Recent Posts

Humpback whale from wiki

Always ask naturalists questions

Some friends went on a cruise to Alaska and were excited to tell me about all the ocean wildlife they saw and all the interesting facts they learned. In particular, they were very eager to discuss whale evolution. My friend exclaimed, “We learned from the naturalist on board that whales descended from kangaroos!” My reaction,… [read more]

Heart-shaped blow

Happy heart day gray whale style!

Happy Valentine’s Day! While we celebrate heart day only once a year, gray whales celebrate heart day every day. Well, maybe not intentionally, but every time they surface and exhale a heart-shaped mist appears. This heart-shaped blow is a special attribute of gray whales and a key way of identifying them out on the water… [read more]

Popular Posts

Photo credit: Pelagos Cetacean Research Insitute / A. Frantzis

Sperm whale: death by 100 plastic bags

Since my celebratory post last week on the City of Los Angeles plastic bag ban, this gruesome photo came to my attention. For those of you out there who still aren’t convinced that banning plastic bags is a good idea, then you must take a really good look at this photo of 100 plastic bags… [read more]

Sand dollar

7 swinging sand dollar facts

The sand dollar or Dendraster excentricus is one animal that continues to surprise me every time I see it. Long before I started learning about the ocean and marine life, I remember seeing faded-white sand dollar shells (former sand dollar endoskeletons) and not thinking much of them. Now I find sand dollars fascinating because they… [read more]

Humpback whale's mouth featuring baleen

List of baleen whales

I received a website request for the names of five baleen whales, most likely for a school project. Then I realized, I’ve probably never listed all the baleen whales! Then I started flipping through all my whale books and wouldn’t you know it, every list is slightly different. So I decided to stick with the… [read more]