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US government refuses to shield endangered right whales from lethal ship collisions

The Biden administration in the US has denied an emergency petition that seeks to protect...

Automated cruelty – vending machines in Japan now dispense dead whale

In an effort to prop up the cruel and declining whale hunting industry in Japan,...

The Yogscast raises an ocean-sized donation for WDC

The New Year started with a bang for whales and dolphins thanks to Bristol-based gaming...
Russia captive orca NARNIA_2017_2 CREDIT Oxana Fedorova

Narnia the orca dies at Russian dolphinarium

Narnia the orca performs in Russia © Oxana Fedorova Narnia, a wild orca taken from...

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.