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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...

New (or should that be old?) species of whale discovered in California

US palaeontologists studying fossils recovered from the San Diego Formation in California have described a new species of baleen whale that would have lived between 3.5 and 2.5 million years ago. 

Until now, the genus Herpetocetus (a genus of now extinct dwarf baleen whales) contained four recognised species, this new specimen – known as Herpetocetus morrowi – brings that total to five.

The researchers believe that H. morrowi was one of the smallest baleen whales, measuring only 4.5m in length. They also postulate that it could have been a bottom-feeder, feeding in a similar way as the gray whale, where they are known to roll on to one side (usually the right side in gray whales – hence why sometimes the baleen on the right side is shorter and the head more scarred) and then swim slowly along the bottom sucking up the sediment before filtering it out through their baleen and trapping their food behind. 

Compared to the finding that dolphins have been around for between 8 and 13 million years this is not quite as ground-breaking but interesting nonetheless as it gives more insight into the evolutionary changes that have taken, and undoubtedly continue to take place, within whales, dolphins and porpoises.