aeria -whale-survey

Annual aerial survey of southern right whales

The Mammal Research Institute’s Whale Unit (University of Pretoria) will be conducting their annual aerial survey of southern right whales from 29 September through to mid-October. This is the 38th consecutive annual survey and the resulting dataset is one of the longest such datasets available worldwide. This survey, flown in an Airbus H120 at an altitude of approximately 300m and some 500 to 800m offshore … Continue reading Annual aerial survey of southern right whales

Southern Right Whales..gentle giants of the ocean

The southern right whale, Eubalaena australis, is amongst the largest of the four baleen whales that come close inshore on the southern African coast: • Southern Right • Humpback Whale • Bryde’s Whale • Minke Whale They arrive along the South African coasts between May and June and their numbers peak during August,   September and  October. Right whales are easily distinguished from other whales by … Continue reading Southern Right Whales..gentle giants of the ocean

Humpback Whale flippers solve helicopter air flow problems

We’ve all seen movies of humpback whales playing in the sea. The most obvious feature is a nice symmetrical tail slapping the water as it dives. But we also see an awkward-looking flipper emerging as it breaches the water. That flipper fin has white lumps along its edge – lumps called tubercles. Still, it seems so crudely made. But it’s not what it seems. It’s actually a highly mobile … Continue reading Humpback Whale flippers solve helicopter air flow problems

3 DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A FISH AND A WHALE YOU DID NOT THINK ABOUT

1. Scales vs Blubber : Cetaceans, like whales and dolphins lack the characteristic scales of fish but are equipped with a thick layer of blubber beneath the skin, which fish does not have. As warm blooded mammals they need the blubber to help maintain their body temperature. The body temperature of fish can fluctuate within fairly wide limits without having a detrimental effect. 2. Shape … Continue reading 3 DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A FISH AND A WHALE YOU DID NOT THINK ABOUT

Teeth or bristles

Cetaceans divide into two groups in the manner they catch their food using teeth or bristles Most cetaceans have triangular teeth and feed on fish or squid. These include dolphins, porpoise’s narwhals and sperm whales. A number of whales, including most of the largest, feed by filtering crustations and shoaling fish through large plates of bristles called baleen. The baleen whales open their mouths to … Continue reading Teeth or bristles

Waaygat whaling station at Stony Point

Early History of the farm Waaygat The land on which the whaling station was established originally formed part of the farm Waaygat. Historically and geographically the whaling station formed and integral part of the history of Betty’s Bay area. Waaygat passed through the hands of several owners from 1824, including Sir Robert Stanford after which a nearby town is named. ln March 1899 the brothers … Continue reading Waaygat whaling station at Stony Point

Beached dead whales can alter the ocean’s carbon footprint

Decades of whaling and fishing for the largest species have altered the ability of oceans to store and sequester carbon. An individual whale contains a huge amount of carbon, an amount only exceeded by the largest trees, says Andrew Pershing, a research scientist at University of Maine. A century of whaling equates to burning more than 70 million acres of temperate forest or 28,000 SUVs … Continue reading Beached dead whales can alter the ocean’s carbon footprint

Dead fin whale hit by cruise ship spotted in Vancouver’s harbour

Fisheries officials are investigating a dead fin whale that’s floating near the port in Vancouver CBC News Posted: May 11, 2015 8:45 AM PT The carcass of a dead fin whale has washed up in Burrard Inlet next to downtown Vancouver, and officials inspecting the young male whale said it was struck by a cruise ship. The whale was likely hit north of Vancouver Island, … Continue reading Dead fin whale hit by cruise ship spotted in Vancouver’s harbour

How Whales Become Entangled

This illustration shows how fishing lines attached to traps and buoys on the ocean floor present a potentially deadly hazard to North Atlantic right whales. Freeing entangled whales involves a certain amount of knowledge and caution, and should be left to the experts. What started out as a routine day of fishing for a well-intentioned New Zealand man quickly turned to tragedy when he attempted … Continue reading How Whales Become Entangled

Menopausal Moms: A Mammal Mystery

Ocean-going mothers everywhere deserves a special salute.They give birth well into their twilight years while human females call it quits  40 years earlier.In fact, human females are the oddballs here and a bit of a puzzle. Evolution favors those who leave the MOST offspring. Yet the average human mother has her last child at the age of 38 — with menopause and the loss of … Continue reading Menopausal Moms: A Mammal Mystery