Rebecca “Bec” Wellard is a marine scientist currently focusing her research efforts on orcas in Australian waters. Building on her past research studying bottlenose dolphin communication and how boat noise affects this communication, Bec is now working on her PhD by researching orca population dynamics and acoustic behavior in Western Australia.
Tag: marine science
There is a lot of trash in the ocean, and the problem is getting steadily worse. Some estimates suggest more than 1 billion pounds of debris enters the ocean every year. This debris can cause all kinds of problems for marine life and marine ecosystems—from wildlife entanglement to habitat destruction. So what can we do about it?
One of the best parts of writing Marine Science for Kids (which officially releases tomorrow, June 1), was interviewing marine scientists, finding out what inspires them, and getting a glimpse into their cool careers. While we don’t want to give away all the fun tidbits we uncovered in these exclusive interviews, here’s a preview of the inspirational people we included in our latest book.
We’ve got babies on the brain, maybe because it’s springtime, or maybe because we’re expecting a baby ourselves! As humans, we can all more or less agree on what it takes to raise a human baby. However, outside of our species, the parenting experience varies drastically.
Ten years ago, the crew of the San Aspiring fishing vessel, which was on the hunt for Antarctic toothfish, pulled in a longline and discovered they had caught something unexpected. It was a huge, red blob—a deep-sea-dwelling colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni) that had also been hunting for toothfish more than a mile below the surface. Recognizing they had something unique on their hands, the crew hauled the now-deceased squid onboard and froze its body.
Since we last blogged about the vaquita, the world’s most endangered marine mammal, in July 2016, the situation has become grimmer for these tiny porpoises living in the Gulf of California. Just yesterday, the IUCN-SSC Cetacean Specialist Group provided an update on the decline of the vaquita due to continued illegal gillnet fishing in the vaquita’s habitat.
Penguins are flightless seabirds that get around by swimming and diving, waddling around on land, and, sometimes, slipping and sliding on their bellies. Scientists have identified more than a dozen penguin species, and each one has an outer layer of waterproof feathers, webbed feet, and flippers for swimming. Penguins frequently preen (groom) and spread an oil-like substance on their feathers, which helps keep their bodies dry and insulated against water and wind.
On December 6, 2016, a sea turtle named Peanut was released back into the wild after a seven-month rehabilitation period at Florida’s Gumbo Limbo Nature Center. We got the scoop on this coordinated and collaborative effort from Jordan Hennessey, the president and founder of Shark Sentinels, a conservation organization that works to protect sharks and other marine life in Florida. Here’s your chance to go behind the scenes of Peanut’s rescue and release!
Research and conservation are like peanut butter and jelly—they’re simply better together. Marine conservation biologist Simon Pierce, co-founder of the Marine Megafauna Foundation, has seen firsthand how important research can be in conserving species. Just this summer, Simon’s research on whale shark populations helped prompt the species’ reclassification from “vulnerable” to “endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
For decades, there have been mysterious reports about humpback whales coming to the rescue when animals are being attacked by orcas (large black-and-white dolphins known as “killer whales“). But why would humpbacks spend energy risking their own safety to help others? Could this be an example of animals acting selflessly?