by Dee Finney

updated 9-24-13

Warning on whales' bleak future

Six cetacean species are critically endangered Pro-whaling countries and chemical pollution are creating an increasingly bleak outlook for whales, according to campaigners. The warning comes as delegates prepare for the annual International Whaling Commission meeting, starting on Monday.

The Environmental Investigation Agency wants to make pollution a priority at the meeting in Sorrento, Italy.

But there are fears pro-whaling members who threaten to create a separate alliance will dominate debate.

A report by the agency highlights how susceptible whales, dolphins and porpoises are to toxic chemical pollutants. It also warns there are health risks to people who eat them.

"The threat of chemical pollutants to cetaceans is real," said the agency's Clare Perry.

Mercury levels

"Combined with an increase in the number of pro-whaling countries joining the IWC, the outlook for whales looks increasingly bleak.

"All IWC member countries, whether they support commercial whaling or not, should consider the significance of environmental threats to whales, dolphins and porpoises."

Mercury, brominated flame retardants, polychlorinated biphenyls and other pesticides are among the toxic chemicals thought to cause disorders including reproductive failure, developmental problems and cancer.

The agency says mercury levels in canned whale stew in Japan are three times above permitted levels and exposure to the chemicals causes neurological damage.


The number of whales killed by Japan, Norway and Iceland since the IWC moratorium took effect in 1986 is 25,239 Most whales are killed with harpoons designed to explode inside them, though small traditional coastal communities use other methods Opponents say the average estimated time to death is more than two minutes, with some whales taking over an hour to die.

The IWC has grown from 14 member states to 55 since it was set up in 1946 both to conserve whales and to develop the whaling industry.

It imposed a moratorium on commercial whaling, in effect since 1986, to let whales recover from centuries of industrial whaling which had left some species near extinction.

Since then Japan, Norway and Iceland have killed 25,239 whales.

Six cetacean species are critically endangered and at least one, the Yangtze River Basin Dolphin, is in immediate danger of becoming the first cetacean species whose extinction was caused by humans.

The warnings come as Japan has drawn up plans to replace the International Whaling Commission with a new pro-whaling alliance.

The IWC remains deadlocked between the countries opposed to a resumption of commercial whaling and those, led by Japan, which say it should go ahead.

Members of Japan's ruling party now say they are prepared to go it alone and describe the IWC as "totally dysfunctional".

Whalewatch, a coalition of 140 organisations, is lobbying the IWC to call a halt to all commercial and scientific whaling on welfare grounds.

Naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough supports the campaign.



Top-rating survivor: the human tribe has spoken
By Philip Cornford
September 18, 2004

Soaring ambition ... a whale breaches off Ballina, in northern NSW. Researchers estimate there are now about 5500 east coast humpbacks. Photo: Sahlan Hayes

White Wings was catastrophe's child. Now a 40-tonne mother, she is guiding her newborn calf down the east coast of Australia on an epic journey of survival which will be observed by close to one million people around the world.

A 13-metre adult, White Wings was born at a time when east coast humpbacks faced extinction, and her struggle to stay alive and breed has mirrored one of the great comebacks of a species hunted for financial gain.

White Wings and her calf, born six weeks ago in the warm tropical waters north of the Whitsundays, are at the beginning of a three-month, 6000-kilometre swim that will end in November when they reach summer feeding grounds in the Antarctic.

They are south of Hervey Bay - where they were observed by old friends, the humpback researchers Wally and Trish Franklin, who named White Wings - and are moving at about 3kmh, driven by instincts we have yet to fathom.

The reunion was a moment of great emotion for Trish Franklin, who photographed White Wings in Hervey Bay with three calves in 1998, 2000 and 2002. "It was an absolute joy," said Ms Franklin, 64, who in 14 years has compiled the world's greatest individual catalogue of humpbacks, 3000 of which she can identify from photographs, 700 of which she has named and about 200 of which she can recognise on sight.

All down the coast of Queensland, NSW and Victoria, small teams of dedicated researchers and hundreds of thousands of whale lovers, in boats and on headlands, will be on the lookout. Watching whales is reaping greater rewards than killing them - $276 million in Australia last year, $1 billion globally.

White Wings was one of a small number of females born soon after the slaughter was stopped in Australian waters in 1963, with no more than 250 humpbacks still alive. The population was so reduced most believed they were beyond recovery.From that nucleus of breeding stock has come a steady stream of new females, sufficient to push the population to an estimated 5500, including about 500 calves born this season.

In a 16-day period off Byron Bay in June and July, Dan Burns, 28, from the Whale Research Centre at Southern Cross University in Lismore, counted 855 humpbacks going north, 300 more than the same survey in 2002. With other data, researchers believe the numbers are growing by about 9 per cent a year.

"If they're left alone, there's every chance they'll regain pre-hunting populations, but it's going to take time and care," Mr Burns said. Most estimates put that population at about 35,000.

But there are predators other than humans. Packs of killer whales were seen near Byron Bay in May. The newborn calves are the most vulnerable. About 17 per cent of identified humpbacks had scars from Orca attacks - and these were the survivors.

To stay alive, a calf has to grow and learn quickly. On the journey south, White Wings will teach her calf how to breach, lunge and tail flap to beat off predators. Each day, the calf will consume 400-600 litres of rich milk and put on 65 kilograms.

By the time she reaches the Antarctic, White Wings will have travelled for six months and 12,000 kilometres. She will not have eaten in that time and her weight will have fallen by a third. Consuming up to 1000 kilograms of krill a day, she will quickly recover.

It is possible that on the way she will meet an amorous young buck, the humpback superstar Migaloo, the world's only identified white whale, which has attracted global interest since he was first seen and photographed off Byron Bay in 1991.

Migaloo - Aboriginal for "white fella" - was seen in June and July charging north at eight knots, fast for a humpback, probably anxious to get a head start among the females who mate in the tropics. Aged about 17, the 35-tonne Migaloo was most recently sighted a month ago north of Cairns and on his way back.

"He's hard to miss - he moves through the water in a fluorescent glow," says Brian Perry, who runs Hervey Bay Whale Watch and has been chasing whales for 16 years.

Should he woo White Wings, Migaloo could be in for a hard fight. He will first have to displace older, smarter whales. And White Wings isn't to be pushed around. "She picks her partner; she decides who and when," says Trish Franklin.

Choosy females like White Wings are one of the main reasons humpbacks are on the way back from catastrophe.

See Photo:

Subj: Dear Dolores ACT NOW! for our Whales and Dolphins
Date: 5/2/2001
From: (Benedick Howard)

To: (Dolores)

Dear Dolores

In the spring of 1998 I was living on the magical Big Island of Hawai'i.  For several nights in a row I was having a dream about a humpback whale that was swimming with me eye to eye.  In these unusually lucid dreams the whale continued to share with me her unconditional openness, peace and wisdom.  It changed me profoundly and inspired a new relationship with these wise beings. One day I was out for a run and came to the bay near where I was living.  Often there are dolphins in the bay and many of us would be down there shortly after dawn to slip into the water and go swimming with our dolphin friends.  That day I was given a special greeting as a humpback whale and her calf were breaching repeatedly. 

Another day I was out on the ocean with friends and a whale did two swan dives right in front of us when we were swimming  and deep inside I knew that the show was for me and the work I was about to do.

For over 15 years I have been creating and designing protocols for healing with sound.  I created a healing sound environment called the DreamWeaver in which music is vibrated throughout the whole body like a musical massage. In my work I use low to normal listening volumes.  Over the years I have developed a deep respect for what sound is and how it works and what it does to the human body. 

