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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...

And the award for deep-diving champion goes to?

Not the sperm whale as some might have thought, but in fact the lesser known Cuvier’s beaked whale!! 

Researchers from Cascadia Research Collective recorded an individual Cuvier’s beaked whale diving to a depth of almost 3km and staying there for 137 minutes, beating the former record holder – the southern elephant seal – by some margin. So how can they dive to such depths? One of the reasons is that there is a dramatic reduction in air spaces in their bodies, air spaces that would crush a human at a fraction of the depth these whales can dive to.

They found that the whales preferred diving behaviour is for a single deep foraging dive followed by a series of shallow dives, whilst the time spent at the surface in between each dive can be very short – just a few minutes.

Another interesting result from the study was “where” the whales were located – within the Southern California Anti-Submarine Warfare Range, one of the most heavily used sonar training areas in the world. The implications of this are unknown, have they become habituated to sonar? Do they only use it at times of no sonar activity? Is their behaviour affected by sonar – as in are they diving deeper than normal, or perhaps shallower than normal? It is unlikely that they are not affected at all and therefore more research is needed to try and unravel the mystery of these new record holders.

Find out more amazing facts about whales and dolphins.

About Nicola Hodgins

Policy Manager at WDC