Off the waters of Costa Rica scientists and photographers with National Geographic have filmed an infant blue whale swimming near its mother. They believe this is the first time a baby blue whale has been filmed underwater.
The footage was shot in an area called the “Dome”. This warm-water region near Costa Rica draws blue whales from hundreds of miles away, and scientists have theorized that the Dome may be a place where blue whales give birth. The footage of the infant lends proof to this theory.
Blue whale calves studied in Southern California are 40 feet long, but from whaling records scientists know that baby blue whale average 25 feet long. They are the largest babies born on Earth.
The footage will apart of National Geogrpahic’s program The Kingdom of the Blue Whale airing on March 8th.
To see the footage online: Baby blue whale caught on film underwater
The long-ignored ocean emergency and what can be done to address it
This year has been full of bad news regarding marine ecosystems: one-third of coral species threatened with extinction, dead-zones spread to 415 sites, half of U.S. reefs in fair or bad condition, increase in ocean acidification, tuna and shark populations collapsing, and only four percent of ocean considered pristine. Jeremy Jackson, director of the Scripps Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at the University of California, San Diego, synthesizes such reports and others into a new paper, published in the journal Proceedings of the Naional Academy of Sciences, that boldly lays out the scope of the oceanic emergency and what urgently needs to be done.
Evolution of whales challenged
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Harpoon proves whale is 115-130 years old
A 19th-century weapon found in the neck of a 50-ton bowhead whale caught off Alaska shows that cetaceans can live more than 100 years, reports the Associated Press (AP).
Ancient blue whale was a shark killer
A 25-million-year-old whale fossil from southeastern Australia suggests a curious origin for baleen whales. Presented at the at the Melbourne Museum last week, the fossil shows that earliest baleen whales were small, toothed and highly predatory creatures with enormous eyes — virtually the opposite of the baleen whales we know today. These, like the blue whale and the humpback are gentle, toothless giants that feed on krill and other tiny organism.