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Craptastic Cetaceans

The whales are back and they'll poop us all to safety! Not ambergis, actual poop. Also carcasses, which support whole ecologies (pdf) Rates of recovery actually vary, though several populations have made good progress.
posted by Segundus on Jul 9, 2014 - 24 comments

A Dutch seascape and its lost Leviathan

"Earlier this year a conservator at the Hamilton Kerr Institute made a surprising discovery while working on a 17th-century painting owned by the Fitzwilliam Museum. As Shan Kuang cleaned the surface, she revealed the beached whale that had been the intended focus of the composition."
posted by brundlefly on Jun 5, 2014 - 37 comments

Through the currents

The SmartMime whale tracker lets you know where Hawaii's diverse population of whales are right now (not actually in real time, but based on migration data).
posted by Potomac Avenue on May 18, 2014 - 8 comments

Go Granny Go Granny Go Granny Go!

The world's oldest recorded orca was spotted swimming with her pod off the Seattle coast this weekend. J2, nicknamed Granny, is believed to have been born in 1911, making her 103. [more inside]
posted by theweasel on May 13, 2014 - 28 comments

one of the fastest decimations of an animal population in world history

The Most Senseless Environmental Crime of the 20th Century [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Nov 13, 2013 - 41 comments

The whale that inspired Greenpeace

The whale that inspired Greenpeace The organization that would become Greenpeace started off as an advocate for peace and as an anti-nuclear group. It expanded its activities into fighting whaling and had a major influence on the virtual cessation of the commercial fishing of whales which made Greenpeace a household name. That change in direction can be traced to a single whale. Allow me to introduce to you, Skana.
posted by 2manyusernames on Sep 22, 2013 - 3 comments

Chicken of the sea

Swimming with humpback whales.
posted by mudpuppie on Jul 22, 2013 - 35 comments

Whaling in the Antarctic (Australia v. Japan: New Zealand intervening)

A case currently before the International Court of Justice has Australia (supported by New Zealand) seeking to either stop the flagrant abuse of a loophole in the International Whaling Commission's rules by Japan, or a nasty cultural imperialist "moral crusade" attempt to suppress a sustainable, ancient tradition of killing whales with factory ships around Antarctica. You can watch Court arguments here.
posted by wilful on Jul 8, 2013 - 39 comments

Roy Chapman Andrews, adventurer.

[Roy Chapman] Andrews is best remembered for the series of dramatic expeditions he led to the Gobi of Mongolia (shorter films: 1, 2) from 1922 to 1930. Andrews took a team of scientists into previously unexplored parts of the desert using some of the region’s first automobiles with extra supplies transported by camel caravan. Andrews – for whom adventure and narrow escapes from death were a staple of exploring – is said to have served as inspiration for the Hollywood character “Indiana Jones.” Andrews’s expeditions to the Gobi remain significant for, among other discoveries, their finds of the first nests of dinosaur eggs, new species of dinosaurs, and the fossils of early mammals that co-existed with dinosaurs. [more inside]
posted by ersatz on Feb 17, 2013 - 8 comments

Don't Be Shellfish, Share the music!

Shrimp Glockenspiel - Prawn Xylophone SLYT. That is all.
posted by lalochezia on Feb 6, 2013 - 13 comments

Dolphin Stampede

Earlier this year, a California whale watching boat was pleasantly surprised to encounter a pod of about a thousand common dolphins who decided to check them out. Some fun footage, including from underwater cameras, was used to create this video of the experience. [slyt] [via]
posted by quin on Jan 31, 2013 - 14 comments

55m Down Somewhere Off Maui

Whales off Maui Divers encounter a group of humpback whales (slyt).
posted by jontyjago on Jan 26, 2013 - 20 comments

Parrots of the Sea

Researchers think that the late beluga whale named NOC had been trying to speak with a human accent – or at least talk to its keepers. Current Biology has more (PDF link).
posted by barnacles on Oct 22, 2012 - 49 comments

52 Hertz

The Loneliest Whale.
posted by zoo on Sep 17, 2012 - 64 comments

"The animals were in hell”

Marineland is one of the biggest tourist destinations in Niagara Falls. It features the world's largest habitat for viewing orcas, houses a world record 41 beluga whales in their exhibits, and offers a variety of daily shows featuring bottlenose dolphins, harbor seals, sea lions and walruses. On Tuesday, the Toronto Star published the results of an extensive investigation, alleging "a pattern of neglect that has repeatedly resulted in animal suffering." Video. Slideshow. Demonstration protests are scheduled for Saturday. Marineland denies mistreatment.
posted by zarq on Aug 16, 2012 - 41 comments