Shortly after the whales came to visit with me I was told that the US Navy was conducting sonar experiments in the whale's breeding ground.  They were deliberately targeting four species of whales including the humpback and the grey whales to determine how loud they could blast the sonar (LFA or LFAS) before the whales showed some sign of avoidance or unusual behaviour.  What deeply alarmed me was the loudness of the equipment.  The US Navy Low Frequency Active Sonar is millions of times louder than a 747 taking off and causes great damage to the immune system with injuries similar to being microwaved.  At the Navy testing volumes, let alone full deployment volumes, it shears tissues, collapses organs and causes adrenal and brain damage. At close range it can pulverize any living being.

The US Navy equipment can produce well in excess of 240 dB sound levels.  By "blasting" the sound into the oceans they have been killing whales, these sound levels depending on the frequencies will cause internal bleeding and death and in human much lower levels around 160 dB have permanently debilitated USN divers. Anybody out on the waters saw how distressed the whales had become and one team observed a calf flipping out in the water for hours until it presumably died. All the autopsies done on the whales have not been made available for independent evaluation and the evidence has been destroyed.  To this date the USN continues to deny this evidence despite court hearings, testimonials and the evidence that they must have seen for themselves.

As a result of these experiences I began to write emails every week to the 2000 people on my list detailing what I could find out about the tests.  The emails passed around the world as many others forwarded the message to their lists and friends.  I wrote protest letters to every one I could find associated with the project.  I went out on the ocean and swam in the waters next to the sonar vessel
so that they could not conduct the tests and I developed a web site that featured the latest information about the sonar program, and co-formed a movement called Stop LFAS Worldwide.  However in the beginning, no matter how much I researched I could not find any reports showing conclusively that the sonar was damaging the whales.  One day I found what I was looking for ... an article published
in Nature Magazine (the author a zoologist has since been fired from the University of Athens for writing this) and widely reported in the British press that a 1996 sonar test in the Mediterranean had killed 12 Cuvier beaked whales.  Finally I had the evidence that I knew had to be there ... and wondered why none of the marine mammal researchers had written anything.  Then I found out that the main
players in that field were employed indirectly by the USN!

At that time the sonar was a black operations top secret project.  The press would not cover any of my stories or even listen to me.  Then as we protested in the waters some of us got sick, myself included.  Slowly the news teams were allowed to cover the story ABC Chanel 7 and most recently (April 2001) 60 Minutes II covered the recent Bahamas strandings.

Last week I protested, attended, spoke and video taped the National Marine Fisheries Service public hearings about US Navy application for a permit to kill more whales with the sonar devices. It was a fiery emotional meeting with the USN continuing their disinformation stories about it being necessary for enemy submarine detection.

I hope you understand the worldwide and even cosmic ramifications of this destructive sonar device.  Its effect is not only destroying the habitat of the whales but also the very vibrations within our living oceans and coastal communities.  The deeper effect is potentially even more devastating because the sonar is to be deployed in over 80% of our oceans.

Please take a look at the 60 Minutes video and my video of the hearings called Resounding Jericho - Stop LFAS - it will be our cries that will crumble the walls of our modern day establishment. 

Please, please, please protest via the link to the National Resources Defense Council's protest form. 

We need another 500,000 protests so pass this message onto everyone that you know.

These have to be received before May 15th in writing or fax to:

Donna Wieting, Chief;
Marine Mammal Conservation Division;
Office of Protected Resources;
National Marine Fisheries Service;
1315 East-West Highway;
Silver Spring,
MD 20910-3226
Fax number: 301-713-0376


Benedick Howard

Watch the videos at my site: 
For information on my sound healing environments 

Sonar Links 

This email is copyrighted, however you have my permission to circulate it everywhere!

This page was prompted by a dream on 3-13-99:

I was working on a computer, looking up words and going to the center of the page, making a square picture by having the same word pattern in all four directions. It was quite fun.

One of my kids saw me do that and said,"Do the word 'whale', then the word aquarium."  So I did.

Then one of my kids asked if I would speak to his class about whales. I said, "Sure!"  Big deal!  Big whales!

So, came the day to go to school and talk about the whales. We went to his classroom and went inside, using a special knock. The teacher let us in and said,"Oh! You didn't know we were having a special auditorium to hear you speak about your experiences with whales?"

I gulped a little!

The teacher said, "What kind of whales do you work with?"

I gulped again and finally said, " Small ones!"

The teacher wanted to know, "What kind is it?"

I gulped again and said, "Oh! It was cute! It was the size of a bathtub!"

The teacher looked puzzled, but had to do something before I went to speak to the students, so I got off her  I excused myself for a moment and left the room. I went out into the hall and asked a student, "Where's the school library?"  He pointed "Up!" and I ran as fast as I could up the stairs to find the school library. I had to find a book on whales. I didn't even know the names of different kinds of whales. I was totally unprepared to do this.  The teacher was asking questions, not just sitting passively and listening to what I would have to say.  I needed to know more about the subject.

I found the school library and saw that the books were alphabetized. I was at the 'Z' end, close to where I wanted to be, but then I saw that these were fiction books, alphabetized by author. I needed a book on whales...the real facts.  So, someone pointed in another direction and I went over to where the 'W' section was to find a non-fiction book on whales.  

I figured I could take a quick look at the book, hold it in one hand for a prop and wave my other hand around for emphasis and nobody would know I didn't know anything about whales. I got to the 'W' section and there was a big gap where 'whales' should be. Either a kid or the teacher had taken the book or books about whales. The whales were gone and these kids would never know what a whale was.

Now I really in a panic. I didn't want anyone to know I had been only bluffing and I didn't know anything about whales, so I had to find an excuse that I didn't have to speak at all.

I considered feigning sickness so I could leave. I thought about pretending there was a fire and pulling the fire alarm. I knew that was bad. I didn't know what to do.

I spotted a computer and went to it to look up the word 'whale'. All I knew was how to make patterns with words, I didn't know what a whale really was.

by Taylor Mason - age 4

Roderick, First Grade
M V Leckie Elementary School
Washington, District of Columbia

Mysticeti: From the Greek word Mystax meaning "moustache" and Ketos meaning "whale".

Baleen whales have two nostrils, or blowholes, and moustache-like baleen plates in their mouths with which they strain food from sea water. The Blue whale is the largest animal that has ever lived. There are 10 living species of Baleen whales.

There are 40 different types of whales and numerous species within each.

Listen To A Whale Blowing

Humpback Chorus

Humpback Whale Feeding Call

Humpback Whale Feeding Call

Humpback Male Singing

Killer Whale Call

 The notion that cetaceans have any sort of culture, popular or otherwise, is hotly disputed by some. Most social scientists stubbornly resist the idea that animals, even the great apes, have culture. After all, isn't it our languages and folklore, religion, music and all those other sophisticated strands of human culture that set us apart from the beasts? Clearly, whales and dolphins don't have art or literature; they have no architecture, agriculture or fancy cuisine. But patient
observation over many years has begun to reveal behaviours that can only have been learned from other whales. And that, say whale biologists, constitutes culture.

"I used to use the C-word with some trepidation," says John Ford of the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre. But in recent years, he and other whale biologists have become emboldened by what they've found. Hal Whitehead and his colleague Luke Rendell, from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, have identified 17 types of behaviour by whales and dolphins which they say are aspects of culture. And this is just the start. "My impression is that there is a reasonable chance that a substantial proportion of whale behaviour is
culture-behaviour they learned from other animals," says Whitehead. Bold words. But mention of the C-word alongside cetaceans still provokes angry outbursts from social scientists. Even the definition of culture is hotly contested. In essence, the debate about whether animals have culture turns on the question of what they learn from each other and how they do this. At the very least, sceptics want
evidence that cetaceans can acquire new behaviours through some form of social learning-preferably clear-cut instances of imitation or teaching. And that's not easy to come by. "When you're dealing with large animals that are impossible to keep in captivity, it's hard to prove exactly how behaviour is passed on," says Whitehead. 

