How to tell different whale species apart

All rights reserved. Beautifully patterned with white spots and stripes, the foot-long whale shark is the largest—and one of the most striking—fish in the sea. Recent investigations into other shark species have revealed astounding life-spans: The Greenland shark, for example, can live nearly years , longer than any other vertebrate on Earth. Many more sharks, such as the great white, near the year mark. Measuring amounts of this element can tell scientists a shark’s age more accurately than the previous approach, counting tree-like growth rings on whale shark vertebrae. That’s because how much time each ring represents has long been a subject of dispute. Now, researchers using radiocarbon dating have identified the remains of a whale shark that lived 50 years, the most ever for that species , says study leader Mark Meekan , a fish biologist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science. Meekan says his study, published April 6 in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science , is crucial to the conservation of these endangered species. That excess was absorbed into the ocean and taken up by everything in the food web—including cartilaginous whale shark skeletons.


Baleen whales are the largest animals on Earth, a remarkable example of evolutionary adaptation and key ecosystem engineers. They owe their success to filter feeding, but when and how this strategy emerged remains a central question in marine mammal evolution. Baleen whales, or mysticetes, have an unusual way of feeding. Without teeth, they rely on baleen — a comb-like sieve made of the protein keratin — to filter vast quantities of small prey directly from seawater.

How and when whales evolved this filter feeding continues to be a mystery.

Interactive map on the latest right whale observations accurate picture of all right whales in Atlantic Canada or their exact, present location.

The gray whale now exists only in the North Pacific Ocean, but surprisingly the species was first described from subfossil remains discovered on European coasts. These data together with a similar range of dates for specimens from the western North Atlantic as well as limited historical records, support the view that the gray whale existed in the Atlantic Ocean until the 17th century.

The populations on both sides of the North Atlantic apparently declined during a period of active coastal whaling, supporting the suggestion that it was extirpated by early whalers. Most users should sign in with their email address. If you originally registered with a username please use that to sign in. To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above.

Whale sharks can live for at least 50 years – and probably longer

Read this in Arabic. Published online 11 December Fossilised remains of a newly identified species of whale found in Egypt represent the evolutionary step from foot-powered to tail-powered swimming.

Prohibiting vessels from approaching any killer whale within a Effectively protecting and recovering Southern Resident killer whales requires.

This map contains aerial, acoustic, and opportunistic data from a number of sources of survey groups in Atlantic Canada. It is updated every five minutes. Right whales are constantly on the move. This map does not necessarily provide an accurate picture of all right whales in Atlantic Canada or their exact, present location. What the map does show are verified, reported sightings of right whales during the past 14 days. Report a sighting or incident.

This map was designed to communicate the latest right whale observations and survey results to scientific, regulatory and industrial sectors to inform more effective planning of research and conservation activities. It is synchronized with data repositories from a number of sources of survey groups in Atlantic Canada.

A whale of a tail

To support our nonprofit science journalism, please make a tax-deductible gift today. Whale sharks are the largest fish in the ocean—and one of the longest lived, a new study suggests. Sharks lack otoliths—bony structures in the skull that scientists use to estimate the age of most fish—which makes it tricky to estimate their age. So researchers measured the carbon isotope in the cartilaginous vertebrae of two whale sharks and correlated it to the carbon patterns created by Cold War—era bomb detonations , National Geographic reports.

Whale sharks are the largest fish in the ocean—and one of the longest lived, a new study suggests. Sharks lack otoliths—bony structures in the.

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Choose a named dolphin, humpback or orca to adopt. Get regular updates with fascinating insights into their lives. Receive magazines, stickers, badges and more…. Working around the world to save whales and dolphins.

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Whale Watching

The evolution of whales represents one of the great stories in macroevolution. It’s a narrative that has mostly benefitted from an extraordinary series of fossils recovered from rocks around the world, including challenging field areas in Egypt, Pakistan, and India. Interestingly, the near entirety of the fossil record of these early whales also known as ” archaeocetes ” is documented from the Northern Hemisphere. This vast, sparsely vegetated desert in the southern part of Peru is widely known for its amazing fossil marine vertebrates e.

Check this page regularly for updates on CDFW’s Whale Safe Fishery efforts, including information regarding upcoming Date: Monday, August 3,

By Michael Le Page. It has long been suspected that whale sharks, the biggest fish in the sea, are long-lived, and now this has been confirmed using a carbon-dating technique. It turns out these animals can live for at least 50 years and probably far longer. But working out how long sharks and rays live is difficult.

Instead, sharks are aged based on growth rings in their cartilaginous vertebrae — but these growth rings form at different rates in different species and may stop forming after sexual maturity. Nuclear bomb tests carried out from the s onwards created distinctive peaks in carbon This technique has shown that the age estimates for many sharks were wildly off. For instance, it was thought great white sharks lived only 12 to 15 years, but recent studies have revealed individuals as old as Now, the carbon technique has been applied to the preserved remains of two adult whale sharks , one washed up dead in Pakistan and the other caught in Taiwan before a ban on fishing them was introduced in


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