Why Whale Songs Are Still One Of Science's Greatest Mysteries

Humpback whales are renowned for their ability to produce songs of remarkable beauty, complexity, and duration. But despite decades of research, scientists still aren't sure why these whales engage in such elaborate acoustic displays. Here's what we know — and have yet to learn — about the humpback whale's song. » 3/19/15 11:40am 3/19/15 11:40am

This Short Video Explains How "Animal Chatter" Relates To Human Language

When your dog barks, is it actually communicating with language, or is it just making a sound to convey "Feed me!" (to you) or "Back off!" (to another canine)? A new animated short from New Scientist investigates "animal chatter," and how it relates to human language. » 1/15/15 6:00pm 1/15/15 6:00pm

A Bird's Eye View Of Humpback Whales Participating In Bubble Feeding

In this stunning video captured by AkXpro, a large pod of whales can be seen forming a circle and then lunching out of the water in near-perfect synchrony. It's a remarkable hunting strategy known as bubble feeding. » 12/15/14 8:20am 12/15/14 8:20am

These Might Be The Loneliest Whales in the World

Humpback whales can be found all over the world's oceans, despite the heavy beating they took in the era of industrial whaling. They undertake one of the longest annual migrations feeding at high latitudes and breeding near the equator. But there's one peculiar group of humpbacks who live life a bit differently. » 12/04/14 3:39pm 12/04/14 3:39pm

Why Are Killer Whales Suddenly Hunting Humpbacks?

Not for nothing are Orcas called Killer whales, but reports of their hunting the "great" whales (baleen & sperm whales) have been rare, and there is little consensus as to the importance of such predation. But new evidence suggests that Humpback whale calves are a regular snack for the black and white killers. » 12/03/14 7:51pm 12/03/14 7:51pm

This tiny blue flower can kill a humpback whale

The humpback whale is one of Earth's largest creatures, with an average weight of around 40 tons. But as it turns out, this gigantic creature is vulnerable to the toxins of a much smaller living thing: Aconitum delphinifolium, better known as Larkspur monkshood. » 4/21/12 4:00pm 4/21/12 4:00pm

An Uplifting Dolphin Story. Literally.

Science writer Paul F. Norris recently wrote this moving essay for AnimalWise about the surprisingly playful relationships forged between bottlenose dolphins and humpback whales. » 12/22/11 12:14pm 12/22/11 12:14pm

Deakos, M., Branstetter, B., Mazzuca, L., Fertl, D., & Mobley, J. (2010). Two Unusual Interactions Between a Bottlenose…

Humpback whales like to remind humans how tiny we are

The gaping maw of a humpback whale can open to a width of several meters when engaging in a predatory technique known as lunge feeding. And even though humpbacks feed primarily on small fish and crustaceans, I like to imagine that they enjoy reminding us that they could just as easily fit a few humans inside their… » 11/04/11 11:56am 11/04/11 11:56am