Few people doubt that captive bottlenose dolphins are adept at imitation. They can reproduce complex patterns of tones produced by human experimenters and can even mimic the body movements of sea lions that share their pool. There is also evidence that captive killer whales can mimic the calls of their tank mates. For biologists who want to learn about the cultural lives of any cetacean in its natural habitat, experiments are out of the question. They must rely on deduction. If members of a group share behaviours that are not the result of genetic inheritance or environmental variation, then they have almost certainly learned them by watching, following or listening to other animals.

So far, humpback and killer whales provide the best evidence of culture in cetaceans and the song of the male humpback is among the most striking examples. Humpback populations in different oceans sing distinctly different songs, but within the same ocean they all stick to much the same score. If that were all there was to it, then the song could be inherited, the males of each population programmed to sing the same song. But the song changes during the breeding season.

One male might add an extra set of groans; another might drop a series of grunts. Soon all the other males have altered their own rendition to incorporate the changes until they are once again all singing the same song. The change is obviously not the result of a genetic mutation, nor can it be a response to some factor in the animals' environment-thousands of whales spread across a vast part
of the planet sing along to the same tune. The only way all these animals can keep up with the latest version of the song is by learning  the new song parts from other whales-almost certainly by imitation.

Culture plays an even bigger part in the life of killer whales. Nowhere is this more obvious than along the north-west coast of America where killer whales are split into two distinct populations-"residents" and "transients". They live in the same stretch of water, but they don't mingle. Their social structure and lifestyles are very different. They eat from a different menu and have devised their own
specialised hunting strategies. And they communicate in different ways. In effect, they belong to two quite separate cultures. "Learning and behavioural traditions direct their lives more strikingly than genetic programming," says Ford, who has been studying these whales since the 1970s 

Residents live in stable pods made up of two or three mothers and their offspring-perhaps 20 whales in all. Calves stay with their mothers for life, and in more than 20 years of observation no one has ever seen a whale switch pods. Transients travel in smaller, more changeable groups of between three and six.
One of the most obvious differences between the two cultures is the way they communicate. Killer whales detect prey with the familiar echolocating clicks, but communicate with a variety of squeaks, whistles and whines. Transients have only a few such calls, and all transient pods share the same ones. Residents have a much larger repertoire of squeaks and whistles, and each pod has its own
distinctive dialect, a set of calls unique to the pod. Despite regular interaction between pods, each sticks firmly to its own dialect. Ford has shown that a pod maintains its dialect for at least 40 years. 

To qualify as a part of killer whale culture, dialects must be learned from other members of the pod. Animals with different dialects share the same waters, so the variation can't be a product of the physical environment. "And we can toss out the notion that dialects are inherited," says Lance Barrett-Lennard of the University of British Columbia. He has spent the past seven years analysing DNA from 270 whales. His paternity tests reveal that female killer whales invariably
mate with males from outside their own pod-males with a very different dialect. If dialects were programmed by genetics a calf would inherit call patterns from both father and mother. "A calf uses its mother's calls very precisely. There's no input from the father," says Barrett-Lennard.

Then there are the whales' various food preferences and the strategies they have developed to satisfy them. Resident whales are fish eaters and make good use of their echolocating clicks. Along the Canadian coast, resident pods home in on the large, oil-rich chinook salmon, ignoring the more plentiful pink and sockeye salmon. Some take salmon offshore, but other pods have learned to corral the fish up against the rocky shoreline where they have little chance of escape. Chinook salmon turn up at different places at different times,  and resident pods each have their customary hunting spots. "To be successful salmon predators, the whales must have a pretty good road map to intercept the salmon at particular times and places along the convoluted Canadian coastline. This information is no doubt learned and passed on across generations," says Ford.

Transients eat mammals, mainly seals but occasionally dolphins and sea lions. Hunting mammals requires stealth, so they hunt in small groups and in silence-suppressing the echolocating clicks that might warn off their quarry. This is undoubtedly a skill they learn from other members of their pod, says Ford.
Killer whales round the world have adopted many innovative techniques for capturing their preferred food. Most famously, off the Crozet Islands in the southern Indian ocean, and along the coast of Patagonia, some specialise in snatching the pups of elephant seals and southern sea lions from beaches. It's not an easy trick to learn,  yet it is clearly a long-established local custom. And, according to Christophe Guinet from the French National Scientific Research Centre in Chiz, calves don't just imitate their mothers, they are actively taught
by them during an apprenticeship that lasts several years.

Cows encourage their calves by pushing them up the beach and pointing them towards prey, and they help them out if they become stuck by creating wash to lift them off the shore.

Points of view

While Guinet and other whale biologists are convinced that cetaceans teach and imitate, others are more cautious. Teaching and being taught both require some understanding of another individual's point of view, and imitation also implies a degree of mind-reading. Some primatologists doubt that even chimps have such insight (New Scientist, 14 October 2000, p 38). However, Whitehead and other
whale biologists argue that imitation and teaching are not the only forms of social learning. Cetaceans could pick up new ideas and behaviours by emulation: a killer whale, for instance, might watch a pod-mate remove a fish from a long line, and then find its own way of extricating the fish. Or the whale's compatriots might merely draw its attention to the food. Primatologist Frans de Waal from Emory
University in Atlanta argues that it doesn't matter what form social learning takes, what's important is that it has tremendous advantages. 

Culture, he argues, is not the opposite of nature-a magical concept that sets us apart from other animals-but is just another biological adaptation that has evolved in many creatures. One advantage of viewing culture in this way is that you can start to understand how and why it might have arisen among cetaceans. Cetaceans, and in particular the more advanced toothed whales such as dolphins, killer and sperm whales, have several biological attributes that improve their prospects for social learning. Apart from their advanced mental abilities, they live to a ripe old age. Some species spend years rearing their young. Killer and sperm whales also live in small, stable societies containing several generations of animals, a social system that provides ample opportunity for teaching and learning.

But why would it benefit cetaceans to evolve the ability to learn from other group members? Whitehead believes that ecological factors and the need to adapt to sudden changes in the environment played a large part in the emergence of culture. Although the ocean is a relatively stable habitat in many ways, it is highly changeable in one crucial respect-the availability of food. One moment there might be a plentiful supply of fish, the next they've disappeared. When that
happens, past experience-and the ability to share knowledge-is a huge asset. When a super El Nino strikes the waters around the Galapagos Islands-a once-in-a-century event-the squid vanish and sperm whales must move or starve, says Whitehead. "If grandma remembers where they went during the last big El Nino, they can all head straight there instead of aimlessly blundering about looking for food."

The nature of the marine environment also explains why cetaceans have become adept at recognising and learning sounds. Sound travels well in the sea and is an ideal way to communicate, so natural selection would favour individuals that were good at distinguishing sounds. Once in possession of such skills, they can be used to great advantage. The dialects of killer whales, for instance, allow members
of a group to identify each other, which brings big benefits for animals that hunt cooperatively and share both food and information on food hot spots. Among resident killer whales, it also allows females to avoid inbreeding by picking a male with a strange dialect from outside their pod, says Barrett-Lennard.

The importance of sharing cultural information seems to have led to  changes in the biology of at least some species of whales. Female killer whales, like humans, are very unusual in that they live up to a quarter of a century after they had their last offspring. This only makes sense if they have something useful to offer their
descendants-and the most important something is cultural information. "Knowledge must pass directly from one generation to the next. That makes older animals valuable," says Barrett-Lennard. Once equipped with the capacity to learn from each other, cetaceans can rapidly exploit new opportunities. With behaviours that are learned rather than innate, animals can be more flexible. This almost certainly explains the huge range of foraging strategies among killer whales-including some very recent innovations. In the Bering Sea, for example, killer whales take fish from long lines, while just north of the Shetland Islands some pods have taken to picking up the fish discarded by freezer trawlers. "If they learn from each other, only one has to figure it out and all the others get the idea faster," says Whitehead.

