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Killer Whales Spotted In Gulf Of Mexico—Marine Mammal Reference Ideas

Killer Whales have been spotted in the Gulf of Mexico.

Below is a picture of killer whales seen in the Gulf of Mexico. Behind them you seen an oil rig which is pretty good evidence that you are looking at the Gulf of Mexico.

Here is information about the Gulf of Mexico.

Here is a link to YouTube video footage of killer whales in Texas waters.

Below is from the Houston Chronicle story on the killer whales

“Scientists say orcas have been in the Gulf for years but are rarely seen because they live far from shore and beyond the typical range of commercial fishermen. Still, a recent sighting of killer whales 95 miles off the Alabama coast has captivated those who work and play in the warm waters of the Gulf. “It was like being at Sea World because they’d come right up to the boat,” said Eddie Hall, captain of the Shady Lady, the charter boat that spotted as many as 200 orcas feeding on tuna. Hall recorded the close encounter on video, and the National Marine Fisheries Service confirmed that they were, indeed, killer whales. Tony Amos, a researcher with the University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas, said confirmed sightings of orcas in the Gulf date back to at least 1985.”

The guy in the Chronicle story said that it was just like Sea World. Yes–It was just like Sea World except that the whales were free and not in a kind of sea jail in the form of a (sort of ) big tank.

A killer whale is not a whale. It is a kind of dolphin. It is a very big killer dolphin. Its presence in the Gulf is not so much a surprise when you consider that it is the most widespread of any whale or dolphin. Here is some discussion of the differences between whales and dolphins.

Killer Whales can grow up to 30 feet long and live up to 90 years. Female killer whales can hang on for 80 to 90 years while males make it between 50 and 60.

A great book on marine mammals is the National Audubon Society’s Guide To Marine Mammals of the World(Books remain the stronger source on very many issues and questions than what you are able to find on the internet. Please consider getting off the computer and reading a book.)

Here is a bit of what the Audubon Guide says about killer whales—

“The world population of killer whales seems to consist of specialized subpopulation, each adapted to live off the resources available within its home range. In this sense killer whales are much like wolves.”

A book I don’t own but that maybe someday I will is The Marine Mammals of the Gulf of Mexico.

There are many types of marine mammals in the Gulf of Mexico. Please click here for a list of such creatures.

The American Cetacean Society is a good on-line reference for marine mammals. You can find killer whale information at the ACS.

Here is the link to the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network.

March 30, 2009 Posted by | Books, Sea Life | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Navy Wants To Keep Terrorizing Whales With Sonar Blasts

The Supreme Court today heard a case about Navy testing of sonar that may well harm and kill whales and dolphins.

At the moment, these tests off the coast of California are banned by federal court order.

Environmental groups say these sonar blasts sound as loud as a jet engine to whales and dolphins. The Navy says the tests are needed for national security. 

Beyond these issues, the core of the matter seems to be whether the a judge can order the Navy to stop the tests because no environmental impact study has been done by the Navy. The case has implications beyond this specific concern.

Why can’t the Navy just do the study?

I think what we should do is extensively test just how the sonar bombardments sound to whales, and then recreate that noise for Naval test subjects. Maybe some in Navy could volunteer unlike the whales who have no choice in the matter. ( Though I bet that not many would volunteer to have their ears blasted out.)The test subjects could then report just how it sounded and we could make a judgement from that point. 

This National Geographic story discusses possible harm done to Killer Whales because of Navy sonar tests.

And this National Geographic story says whales can be given the bends by such tests.

Here is some good information about many different types of whales.

Here is some history of the Supreme Court. 

October 9, 2008 Posted by | Sea Life | , , , , | Leave a comment

Japanese Whale Hunt & Other Marine Life In The News

There has been much marine life in the news in recent weeks.  

Japan is undertaking a new whale hunt for “research.” It will be the first so-called legal hunt of Humpback Whales since 1963. Theoretically, the number of Humpbacks is now high enough to sustain a hunt. 

It seems a restored population is in fact bad news for these whales. It is indeed hard to get ahead sometimes.    

Here is a link to information on the Humpback Whale.

The photo is a Greenpeace file picture of previous Japanese research on whales.

Japanese whaling fleet 

Here is a story about a firm in Tokyo that offers “whale curry” as something for you to eat. Another product of the research no doubt.  

A Minke Whale found its way far into the Amazon River. Local people tried to save it by splashing water on its back when it swam into shallow waters, and by attempting to use boats to push it back to the ocean.  These efforts were not successful.

Here is information about the Minke Whale.

This BBC story relates that rivers and lakes that become brown after being clear may in fact be much more clean and natural. What was keeping some European and North American waterways clear was acid rain that was killing off what would otherwise turn the water a more healthy brown.  

Here is a story from Practical Fishkeeping about an attack by billions of jellyfish on the only salmon farm in Ireland.

The jellyfish involved were Mauve Stinger Jellyfish.

Close to where I live, the former Texas A & M at Galveston floating classroom ship Texas Clipper has been sunk near South Padre Island so that it might become an artificial reef. This is reported by The Galveston County Daily News.  

Here is a link to the Galveston County Democratic Party.

Here is a link to the great liberal magazine The Nation. I’ve linked it here to articles discussing the merits of the Democrats running for President in 2008.

Please consider becoming involved in politics and becoming a fighting liberal!    

November 27, 2007 Posted by | Galveston, Politics, Sea Life | , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Ambulocetus—Or Walking Whale—Is Marine Mammal Of The Week

 

The Ambulocetus—or walking whale—is the Texas Liberal Marine Mammal of the week. This creature is the first extinct mammal to be selected. 

Don’t feel bad for the extinct Ambulocetus. We will all go the way of this creature.

It’s full scientific name is Ambulocetus Natens. This means “swimming whale that walks.”

It could walk around on land and could also swim quite well. 

The Ambulocetus lived around 50 million years ago. It’s remains have been found so far only in parts of Pakistan and India.

Click here for a great painting of what this creature may have looked like eating some type of horse-like animal.  

The Ambulocetus is seen as a transitional animal on the path towards whales becoming fully aquatic mammals. It is termed as a kind of proto-whale

We are all in stages of transition. Though living entirely in water is quite a commitment. 

The Ambulocetus snared its prey much like a crocodile. It lurked by the shore waiting for some unlucky animal to get too close.  

I wish I could go back in time and see this beast.

Please click here for other Texas Liberal sea life posts and, as this is a political blog, please don’t forget that health care for all is only going to come when government gets involved. That is the only way everybody is going to get covered.

October 5, 2007 Posted by | Sea Life | , , , | Leave a comment