis), and fish-eating killer whales (Orcinus orca). These species and other top predators apparently deplete the krill and silverfish. In drawing our conclusions, we were aided by two "natural experiments." In one "experiment," large, grounded icebergs altered the seasonal pattern of change in regional sea-ice cover, but not the seasonal change in penguin diet and foraging behavior that was also detected during the pre-iceberg era. In the other "experiment," a short-term polynya (opening in the ice) brought penguins and whales together in a confined area, this time altering both penguin diet and foraging behavior. We conclude that the foraging of penguins and whales, and not a formerly hypothesized seasonal decrease in sea-ice cover, explains (1) the annual switch in the penguins' prey from krill to silverfish, (2) the subsequent lengthening of penguin foraging trips, and (3) a marked decline of cetaceans in the area later in the season. Reduction in the middle-trophic-level prey is expressed in the relaxed grazing pressure on phytoplankton.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giorli, Giacomo; Au, Whitlow W L

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  19. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Artur Andriolo

    2014-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-10-23

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Finn; Hammond, P.S.

    2004-01-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boessenecker, Robert W.

    2013-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boessenecker, Robert W

    2013-04-01

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

  8. Cultural turnover among Galápagos sperm whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. The enigmatic whale: the North Atlantic humpback

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim D Smith

    2009-09-01

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

  11. A multi-hypothesis tracker for clicking whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baggenstoss, Paul M

    2015-05-01

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

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

    CERN Document Server

    West, Michael J

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhinelander, Marcus Q; Dawson, Stephen M

    2004-04-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-02-23

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

  17. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1984-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  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. 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...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1998-12-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    spamer

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

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2015-04-27

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

  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. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-30

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-16

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-02-01

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

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  12. Calling behavior of blue and fin whales off California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oleson, Erin Marie

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-05-01

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

  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. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-05-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-12-20

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-09-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1983-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    岩瀬, 良一; IWASE, Ryoichi

    2015-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2006-01-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-09-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Gendron, Diane; Mesnick, S.L.

    2001-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwase, Ryoichi

    2015-07-01

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

  20. 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