Such behaviours are not innate. But if a variation in behaviour becomes a permanent part of a group's culture, then it can influence the genetic evolution of the group. Animals that are especially adept at particular innovative behaviours-those which improve their chances of survival-are more likely to pass their genes on than animals that lack such skills. Culture and genes become inextricably linked, and if groups of whales remain separate then eventually they will begin to diverge, both culturally and genetically.

Among the killer whales of the north-east Pacific, this process is well advanced. Kept apart by their two cultures, the transient and resident killer whales are becoming increasingly different. Barrett-Lennard's DNA tests show slight but consistent genetic differences between the two types. As long as they stick to their own traditions and their different menu, the gap between them will widen.
"Ultimately," says Barrett-Lennard, "they will become two separate species."

MIKE NOAD has been eavesdropping on the humpback whales that breed around the Great Barrier Reef since 1995. Each year he records them singing as they travel up a narrow corridor along the Queensland coast. The first year, all the males sang the same distinctive song. The next year, he heard something odd. Of the 82 voices picked up on his tapes, two were singing a very strange song. "At first I thought maybe they were sick. I put it in my notes as a mystery song, something weird," says Noad. He thought no more about it.

When he lowered his hydrophones into the water the following year, he was in for a surprise. "I heard a whole lot of whales singing that strange song," he says. "By the end of the season practically all of them were singing it." This was unprecedented, says Doug Cato, of the Defence Science and Technology Organisation in Sydney. Cato has been recording the whales around the Great Barrier Reef since 1981, and in all that time the whales always stuck to the latest version of the east-coast song. It was baffling. In the space of a few months, the whales had dumped their old song and adopted a radical new one. "I had no idea
where the song had come from," says Noad. The penny only dropped  when Curt Jenner of the Centre for Whale Research in Fremantle sent him a tape of humpback song from Western Australia. "It was instantly obvious that it was the same song," he says. Whales from the west coast must have strayed slightly off course as they returned from their summer feeding grounds in the seas around Antarctica. Instead of ending up in the Indian Ocean they veered eastward and found themselves in the Pacific, heading for the Great Barrier Reef. But there
couldn't have been more than a handful of these foreign singers, so why didn't they learn the local song, instead of the locals copying theirs?

The humpback's song is some form of sexual display, probably designed to attract females. Song matching seems to be an attempt to give the females some way of assessing the quality of the male as a father, says Noad. "If you want to judge which is the best of the Three Tenors you get them to sing the same song." Paradoxically, the same old song seems to pall after endless repetition. Noad suspects that female humpbacks are attracted to novel songs, so males have
evolved to be constantly on the lookout for something new. "On the Australian east coast, they were handed a fantastically new song on a platter, short-circuiting the normally slow and cautious evolution of their own song," he says. Noad's finding could also help to explain why groups of whales at breeding grounds thousands of kilometres apart adopt the same innovations in their songs. At most, a humpback's voice might travel 300 kilometres. Recent analysis of recordings from underwater microphones dotted about the seabed, courtesy of the US Navy, indicate that not all male singers stick to well-defined breeding grounds but travel the open water between. Could they relay the changes across the ocean? There didn't appear to be enough of these roving whales to pass on changes so quickly and so accurately, but Noad's discovery suggests that whales can learn a totally new song with very little exposure to it. "You only need a small number to introduce the innovations," he says.

Stephanie Pain - From New Scientist magazine, vol 169 issue 2283, 24/03/2001, page 26

Killer Whale
Order Cetacea : Family Delphinidae : Orcinus orca (Linnaeus)

Description. Killer whales are the largest of the dolphin family. Adult males reach up to 9.4 m in length although 8.2 m is average. Females typically reach 7 m in length with the maximum about 8.5 m. Maximum weight is about 7 metric tons. Body form is stocky, the snout is blunt, and the flippers are large and paddle-shaped. In males the dorsal fin may be up to 1.8 m tall, but is considerably shorter in females. Coloration is black dorsally and white ventrally from the chin to slightly behind the anus. An area of white extends up the side posterior to the dorsal fin and an oval white patch is located just above and behind the eye. Each side of both jaws has 10-12 slightly curved teeth that are about 13 cm in length and interlock when the mouth is closed. The teeth are oval in cross section.

Distribution in Texas. Killer whales are distributed worldwide, including polar seas. They are rare in the Gulf of Mexico. Known in Texas on the basis of one stranding on South Padre Island and one sighting in waters off of Port Aransas.

Habits. Killer whales are most often observed as gentle giants of marine aquariums but they are, in fact, the supreme carnivore of the world’s oceans. At sea they are usually seen in "pods" of 5-20, although up to 150 have been seen together at one time. Large groups probably consist of several pods which have temporarily aggregated. Pods themselves appear very stable for many years, with little emigration or immigration. They are highly cooperative and the group functions as a unit when hunting, making these delphinids extremely efficient predators. Groups usually contain adults of both sexes but sometimes females with young will form their own groups.

Food items include squid, fish, skates, rays, sharks, sea turtles, sea birds, seals, sea lions, walrus, dolphins, porpoises, and large whales such as fin whales, humpback whales, right whales, minke whales, and gray whales. They are even known to attack the sperm whale and blue whale. On the Atlantic coast of South America, as well as on islands of the Indian Ocean, killer whales have been observed lunging through the surf — and coming right onto the beach — in pursuit of elephant seals and sea lions. After such an attack the whales have to wriggle and slide back into depths adequate for swimming. In captivity, killer whales eat about 45 kg of food per day but free ranging animals probably require much more. Although these are obviously proficient and voracious hunters, killer whales are not known to have ever attacked a human.

The reproductive habits of these whales are poorly known. The males may mate with more than one female and mating may occur throughout the year, although most calves seem to appear in autumn or winter in shallow waters. Their period of gestation is about 12 months. Calves are approximately 2.4 m long at birth and reach sexual maturity when 4.9-6.1 m in length.

Illustration credit: Pieter A. Folkens.




Extinction nears for whales and dolphins

By Alex Kirby
BBC News Online environment correspondent

Click source for pictures >

Some whales, dolphins and porpoises are now so endangered they could vanish within a decade, scientists say.

William Perrin, IUCN

The warning comes from an international group of cetacean experts at IUCN-The World Conservation Union.

They say species like the baiji (the Yangtze River dolphin) are unlikely to last for another 10 years.

Other small cetaceans and several of the great whale species are almost as endangered, they believe.

The experts issue their warning in Dolphins, Whales and Porpoises: 2002-2010 Conservation Action Plan for the World's Cetaceans.

The plan is the third of three written by IUCN's Cetacean Specialist Group (CSG) in the last 15 years.

Help for the overlooked

It lists the 86 recognised cetacean species, from the whales of the high seas to the small and increasingly seldom-seen freshwater species in southern Asia and Latin America.

Dr Randall Reeves, who chairs the CSG, said: "Some of the great whales such as the blue, humpback, sperm and right whales often receive a lot of attention.

"They are magnificent animals, and certainly important to the CSG's mission. The Group focuses, however, on smaller species, often lesser-known and in developing countries, that are particularly threatened with extinction."

The CSG says humans have not so far caused the extinction of any cetacean species, but it thinks that could change.

A former CSG chair, William Perrin, said: "It seems unlikely the baiji will still be around when the next action plan is formulated eight or 10 years from now."

Vanishing fast

The baiji, a freshwater dolphin now limited to the main channel of the Yangtze river in China, is considered the most endangered cetacean.
From surveys in 1985 and 1986, the total population was estimated at around 300 animals. Between 1997 and 1999, extensive surveys sighted only 21-23 dolphins.

Other cetaceans thought at extreme risk are the vaquita (the Gulf of California porpoise) and several local populations of whales and dolphins, all classed on IUCN's Red List as critically endangered.

