Sperm Whales Learned to Avoid Nineteenth-Century Whalers

Nineteenth-century whalers questioned why sperm whales were getting drastically more challenging to capture. At the time, whalers of the North Pacific Ocean kept detailed logbooks about sperm whale sightings and harpoon strikes. These logbooks could help provide answers to the problem whalers faced in the 1800s and to the sperm whale populations struggling to recover today. Sperm whales that have encountered whalers might communicate to other sperm whales how to avoid the dangerous whalers. This information transfer between whales could help them adapt to rapidly changing environments.

Read more

The Sound of Silence: Consequences of Man-made Noise on Humpback Whale Songs

Male humpback whales sing loudly and for long durations during breeding season. A hundred years ago their voices did not have to compete with much man-made noise. These days they contend with underwater drilling, sonar, and the noise of thousands of cargo and passenger ships. This affects how and when they sing. The consequences of these changes are still largely unknown.

Read more