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Whales

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Whales

Whales face many threats to their welfare, health, and their existence. The main cause is commercial hunting and pollution. Chemicals and pesticides can poison their internal systems, while discarded rubbish like nets, plastics or fishing lines can strangle the animals to death. Whales are, just like dolphins, highly acoustic mammals. Noise caused by coastal developments and industrial activities can disrupt whales. Tourism also effects whales. They can feel very harassed, especially when they are breeding and calving.
whales
When chemicals pollute the oceans, the food of whales also gets polluted. Female whales then pass these pollutants directly on to their young through their milk, which can result in death or disability. These pollutants also cause the lowering of the whale's resistance to disease. This means they are more likely to die from diseases.

Commercial as well as scientific whaling by countries as Japan and others remains a huge threat to the survival of certain whale species.

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Whales in the News

Dolphins and Whales News -- ScienceDaily

Whales only recently evolved into giants when changing ice, oceans concentrated prey - A team of scientists have traced the evolution of whale size through more than 30 million years of history and found that very large whales appeared along several branches of the family tree about 2 to 3 million years ago. Increasing ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere during this period likely altered the way whales' food was distributed in the oceans and enhanced the benefits of a large body size, the scientists say.
Baleen whales' ancestors were toothy suction feeders - Modern whales' ancestors probably hunted and chased down prey, but somehow, those fish-eating hunters evolved into filter-feeding leviathans. An analysis of a 36.4-million-year-old whale fossil suggests that before baleen whales lost their teeth, they were suction feeders that most likely dove down and sucked prey into their mouths. The study also shows that whales most likely lost the hind limbs that stuck out from their bodies more recently than previously estimated.
Scientists track porpoises to assess impact of offshore wind farms - A new study is the first in a series to understand how marine mammals like porpoises, whales, and dolphins may be impacted by the construction of wind farms off the coast of Maryland. The new research offers insight into previously unknown habits of harbor porpoises in the Maryland Wind Energy Area, a 125-square-mile area off the coast of Ocean City that may be the nation's first commercial-scale offshore wind farm.