Other endangered cetaceans include northern hemisphere right whales, the blue whale, Hector's dolphin, and the Ganges/Indus River dolphins. Some species still awaiting formal assessment are known to be in serious danger of extinction.

Hunting persists

William Perrin said: ""Some progress has been made, but... grave threats to the continued existence of many cetaceans still exist, and some threats are worsening.

"Cetacean diversity, like all biodiversity worldwide, is crumbling, so we must redouble our efforts."

Threats to cetaceans include the deliberate killing of some species for food and predator control.

Animals die after becoming entangled in fishing gear, or colliding with vessels. Some species are targeted to supply the demand from aquaria for live animals.

Glimmers of hope

Fishing depletes food sources, coastal habitats are damaged by development, and new types of military sonar can apparently cause lethal damage to deep-diving cetaceans.

But the CSG sees some signs for hope. It says: "Several populations of southern right whales, humpbacks in many areas, grey whales in the eastern North Pacific, and blue whales in both the eastern North Pacific and central North Atlantic have begun to show signs of recovery."

The plan includes recommendations for action to protect some of the most threatened species. These include modifications to fishing methods that would benefit the baiji, vaquita, and Hector's dolphin.

Blue whale image courtesy of Dan Shapiro/US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


Population Estimates

population estimate
current population
blue whale 160,000 - 240,000 9,000
bowhead whale 52,000-60,000 8,200
Bryde's whale unknown 66,000-86,000
fin whale 300,000-650,000 123,000
gray whale
(eastern Pacific stock)
15,000-20,000 21,000
gray whale
(western Pacific stock)
1,500-10,000 100-200
gray whale
(Atlantic stock)
unknown extinct
humpback whale 150,000 25,000
Minke whale unknown, but tens of thousands
were killed during whaling era
northern right whale no estimates, but tens of thousands
were killed during whaling era
870-1,700 in the western Atlantic;
very few in the Pacific.
sei whale 100,000 55,000
southern right whale no estimate, but 40,000 were killed
between 1785 and 1939




















Baleen Whales - Adaptation the the Aquatic Environment
Baleen Whales - Characteristics
Baleen Whales - Communication
Baleen Whales - Diet and Eating Habits
Baleen Whales - Seaworld
Baleen Whales Behavior
Baleen Whales - Senses
Discovery World - Baleen
The Feeding of the Baleen Whales
Toothed and Baleen Whales
Baleen Whales Bibliography


The Beluga Whale
Family Monodontidae
Genus Delphinapterous
Species leucas ("White whale" or "Beluga Whale")
Also known as "sea canaries" for their sound mimicking capabilities, the white whales are sometimes found in large groups in northern waters.
Charlotte, The Vermont Whale. A paleontological find of an 11,000 year old white whale skeleton.
Delphinapterous leucas
Beluga Whale Facts
Beluga Whale
Beluga Whale
Beluga Whale
Beluga Whale Population and Habitat
Beluga Whale - Social and Feeding Habits
Charlotte, the Beluga Whale
Beluga Photo - Incredible
Beluga - Physical Characteristics
Beluga Whale Pod


Blue Whale
Blue Whale
The Blue Whale
Blue Whale Facts
Blue Whale - Dictionary
Blue Whale Film
Save the Blue Whale
Embattled Behemoths
Why Antartic Blue Whales Don't Recover
Species musculus ("Blue Whale")
Balaenoptera musculus
Balaenoptera musculus Mit.
Balaenoptera musculus Mit. 2
Balaenoptera musculus [Blue whale]
Blue Whale
Recovery of Blue whale stocks


Bowhead Whale
Bowhead Whale
Bowhead Whales
Canada Hunts Worlds Rarest Whale
Distribution of Bowhead Whales - Map
Distribution of Bowhead whales - Map - Summer
Distribution of Bowhead Whales - Map - Fall
Eastern Arctic Bowhead Whale
The Bowhead Whale, Balaena mysticetus: Its Historic and Current Status
Inuit defy attempts to protect endangered whales
Inuvialuit Bowhead Harvest
Sounds and Source Levels from Bowhead Whales off of Pt.Barrow, AK
Family Balaenidae
Cruising, slow-moving, continuous filter feeders.
Genus Balaena
Species mysticetus ("Bowhead Whale")
Research on Whale Population Estimation and Population Dynamics: Adrian Raftery
Balaena mysticetus


Species edeni ("Bryde's Whale")
Bryde's Whale
Bryde's Whale
Bryde's Whale
Discovery World - Bryde's Whale
Whales - fossils
Discovering Whales - Bryde's Whale


Fin Whale
Discovering Whales - The Fin Whale
The Fin Whale
Finback Whale Facts
Gander Academy - Fin Whales
World of Whales - Fin Whales
Species physalus ("Fin Whale")
Respiration and Surfacing Rates for Finback Whales (Balaenoptera physalus) Observed From A Lighthouse Tower.
Balaenoptera physalus
Balaenoptera physalus Mit.
Balaenoptera physalus [Fin whale]
Whales: The Fin Whale
Discovering Whales - The Fin Whale
Discovering Whales - The Fin Whale


Gray Whale
The Baleen Gray Whale
The Gray Whale
The Gray Whales in British Columbia
California Gray Whale Tutorial
Close encounter with a Gray Whale
by Thomas H. Hogan
Gray whale calf born at San Diego SeaWorld
Gray Whale Facts
Gray Whales of the Pacific
Gray Whale Blowing at Baja, CA
Gray Whale Breaching at Dana Point, CA
In the Path of the Giants
Gray Whale Watching with Winston
Gray Whale - Moby Dick
Gray Whale
and Wildlife Introduction
Gray Whale
Gray Whale Gray Whale
Gray Whale Tutorial
Family Eschrichtidae
Genus Eschrichtius
Species gibbosus ("Gray Whale")
Whales on the Net - Gray Whale Research
JJ, the orphaned grey whale. Index of directory.
Baleen Whales


Humpback Whale
The Humpback Whale
Humpback Whale Facts
Movie Clips
of cruising whales (humpbacks?)
Adopt a Humpback Whale
Humpback Whales
The Humpback Whale Page,
Video tape
Humpback Whale - Underwater Photo
Genus Megaptera
Species novaeangliae ("Humpback whale")
Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary
Megaptera novaeangliae
Humpback Whale- Megaptera
Megaptera novaeangliae [humpback whale]
Humpback Whales


The Killer Whale
Orcinus Orca
History of the Orca in British Columbia
Killer Whale Sounds
Killer Whale Adoption Program,
images and the sound of voices, British Columbia, Canada
Official Keiko Home Page
Request to Release Taiji Orcas
Whale Information - Killer Whales
Killer Whales (Orcinus orca) at the Vancouver Aquarium
Orcinus orca
Orcas at SeaWorld,
San Diego, CA
Robin W. Baird
The Whitehead Whale Research Lab,
Nova Scotia, Canada
Tiu Similä at ANCRU, Lofoten, Norway
Genus Orcinus
Species orca ("Orca" or "Killer Whale")
British Columbia Killer Whale Adoption Program. Pictures, sounds, and species information.
Orcas at Sea World.
Researching Orca (Ingrid Visser)
Orcinus Orca
Genus Pseudorca
Species crassidens ("False killer Whale")



Minke Whale Facts
Minke Whale
The Minke or Piked Whale
Genus Balaenoptera
Species acutorostrata ("Minke Whale")
Discovering Whales - THe Minke Whale
Balaenoptera acutorostrata
Balaenoptera acutorostrata [Minke whale]
Discovering Whales - The Minke Whale
Minke whale


The Narwhal

Genus Monodon

Species monoceros ("Narwhal")


The Pilot Whale
Genus Globicephala
Species malaena("Pilot Whale")
Species macrorhynchus ("Short-finned Pilot Whale")
Faroese Islands Pilot Whale Slaughter Information.


