Month: December 2009

Mass Sperm Whale Stranding in Italy – Follow-up

A bit more information has come in on the sperm whales washed ashore on the Italian Gargano Peninsula a few weeks back. The necropsies have revealed that the animals had ingested large amounts of plastic – probably mistaking it for…

Mass Sperm Whale Stranding in Italy

Between December 10 and 11 seven sperm whales washed ashore on the Italian Gargano Peninsula. It has taken a few days to sort through the data and speculations. Necropsies are being performed by Sandro Mazzariol of Padova University. Mass strandings…

Communication signals threaten marine habitat

Back in the mid 1970’s Physical Oceanographer Walter Munk was evaluating the acoustical transmission characteristics of the ocean “sound channel” – an isothermal layer in the deep ocean that baleen whales use for long distance communication. His visionary work in…

The economies of gratitude….

An November 2009 article in Nature looks at non-kin cooperation models in animal societies. It examines reciprocity, mutualism, and manipulation in economic terms – with future expectations, biological expense, and cheating included in some of the trade values. The overarching…

The Neutrino and the Whale

A nicely written article in the Dec. 3 2009 issue  Nature reveals how a how a neutrino detection experiment conducted in the Mediterranean Sea by nuclear physicists actually uncovered an abundance of sperm whales. The experiment involved placing hydrophones down…