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It’s Time To Breach The Snake River Dams

The Snake River dams were controversial even before they were built.  While they were still...
Save the whale. Save the world.

Climate giants – how whales can help save the world

We know that whales, dolphins, and porpoises are amazing beings with complex social and family...
Nat Geo for Disney+ Luis Lamar

Five Facts About Orcas

Orcas, also known as killer whales, are one of the most recognizable and popular species...
Alexi Archer cropped

Meet the 2022 Interns: Alexi Archer

I am thrilled to welcome Alexi to WDC as the newest member of our Marine...
Saya

Meet the 2022 Interns: Saya Butani

I'm happy to welcome the newest member of the WDC team, Saya Butani, who is...
Block Island wind credit: Regina Asutis-Silvia

Offshore Wind: Don’t Blow It

Recently, new areas were added to the growing list of potential sites for offshore wind...
Sierra

Meet the 2022 Interns: Sierra Osborne

I'm delighted to introduce WDC's Conservation Education intern for Summer 2022, Sierra Osborne! Without hesitation,...
Boto © Fernando Trujillo

Meet the legendary pink river dolphins

Botos don't look or live like other dolphins. Flamingo-pink all over with super-skinny snouts and...

Well, “eel” be damned …

Finding out more about the behaviour of whales, dolphins and porpoises can be a tricky business but researchers in Denmark have inadvertently discovered a new technique and all by accident.

Scientists studying the oceanic migration behaviour of eels implanted tags that would record both temperature and depth into adult eels released on the Atlantic coasts of France and Ireland. Quite unexpectedly, for three of the tags there was a dramatic rise in temperature from 10°C to 36°C and the depth data recorded showed frequent dives to depths of around 800m, indicating that the tagged eels had been eaten by something with a penchant for eel.

Two of the tags had sufficient data to provide even more information. Between them, they recorded a total of 91 dives to maximum depths of 250-860m lasting 11-12 minutes and with surface intervals of 5-7 minutes. In addition, more than two thirds of the dives included a rapid descent from approximately 500m to 600-700m.

This additional information allowed the scientists to conclude that the eel-eating predator was most likely a deep-diving toothed whale – perhaps a sperm whale or a Cuvier’s beaked whale to name but a few.