Terror strikes fast and swift, leaving a wake of blood after these predators of the deep. I guess it was the movie Jaws that truly awakened everyone to just how terrifying, and yet so misunderstood Great White Sharks really are. Myself I was very fortunate in all my adventures in diving that my only encounter was with a small sand shark. A quick thump on the nose, and it scurried off to more lucrative morsels. It is so unfortunate that shark attacks happen. But, we all have to remember that any time we enter the ocean waters, we are intrusive into their realm of reality, and not the other way around.
In May, researchers based at the Center for Whale Research sighted a newborn calf off the coast of Tofino, Washington. At the time, the calf, who was later determined to be a healthy female, was seen swimming with two females. One was named Tsuchi, who is also known as “J31”, and another was named Eclipse, who was also known as “J41”. At first, the researchers were not really sure which of these two female whales was the calf’s mother, but after a second sighting of the calf that occurred two months later, the researchers were able to determine that the calf was in fact, the daughter of Tsuchi. In fact, her May 24th birth helped bring the population’s numbers up to around 76 orcas.
Last week, officials at the San Diego Zoo announced that Bai Yun, a 27-year-old giant panda matriarch and her six-year-old Xiao Liwu, will return to their native China by the end of April. For more than twenty years, San Diego’s giant panda family has given zookeepers, veterinarians researchers, and guests from across the world the chance to learn about the natural history of these endangered bears in ways that were nearly impossible with wild studies in China. At the time that this article was being written, the San Diego Zoo was one of four zoos in the United States to house giant pandas.
Dogs are cool. They have been a companion to our species for thousands of years, and since that time, we have seen some really interesting breeds pop up out of domestication. We have curly-haired poodles, hairless Inca orchids, as well as a rarer dogs like the split-nosed Catalburun.
On Thursday, marine mammal researchers based at the Vancouver Aquarium announced a naming “contest” for a calf who was born to a very well known to both scientists and animal lovers alike by asking the public for ideas on what to name him. The calf, who is known as A116, is the second calf born to a Northern Resident orca named Springer, also known as A73. You see, this little internet-based event is very important to whale researchers in Canada because Springer’s own story is regarded as a great conservation achievement that many thought at the time, was considered to be impossible to pull off. However, with a little help from Vancouver Aquarium’s animal rescue team, Springer’s rescue would go on to become the first of its kind in history.
Evolution has taught us that different environments will make creatures adopt different traits. The more similar two environments are, the more likely it is that the animals that live there will have similar traits.