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Posts Tagged "Marine Mammals"

Tetrapod Zoology

Seals, the early years

stem-pinniped-slide-1-600-px-tiny-June-2014-Tetrapod-Zoology

It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for… stem-pinnipeds at Tet Zoo. Or, probable stem-pinnipeds anyway. This minimum-effort post is brought to you on the back of work showing that pinnipeds (seals, sea lions and walruses) are monophyletic, not diphyletic, and that the taxa shown here – Potamotherium, Puijila and so on – really are [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Odobenocetops: ridiculous ‘walrus whales’

Odobenocetops-slide-2-600-px-tiny-Nov-2012-Tet-Zoo

I always hoped that, one day, I’d have time to talk at length about Odobenocetops, one of the strangest and most exciting of fossil cetaceans. Alas, I haven’t yet found that time, so here are a few slides on the beast from one of my fossil marine mammal lectures. Odobenocetops was originally described by Muizon [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

A peculiar whale skeleton is included fortuitously in the sci-fi movie Hunter Prey

It’s funny how things work out. We looked recently at a ‘mystery’ whale carcass from Baja California. As explained here, it turned out to be a Risso’s dolphin Grampus griseus. I recently watched a 2009 sci-fi movie called Hunter Prey. Should you wish to know more about it, the wikipedia article is pretty good. Anyway, at [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

All the whales of the world, ever (part II)

Welcome to part II of the Tet Zoo cetacean clearing house. With stem-cetaceans (‘archaeocetes’) and mysticetes out of the way (go here for part I), we come to odontocetes. Many key odontocete traits are found in the maxilla and ear region, most of which are related to soft tissue structures involved in noise-making and hearing. [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

All the whales of the world, ever (part I)

It’s apparently a good idea in scientific blogging to produce ‘clearing house’ blog articles every now and again: that is, articles that include links to all of your other articles on a given subject. I suppose anything that gets people looking anew at old articles and reminding them what you have ‘in the archives’ is [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Oil Pollution is Making Gulf Dolphins Sick

For eighty-seven days in 2010, 210 million gallons of oil from wells below the Deepwater Horizon poured into the Gulf of Mexico. Researchers announced recently that as a result, Bottlenose dolphins in Louisiana’s Barataria Bay are suffering from a host of maladies, including lung disease and adrenal problems. They’re also losing their teeth. The research [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Dolphin Societies Are Impacted By Human Fishing

bottlenose dolphin

Moreton Bay is a small patch of ocean bounded by Queensland, Australia, on the west and on the east by Moreton Island and North Stradbroke Island. The bay is home, by various estimates, to between six hundred and eight hundred Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus). A study conducted in the late 1990s found that the [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Friday Fun: Dolphin Stampede

dolphin group

This video (via the Washington Post, CBS Evening News, and Dana Point Whale Watch) showing a super-pod of perhaps 2000 dolphins off the coast of southern California, made the rounds last week. Dolphin society is typically described in the same way as primate society. Fission-fusion societies among dolphins are characterized by two levels of social [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Can You Hear Me Now? Human Noise Disrupts Blue Whale Communication

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When you dive into the frigid waters of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of southern California, the first thing you notice is the silence. Other than the bitter cold. Your body begins to adapt to the chilly water as blades of slimy kelp brush across your ankles. You spit out the bit of brackish [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Sunday Photoblogging: Life On The Edge

In downtown San Diego, a group of harbor seals have made their home on a small beach protected behind a seawall. This beach gives them some protection against predation by the sharks that inhabit the waters off the coast of southern California. Meanwhile, human developments continue to push towards the coast. As a result, a [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

What Can Dolphins Tell Us About The Evolution of Friendship?

A version of this post was originally published on November 18, 2010. Click the archives image to see the original post. Scientists thought they had a pretty good handle on the social interactions of bottlenose dophins (Tursiops). They’ve used the term fission-fusion dynamics to describe dolphin (and non-human primate) society and so far it has [...]

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