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Humpback whale underwater

Climate giants – how whales can help save the world

We know that whales, dolphins and porpoises are amazing beings with complex social and family...
Black Sea common dolphins © Elena Gladilina

The dolphin and porpoise casualties of the war in Ukraine

Rare, threatened subspecies of dolphins and porpoises live in the Black Sea along Ukraine's coast....
WDC's Ed Fox, Chris Butler-Stroud and Carla Boreham take a message from the ocean to parliament

Taking a message from the ocean to parliament

It's a sad fact that whales and dolphins don't vote in human elections, but I...
Minke whale © Ursula Tscherter - ORES

The whale trappers are back with their cruel experiment

Anyone walking past my window might have heard my groan of disbelief at the news...
Boto © Fernando Trujillo

Meet the legendary pink river dolphins

Botos don't look or live like other dolphins. Flamingo-pink all over with super-skinny snouts and...
Tokitae in captivity

Talking to TUI – will they stop supporting whale and dolphin captivity?

Last Thursday I travelled to Berlin for a long-anticipated meeting with TUI senior executives. I...

Earth Day Q&A with Waipapa Bay Wines’ marketing director, Fran Draper

We've been partnered with Waipapa Bay Wines since 2019 so for this year's Earth Day,...
Orcas at the seabed

The secrets of orca beach life

Rubbing on smooth pebbles is a generations-old cultural tradition for a particular group of orcas...

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