ScienceDaily (May 12, 2011) — "Dalhousie Ph.D. student Shane Gero has recently returned from a seven-week visit to Dominica. He has been traveling to the Caribbean island since 2005 to study families of sperm whales, usually spending two to four months of each year working on the Dominica Sperm Whale Project. One of the goals of this project is to record and compare whale calls over time, examining the various phrases and dialects of sperm whale communities.
When they dive together, sperm whales make patterns of clicks to each other known as "codas." Recent findings suggest that not only do different codas mean different things, but that whales can also tell which member of their community is speaking based on the sound properties of the codas. Just as we can tell our friends apart by the sounds of their voices and the way they pronounce their words, different sperm whales make the same pattern of clicks, but with different accents.
Caribbean and Pacific whales have different repertoires of codas, like a regional dialect, but the "Five Regular" call -- a pattern of five evenly spaced clicks -- is thought to have the universal function of individual identity because it is used by sperm whales worldwide.
These discoveries were recently published in the journal Animal Behaviour, in an article authored by University of St. Andrews PhD student Ricardo Antunes, Dal alumnus Tyler Schulz, Mr. Gero, Dal professor Dr. Hal Whitehead, and St. Andrews faculty members Dr. Jonathan Gordon and Dr. Luke Rendell.
Mr. Gero and Dr. Whitehead explain that the sperm whale's biggest threat is human pollution. Not only do humans introduce toxins into the ocean, but they also generate harmful sound pollution. Increased shipping traffic, underwater explosions caused by searching for oil, and military sonar all contribute to ocean noise that masks communication between whales. "No one wants to live in a rock concert," says Mr. Gero, adding that noise pollution is especially troublesome in the ocean because "it is a totally different sensory world." The sperm whales can dive to depths of over 1000 metres and depend on sound for communication and navigation in the pitch black of the deep water."
This is fricking awesome... And really, when we actually "think" about it, we shouldn't be surprised.
The below video is really quite cool. If you can get over the guy being a Kindergarten teacher (because I want to slap the Legos clean out of him), it's cool.
Even MORE pertinent and immediate reason to not allow bullshit like the following.
A Debate: Should the U.S. Approve TransCanada’s Massive Keystone XL Tar Sands Oil Pipeline?Thousands of environmental activists from across the continent plan to gather in Washington, D.C., tomorrow to launch a two-week protest against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would carry tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, to U.S. oil refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. The massive pipeline would cross the Yellowstone River, as well as the Ogallala Aquifer, the largest freshwater aquifer in the United States.
And if that shit isn't bad enough, we have California's new environmental curriculum including a section on "The Advantages of Plastic Shopping Bags". Why, you ask? Because lobbyists for the American Chemistry Council — the same front-group that spent millions to defeat the statewide bag ban last year — convinced school officials to include it. You can find out more and sign a petition against this delusional bullshit here.
Michael Fishbach narrates his encounter with a humpback whale entangled in a fishing net. Gershon Cohen and he have founded The Great Whale Conservancy to help and protect whales. If you're so inclined, you may visit the link or gwc's facebook page, and join them in helping to save these magnificent beings.
"Mommy, I know what she's doing! She's showing us that she's all free!"
This kills me... Just kills me.
And then, are we SO FUCKING STUPID that we have to have bullshit like the below as headlines?
No, no... Not at all. They love it. They make "art" from it.
Nothing like encouraging ignorance, a-hole.
So, thankfully, the most popular comments on such an inanely named piece were actually quite astute.
Dan said, "The biggest offenders are ocean liners and cruise ships releasing their garbage holds in the oceans. There is literally a highway of garbage that floats for hundreds of miles along these current streams. You can almost walk on it and satellite photos prove it. Also the litter we throw out our car windows eventually winds up in our rivers and into our oceans. Vote Green."
VOTE GREEN, indeed. I'm all about The Green Party. Everyone else can suck it. And does.
And don't tell me my vote will be wasted. It's already been wasted.
Gb replied, "Ocean Garbage Lethal to Marine Life" No kidding!? And rain is wet. Tell us who is doing the dumping and who is paying to clean it up.
And don't forget that root of the problem is GLOBAL OVERPOPULATION - or is that too politically incorrect to discuss?"
Gb. Gb!! Nnooo, you dint. Dang. You done did.
