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The Sei Whale reported in the Humber Estuary yesterday has unfortunately died.

The animal was washed ashore on a high tide this morning. It is believed to be a young female animal. Vets from the Institute of Zoology at London Zoo have travelled there to hopefully determine why she died.

 

More information at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-humber-15104896

 

 

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Sei whales are rarely stranded on UK shores, the last stranding we have in our records was in 2001. This animal is only the 14th recorded occasion we have of this species in almost 100 years of strandings data.

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Hearing rumours of a sei whale in Humberside this morning, which is very exciting. These are very rare strandings as they prefer deep off shore waters, we've only seen 3 in the last 22 years. The boys are on their way to investigate, and hopfully perform a post mortem.

 

Sei whales are the third largest Balaenopteridae and are up to 20m long they are filter feeders, enjoying the same diet as other filter feeders, consisting mainly of krill. They got hit hard by the hunting and were initally protected, however sadly they remain a part of the 'research' conducted by Japan. It can be fairly easy to confuse them with fin whales but an inside tip for you is that fin whales have asymmetrically patterened baleen, gray and white, while the sei whales is just white. They can shift as well, reaching 30 miles an hour but only for short distances, but compared to other species they are a bit rubbish are diving, only reaching shallow depths and rarely staying down for more then 15 minutes.

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Happy anniversary!

 

I guess in an ideal world groups like this wouldn't have to exist at all, let alone to have to be around for 21 years. However as they are needed it's great when you get groups that are both professional and caring.

 

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) will celebrate its 21st anniversary at a special banquet on Saturday 19 November at the Grand Hotel in Malahide, Co Dublin.

 

The evening will consist of a three-course meal and entertainment including music and dancing, a film show of IWDG activities over the years, an international guest speaker (to be announced) exploring the impact of the IWDG on cetacean recording.

 

The marine wildlife conservation group's AGM will take place earlier in the day at the Grand Hotel at 2pm.

Tickets for the banquet are €60 - book early as places are limited to 120. To book contact Shay Fennelly at shayfennelly@eircom.net or 087 642 8902.

 

Overnight accommodation is also available at the Grand Hotel with special rates for banquet guests of €90 for a single room and €110 for a double/twin room. To book contact Hilary Fogarty, quoting IWDG as the reference, at 01 845 0000, 01 816 8281 or event@thegrand.ie.

 

 

Source: http://afloat.ie/port-news/marine-wildlife/item/16958-iwdg-21st-anniversary-banquet-in-november/

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You don't have to look deep into your hearts to know that keeping these animals in tanks just feels wrong. I think the caption on the picture says it all really.

 

 

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In a new study, nearly a year in the making, former SeaWorld trainers Jeffrey Ventre, MD and John Jett, Ph.D, take us deep behind the scenes of Marine parks and their ability to provide environments adequate for keeping killer whales alive in captivity.


Drs Ventre and Jett introduce us to detailed observations and strong statistical calculations that add up to an abundance of evidence that captivity kills orcas, usually at a young age… and that stresses, social tensions and poor health are chronic issues in marine park facilities.

 

Interview with Jeff Ventre: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/09/killer-whale-trainer/

 

Full report: https://theorcaproject.wordpress.com/2011/01/20/keto-tilikum-express-stress-of-orca-captivity/

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I'd like to pretend I'm a bigger person than I am and say I'm in no way jealous of this lady, but I can't, what a cool job! Worth clicking the link to watch the video.

 

 

Next year Dr. Herzing plans to begin a new phase of her research, something she says has been a lifetime goal: real-time two-way communication, in which dolphins take the initiative to interact with humans.

Up to now, dolphins have shown themselves to be adept at responding to human prompts, with food as a reward for performing a task. “It’s rare that we ask dolphins to seek something from us,” Dr. Herzing said.

But if she is right, the dolphins will seek to communicate with humans, and the reward will be social interaction itself, with dolphins and humans perhaps developing a crude vocabulary for objects and actions.

 

 

Source with a really good video: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/20/science/20dolphin.html?_r=1

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When they say 'found' they don't mean as in down the back of the sofa, didn't know it was there. More, they though it was something else but research and DNA shows its a new species.

 

Previous research had shown that the DNA found in the dolphins differed from that of the known bottlenose speciesTursiops truncatus and Tursiops aduncus.

 

But in order to define a new species, more evidence is needed. Kate Charlton-Robb of Monash University in Melbourne and her colleagues studied dolphin skulls found in a number of museums, as well as more detailed analysis of DNA, to show that T. australis is clearly a different animal.

 

 

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Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14921665

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I've not updated for a few weeks as I've been on holiday and we've had a bit of a busy run of things.

 

A live stranded harbour porpoise on the Isle of Wight was picked up for pm by our team http://www.islandpulse.co.uk/b2/british-divers-attempt-to-rescue-porpoise-8756/

 

I went to Dorset on Friday to pick up another porpoise that stranded in Dorset last week, a massive thank you to Dave and Dorset council for all their help!

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It's not unusal for bottlenose dolphins to attack harbour porpoises, it's something we've known about for years and is often their largest cause of death here in the UK. I wanted to put the link up for this as I know it's not very commonly known about outside scientific cetacean research circles and also as it's very rare to get pictures.

 

It had two badly broken jawbones, fractured ribs on both sides and a broken scapula, evidence of a sadistic attack. Worst of all, the female porpoise, which had been seen twice before and identified by researchers in Monterey Bay, was lactating when she was killed, according to marine biologists.

 

It was a clear case of what scientists are calling "porpicide," the deliberate slaying of a harbor porpoise by a surprising and, to most people, unlikely culprit.

 

"We suspect that it was a bottlenose dolphin," said Bill Keener, a researcher for Golden Gate Cetacean Research.

The brutal battering wasn't an isolated incident. Scientists say there has been a dramatic increase in dolphin attacks on harbor porpoises along the California coast over the past few years, including an attack Wednesday off Half Moon Bay.

 

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Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/09/16/BADK1L3JVQ.DTL#ixzz1YOpvZF00