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Dead sperm whale in The Wash, East Anglia, England. © CSIP-ZSL.

What have dead whales ever done for us?

When dead whales wash up on dry land they provide a vital food source for...
Risso's dolphin © Andy Knight

We’re getting to know Risso’s dolphins in Scotland so we can protect them

Citizen scientists in Scotland are helping us better understand Risso's dolphins by sending us their...
Pilot whales pooing © Christopher Swann

Talking crap and carcasses to protect our planet

We know we need to save the whale to save the world because they are...
Fin whales are targeted by Icelandic whalers

Speaking truth to power – my week giving whales a voice

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting is where governments come together to make decisions about whaling...

Why do whales and dolphins strand on beaches?

People often ask me 'why' whales and dolphins do one thing or another.  I'm a...
A spinner dolphin leaping © Andrew Sutton/Eco2

Head in a spin – my incredible spinner dolphin encounter

Sri Lanka is home to at least 30 species of whales and dolphins, from the...
Sperm whale (physeter macrocephalus) Gulf of California. The tail of a sperm whale.

To protect whales, we must stop ignoring the high seas

Almost two-thirds of the ocean, or 95% of the habitable space on Earth, are sloshing...
WDC team at UN Ocean conference

Give the ocean a chance – our message from the UN Ocean Conference

I'm looking out over the River Tejo in Lisbon, Portugal, reflecting on the astounding resilience...

Gray’s Anatomy

Scientists in Mexico’s Scammon’s Lagoon have discovered possibly the first ever case of Siamese twin gray whales. Although known to occur in other species, notably fin, sei and minke whales, never before have conjoined twins been documented for gray whales. Apparently the calves were severely underdeveloped  – only approximately 7ft long as opposed to the the normal 12 – 16ft for the average newborn gray whale calf – and they were most likely miscarried. Unfortunately the mother was nowhere to be seen and there is concern that the birth may have had adverse effects on her health. (Once you see the photos I’m sure you’ll agree – there is no chance for a cesarean section in the ocean so it would have been a painful ordeal for the mother!)

At this time of year, gray whales are arriving in Scammon’s Lagoon and other lagoons along the Baja California peninsula, after undertaking a mammoth 6,000-mile journey from the cold Arctic waters in the north. Typically, they give birth during the southbound journey, or once they’ve arrived in the lagoons. They’ll then stay in the warm, quiet waters for several weeks, nursing their calves and resting before embarking on the return journey, back to their feeding grounds in the Arctic.

One little calf who was luckier than the conjoined twins and is currently en route to one of Mexico’s lagoons is baby Floppy, a gray whale calf photographed off of Redondo Beach in California within one hour of being born. Researchers noted the floppy fins (hence the name), the pits in its face and foetal folds in its head and estimated that it was a very new newborn!!