Don't just stand there, fall asleep

Researchers sneak up on sleeping sperm whales (.mpg video, hosted by Current Biology.) Matt Kaplan, writing in Nature, summarizes a 2008 article in Current Biology: "An accidental encounter with a pod of sleeping sperm whales has opened researchers’ eyes to some unknown sleep behaviours of these giant sea creatures . . . A team led by Luke Rendell at the University of St Andrew’s, UK, were monitoring calls and behaviour in sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) off the northern Chile coast when they accidentally drifted into the middle of a pod of whales hanging vertically in the water, their noses poking out of the surface. At least two of the whales were facing the boat, but not a single animal responded." [more inside]
posted by spitbull on Aug 12, 2012 - 44 comments

Wave Wash

"A pod of orcas, or killer whales, cooperate to wash a Weddell seal off an ice floe. This sequence, filmed for Frozen Planet, marks the first complete filming of killer whale "wave washing" behavior." [more inside]
posted by vidur on Jun 26, 2012 - 73 comments

On lunge feeding

Whales have a sensory organ unlike anything we’ve ever seen, reported originally in today's issue of Nature.
posted by latkes on May 24, 2012 - 58 comments

Humpback whales intervene in orca attack on gray whale calf

Humpback whales intervene in orca attack on gray whale calf near Monterey, Calif. (article with photos)
posted by KokuRyu on May 10, 2012 - 52 comments

TWO LIVING WHALES TWO LIVING WHALES

Did P.T. Barnum keep live whales in his museum on Broadway? When were penguins stolen from the Coney Island Aquarium? How much horse manure was deposited on the streets of New York City before the automobile, and what happened to it? Answers to these question and more at the New York Historical Society Library's short video series When did the Statue of Liberty Turn Green? [more inside]
posted by jessamyn on May 5, 2012 - 13 comments

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale...

In 1984, The Voyage of the Mimi set sail on PBS, exploring the ocean off the coast of Massachusetts to study humpback whales. The educational series was made up of thirteen episodes intended to teach middle schoolers about science and math. The first fifteen minutes of each episode were a fictional adventure starring a young Ben Affleck. The second 15 minutes were an "expedition documentary" that would explore the scientific concepts behind the show's plot points. A sequel with the same format, The Second Voyage of the Mimi aired in 1988, and featured the crew of the Mimi exploring Mayan ruins in Mexico. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 9, 2012 - 36 comments

Mother Whale Introduces Her Baby

Incredible Whale Encounter - Mother Gray Whale Lifts Her Calf Out of the Water (SLYT)
posted by merelyglib on Mar 20, 2012 - 76 comments

Not Just Blowing Smoke Rings Up There

You're probably most familiar with the phenomenon when it appears like this (well until that wizard starts showing off) but did you know that vortex rings can also be created by dolphins? [more inside]
posted by PapaLobo on Sep 25, 2011 - 21 comments

Saving a Humpback Whale

Saving Valentina. A group of five friends out boating on the Sea of Cortez discovered a young humpback whale entangled in fishing net and possibly near death. After about an hour of hard work they were able to free the whale, who proceeded to put on an amazing show for her rescuers. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jul 14, 2011 - 43 comments

She just released her Christmas record, which is maybe not the best Christmas record you have ever heard in your life.

There were a lot of rocker dogs. You know, I want rock! My favorite were the ones in the front row—the droolers. They had all been really primed because for one week before the show, all of the owners had been like, “We are going to a concert just for you—you are going to love it." [more inside]
posted by Naberius on Jun 28, 2011 - 6 comments

Whale Migration on Flickr

Tail of a whale, snapped in 2 seas, reveals surprising wanderlust. "By scouring a photo-sharing website for tourists’ pictures of whales, a citizen scientist from Maine has helped to document a female humpback’s record-breaking 6,000-mile journey from Brazil to Madagascar. The remarkable voyage of whale number 1363 from one breeding ground to another is a scientific discovery for the social-networking age — a study made possible both by vacation photos posted on Flickr and an exhaustive library of photos of whales’ tails that scientists have built since the 1970s." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Oct 14, 2010 - 12 comments

