Welcome to the first edition of Whales in the News here on TheExplodingWhale.com! In this series of posts, we’ll be aggregating recent whale-related news and articles for your entertainment and education. And so without further ado, here are some of the top whale stories from the past week:
- Giant squid eyes are sperm whale defence
An interesting article about how and why giant squid eyes may have evolved to be three times as large as any other known creature. I know this may come as a shock, but it turns out that being able to detect your one and only predator — and for giant squid that would be giant sperm whales — from far away increases your chances of survival. As the authors state, there appears to be a “powerful evolutionary pressure towards developing effective eyes.” It all seems rather obvious, but the article is a good read nonetheless.
- Japan Whale Catch Falls Short
Sea Shepherd anti-whaling activists have once again significantly disrupted Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean. The Japanese fleet had been hoping to harvest as many as 900 whales, but they are headed back to Japan with just 267. Even so, 267 seems like a lot of whales to kill for supposed “research” purposes. The Sea Shepherd group vows to return and harass the Japanese fleet if it returns next year.
- Discovery to make shows available through Amazon’s streaming video service
Speaking of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society…. Discovery Communications, owner of Animal Planet, has announced that Whale Wars, the popular cable TV program which documents the Sea Shepherd group’s anti-whaling activities in the Southern Ocean, will become available through Amazon.com’s streaming video service.
- Amazon.com confirms ban on sale of whale meat
And speaking of Amazon.com…. This is hard to believe, but apparently Amazon.com’s wholly owned Japanese subsidiary, Amazon.co.jp, was selling nearly 150 different products derived from whales and dolphins, including whale meat from endangered species. In a radical public relations move, they’ve decided to stop doing so.
- If One Orca Whale Was Blown Out of the Water, How Many More Died? and SA group fears whales deaths
The effects of loud sonar on whales has been a concern for some time. This past week, concerns over underwater explosives testing were also raised. In the Pacific Northwest, the likely effects on orca whales were described, and in Southern Australia an environmental group wants BP to stop seismic testing at night to protect whales.
- Killer Whale Submarine a killer personal submersible
For a mere $100,000 catalog retailer Hammacher Schlemmer will sell you a two-seat, 255-horsepower submarine that looks like an orca whale (see photo below). It can reportedly travel 25 mph underwater and skim along the surface at 50 mph. Since I know many of you will want to buy this right away, I’m providing a direct link to Hammacher Schlemmer’s page.
Whale Photo of the Week: