Archives for tag: whale stranding


Species Profile: The Pygmy Sperm Whale

The Pygmy Sperm Whale is a very rare and relatively small-sized species of whale.

pygmy sperm whale

A Stranded Pygmy Sperm Whale On South Hutchinson Beach In Florida (Photo: Inwater Research Group, cc by-s.a. 4.0)

The Pygmy Sperm Whale is one of the three species of toothed whales in the sperm whale family. These creatures are rarely ever sighted at sea and most of what’s known about them is gathered from examining stranded individuals.

Just like its close cousin the dwarf sperm whale, the pygmy is a relatively small-sized whale. In fact, it’s not much

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Species Profile: The Dwarf Sperm Whale

The Dwarf Sperm Whale is one of only two cetacean species that can eject “ink” to scare off would-be predators. 

A Dwarf Sperm Whale Breaching

A Dwarf Sperm Whale Breaching (Photo: Robert Pitman/NOAA)

The Dwarf Sperm Whale is one of only three surviving species in the sperm whale family. These creatures are very rarely sighted out at sea, so the much that’s known about them is gathered from studying stranded carcasses.

This species holds the position of the smallest in size of true whales. At the most they will grow up to 2.7 m (8.9 ft) in length. Hence, they are even smaller than some dolphin species.

They prefer clam and quiet seas where they spend their days making slow movements while lying motionless at

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Lost At Sea: How Whales Lose Their Way Home

Though it sounds strange, whales often get lost at sea. Here are the reasons why.

How Whales Lose Their Way At Sea

Scientists and researchers have not been able to establish a definite reason as to why a whale could get lost at sea and end up on a beach.

Although, there are several assumptions to possibly explain this strange occurrence. Records however show that the phenomenon has been happening since 300BC. But strangely, researchers are now noticing an increase in mass strandings of these creatures especially in recent years.

Unfortunately, it’s still not completely clear why there’s this sudden increase.

From negative human activities, to natural causes, whale strandings are not pleasant in any way and animal

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Is Underwater Sonar Harmful To Whales Or Not?

The debate about underwater sonar and whales has been on for years now. Here are the facts.

Row of military ships: underwater sonar

The debate about whether underwater sonar is harmful to marine life or not, especially cetaceans, has been raging for long now.

Active sonar (sound navigation and ranging), is the transmission equipment used on ships to assist with navigation. But this becomes a problem for some categories of marine animals for example whales and dolphins. That’s because these creatures use echolocation, or bio-sonar systems, to locate predators and prey.

It appears that active sonar transmitters can confuse these animals and even interferes with some of their basic

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Rescuing A Stranded Whale: 5 Safety Tips To Remember

Here’s what to do if you come across a Stranded Whale.

Sperm Whales Beached near Gibraltar Point in Skegness : Rescuing a stranded whale

Sperm Whales Stranded Near Gibraltar Point In Skegness (Photo: Reuters)

Whales are the largest mammals we have on Earth today. But though their natural habitat is in the water, they frequently beach themselves. Though scientists are still not completely clear on what causes this problem there are many factors that contribute to it.

For example, sea tides vary with time. Hence, a whale can be in a “high” tide only to get stranded when the waters recede. However, most studies indicate that whales swim to the shore themselves when they are sick or dying.

In addition, different species of whales are prone to stranding some more than others. Even very large ones like the sperm whale or even the blue whale are not exempted from this problem. But be that as it may, rescuing a

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Species Profile: The Cuvier’s Beaked Whale

The Cuvier’s Beaked Whale is a truly cosmopolitan mammal known for frequent stranding.

Cuvier's Beaked Whale

Cuvier’s Beaked Whale. (Courtesy: R.W. Baird/Cascadia Research Collective)

The Cuvier’s Beaked Whale is one of the smaller whale species and it’s widely distributed in most oceans and seas worldwide.

Though it’s so widely distributed, it prefers deep waters. As a result, not much is known about it except what researchers can gather by studying stranded individuals. Strangely, this species tends to strand more often than any of the other species of beaked whales.

Like other beaked whales, it has a cigar-shaped body and is often mistaken for other mesoplodont whales (a genus of toothed whales) at sea.

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