Pygmy Right Whale
The Right Whale
Right Whale
Right whale Facts
Northern Right Whale Information
Genus Eubalaena
Called "right whales" because they were the "right" whales for whaling in the days of sailing vessels. The rorquals could outpace the unassisted sailing vessels or their oar-powered longboats.
Species glacialis ("Northern Right Whale")
Eubalaena glacialis
Eubalaena glacialis [Atlantic right whale]
Northern Right Whales
Species australis ("Southern Right Whale")
Southern Right Whale Fact File
Southern Right Whale bibliographic data
Genus Caperea
Species marginata ("Pygmy Right Whale")


Sei Whale
Species borealis ("Sei Whale")
Balaenoptera borealis
Balaenoptera borealis [Sei whale]


The Sperm Whale
The Sperm Whale
Sperm Whales
The Sperm Whale Project
The Pratt Museum
Genus Kogia
Species breviceps ("Pygmy Sperm Whale")
Kogia breviceps
Species simus ("Dwarf Sperm Whale")
Kogia simus
Family Physeteridae
Genus Physeter
Species macrocephalus ("Sperm Whale")
Sperm whale. School report on sperm whales, with a nice image linked in.
Physeter catodon
SCOP: Protein: Myoglobin from sperm whale


The Whale Shark - dictionary
Whale Shark (rhincodon typus )





Nature Photography by Barbara Jordan


Nova Scotia Stranding Network, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Dolphin Images by David Hofmann

Whale and a babywhale(330 Kb)

Dolphin pictures

Dolphins of Kewalo Basin, Hawaii

Picture of dolphins in the Red Sea by Johnnie Walker, UK

Pictures Canada, provided by Tobias Murer, Suisse





Captain Bill & Sons Deep Sea Fishing & Whale Watching



Clayoquot Sound Tours

Coastal Ecosystems Research Foundation - Central Coast Cetacean Project
































Amazing Environmental Organization Web Directory

American Zoo and Aquarium Association

Animal Rights Resource Site (other interesting sites)

Animal Rights Resource Site

Antarctica and its Environment

AquaThought Foundation

Atlantic Dolphin Research Cooperative

Brain of the Florida Manatee, The

British Columbia Killer Whale Adoption Program

Brookfield Zoo, Chicago Zoological Society

Center for Coastal Studies....a renowned whale and marine habitat research institution

Centro Interdisciplinare di Bioacustica

Cetecean Behavior Laboratory

Cetacean Society International

Cetecean Telepathic Connection

Channelings/Lightwork/Sirians: The Dolphin

Charlotte, The Vermont Whale

Coastal Ecosystems Research Foundation

Consortium of Aquariums, Universities and Zoos


CTA online ....Curriculum Travel of America, Inc. "Teaching the World"

Dancing Dolphin Institute

Directory of Aquaria

Divine Dolphin, The

Dolphin Circle

Dolphin Ecosse

Dolphin Island Greenware

Dolphin Project Europe

Dolphins Within Society

The Dolphin Society

alt.animals.dolphin FAQ

Whales and Dolphins


Bottlenose Dolphins Information Booklet,



Electronic Zoo - Veterinary Resources

Enoshima Aquarium

Eurosquid Marine Mammal Homepage

Facts About Federal Wildlife Laws

Florida Aquarium

Friends of the Sea Otter

Great Whales Foundation - Educating about whales from the whale's point of view

"Hot Topics" by Mark Miller

Humpback Whale Adventure to the Dominican Republic

International Dolphin Project

International Fund for Animal Welfare

International Marine Mammal Project (Earth Island)      International Whaling Commission
     International Wildlife Coalition
     Interpsecies Communication Inc.
IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals (1994)
Johnstone Strait, British Columbia by Tony Newlin
Literature on Strandings
Making Friends with Whales
Manitoba Animal Rights Coalition WAIS search engine
Marine Mammal Center, The
Marine Mammal Information Server - United Kingdom
Marine Mammal Protection Act
Marine Mammal Research Course, Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology
Marine Mammal Research Program
Marine World Africa USA
Marmam archive of Marine Mammal related newswire stories
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Mote Marine Laboratory
National Marine Fisheries Service....Office of Protected Resources
National Oceanographic Data Center
Natural History Book Service (Marine mammals) - United Kingdom
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
NetVet-Marine Mammals
New England Aquarium
Oceania Project - Australia
Office of Ocean Resources Conservation and Assesment
Orcas at Sea World, San Diego, CA
Orcinus Orca
Protected Marine Species Research and Information
Research Resources Internet Links
Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
Save the Manatees
Save the Manatee Club
Sea Frontiers Magazine
Sea World/Busch Gardens
Seattle Aquarium
Scottish Dolphins and Seals
Shore Guide: Whales
Sierra Club Policy: Marine Mammals
Signal Processing Research Group
Society for Marine Mammalogy....where all the whale heads meet
State of Florida. Dept. of Environmental Protection
Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary....New England's 1st National Marine Sanctuary
Stephen Birch Aquarium Museum; UCSD
Strategies for pursuing a career in m. mammal science
Tennessee Aquarium
The Oceania Project
Tirpitz Whaling Page
Universal Dolphin Awareness Center
Vancouver Aquarium
Veterinary Medicine (Biosciences)
Waikiki Aquarium
Web Lift
Whale Adoption Program (Int'l Wildlife Coalition)
Whale Information Network
WhaleNet....a must for school groups.
Whale Research Group, The
Whale Video Co., The
WhaleWatching Web - Finland ....probably the best whale site on the Web!
Whales on the Web - Australia ....Discovering Whales
WhaleTimes - K through 12 marine sciences intro
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Overview of cetacean species by Jaap van der Toorn
Orca, Humpack, Pilot, etc., Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
Mammal Index: CommonMammal Index by Common name
Sea World Education Department Resource
Mrs. Yeo's Web of Whales
Voyages of the Mimi, The Bank Street College of Education, educational programs
Scientific - English - Finnish Cetacean Dictionary
Scientific - English - Swedish Cetacean Dictionary
Scientific - English - Danish Cetacean Dictionary
Dolphins' Body Language
Maatalouden tietosanakirja, 1930

Allied Whale, College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, ME
(Fin Whale Adoptions) A.C. Cruise Line, Boston, MA (617) 271-6633
Adventure Tours, Inc., Newfld, Canada (709) 726-5000
Alaska Whale Foundation
American Cetacean Society, San Pedro, CA
Argos Inc., (301) 925-4411
Atlantic Whale Watch, Rye Harbor, NH (603) 964-5220
Bolt Beranek & Newman (BBN), Boston, MA
Boston Harbor Whale Watch, Boston, MA (617) 951-0255
Boston Museum of Science, Boston, MA
Brier Island Whale and Seabird Cruises, N.S., Canada (800) 656-3660
British Columbia Killer Whale Adoption Program A great Killer Whale site with images & sounds.
Cape Ann Whale Watch, Gloucester, MA
Captain Bill's Whale Watch, Gloucester, MA (800) 33-WHALE
Captain John Boats, Plymouth, MA, (800) 242-2469
Captain John's Sport Fishing Center, Waterford, CT (860) 443-7259
Captain Tim Brady & Sons Whale Watch, Plymouth, MA (508)746-4809
Carolina Ocean Study Programs, Carolina Beach, NC (910)458-7302
Center for Coastal Studies, Provincetown, MA (508) 487-3622
Center for Oceanic Research and Education (CORE), Gloucester, MA (800) WHALING
Center for Whale Research, Friday Harbor, MA

