The release today of the documentary Blackfish
has SeaWorld, the setting of the documentary, in an unusually aggressive
public relations battle with the makers of the film
The film centers on the orca that perform in captivity at SeaWorld, and explores the 2010 death of Dawn Brancheau
by the actions of the orca Tilikum
In January, the documentary series Frontline explored the world of captive cetaceans, particualrly at SeaWorld in their film, A Whale of a Business
. [more inside]
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).
Researchers sneak up on sleeping sperm whales
(.mpg video, hosted by Current Biology.
Matt Kaplan, writing in Nature
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]
A Mind in the Water: The dolphin as our beast of burden.
"The shocking double life of the dolphin, featuring neuropsychologists, hippies, spies, and extraterrestrials."