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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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