Whales heavy with metal

"I don't see any future for whale species except extinction." A report (pdf) released Thursday by Ocean Alliance noted high levels of cadmium, aluminum, chromium, lead, silver, mercury and titanium in tissue samples taken by dart gun from nearly 1,000 whales over five years. Concentrations of chromium found in some whales was several times higher than the level required to kill healthy cells in a Petri dish. Mercury in some whales was 16 times higher than a typical shark or swordfish, both known for their high mercury levels. Beyond whales, "You could make a fairly tight argument to say that it is the single greatest health threat that has ever faced the human species."
posted by stbalbach on Jun 24, 2010 - 68 comments

Everyone Loves Whales, One Way or Another

Whales are the largest animals on the planet, and when it comes to storing carbon, they act like trees in a forest. A new study suggests that industrial whaling, over the past 100 years or so has released as much carbon into the atmosphere as "burning most of Oregon's forests, or driving 128,000 Hummers for 100 years." [more inside]
posted by Danf on Mar 3, 2010 - 43 comments

seeing whale songs

Visualizing Whale Songs "Mark Fischer, an expert in marine acoustics, has come up with another way to illustrate whale song. He uses a more obscure method, known as the wavelet transform, which represents the sound in terms of components known as wavelets: short, discrete waves that are better at capturing cetacean song."
posted by dhruva on Jan 29, 2010 - 12 comments

Wayne Levin

Photos by Wayne Levin of surfers, swimmers, fish and more. (-v-)
posted by vronsky on Nov 4, 2009 - 9 comments

If you found a dead whale, how would you dispose of the body?

When whales die: Yesterday, a 20-30 foot whale washed up a shore in New Jersey. Officials are going to deal with it by cutting it up into small parts and burying it. In previous incidents, officials tried to explode it into bits that were meant to fall in the ocean and get eaten by seagulls, but that didn't work out [YT] so well, especially for nearby spectators. Even if you want to let it decompose naturally, you have to be careful for spontaneous explosions due to gassy buildup. Especially when transporting it in busy city streets. Oops. When whales die in the ocean, on the other hand, their bodies eventually fall to the sea floor and can start mini ecosystems, where female pink glowstick-like sea worms that harbor the male pink glowstick sea worms inside their bodies live, eat whale bones, and propagate. (Previously on Metafilter: Taiwan explosion)
posted by Salamandrous on Jul 28, 2009 - 46 comments

Marine Biologists are noting new behaviors among Grey whales.

Calving mothers are seeking out human contact. (SLNYT) “It’s extraordinary,” she said. “At precisely the time when you’d expect them to be the most defensive, they’re incredibly social." A lengthy article about the state of whale-human relations built around events at Baja.
posted by BigLankyBastard on Jul 10, 2009 - 16 comments

A new link in the food chain.

Gulls attack whales.
posted by binturong on Jun 24, 2009 - 63 comments

Views from the 18th and Early 19th Centuries

Some really beautiful, unusual visuals and reading: The Art of the Pochoir Book. The University of Cincinatti Rare Book archive has some cool stuff, like Leviathan: Watercolors of Whales from William Jardine’s The Naturalist’s Library l 4 pages of a newspaper called The Colored Citizen from November 7th 1863 (awesome to read knowing Obama is elected) l Travel and Exploration in the 18th and Early 19th Centuries: A View of the World through the Art of the Explorers. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Dec 23, 2008 - 2 comments

The Faroe (Fær Øer) pilot whales slaughter.

The Faroe (Fær Øer) pilot whales slaughter (warning, crude pictures). The Faroe Islands (prev) were nominated in year 2007 by National Geographic as one of the most appealing tourism location in the world. The inhabitans have traditionally hunted pilot whales and other cetaceans for their own sustainment, but according also to their own national statistics (PDF) , the whale hunting business is no longer a significant factor. Some ongoing online petition is trying to put a final end to this practice.
posted by elpapacito on Nov 19, 2008 - 37 comments

Mammals at the Natural History Museum

Mammals | Natural History Museum. From fascinating bats to enormous whales, mammals are the most diverse group of animals on our planet. Equipped with wings, fins, horns and spines – they have evolved to fill many niches and roles. Discover more about this complex group, which of course, includes us. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Nov 6, 2008 - 15 comments

Surfacing

Beaked Whales "might be the least understood group of large mammals on Earth". One thing is relatively certain, however: sonar appears to kill them. [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin on Sep 29, 2008 - 30 comments

whale anti-collision

A new whale anti-collision system "A remarkable feature of Andre's system is its ability to single out and track an individual whale among all its “family” members in the same area – a breakthrough made with the help of a West African musician. In attempting to unravel the chaotic rhythms of the sperm whale clicks, he was struck by the similarity between his underwater recordings and African tribal music. A Senegalese griot (drummer) confirmed the likeness and – amazingly – was able to pick individual whales from André’s recordings through their distinctive rhythmic structures."[via]
posted by dhruva on Sep 12, 2008 - 11 comments

I love arachnids! I love hot magma!

