Tag Archives: Marine Animals

Ecosystem changes following loss of great white sharks

Great white shark. Photo source: ©© Elias Levy


A new study has documented unexpected consequences following the decline of great white sharks from an area off South Africa. The study found that the disappearance of great whites has led to the emergence of sevengill sharks, a top predator from a different habitat…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (02-13-2019)

Study reveals island formation a key driver of penguin speciation

Galapagos. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care


Ever since Darwin first set foot on the Galapagos, evolutionary biologists have long known that the geographic isolation of archipelagos has helped spur the formation of new species. Now, an international research team has found the same holds true for penguins.

They have found the first compelling evidence that modern penguin diversity is driven by islands, despite spending the majority of their lives at sea…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (02-05-2019)

Japan confirms it will quit IWC to resume commercial whaling

Photo courtesy of Multi Award-Winning Filmmaker: © Denis Delestrac


Japan is facing international condemnation after confirming it will resuming commercial whaling for the first time in more than 30 years.

The country’s fleet will resume commercial operations in July next 2019, the government’s chief spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, said of the decision to defy the 1986 global ban on commercial whaling…

Read Full Article; Guardian UK (12-25-2018)

Science Is No Excuse For Japan’s Antarctic Whaling, Court Rules, Nature (04-01-2014)
Japan’s hugely controversial ‘scientific whaling’ programme is not actually scientific and must be stopped, the International Court of Justice ruled…

Japan Kills 200 Pregnant Minke Whales; National Geographic (04-05-2018)

Like human societies, whales value culture and family ties; PhysOrg (04-05-2018)

Larger marine animals at higher risk of extinction, and humans are to blame, Science Daily (09-14-2016)
In today’s oceans, larger-bodied marine animals are more likely to become extinct than smaller creatures, according to a Stanford-led report. It’s a pattern that is unprecedented in the history of life on Earth, and one that is likely driven by human fishing…

Fifty years of decline in Queensland’s coastal sharks

Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care


Queensland’s coastal shark numbers are continuing a 50-year decline, in sharp contradiction of suggestions of ‘exploding’ shark populations, according to a new analysis.

Researchers analyzed data from the program, which has used baited drumlines and nets since 1962 to minimize human-shark interactions, and now spans 1,760 km of the Queensland coastline…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (12-13-2018)

What seabirds can tell us about the tide

Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care


A study, aimed to track tagged seabirds’ behaviour and movements along the coast, revealed that, at night, these seabirds spent a lot of their time idle on the sea surface.

Using seabirds to tell us about the tide could be especially useful for the marine renewable energy industry. Generating tidal energy requires detailed knowledge of current speeds. Scientists and engineers traditionally measure tides by using radar or deploying anchors and buoys with scientific instruments. However, these scouting methods are challenging and expensive. If tagged seabirds could provide tidal data over a large area, they could help identify sites that would be good sources of tidal energy…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (11-29-2018)

145 pilot whales die in stranding on New Zealand beach

Beached pilot whales. Photo source: ©© Angieandsteeve
“Of all cetaceans – whales and dolphins – pilot whales are the species most likely to strand themselves. Their name itself, pilot whale, comes from their propensity to follow a single leader…” Captions: Philip Hoare, author of Leviathan or, The Whale


A group of 145 pilot whales stranded themselves on a remote New Zealand beach and died…

Read Full Article; CBS News (11-26-2018)

Mass Stranding: Hundreds of Pilot Whales Beach Themselves Again; LiveScience (02-11-2017)
NASA scientists have launched a study of a more far-out idea: that solar storms mess with the internal compasses of whales and dolphins, leading to stranding events. Experts at Massey University are expected to undertake animal autopsies, or necropsies, of some of the pilot whales today, according to the DOC.

Mass Strandings of Pilot Whales: A Study, Science Daily (03-14-2013)
Biologists since Aristotle have puzzled over the reasons for mass strandings of whales and dolphins, in which groups of up to several hundred individuals drive themselves up onto a beach…

Are humans to blame for mass whale strandings? by Philip Hoare, Guardian UK (05-201-2011)

What makes this New Zealand beach a whale graveyard? BBC News (02-13-2017)