One of the downfalls of keeping an eye on issues that affect our oceans is that so often I’m the bearer of bad news. So it’s refreshing to report on something positive for a change. Recently about 80 rare tropical Omura Whales were spotted of the coast of Madagascar.
Very little is know about this small and rare tropical baleen whale. Male’s average roughly 30 feet with the females measuring about 6 feet longer. In appearance the closely resemble Fin whales and were on of their common names is ‘Dwarf Fin Whale.’ A particular characteristic is that there asymmetrical jaw will be white on the right side and dark gray on the left.
Pieces like this help to remind me that this is a battle worthy of our attention and perhaps still winnable if we act now.
Although they have been observed lunge feeding scientist aren’t sure exactly what their diet includes. It’s assumed that euphausiids and possibly fish are part of the diet, but their rarity makes collection sample data difficult.
New England Aquarium
The New England Aquarium first opened its doors in 1969 and is redefining what it means to be an aquarium. With the help of modern technologies they are not only entertaining the public but educating them on the challenges facing our oceans today.
Dr. Salvatore Cerchio and this team from the New England Aquarium were the ones who observed the large number of Omura Whales. Just the month before he had made news when he released the first video of an Omura Whale from the same region.
Having an unprecedented number of whales present came the team plenty of opportunity to gather both video and audio data including their feeding habits. Also seen and documented was the relationship between Mothers and their calves.
As I mentioned earlier it’s so easy to fall into a ‘gloom-and-doom’ mood when reporting the huge amount of negative news out there facing our oceans. Pieces like this help to remind me that this is a battle worthy of our attention and perhaps still winnable if we act now.
- New England Aquarium
- Discovery News – Huge Population of Rare Whales Found off Madagascar
- Whale Facts – Marine Mammal Facts & Information