(Killer Whale Adoptions)
Cetacean Research Program, Provincetown, MA (508) 487-3622
The Cetacean Research Unit, Gloucester, MA
Cetacean Society International, Georgetown, CT (709) 464-3269
Ceta-Research, Inc., Nfld., Canada (709) 464-3269
Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (CINMS), CA
Compagnie de la Baie de Tadoussac, P.Q., Canada (418) 235-4548
The Consortium of Aquariums, Universities and Zoos, California State Univ., Northridge, CA
Dolphin Fleet Whale Watch, Provincetown, MA
DuFour Group Hotels and Cruises, Quebec, Canada, (418) 827-8836
Duke University Marine Lab, Beaufort, NC
Earthwatch, Watertown, MA
Earthwatch Center For Field Research
Earthwatch Marine Mammal Program
Earthwatch Marine Mammal Requests for Proposals
East Coast Ecosystems, N.S., Canada (902 )839-2962
East India Cruise Co., Salem, MA
EnviroNet, Simmons College, Boston, MA
Environmental Affairs,The Executive Office of -- The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
European Cetacean Society
Friday Harbor Whale Museum, Friday Harbor, WA
Adopt an Orca
Futurismo Whale Watching, Azores, Portugal
GreenLife Society-North America (GLSNA), Berkeley, CA
Gray's Reef NOAA National Marine Sanctuary
Gulf of Maine Aquarium, Portland, ME
Gulf of Maine Marine Ed. Assoc., ME (207) 799-6406
Harbor Explorations, UMass/Boston, MA
Hatfield Marine Science Center, Newport, OR
Humpback Whale Tours Ltd., St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada (709)753-4850
Hyannis Whale Watcher, Barnstable, MA, (508) 362-6088
Indian Whale Watch, Kennebunk, ME, (207) 967-5912
Intercultural E-mail Classroom Connections (IECC), Minneapolis, MN
International Wildlife Coalition, East Falmouth, MA
(Humpback Whale Adoptions)
International Wildlife Coalition "Teachers Kit"
Isles of Shoals Steamship Co., Portsmouth, NH (603) 431-5500
Lahaina Harbor Whale Watch, Maui, Hawaii
Los Angeles Museum of Natural History, Los Angeles, CA
Manomet Bird Observatory, Manomet, MA
Marine Education Center, Cape Ann, MA
Marine Mammal Care Center, San Pedro, CA The program center that rehabilitated elephant seals,"Mac" and "Arthur".
MAR3INE - Marine Animal Rescue Rehabilitation and Release Into the Natural Environment, Inc.
Marine Mammal Stranding Center, Brigantine, NJ
Marine Mammal Center, Sausalito, CA
Marine Science Institute - Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX
Massachusetts Audubon Society, Lincoln, MA (617 )259-9500
Massachusetts Bay Lines, Boston, MA, (617) 542-8000
Massachusetts Marine Educators, MA
Massachusetts Study Project, UMass, Boston
Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (Watershed), Boston, MA
Mimi Fest
Mingan Island Cetacean Study, Quebec Page
Mingan Island Cetacean Study, Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan, Quebec, Canada

(Blue Whale Adoptions)
Minnesota Zoo, Minneapolis, MN
MuseNet, Boston, MA
Museum Institute for Teaching Science, Boston, MA
NPAC, Syracuse University, NY
National Aquarium, Baltimore, MD
National Science Foundation, Washington, DC
New Bedford Whaling Museum
Newburyport Whale Watch, Newbury, MA, (800) 848-1111
New England Aquarium, Boston, MA, (617) 973-6561
Pelagic Research Lab -NEA
(Right Whale Adoptions)
Stranding Network-NEA
Teacher Resource Center-NEA
New England Science Center, Worcester, MA
New England Whale Watch, Cape Neddick, ME (207) 361-1605
(Humpback Whale Adoptions)
New Hampshire Seacoast Cruises, Rye, NH (603) 964-5545
National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS), Woods Hole, MA
Northeast Region
NOAA Marine Sanctury-Stellwagen Bank, Plymouth, MA
North Carolina Sea Grant, Raleigh, NC
Northeast Marine Animal Lifeline, marine animal stranding program ME
Northeast Whale Watch
Ocean Society (The), Marietta, GA (770) 977-1838
(Right Whale Adoptions)
Oceanic Society, San Francisco, CA
Ocean Watch Tours, Glovertown, Newfoundland, Canada (709 )533-6024
Odyssey Whale Watch
Olde Port Mariner Fleet, Standish, ME (207) 642-3270
Oregon Sea Grant, Corvalles, OR
Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.
Portuguese Princess Excursions
Provincetown, MA (508) 487-2651
Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies, Provincetown, MA
Quebec-Labrador Foundation, Ipswich, MA
Rockport Whale Watch Inc., Rockport, MA
Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Santa Barbara, CA
Satellite Educational Resources Consortium, PBS, South Carolina
Save the Manatee Club, Maitland, FL
(Manatee Adoptions)
Schaefer Oceanology Laboratory , Tabor Academy, Marion, MA
Tabor Academy
Sea World of Ohio
Sea World of Orlando
SEA Education Association, Woods Hole, MA
Seattle Public Schools, Seattle, WA
Seven Seas Whale Watch, Gloucester, MA, (978) 283-1776
Simmons College, Boston, MA
Simon Fraser University - Virtual Whales, CA
Smithsonian Institute's Ocean Planet Exhibit , Washington, DC
Society for Marine Mammalogy, The, Seattle, WA
Southern California Marine Institute, Terminal Island, CA
Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, Plymouth, MA
Sunburst Communications, Pleasantville, NY
Tan Croisieres, Les Escoumins Gotiko (Quebec), Canada (888) 353-3488
The Tennessee Aquarium,Chattanooga, TN
U. of Alaska Southeast, Juneau, AK
UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA
U. of Helsinki Helsinki, Finland
UNH Sea Grant, Durham, NH
Virginia Marine Science Museum, Virginia Beach, VA
Voyage Publishing - Science and the Environment, Alexandria, VA
Westport Whale Watch, Briar Island, Nova Scotia, Canada
Whale Conservation Institute, Lincoln, MA
Whale Watcher, Inc., Bar Harbor, ME (207) 288-3322
Wheelock College
Wild About Whales, Wichita, KS (send email to (316) 264-9294
Yankee Whale Watch, Gloucester, MA, (800) WHALING
Zoo Atlanta, Atlanta, GA
Adventure Tours, Inc., Nfld, Canada (709) 726-5000
Atlantic Whale Watch, Rye Harbor, NH (603) 964-5220
Boston Harbor Whale Watch, Boston, MA (617) 951-0255
Brier Island Whale and Seabird Cruises, N.S., Canada (800) 656-3660
Cape Ann Whale Watch, Gloucester, MA (800) 877-5110
Captain Bill's Whale Watch, Gloucester, MA, (800) 33-WHALE
Captain John Boats, Plymouth, MA (800) 242-2469
Captain John's Sport Fishing Center, Waterford, CT, (860) 443-7259
Captain Tim Brady & Sons Whale Watch, Plymouth, MA (508) 746-4809
Carolina Ocean Study Programs, Carolina Beach, NC (910) 458-7302
Center for Coastal Studies, Provincetown, MA, (508) 487-3622
Ceta-Research, Inc., Nfld., Canada (709) 464-3269
Center for Oceanic Research and Education - CORE, Gloucester, MA (800) WHALING
Cetacean Research Program, Provincetown, MA (508) 487-3622
Compagnie de la Baie de Tadoussac, P.Q., Canada (418) 235-4548
Condor, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Santa Barbara, CA (805) 882-0088
Dolphin Fleet Whale Watch, Provincetown, MA (800) 826-9300
DuFour Group Hotels and Cruises, Quebec, Canada, (418) 827-8836
East India Cruise Co., Salem, MA (800)745-9594
Humpback Whale Tours Ltd., St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada (709) 753-4850
Hyannis Whale Watcher, Barnstable, MA, (508) 362-6088
Indian Whale Watch, Kennebunk, ME, (207) 967-5912
Isles of Shoals Steamship Co., Portsmouth, NH, (603) 431-5500
Lahaina Harbor Whale Watch, Maui, Hawaii
Massachusetts Bay Lines, Boston, MA, (617) 542-8000
Mingan Island Cetacean Study, Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan, Quebec, Canada (418) 949-2845
New England Aquarium, Boston, MA (617) 973-0280
New England Whale Watch, Cape Neddick, ME (207) 361-1605
New Hampshire Seacoast Cruises, Rye, NH (603) 964-5545
Newburyport Whale Watch, Newburyport, MA (800) 848-1111
New Hampshire Seacoast Cruises, Rye, NH (603) 964-5545
Ocean Watch Tours., Glovertown, Newfoundland, Canada (709) 533-6024
Olde Port Mariner Fleet, Standish, ME (207) 642-3270
Portuguese Princess Excursions, Provincetown, MA (508) 487-2651
Provincetown Whale Watch, Provincetown, MA (800) 992-9333
Seven Seas Whale Watch, Gloucester, MA (800) 238-1776
Tan Croisieres, Les Escoumins Gotiko (Quebec), Canada (888) 353-3488
Westport Whale Watch, Briar Island, Nova Scotia, Canada
Whale Conservation Institute, Lincoln, MA
Whale Watcher, Inc., Bar Harbor, ME (207) 288-3322
Yankee Whale Watch, Gloucester, MA, (800) WHALING


