The Scuttlefish

Love the Ocean. Wish you were here.

Category: cetaceans

Watch a Family of Bottlenose Dolphins Rescue a Struggling Seal Pup Under Siege off Canada

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Screenshot from the Oasis HD video below.

The seal cub, either tired, confused or frightened, was lagging off the coast of Canada when a few gulls prepared to gang up on the lagging pup.

Suddenly, as is their mysterious wont, a family of bottlenose dolphins appeared and encouraged the young pup to keep swimming with a series of gentle nudges.

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“The Ocean is a Scary Beautiful Place.” Life in Salt: Karim Iliya on Travel, Photography and Flying Drones Over the Red Sea for His Upcoming Freediving Documentary

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“For me, it’s about seeing things, and the camera is just a machine. I just use that machine to show people how I view existence.” Photo: Krannichfeld Photography/Courtesy of Karim Iliya.

At just 24 years old, British-born Maui-based photographer and videographer Karim Iliya’s curiosity has led him around the globe by sea, sky and land, to which his vast range of subjects are testament. He’s trekked the Arctic, dived into a humpback whale brawl off Tonga, and filmed a volcanic eruption in Guatemala. You might not believe it from his age, but the list goes on.

Ten years ago, when Karim first started with a point-and-shoot camera, his dream was to travel the world taking photographs. Today, he’s a wizard behind the lens, and a masterful drone pilot. We caught up with him in China, on his way to North Korea, where he’s hoping he might be allowed to boot up his camera.

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Whale Burps up Sea Gulls: Sadly They Don’t Survive the Ride

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Dead seagulls floating. Photograph posted on Facebook by James Mead Maya.

Last week, over 30 dead seagulls were sighted by James Mead Maya while he was captaining his boat at sea. Perplexed as to what happened to the seagulls, he reached out to a fellow captain who was nearby. That captain recalled having seen a humpback whale come up through a school of herring to feed and the seagulls, who were also feeding on the herring and became the whale’s ‘bycatch’.

After the humpback’s huge gulp that allows it capture and filter a large amount of prey, the whale went down for about five minutes. When the whale resurfaced, it proceeded to burp up/expel the dead gulls, thus the picture of the sighting above.

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Some Whales That Dodged Harpoons in the Days of Herman Melville Are Still Alive and Well Today

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It may be unlikely, but it’s quite possible that some of these mammoths crossed beneath the feet of American novelist Herman Melville while he was aboard a whaling ship in the 1840s, unwittingly researching his forthcoming tome.

Bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) are baleen whales that can grow up to 60 feet long and weigh just as much in tons. Their heads, over a third the size of its body, are built to smash through ice–up to a foot-and-a-half thick–on their way to the surface.

They’re also the longest-living mammals on earth (the oldest ever to be aged was 211), and a few who are still alive today were plying the Pacific around the same time Herman Melville was stumbling around the deck of a Yankee whaling ship and penning his classic tale of the elusive white whale.

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Humpback Whale Songs, in Sheet Music

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Screenshot from video below.

We first heard whale songs thanks to a network of microphones designed to detect Soviet submarines, but it wasn’t till a group of scientific researchers and mathematicians got together and aligned their clicks, moans and groans that we were able to make their sounds more “electronic than melodic, a full range of the kinds of crazy sounds that humans call music today,” writes David Rothenberg at Medium.

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New Zealand Announces Plans to Expand the Kermadec Marine Sanctuary to the Size of France

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Above: A rizzo’s dolphin which came to play off the bow of Tindori. This species of dolphin is only found in the waters surrounding New Zealand. Photo: Owen James Burke.

Just the other day, I came home from a fishing trip after being swarmed by dolphins, sharks, whales, fish and gannets to find out that New Zealand President John Key had announced the island-nation’s plans to establish one of the largest marine reserves in the world. I may have been in the Marlborough Sounds over 1,000 miles southwest of the proposed reserve, but I couldn’t help but feel hopeful that these creatures, too, will benefit from this vast new sanctuary. -OJB

The tropical waters surrounding New Zealand’s Kermadec Islands are some of the most biodiverse–and pristine–seas remaining on this big blue marble. Millions of seabirds, over 150 species of fish, and some 35 species of whales and dolphins, along with three endangered sea turtles, countless corals, shellfish and crustaceans.

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The US Navy Agrees to Reduce Deadly Sonar for Cetaceans off California and Hawaii

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Photo: John C. Bruckman/Flickr.

Mankind is a blaring bunch, yet it’s only with the help of machines that we’ve been able to disrupt the so-called ‘Silent World’ below. And even with the advantage of technology, hardly any noise we create reaches a decibel as high as that of the blue whale, the loudest animal on earth, whose unmuffled songs would do more damage to year eardrums than the roar of a jet plane.

A couple of sounds we produce–namely sonar and seismic testing–more than make up for whatever shortcomings our clamoring may have in comparison the blue whale’s seemingly woeful melodies.

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Dolphins as Midwives? The Mother-to-Be Who’s Forgoing Hospitals and Nurses for an Open-Ocean, Cetacean-Assisted Waterbirth

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Dorina Rosin and her partner Maika Suneagle have decided to give birth in the ocean, hoping for a pod of dolphins off Hawaii’s Big Island to act as midwives. Photo: Photo: © Channel 4 (Great Britain). Video below.

Science journalist Christie Wilcox wrote for Discover Magazine in 2013 that the concept of seeking dolphins as midwives “has to be, hands down, one of the worst natural birthing ideas anyone has ever had . . .” Considering the myriad documentation we have of their bullying and raping of not only one another but different species, including humans, she may have a point.

But, we have far more history with these magnificent creatures suggesting that they tend to be much more affectionate, or at least intuitive toward human beings, especially those of us in distress.

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