Cetacean evolution: whale and dolphin ancient history

For obvious reasons it’s tough to find good photos or drawings of long gone ancient whales and dolphins, so instead I am using a drawing of several of today’s modern whales for this post. Scientists have concluded that whales, dolphins and porpoises have evolved from Archaeocetes, the name given to a group of ancient whales.… [read more]

Cetacean communities and coexistence

How do whales, dolphins and porpoises all get along and share their ocean home? This question is another one scientists hope to answer through the study of cetacean ecology. Possibly they make pacts with each other and agree to go after different prey and stay in certain locations to prevent fighting over resources and bad… [read more]

4 main types of cetacean prey

1. The first types of prey that many cetaceans prefer are tiny critters that form large schools closer to the surface. This includes several types of crustaceans (krill) and small fish (sardines, anchovies). And ironically enough, the largest whales prefer this type of dinner and have a built-in filter system called baleen that allows them… [read more]

Cetacean ecology: living in a water world

Whales, dolphins and porpoises live in a water world and face such a different day to day experience that it’s hard to imagine. Yet, they are mammals like us and seem to make it work despite dealing with an alternate universe here on earth…the ocean. As the Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals points out, cetaceans live… [read more]

Balance: the inner ear of whales

Everyone is talking about balance these days, work/life balance, nutritional balance, balance balls, the need for more balance in day to day life, but little is mentioned about the very important vital sense organ that keeps you truly balanced: the inner ear. Without a functioning inner ear your world would be spinning out of control… [read more]

Archaeocetes: ancestors of the whales

Today’s whales, dolphins and porpoises can trace their ancestry to Archaeocetes, the name given to a group of prehistoric whales that lived 55 to 34 million years ago. However, these animals looked nothing like whales. Well I’m being overly dramatic; one looks kind of like a whale, but it not exactly. Based on the drawings… [read more]

Age Estimation in Marine Mammals: the answer lies in a dolphin’s smile

Ah, the question we all wonder at one time or another. How old or how young is a certain person? Humans are tricky subjects for age guessing depending on race, sun exposure, dyed hair, plastic surgery and general health upkeep. Unless you are willing to just ask and make it easy; assuming whoever it is tells you… [read more]

The Vaquita Porpoise: the most endangered marine mammal in the world

In the Gulf of California, the body of water between Mexico’s mainland and the Baja California Peninsula, exists the Vaquita. Now what is the Vaquita you ask? Depending on your persuasions the name brings to mind different things. Possibly it’s a fancy cocktail drink that clubbers order, “I’ll take another Vaquita on the rocks please.”… [read more]