Archive for Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society
www.bbc.co.uk 23rd April 2012
A group of Russian scientists on a research expedition off the coast of Kamchatka have spotted a white killer whale, or orca, for the first time in the wild. The adult has a dorsal fin of over two metres, indicating he is a mature male of over 16, and seems to be living a normal life with his pod. Other white orcas have been known but they have all been juveniles. The expedition was led by a senior research fellow with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society , Erich Hoyt, who nicknamed the orca ‘Iceberg’. The researchers are reluctant to take a biopsy of Iceberg to find out the cause of the pigmentation, particularly as he seems to be fully socialised. “We know that these fish-eating orcas stay with their mothers for life, and as far as we can see he’s right behind his mother with presumably his brothers next to him,” said Dr Hoyt. Another white orca, a young captive called Chima that died in a Canadian aquarium in 1972, suffered from Chediak-Higashi syndrome, a genetic condition that causes partial albinism as well as a number of medical complications.
www.telegraph.co.uk 23rd October 2010
Quoted from source:
‘ The mammals, which are celebrated for their playful natures, are developing the skill “just for fun”, according to the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) in Australia. Dolphin tail-walking has no known practical function and has been likened to dancing in humans. WDCS researcher Dr Mike Bossley, who has observed Adelaide’s Port River dolphins for the past 24 years, said he had documented spectacular tail walking in two adult female dolphins, known as Billie and Wave. Now four other individuals have been recorded perfecting their walking techniques – Wave’s calf Tallula, Bianca and her calf Hope, and calf Bubbles. Tail walking is very rare in the wild and in thousands of hours of observation only one other dolphin has ever been observed tail walking in the Port River, and then only once. The Port Adelaide dolphins are now said to be tail walking many times each day. It is thought the mammals may have learned the remarkable skill from Billie – who spent a short period at a visitor attraction 22 years ago. Dr Bossley said that the spread of tail walking appeared to be motivated by “fun”, but it was also linked to a serious and fascinating cultural aspect previously unseen in the species.’ He said: “Culture in the wider sense of the term, defined as ‘learned behaviour characteristic of a community’, is now frequently on show in the Port River. This cultural behaviour is of great significance for conservation…’ (read the rest at http://www.telegraph.co.uk).