The Beacon

Blog Tags: Beluga Whales

Ocean Roundup: Some Baby Coral Can Adapt to Ocean Acidification, Electric Eels Stun Prey with Electric Discharge, and More

Baby staghorn corals could stand ocean acidification

Staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis). New research shows baby staghorn coral may be able to adapt to acidic conditions. (Photo: FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute / Flickr Creative Commons)

- New research on baby corals shows hope for coral reefs in the face of climate change, finding that some baby corals are able to adapt to more acidic conditions. The research primarily focused on staghorn corals, which is a key reef-building species in the Indian and Pacific. The Guardian


Continue reading...

Ocean Roundup: Lionfish Being Fed to Reef Sharks, New Polymer Could Reduce Shark Bycatch, and More

Lionfish are being fed to reef sharks to help control lionfish numbers

A lionfish. Lionfish are being hand-fed to reef sharks in an effort to control lionfish populations. (Photo: Michael Aston / Flickr Creative Commons)

- New research shows that deep-sea microbes use vitamin B12 to break down toxic chemicals on the seafloor. Scientists that found microbes using this vitamin reduced the toxicity of dangerous polychlorinated biphenyals (PCBs), dioxins, and other dangerous substances. Forbes


Continue reading...

Ocean Roundup: Oceans Get a “D’ for Ocean Health, Beluga Whale Population Faces “Catastrophe,” and More

Beluga whales are declining in the St. Lawrence River

A beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas). Beluga whales in the St. Lawrence River are declining. (Photo: Ansgar Walk / Wikimedia Commons) 

- The Ocean Health Index’s third annual ocean evaluation gave ocean health a “D,” or 67 out of 100. The researchers cite overfishing, pollution, climate change, and poor ocean protections as factors leading to the score, though they say many people expected the score to be worse. 


Continue reading...

Whale Wednesday: Beluga to the Rescue

Here's a heartwarming story for you this WW, again featuring the playful beluga: Mila the beluga whale guided a free diver back to the surface when she was struck with wicked leg cramps during a competition. In freezing cold water without any breathing equipment, Yang Yun felt paralyzed during a free diving contest at Polar Land in Harbin, China. She and the other participants had to dive to the bottom of the aquarium’s arctic tank and stay there for as long as possible among the beluga whales. Yun began to sink, thinking she was done for, until she felt something pushing her up. It was Mila's nose guiding Yun safely back to the surface. Belugas' facial muscles allow them to smile -- and I'm sure Mila and Yun both were grinning big after this episode.


Continue reading...

Whale Wednesday: Beluga Spit

beluga whales

How much would you pay to get spit on by a beluga whale? If the answer is $200, then head on over to Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium and their new Beluga Encounter. The new 90,000 gallon tank has an area where trainers and participants can walk in the water and allow the whales to swim right up to them. Participants can rub the whales’ skin, scratch their tongues, listen to the whales’ songs, and, yes, get spit on as the beluga whales demonstrate how they hunt for fish. The program is safe for the beluga whales, who are around human trainers every day anyway. Ken Ramirez, the aquarium’s senior vice president for animal collections and training says, “the animals enjoy it, and the people enjoy it.”


Continue reading...

Browse by Date