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Give the ocean a chance – our message from the UN Ocean Conference

I'm looking out over the River Tejo in Lisbon, Portugal, reflecting on the astounding resilience...
We need whale poo 📷 WDC NA

Whales are our climate allies – meet the scientists busy proving it

At Whale and Dolphin Conservation, we're working hard to bring whales and the ocean into...
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...

That‘s just “quackers” …

Back in the 1960’s submarines detected a bizarre “quacking” sound in the southern ocean and have been perplexed as to its origins ever since. The noise – nicknamed the “bio-duck” – was only heard during winter and spring months and was attributed to everything from ships to fish, but no-one really knew what was making the noise and until now it was purely guess work. 

Researchers using novel acoustic recorders now claim to have conclusive evidence that the “bio-duck” is actually the chattering of the Antarctic minke whale. Although there are still lots of questions surrounding the production of the strange quacking noise they do know that the vocalisations appear to be made close to the surface and before the whales embark on a deep dive to find food. 

More research needs to be undertaken but one exciting result of this positive identification of the noise means that more can be learnt about the migratory routes of these elusive whales as currently little is known about their movements.

Interestingly, although not published, similar “quacking” calls have been recorded from minke whales in the winter months in the North Atlantic. So perhaps it’s not just the Antarctic minke whales who are making these sounds … or perhaps they’re travelling much further than anyone ever thought? 

If one thing is for sure, we’ve still got much to learn about these amazing creatures.

Listen to the sound made by the whales, courtesy of livescience.

About Nicola Hodgins

Policy Manager at WDC