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More help for entangled whales thanks to project funding

A project to stop whale entanglement in fishing gear has received a huge boost thanks...

Iceland to monitor whale hunt cruelty

Following our call for an investigation into violations of the Icelandic Whaling and Animal Welfare...
Beluga whales in the wild

Beluga whale in River Seine dies after rescue attempt

A beluga whale that became trapped in the River Seine in France has sadly had...
Tilikum, the father of Nakai. © Paul Wigmore

Orca Nakai dies at SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld San Diego has announced the death of the orca Nakai. The 20-year-old male orca...

Mystery sound in Mariana trench could be a whale

Scientists from Oregon State University believe whales might be responsible for creating a mysterious sound picked up by acoustic devices in the Mariana Trench.

The 2500km long trench, located in the western Pacific, contains the deepest part of the world’s oceans, one point reaching a depth of nearly 11,000 metres (36,000ft).

Lasting between 2.5 and 3.5 seconds, the five-part call includes deep moans  at frequencies as low as 38 hertz and a metallic finale that pushes as high as 8,000 hertz. It has become known as the “Western Pacific Biotwang”. The sound was recorded using ocean gliders.

The recordings most closely resembles the “Star Wars” noises made by dwarf minke whales found on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and while little is known about minke whale populations at low latitudes, there are known to be regional differences in their calls. A further puzzling feature is that the sounds were recorded throughout the year, whereas baleen whales usually are more vocal during the winter breeding season. Further research will be needed to identify if indeed the sounds were made by a whale, and if so, which species and whether it is connected to breeding or not.

 

A new baleen whale call recorded in the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument
Sharon L. Nieukirk, Selene Fregosi, and David K. Mellinger Holger Klinck
The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 


About George Berry

George is a member of WDC's Communications team and website coordinator.