Sperm whales have the largest brain of any creature. Scientists like marine biologist Dr Luke Rendell of St Andrews University in Scotland have worked long and hard to create an intimate understanding of the lives and communication of cetacean species such as whales and dolphins. But to imagine that one day we would be able to speak to them in their native tongue is, he says, a huge misconception.
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Recreating dolphin sex in a laboratory could have major conservation benefits by helping to increase the chances of artificial insemination of marine mammals to help preserve threatened species. With sexual selection one of the key driving forces of evolution, a team looked at how cetaceans — dolphins, porpoises and whales — as well as seals perform in a marine world with all the hazards its poses for conventional sex. To see how all the mechanical parts fit, researchers Dara Orbach, from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada, and Patricia Brennan, of Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, explained in detail how the experiment was conducted, using the body parts of dolphins that had died naturally.
L ike most children, Margaret Howe Lovatt grew up with stories of talking animals. In her early 20s, living on the Caribbean island of St Thomas, they took on a new significance. During Christmasher brother-in-law mentioned a secret laboratory at the eastern end of the island where they were working with dolphins. She decided to pay the lab a visit early the following year.
THESE horrifying images show hundreds of whales and dolphins being slaughtered and dragged ashore alive in hunts off the Faroe Islands. Fishermen drive herds of pilot whales and Atlantic white-sided dolphins into shallow waters. They are then killed through a spinal lance that is driven through the animals' neck to break their spinal cords.
The base of the killer whale's social structure is the matrilineal unit including adult female and her offspring of different sexes. Some matrilineal units, being in remote relationship and spending together most part of the time, form a pod, consisting from 2 to 40 - 50 animals. Each pod has unique vocal repertoire including either sounds used only by pod members or sounds shared with animals of other pods.
There are around 89 living species, which are divided into two parvorders. The first is the Odontocetithe toothed whales, which consist of around 70 species, including the dolphin which includes killer whalesporpoisebeluga whalenarwhalsperm whaleand beaked whale. The ancient and extinct ancestors of modern whales Archaeoceti lived 53 to 45 million years ago.
The magnificent minke whale is the most common of the baleen whales around Scotland, and the one you are most likely to see from headlands and ferries. The minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata is a medium-sized whale, sleek in shape, with a very pointed head. It is dark grey to black in colour with a white underside and has white patches behind the head and a distinctive bright white band on the outer part of the pectoral flippers. Adults tend to reach a length of between metres and can live for up to 50 years.
Dolphin is a common name of aquatic mammals within the infraorder Cetacea. The term dolphin usually refers to the extant families Delphinidae the oceanic dolphinsPlatanistidae the Indian river dolphinsIniidae the New World river dolphinsand Pontoporiidae the brackish dolphinsand the extinct Lipotidae baiji or Chinese river dolphin. There are 40 extant species named as dolphins. Dolphins range in size from the 1.