Blue Whale

Whales go from 'right-handed' to left

Scientist studying blue whale feeding habits have documented a switch from ‘right-hand’ to left when these huge creatures feed.

Blue whales are similar to many other creatures when it comes to ‘handeness’ or laterality.  They tend to always favour the right. However, results from a six year study of their behaviour off the coast of southern California have revealed that the whales will swap sides when feeding.

New research identifies three Antarctic blue whale populations

Researchers from Australia have identified three surviving populations of Antarctic blue whales, the largest creatures to have inhabited the earth.

Commercial whaling in the 20th century reduced the number of these whales from nearly a quarter of a million to an estimated population of just 360 whales when whaling ended in 1972/73. Recent estimates have put the population at around 2280, leaving it criticically endangered.

Blue whale filmed in UK waters

A blue whale has been captured on film for what is thought to be the first time ever in English waters. 

The sighting occurred around 400km off the coast of Cornwall on the 24th August. The huge whale was spotted over a deep-sea canyon on the northern margin of the Bay of Biscay by Prof Russell Wynn, a marine scientist and part of a research team aboard the UK vessel, RRS James Cook.

Whale song could reveal true impact of slaughter

A team of scientists is about to leave New Zealand aboard a research ship on a mission to discover just how badly whale hunts have affected the blue whale population in the Southern Ocean.

The research ship, Tangaroa will track blue whale song using state-of-the-art listening equipment over a six week period in order to work out exactly how many remain.

Fifty years ago, blue whales in the Southern Ocean numbered more than 250,000 but, due to commercial whaling, that number fell to only about 2000.

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