And Sally gave sound advice, "We need to go back to using glass and return for deposit like it use to be."
I agree, Sally. I agree. And it wasn't even that long ago that we did just that.
And Sad Clown wanted to make sure we knew exactly who did this, "Ocean garbage isn't killing whales. HUMAN garbage in the ocean is killing whales. Let's be clear about where the garbage came from."
Sad Clown, I know what you're saying, and you're certainly correct. But, really, do you think we thought a crazy school of tuna were fucking stuff up? Or like some Marlins' tampons were doing all the damage?
And Whosit gets passionate and goes off on a bit of a tangent, "There is too much debris in the ocean. I don't understand why anyone would throw garbage in our oceans. Also, there is too much gum being spit out on our sidewalks. All those little round black globs on the sidewalks is "GUM". There is more of it all the time. Only a pig would spit out their gum on a sidewalk! Get a clue! It has to be sand blasted off to remove it. Be a decent person and put your gum in the garbage!!!!!"
YEAH, FUCKERS!! PUT YOUR GUM IN THE GARBAGE!! Or better yet, don't chew it in the first place. No one is going to tell you this, but after a certain age, let's say 21, you look neurotic and stupid chewing on something that you never swallow. If you need to do it to get over smoking, fine. But, if you need to do it forever, get therapy. And save the rest of us from you chewing like a cow. THEY even swallow what they chew. (I think someone else may have gone off on a tangent...)
And "Whosit"? I don't think many people are literally throwing garbage in the ocean. Well, wait a minute. I guess they are. In mass amounts.
Whypolitics.com said, "Huge mounds of trash floating in our oceans? This is disgusting, and for what? So some CEO of some company can afford an extra Porsche, or a politician gets an extra kick back and new summer home?
I am not for regulations that restrict freedoms unnecessarily, but I am all for regulations that protect might rights and freedoms, like being able to enjoy clean natural resources!"
Exactly. The CEOs are the ones who think regulations are a bad thing. And they've led the sheep going to slaughter, to agree.
Mercury said, "Most species understand that you dont %%$%# where you eat... Apparently, humanites intelligence isnt as far advanced as we would like to think."
Mr. Freddie Mercury, apparently you're correct. And just for the record, I really try not to %%$%# where I eat. I get indigestion from all those symbols. And sometimes they're not fun coming out...
(Okay, so they can't ALL be funny, people! Such a tough crowd...)
And Todd said, "Everything humans use should be recycled, EVERYTHING! If it can't be recycled it shouldn't be allowed to be made!"
Now, Todd, THAT'S a novel idea. Imagine...
And OohAah said, "The problem of sea trash and its devastating effects on the ocean environment has been know for years... decades, even. But, as usual, nothing is done until the devastation is of such magnitude that it has become extremely difficult, if not impossible, to rectify. We humans are slowly killing ourselves."
"OohAah"... You couldn't be more correct... HhooHummUugh.
And "Yahoo" said, "Ingestion of plastic bags is known as one of the biggest killers of sea-turtles who ingest the bags mistaking them for their favorite prey food, which is jellyfish. The bags constipate and kill them. Also beach development is killing off sea-turtles as they run out of wild beach areas to lay eggs......and of course lost fishing nets also kill-off sea turtles. Fishing nets should be required by law to have GPS locating chips in them for retrieval."
Thank you, Miss Yahoo, I like when people don't just bitch and actually have some ideas as well. So, tell me more about these locating "chips". Are they fresh baked? And what about salsa? Don't you think salsa would be healthier for the fish?
(Okay, Okay! Not funny again!! I've got to try, people!)
Two Hands said, "Industry has the power to stop this plastic pollution at the source by introducing litter free sytems and product designs.. for example how many Coke bottles would end up as litter if Coke used refillable bottle systems with a 50 cent bottle refund in place?"
"Two Hands" are totally better than one. Now, get over here!
Bru Diggity said, "This is just a small sample of what's to come with plastic-based refuse pollution. PLEASE recycle your plastic. I take mine to the neighboring municipality. Think globally, act locally."
Bru Diggity? I like the way you work it. I got my mind made up.
And "Choice" ironically said, "Man"...a virus on the Face of the Earth."
And while that sobering statement might very well be true, so is the ironic part... "Choice". We still have that. And that's what it boils down to, right?