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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...
Kiska the orca

Real stories from the dark side of captivity

Since we launched our campaign, we've been talking a lot about what a dark place...

New (or should that be old?) species of whale discovered in California

US palaeontologists studying fossils recovered from the San Diego Formation in California have described a new species of baleen whale that would have lived between 3.5 and 2.5 million years ago. 

Until now, the genus Herpetocetus (a genus of now extinct dwarf baleen whales) contained four recognised species, this new specimen – known as Herpetocetus morrowi – brings that total to five.

The researchers believe that H. morrowi was one of the smallest baleen whales, measuring only 4.5m in length. They also postulate that it could have been a bottom-feeder, feeding in a similar way as the gray whale, where they are known to roll on to one side (usually the right side in gray whales – hence why sometimes the baleen on the right side is shorter and the head more scarred) and then swim slowly along the bottom sucking up the sediment before filtering it out through their baleen and trapping their food behind. 

Compared to the finding that dolphins have been around for between 8 and 13 million years this is not quite as ground-breaking but interesting nonetheless as it gives more insight into the evolutionary changes that have taken, and undoubtedly continue to take place, within whales, dolphins and porpoises.

About Nicola Hodgins

Policy Manager at WDC