Suborder Odonticeti ("toothed whales")
Family Platanistidae
Genus Platanista

Species gangetica ("Ganges Susu River Dolphin")

Species minor ("Indus Susu River Dolphin")

Genus Inia

Species geoffrensis ("Boutu" or "Amazon River Dolphin")

The Pink Dolphin of the Amazon Home Page.

WhaleTimes:Fishin' for Facts-River Dolphins

Inia geoffrensis;

Inia geoffrensis [Boto, South American River Dolphin]

Genus Lipotes

Species vexillifer ("Beiji" or "Chinese Lake Dolphin")

The Beiji is highly endangered, with estimates of perhaps 100 animals left in the wild, and only 2 in captivity. The endangerment proceeds from habitat displacement, as the Yangtze River steadily becomes less livable for both prey items and predators.

Genus Pontoporia

Species blainvillei ("Franciscana" or "La Plata Dolphin")

Family Ziphidae

Beaked whales are deep-water, deep-diving species only rarely (and usually briefly, if still living) encountered by humans. Most species are known from one or a few specimens, many of those washed ashore in less than perfect condition.

Genus Mesoplodon

Species bidens ("North Sea Beaked Whale" or "Sowerby's Beaked Whale")

Species layardii ("Strap-toothed Whale")

Species europaeus ("Antillean beaked Whale" or "Gervais' Beaked Whale")

Species mirus ("True's Beaked Whale")

Species grayi ("Camperdown Whale" or "Gray's Beaked Whale")

Species densirostris ("Blainville's Beaked Whale")

Species bowdoini ("Andrew's Beaked Whale")

Species pacificus ("Longman's Beaked Whale")

Species hectori ("Hector's Beaked Whale")

Species ginkgodens ("Ginkgo-toothed Beaked Whale")

Species stejnegeri ("Stejneger's Beaked Whale")

Species carlhubbsi ("Hubb's Beaked Whale")

Genus Ziphius

Species cavirostris ("Cuvier's Beaked Whale")

Genus Berardius

Species bairdii ("Baird's Beaked Whale")

Species arnuxii ("Arnoux's Beaked Whale")

Genus Tasmacetus

Species shepherdi ("Tasman Beaked Whale")

Genus Hyperoodon

Species ampullatus ("Northern Bottlenose Whale")

Hyperoodon ampullatus

Species planifrons ("Southern Bottlenose Whale")

Family Stenidae

Genus Steno

Species bredanensis ("Rough-Toothed Dolphin")

Genus Stenella

Species attenuata ("Pantropical Spotted Dolphin")

Species dubia ("Spotted Dolphin")

Species frontalis ("Atlantic Spotted Dolphin")

Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis)

Charlie, a stranded dolphin

Species plagiodon ("Spotted Dolphin")

Species coeruleoalba ("Striped Dolphin")

Striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba)

Species longirostris ("Long-snouted Spinner Dolphin")

Spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris)

Species clymene ("Short-snouted Spinner" or "Clymene Dolphin")

Clymene dolphin (Stenella clymene)

Genus Sotalia

Species fluviatilis ("Bouto Dolphin" or "Tucuxi")

Species guianensis ("Guiana River Dolphin")

Species chinensis ("Chinese White Dolphin")

Hong Kong Dolphinwatch

The Whale-Watching-Web: Hong Kong

Species borneensis ("Borneo White Dolphin")

Species centiginosa ("Speckled Dolphin"))

Species plumbea ("Plumbeous Dolphin")

Species teuzzi ("Cameroon Dolphin")

Species brasiliensis ("Rio de Janeiro Dolphin")

Family Delphinidae

Genus Delphinus

Species delphis ("Common Dolphin")

Delphinus delphis

Whales: The Common Dolphin

Genus Grampus

Species griseus ("Risso's Dolphin")

Genus Tursiops

Species truncatus ("Bottlenose Dolphin")

Bibliography for bottlenose dolphin books and articles.

Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

FINSCAN Computer assisted Tursiops dorsal fin photoidentification. 1996-1998. TAMU. PI: Phil Levin. Other personnel: Diane Blackwood, Wesley Elsberry, Dave Weller. Using computer technology to automate the Defran & Weller photo-ID technique for large datasets.

Cole, a stranded dolphin

Xeno, a stranded dolphin

Bottlenose Dolphins

Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin

Tursiops Article.

Bottlenose dolphin: Dolphin Documentary

Bottlenose Dolphins

Bottlenose Dolphin


Species gilli ("Bottlenose Dolphin")

Genus Lagenorhynchus

Species obliquidens ("White-sided Dolphin")

Species albirostris ("White-beaked Dolphin")

Species obscuras ("Dusky Dolphin")

Species acutus ("White-sided Dolphin")

Species thicolea ("Falkland Island Dolphin")

Species cruciger ("Hour-glass Dolphin")

Species australis ("Peale's Dolphin")

Genus Lagenodelphis

Species hosei ("Sarawak Dolphin" or "Fraser's Dolphin")

Genus Feresa

Species attenuata ("Pygmy Killer Whale")

Genus Cephalorhyncus

Species commersoni ("Commerson's Dolphin")

Species hectori ("Hector's Dolphin")

Species heavisidei ("Heaviside's Dolphin")

Species eutropia ("Whte-bellied Dolphin")
Genus Orcaella

Species brevirostris ("Irrawaddy River Dolphin")

Genus Peponocephala

Species electra ("Broad-beaked Dolphin")

Genus Lissodelphis

Species peroni ("Southern Right Whale Dolphin")

Species borealis ("Northern Right Whale Dolphin")


The Harbour Porpoise

Family Phocoenidae ("porpoises")

Genus Phocaena

Species phocaena ("Harbor Porpoise")

Biology of Harbour Porpoises

Species dioptrica ("Spectacled Porpoise")

Species spinipinnis ("Black Porpoise")

Species sinus ("Cochito")

Genus Neomeris

Species phocaenoides ("Black Finless Porpoise")

Genus Phocaenoides

Species dalli ("Dall's Porpoise")

Species truei ("True's Porpoise")

Genus Neophocaena

Species phocaenoides ("Finless Porpoise")

Suborder Archaeoceti

A convenient taxonomic pigeonhole for all fossil whales.

Genus Ambuloceti

Genus Pakiceti

Order Sirenia

Genus Trichechus

Species manatus ("West Indian Manatee")

Manatee page at Sea World.

Save the Manatee page. Old link! Tell me where they've gone!

Save the Manatee Club.

Brain of the Florida Manatee, The


Genus Enhydra

Species lutra ("Sea Otter")

Sea Otter