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Minke whale © Ursula Tscherter - ORES

The whale trappers are back with their cruel experiment

Anyone walking past my window might have heard my groan of disbelief at the news...
Boto © Fernando Trujillo

Meet the legendary pink river dolphins

Botos don't look or live like other dolphins. Flamingo-pink all over with super-skinny snouts and...
Risso's dolphin entangled in fishing line and plastic bags - Andrew Sutton

The ocean is awash with plastic – can we ever clean it up?

You've seen pictures of plastic litter accumulating on beaches or marine wildlife swimming through floating...
Fin whale

Is this the beginning of the end for whaling off Iceland?

I'm feeling cautiously optimistic after Iceland's Fisheries Minister Svandís Svavarsdóttir wrote that there is little...
Mykines Lighthouse, Faroe Islands

Understanding whale and dolphin hunts in the Faroe Islands – why change is not easy

Most people in my home country of the Faroe Islands would like to see an...

Dolphin scientists look like you and me – citizen science in action

Our amazing volunteers have looked out for dolphins from the shores of Scotland more than...
Atlantic white-sided dolphins

The Faroes dolphin slaughter that sparked an outcry now brings hope

Since the slaughter of at least 1,423 Atlantic white-sided dolphins at Skálafjørður in my home...
Fin whale

From managing commercial slaughter to saving the whale – the International Whaling Commission at 75

Governments come together under the auspices of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to make decisions...

New (or should that be old?) species of whale discovered in California

US palaeontologists studying fossils recovered from the San Diego Formation in California have described a new species of baleen whale that would have lived between 3.5 and 2.5 million years ago. 

Until now, the genus Herpetocetus (a genus of now extinct dwarf baleen whales) contained four recognised species, this new specimen – known as Herpetocetus morrowi – brings that total to five.

The researchers believe that H. morrowi was one of the smallest baleen whales, measuring only 4.5m in length. They also postulate that it could have been a bottom-feeder, feeding in a similar way as the gray whale, where they are known to roll on to one side (usually the right side in gray whales – hence why sometimes the baleen on the right side is shorter and the head more scarred) and then swim slowly along the bottom sucking up the sediment before filtering it out through their baleen and trapping their food behind. 

Compared to the finding that dolphins have been around for between 8 and 13 million years this is not quite as ground-breaking but interesting nonetheless as it gives more insight into the evolutionary changes that have taken, and undoubtedly continue to take place, within whales, dolphins and porpoises.