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Third orca death in 18 months at theme park

Loro Parque tourist attraction in Tenerife, Spain has announced the death of Kohana, a 20-year-old...

WDC’s Shorewatch work shortlisted for nature award

We are thrilled that our Shorewatch programme has been shortlisted in the Citizen Science category...
Image from one of the WDC Risso's dolphin research catalogues

Local community helps piece together Risso’s dolphin puzzle

Thousands of photographs from members of the public have been published today in two WDC...

Tesco joins new initiative to help protect whales and dolphins

Tesco, the UK's largest retailer has joined WDC, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), and the Royal Society...

Bowhead whales filmed exfoliating on rocks in arctic

For the first time bowhead whales have been filmed rubbing themselves on rocks to remove dead skin in Cumberland Sound in Nunavut, northern Canada.

While local inuits and whalers had previously documented seeing whales taking part in this activity it had never been clear why. Now, with the help of drones, researchers have been able to see that large pieces of dead skin are removed during the process with the findings published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.

Bowhead whales are only found in the arctic and can live in excess of 200 years.

The footage here was taken by trained drone operators to carefully avoid disturbing the whales. Drones should always be used responsibly and where appropriate under permit, with minimal disturbance to the wildlife (or people!).

Evidence of molting and the function of “rock-nosing” behavior in bowhead whales in the eastern Canadian Arctic
Sarah M. E. Fortune, William R. Koski, Jeff W. Higdon, Andrew W. Trites, Mark F. Baumgartner, Steven H. Ferguson
www.plos.org

About George Berry

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