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Risso's dolphin at surface

My lucky number – 13 years studying amazing Risso’s dolphins

Everything we learn about the Risso's dolphins off the coast of Scotland amazes us and...
Dead sperm whale in The Wash, East Anglia, England. © CSIP-ZSL.

What have dead whales ever done for us?

When dead whales wash up on dry land they provide a vital food source for...
Risso's dolphin © Andy Knight

We’re getting to know Risso’s dolphins in Scotland so we can protect them

Citizen scientists in Scotland are helping us better understand Risso's dolphins by sending us their...
Pilot whales pooing © Christopher Swann

Talking crap and carcasses to protect our planet

We know we need to save the whale to save the world because they are...
Fin whale (balaenoptera physalus) Three fin whales Gulf of California.

Speaking truth to power – my week giving whales a voice

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting is where governments come together to make decisions about whaling...

Why do whales and dolphins strand on beaches?

People often ask me 'why' whales and dolphins do one thing or another.  I'm a...
A spinner dolphin leaping © Andrew Sutton/Eco2

Head in a spin – my incredible spinner dolphin encounter

Sri Lanka is home to at least 30 species of whales and dolphins, from the...
Orca (ID171) breaches off the coast of Scotland © Steve Truluck.

Watching whales and dolphins in the wild can be life changing

Whales and dolphins are too intelligent, too large and too mobile to ever thrive in...

A Hard Rock Massage

We learned last week that beluga whales are the true white whales, except when they’re babies, but they also aren’t always white as adults!  In spring and summer, when belugas start gathering in estuaries and shallow-water areas, they actually have a yellowish tint to their skin.  Belugas undergo a seasonal molt, meaning that one layer of skin is shed while a new one grows in its place.  To help with the removal of old skin (and its yellow shade), belugas will use the rocky beds of their shallow summer homes as a nice exfoliating massage, rubbing off the external layer – and getting a wonderful scratch!

Belugas in captivity still molt, but the fake substrates and materials provided in tanks are not nearly as satisfying as a good rock rub.  In the wild, molting is an important part of their seasonal migration cycle, and provides an opportunity for them to socialize and “check in” with their summer homes.

Belugas’ skin turns yellow when it is time to molt (image from The Huffington Post)

This week, we’re asking the popular restaurant chain Hard Rock Café to include belugas in their philanthropic causes.  Hard Rock says their goal is to “make the Earth a safer, healthier and better place for all,” and guides their actions by the motto “Love all, Serve all.”  WDC wants them to include belugas in their philanthropic efforts, & love all, serve all belugas, too!  Captivity is not safer, healthier, or better!

Thank you for helping keep belugas safe and free, and go get yourself a nice exfoliating massage this week – just like a beluga!