Archive for maart 2012

Male dolphins are bisexual, say boffins

MALE dolphinscomplex social lives include spending time in bisexual and gay relationships, scientists have found.

Researchers studying 120 bottlenose dolphins found the males made a series of alliances with the same sex.They also formed gangs between four and 14-strong in Shark Bay, Western Australia.dolfijnen

Richard Connor, of the University of Massachusetts, US, said: “I work on the male dolphins and their social lives are very intense. It seems there is constant drama.

Females, in contrast, do not form any strong friendships.

There was only one observation of females forming a temporary coalition against young males, the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B reports.

Most animals form alliances to defend their territory. But the study did not find any evidence of this. Instead the male dolphins appeared to live in a society without boundaries. The mammals paired and teamed up for a time, before splitting apart and switching between male and female partners.

Written by The SUN

Major concerns about orca Morgan’s health

The Orca Coalition is very shocked by the photos of orca Morgan that were recently published. On the photos you can see deep flesh wounds on her head, the result of an attack by one of the other orcas in the park on Tenerife where she was transported to in croblesDecember. The photos that were recently published by the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) are in stark contrast with the recent positive reports in the media about Morgan.

“The photographs remind us of the very scared Tekoa, one of the other orcas in the park, from which we showed photos in court.” Said Barbara van Genne, marine biologist and spokesperson for the Orca Coalition. “The safety of Morgan already caused us great concerns before the move. Our fear became reality. This photograph confirms that Morgan cannot be protected against the attacks of the aggressive orcas in the Spanish park. The only solution is to keep her and Adan, the other young orca who is also regularly attacked, separated. This is definitely not a healthy situation for a wild orca who is accustomed to living in large family groups.

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Keeping Scotland’s whales, dolphins and sharks safe

bottlenose-dolphin-scotlandFebruary 2012: A new report on whales, dolphins and basking sharks in the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters should help inform marine energy development in the area.

The report was commissioned by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), through funding from Marine Scotland. It forms part of wider efforts to find out more about the possible interactions between marine devices and protected species.

Orkney and the Pentland Firth is one of the richest areas in the UK for whales and dolphins, with 19 species recorded in the past 30 years. Minke and killer whales regularly occur there along with Risso’s, white-beaked and bottlenose dolphins.

Harbour porpoises and long-finned pilot whales are recorded year-round with basking sharks and other whale and dolphin species making casual visits.

Balancing the needs of industry with nature
Some of the proposed development sites, including those in the Pentland Firth, directly overlap with important areas for whales and dolphins. The report will therefore help developers decide where best to locate their marine energy devices.

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Dolphins at Sea Greet Each Other

When groups of dolphins meet up in the open sea they thoughtfully introduce themselves.

Bottlenose dolphins swap signature whistles with each other when they meet in the open sea, a new study reports, suggesting that these marine mammals engage in something akin to a human conversation.

Earlier research found that signature whistles are unique for each dolphin, with the marine mammals essentially naming sciencethemselves and communicating other basic information.

A signature dolphin whistle in human speak, might be comparable to, “Hi, I’m George, a large, three-year-old dolphin in good health who means you no harm.

The latest study, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, is the first to show how free-ranging dolphins in the wild use these whistles at sea. The findings add to the growing body of evidence that dolphins possess one of the most sophisticated communication systems in the animal kingdom, perhaps even surpassing that of humans.

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Researchers Track Killer Whales In Antarctica

SAN DIEGOTwo local scientists just back from Antarctica are sharing their groundbreaking research on killer whales.

La Jolla-based researchers Bob Pitman and John Durban set out to better understand a once misunderstood creature. The researchersfindings indicated orcas may have a lot in common with an unlikely mammalman.

Pitman and Durban, who are with the Southwest Fisheries Science Center/NOAA, spent a month studying the world’s top marine predator.

“[The] killer whale is the largest, most ferocious predator on the planet,” said Pitman.Case in point: the way orcas pop up andspy hop, or evaluate, seals resting on ice floes. The leader then disappears, and Pitman said when it is down belowit calls in the rest of the group.

Shortly after, the group unleashes a coordinated maneuver using their tails to send a wave over the ice floe. The wave washes the seal into the water and into the whaleswaiting mouths.

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