Feel good hit of the year; Discovery Channel's 'I Love the Whole World' ad [more inside]
posted by oxford blue on Apr 19, 2008 - 103 comments

Moko Saves the Day!

Dolphin rescues beached whales [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 16, 2008 - 32 comments

Eat whale and save the planet

Eat a whale, save the planet.
posted by 445supermag on Mar 4, 2008 - 64 comments

The Whale Hunt

A photographic catalog of a traditional whale hunt. (Flash, photos include whale hunting in all its bloody detail) In order to develop an experimental interface for storytelling, photographer Jonathan Harris accompanied a family of Inupiat Eskimos on a subsistence whale hunt. During his week long journey, he took 3,214 photographs, including pictures taken every 5 minutes while he was sleeping. The navigation allows for for very quick navigation through the series, using a heartbeat metaphor and a number of filtering constraints so that you can narrow your search to cast members, locations on the journey, and even something as loose as a photo's "concept". via
posted by mkb on Dec 10, 2007 - 21 comments

Have a whale of a day

In one of the most remarkable journeys by any creature on the planet Humpback whales travelling between breeding grounds off the west coast of Central America and feeding grounds off Antarctica clocked up more than 5,000 miles on one leg of their journey as recorded by the wonderful people of Cascadia Research Collective.
posted by adamvasco on Apr 4, 2007 - 9 comments

Life-size blue whale

Life-size blue whale. A Flash project from the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society. And in other news: Secret Language of Whales Revealed! [Via MammalFilter.]
posted by homunculus on Mar 14, 2007 - 24 comments

Battle on the Hypothermic Seas

Yarrrr/Banzai! All you "Talk like a pirate day" keyboard swashbucklers take heed: The Sea Shepherd Society's flagship Farley Mowat is now officialy a pirate vessel after Canada, Britain, and Belize revoked their registration. As the Japanese winter Antarctic whale hunting season begins (previously), the M/V Farley Mowat is setting sail to meet them, armed with a hydraulic "can opener" battering ram, a pie cannon, and moral conviction. With the Japanese whaling fleet now majority owned by the Japanese government, a subject of international diplomatic intrigue, and after last year's confrontations, this could get ugly!
posted by anthill on Jan 14, 2007 - 54 comments

hearing is seeing

Echolocation : bats use it. So do whales and dolphins. And humans? The 14-year-old profiled here and here is using it. Learn more about how blind people are employing perception and processing of the auditory environment: where words like flash and tags have an altogether different meaning.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Aug 21, 2006 - 28 comments

Whale evolution

Whales are ridiculous, thanks to their evolutionary origins as coyote-like mammals moved into the water about 45 million years ago and became more and more adapted to the marine life.
posted by chorltonmeateater on Aug 16, 2006 - 32 comments

mmmmm whale meat

Now you too can feed your pet endangered meats! Meat from whales caught under Japan's "research" programme is so abundant that it is being sold as pet food. </one link newsFilter>
posted by Tryptophan-5ht on Feb 10, 2006 - 38 comments

Underwater elephant photography

"Ashes and Snow" is the name, but it's mostly very pretty pictures of brown people with acquatic mammals such as elephants. (Alas, the portfolio requires Shockwave.) The book is itself a work of art.
"The permanent home of Ashes and Snow, the Nomadic Museum, debuted in New York in 2004 and is charted to travel the globe with no final destination." In New York it filled Pier 54 for three months (not usually such a neat art venue).
posted by Aknaton on Dec 26, 2005 - 19 comments

Whaling in the Antarctic

Got access to a daily satellite feed? Win $10 000. Not quite Sink the Bismarck, but the Sea Shepherds have offered a $10 000 reward for anyone who can tell them where the Japanese whaling fleet is this summer, as it prepares to scientifically study 950 minke and fin whales.
posted by wilful on Dec 7, 2005 - 19 comments

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