On Wednesday we had a report about a dead white beaked dolphin stranded at Druridge Bay Northumberland. Its very fresh and as it's a quite an unusual species, we have rallied the troops and it is being picked up for post-mortem. We generally only see around 10 strandings of white beaked dolphins each year, and they are normally in Scotland or Northern England.
I honestly think the white beaked is one of the most beautiful of the dolphins. They are distinguished by their very clear, white beak (as seen in the pic), which is nice and easy to remember.
The animal should be pm'd in the next few weeks, but results can take a little while to come back but I'll up date when I get them.
Massive thanks too Claire Carey and Iain from the Berwickshire and North Northumberland Coast European Marine Site who have been a great help with animal.
When Michael Fishbach, co-founder of The Great Whale Conservancy, was boating in the Sea of Cortez, he and his family came across a stranded humpback whale.
The massive whale was dying, tangled in a mess of plastic fishing nets. Fishbach and his family spent over an hour freeing the giant cetacean, which then swam off. Hey, if you're a stranded whale, Fishbach is exactly the guy you'd hope to meet.
Some interesting research into feeding behaviour in Guiana dolphin.
Dolphins are famous for their ability to hunt prey via echolocation. Now, scientists have discovered that at least one dolphin species, the Guiana dolphin, can also detect fish by tuning into their electrical fields. It is the first time this sense has been reported in a marine mammal—or in any placental mammal. The researchers expect that electroreception, as this sense is called, will be found in other cetacean species. Until this discovery, it was known only in fish, amphibians, and two egg-laying mammals, or monotremes, the platypus and echidna.
All animals generate weak electric fields from the activity of their muscles and nerves. Species with electroreceptors can sense this bioelectric field and use it to spot prey that they can't see. And visibility is a real problem for Guiana dolphins, which live off the western Atlantic coast of Central and South America and hunt fish in turbid water and muddy sediments.
This job can get a bit depressing so it's nice when people hook me up with some happy and healthy dolphins! A friend just sent me this lovely video of common dolphins in Cornwall, taken yesterday by Marine Discovery in Penzance.
Very sad news filtering through, I'm actully on holiday at the moment so I'm not to sure of our level of involvment in this but I'd suspect the Scottish arm of CSIP will be involved in at least the post-mortems. Amazing work from British Divers again, such a fantastic charity, if you are moved by the story make a donation!
Rescuers returned 44 pilot whales to open water yesterday after a mass stranding in the estuary of a sea loch in the Scottish Highlands. Twenty-five whales from the pod died at the Kyle of Durness when they beached at low tide.
Attempts to refloat the whales began on Friday night. British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) medics, the coastguard and the Royal Navy managed to rotate whales that were upside down to prevent them from drowning when the tide came in.
UPDATE 27/07/12: Just spoke to one of the CSIP vets who has just got back from Scotland. Details still need to be cleared up and confirmed, but latest numbers are, 40(ish) animals stranded and rescued, 25 died and 16 were pm'd. I'll add more information as I get it.
SeaWorld Orlando is preparing to open a new medical facility for stranded dolphins, two decades after the marine park stopped taking in wild dolphins that washed ashore because of fears that viruses could spread to its captive-animal populations.
In the southeastern corner of the park, far out of sight of the more than 5 million people who visit SeaWorld every year, crews are putting the finishing touches on the complex — a kind of quarantined dolphin hospital, with its own water-filtration and sewage systems, food-preparation areas and employee showers.
The facility's 40,000-gallon pool is large enough to hold cetaceans as large as a 13-foot pilot whale or as many as five bottlenose dolphins at once. It has been built on the piece of land that once held stables for Clydesdale horses that belonged to Anheuser-Busch Cos., SeaWorld's former owner.
"This is not only a book of extraordinary pictures, which it is, and the story of an extraordinary life, which it is; this is the story of the man who opened the window on a world we barely knew existed before his work. A compelling, engaging adventure story, well told. I can't recommend it highly enough." -Christopher Moore, author of Fluke"
Nicklin hit the ocean swimming. His father Chuck, an underwater cinematographer, naturalist and one-time San Diego dive shop owner, had taught his young son to dive by the age of eleven. The elder Nicklin provided the impetus for his son’s cetacean photographic habit, in 1963 when a picture of Chuck riding astride a Bryde’s whale was published in a number of national magazines and caught the eye of National Geographic photographer Bates Littlehales who wanted to swim with the whales.
Why two pygmy whales washed up within a week on Indian River County beaches, and six more were found on southeastern shores, remains a mystery; one researchers are hard at work to solve.
At this stage of the analysis of the bodies, said Steve McCulloch, manager of the Marine Mammal Research and Conservation Program at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Fort Pierce, "there's no common denominator, no smoking gun. The data is going to take some time to analyze, but so far we haven't seen any signs of trauma, such as a shark attack or entanglement in fishing lines or nets. The animals weren't emaciated, either. So this is going to take some deeper digging."