Tag: Whales and Whaling

Dead Whale, 220 Pounds of Debris Inside, Is a ‘Grim Reminder’ of Ocean Trash

A dead sperm whale that washed up on a Scottish beach had more than 220 pounds of tangled netting, rope, plastic and other debris inside its stomach, according to a local whale research group. The 10-year-old male whale was found Nov. 30 on Luskentyre Beach in the Outer Hebrides after becoming stranded on a sand […]

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Blue Whale Hearts May Beat Only Twice a Minute During a Dive

Blue whales have a flair for paradox. They live in water but breathe air. They’re enormous — the biggest creatures that have ever lived, as far as anyone knows — but subsist almost entirely on tiny krill. And as new research reveals, even the animal’s dunk tank-size heart jumps between extremes. In a study published […]

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Will Whale Hunting Return to the Pacific Northwest?

NEAH BAY, Wash. — The hunters paddled frantically, closing in on their target. When they drew near, one of them stood in the cedar canoe and thrust a harpoon into the spine of the 30-foot gray whale. With the help of fishing boats, the men towed their catch into a small cove in Neah Bay […]

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TripAdvisor Ends Ticket Sales to Attractions That Breed or Buy Dolphins and Whales

TripAdvisor will no longer sell tickets to attractions that breed, import or capture whales, dolphins, porpoises and other cetaceans for public display, the company announced on Wednesday. The move will ban sales to attractions and events at parks and aquariums worldwide, including SeaWorld, which has locations in Florida and California, Loro Parque in Spain and […]

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What Whales and Dolphins Left Behind for Life in the Ocean

When the land-dwelling ancestors of today’s whales and dolphins slipped into the seas long ago, they gained many things, including flippers, the ability to hold their breath for long periods of time and thick, tough skin. Along the way they also discarded many traits that were no longer relevant or useful. In fact, as scientists […]

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Where the Sea Ice Recedes, So Does an Alaska Way of Life

The Yupik whale hunters from Savoonga on St. Lawrence Island off western Alaska want to know when they will see bowhead whales again. They listened patiently to eight hours of discussions among scientists recently at a workshop in Nome, Alaska, about how the rapid loss of sea ice is changing everything that lives in the […]

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Loneliness and Its Antidote on Orcas Island

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In the South Pacific, a Humpback Whale Karaoke Lounge

Humpback whales are creatures of habit. They spend the summer in cold, high-latitude feeding areas. In the winter, when it’s time to mate, they return to the exact tropical spot where they were born. And when they get there, the males sing a tune common to that breeding ground, almost like it’s a local jingle […]

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Pilot Whales in Georgia Are Saved From Being Beached

The camera panned to the water’s edge on St. Simons Island’s East Beach in Georgia, where a row of short-finned pilot whales writhed, clicked and whistled as their shiny black bodies caught breaking waves in the late afternoon light on Tuesday. “They’re going to die if they don’t get help,” said a woman’s voice on […]

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Japan Resumes Commercial Whaling. But Is There an Appetite for It?

TOKYO — Japan resumed commercial whale hunting on Monday after a hiatus of more than 30 years, defying calls from conservation groups to protect animals once hunted to the brink of extinction. Now whalers, who have long depended on government subsidies for their survival, face the much tougher challenge of defying basic economic reality: The […]

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Grandmother and Grandfather Among 4 Endangered Whales That Died This Month

Four North Atlantic right whales were found dead in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Canada in the last three weeks, representing about one percent of the remaining population that is closely watched. One, named Punctuation, was a breeding female who had mothered eight calves and then gone on to have several grandchildren, making her […]

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Meet the Narluga, Hybrid Son of a Narwhal Mom and a Beluga Whale Dad

On a remote island in Disko Bay, Greenland, a scientist in 1990 was collecting specimens of narwhals, the whales with unicorn-like tusks. He noticed an unusual skull on a hunter’s roof. The teeth were bizarre: The top ones pointed forward. A couple spiraled out. They looked like a mix of narwhal and beluga, but with […]

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What’s Killing Pacific Whales?

MONTEREY BAY, Calif — Tourists come here from around the world to watch whales. It’s common to see humpbacks leaping out of the water and fin whales slapping the waves with their flukes. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a gray whale poking its head out of the water to scope out the surroundings. And if […]

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Russia to Release First Whales Held in ‘Jail’ for Months

MOSCOW — Russia on Thursday started the process of releasing almost 100 valuable orcas and belugas that have been held for months in what became known as the “whale jail” in the country’s Far East, following an international outcry and intervention by President Vladimir V. Putin. The movement of the first batch of two orcas […]

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A Beached Whale Needs Somewhere to Rot. How About Your Place?

When a pungent 40-foot whale carcass washed up a few beaches away, Stefanie Worwag and Mario Rivera did what any good neighbors would do. They invited the blubbery bottom feeder into the neighborhood and put him up in their backyard. Then Dr. Worwag cut him open. Dr. Worwag, a veterinarian, said she and her husband […]

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