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tins of whale meat

How Japan’s whaling industry is trying to convince people to eat whales

Japan's hunters kill hundreds of whales every year despite the fact that hardly anyone in...
Common dolphins © Christopher Swann

Did you know dolphins have personalities?

Kidzone - quick links Fun Facts Our Goals Curious kids Kids blogs Fantastic fundraisers Gallery...
Microplastics on beach

Blue whales and the menace of microplastics – how we’ll solve this problem

Our love affair with plastic began in the 1950s when it revolutionised manufacturing. But what...
A dolphin called Arnie with his shell.

Dolphins catch fish using giant shell tools

In Shark Bay, Australia, two groups of dolphins have figured out how to use tools...
Common dolphins at surface

Did you know that dolphins have unique personalities?

We all have personalities, and between the work Christmas party and your family get-together, perhaps...
Leaping harbour porpoise

The power of harbour porpoise poo

We know we need to save the whale to save the world. Now we are...
Holly. Image: Miray Campbell

Meet Holly, she’s an incredible orca leader

Let me tell you the story of an awe-inspiring orca with a fascinating family story...
The Last Whale

The Last Whale – your chance to win a copy of new book

Kidzone - quick links Fun Facts Our Goals Curious kids Kids blogs Fantastic fundraisers Gallery...

Gray’s Anatomy

Scientists in Mexico’s Scammon’s Lagoon have discovered possibly the first ever case of Siamese twin gray whales. Although known to occur in other species, notably fin, sei and minke whales, never before have conjoined twins been documented for gray whales. Apparently the calves were severely underdeveloped  – only approximately 7ft long as opposed to the the normal 12 – 16ft for the average newborn gray whale calf – and they were most likely miscarried. Unfortunately the mother was nowhere to be seen and there is concern that the birth may have had adverse effects on her health. (Once you see the photos I’m sure you’ll agree – there is no chance for a cesarean section in the ocean so it would have been a painful ordeal for the mother!)

At this time of year, gray whales are arriving in Scammon’s Lagoon and other lagoons along the Baja California peninsula, after undertaking a mammoth 6,000-mile journey from the cold Arctic waters in the north. Typically, they give birth during the southbound journey, or once they’ve arrived in the lagoons. They’ll then stay in the warm, quiet waters for several weeks, nursing their calves and resting before embarking on the return journey, back to their feeding grounds in the Arctic.

One little calf who was luckier than the conjoined twins and is currently en route to one of Mexico’s lagoons is baby Floppy, a gray whale calf photographed off of Redondo Beach in California within one hour of being born. Researchers noted the floppy fins (hence the name), the pits in its face and foetal folds in its head and estimated that it was a very new newborn!! 

About Nicola Hodgins

Policy Manager at WDC