“Data-Deficient” Bryde’s Whales Getting New Attention

Written by on October 7, 2013 in Marine Life, Whales & Dolphins

Daily Summary

Beachgoers in Spain discover 30-foot giant squid
Last Tuesday, a giant squid carcass washed ashore on a beach in the Spanish community of Cantabria, almost fully intact. The squid, Architeuthis Dux, measured 30 feet long and weighed almost 400 pounds. The giant squid lives between 1,000 and 3,000 feet below the surface, which makes it incredibly difficult to study and they normally don’t turn up on beaches in such good condition. This one was delivered to the Maritime Museum of Cantabria where it was cleaned and frozen and will remain until museum scientists and the government can decide what to do with it.

Bryde's whale.

Bryde’s whale. Photo credit: Morningdew.

Genetics Used to Sort Out Poorly Known—and Hunted—Whale Species
In order to better understand and protect the Bryde’s whale, several groups are collaborating to define separate groups and subspecies in the Indian and Western Pacific Oceans. The researchers collected skin samples from living whales using small biopsy darts that don’t harm the whale. Using genetic information from the skin samples, researchers were able to confirm the existence of two subspecies, one larger in size that remains offshore, and one smaller that frequents coastal habitats. This knowledge will help researchers identify populations in need of additional protection.

Giant channels discovered beneath Antarctic ice shelf
Scientists recently discovered huge ice channels beneath a floating ice shelf in Antarctica that are believed to influence the stability of the ice shelf. The channels are 250 meters high (almost as tall as the Eiffel Tower) and hundreds of kilometers long. Their discovery will help researchers better understand how the ice will respond to a changing climate.

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Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of MarineScienceToday.com. She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. She is also a PADI diver and dog lover. .

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