Megaptera novaeangliae (humpback whale)
Happy World Whale Day!🐋
Easily recognized by its unique appearance and behaviors, the humpback is one of the largest species of rorqual whale and one of the largest extant animal species in earth. Adults average from 12-16 meters, and may weigh as much as 36,000 kilograms. They may be found in oceans and seas all over the world, and are known to migrate as much as 25,000 kilometers each year. They have dark dorsal coloration, a pronounced hump, elongated pectoral fins, and tubercles — clusters of hair follicles — creating a knobby appearance on the upper and lower jaws. Individuals have been tracked by the tail flukes, which bear distinct patterns. Humpbacks exhibit a variety of behaviors at the surface of the ocean, making them quite popular with whale watchers. Among the most spectacular is breaching (photos), wherein the whales launch up to two-thirds of their body from the water, crashing back into the surface. Others include spyhopping (poking the head above the water to look around), tail fluke slapping, pectoral fin slapping, peduncle throws, and lob-tailing. They also interact with other cetaceans, as well as other species near the surface, including humans. Their feeding method, known as bubble netting, is also spectacular and frequently observed near the surface; the diet consists of krill and small fish. Like other rorquals, the species was heavily hunted for the commercial whaling industry, but today, the population has increased due to conservation efforts; it is classified as least concern by the IUCN. 🐋
📸🌎 Atlantic Ocean near Massachusetts
On this World Whale Day I present a new collaborative project between myself and my friend in creativity @evocativecolours . Please read about our efforts below...💙
When we think of disaster we think of earthquakes or typhoons, war or tsunamis, and rightly so – the devastation caused by these is tragic and immense. But there is one disaster that is revealing itself to be one of the greatest of our time: plastic pollution. All over the world discarded plastics and microplastics are found in water samples, along beaches, and inside the stomachs of marine life and shore birds. Even our table salt contains microplastics – the tiny remnants of plastic that has broken apart into its smallest elements. These elements take 500 to 1000 years to completely degrade.* Meanwhile, it is estimated that 100, 000 marine mammals* are killed annually from the plastics polluting our oceans (*ecowatch). .💙
Indian illustrator, Pooja Gupta ( @evocativecolours )and I have collaborated on a piece which examines the impact of plastic pollution on our oceans. This collaboration represents the true global nature of the problem and recognises that we do not face, and cannot resolve, these issues in isolation. .💙
Pooja and I connected over Instagram and a mutual admiration of each other’s work led to the current collaboration. Our aim is to present a series of works which draw attention to the issues relating to oceanic preservation and conservation.💙
Today is also World Whale Day! They get to share the spotlight with their tiny pangolin friends. Many whale species are on threatened or endangered status, so head on over to the link at @nrdc's bio to help them defend the Endangered Species Act from Congress' attempts to weaken it.
Stunning photo by @paulnicklen of @sea_legacy.
Mother humpback holds her baby up as she and her escort battle to protect it against a family of orcas. The orcas are much smaller in size but they are armed with teamwork and persistence. After a few hours of fighting, the orcas victorious. Showdowns such as this are equal parts awesome and brutal to witness. #hardtoknowwhotocheerfor#WorldWhaleDay#marinemammal#wildandfree
Four month old Cook Inlet Beluga, Tyonek, has been officially deemed unreleasable by NOAA. This is very unfortunate to hear, as this young male will never get to experience his natural habitat ever again.
Rescued back in September of 2017 when he was found stranded alone, he was sent to Alaska SeaLife Center for treatment. His mother and pod were no were to be seen upon rescue. Tyonek was estimated to be about 2-4 weeks old when he was rescued. Because of his young age, he was fed through a tube since he did not have his mother to nurse from. Tyonek is one of approximately 300 total Cook Inlet Beluga whales left in the world, making him a critically endangered species.
The facility in which Tyonek is going to be transferred to is yet to be determined. However, an aquarium in the U.S like SeaWorld, Georgia Aquarium, Mystic Aquarium, and the Shedd Aquarium are all options that are being considered. Knowing these aquariums, Tyonek will most likely be forced to perform tricks in shows for entertainment purposes, providing the public with little to no valuable information about the actual animal. NOAA claims that Tyonek “lacks survival and socialization skills”. While this is true to some extent, the aquarium is perfectly capable of teaching him the proper skills, but is not willing to actually do so.
If organizations like NOAA truly cared about the well being of these animals, they would create sea pens for animals deemed non-releasable. That way, the animal would still be able to experience the environment it was meant to be in. But since NOAA has no intentions of doing so, Tyonek will never be able to return to his home or reunite with his pod ever again.
Photo: Alaska SeaLife Center
Credit to : @set_seaworld_orcas_free
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