Questions from the public
A selection of answers to your questions.
2018 / 01 / 18
Have Whales Ever Gotten Trapped by the Ice in the St. Lawrence Estuary?
To date, no such incident has ever been recorded within the boundaries of the St. Lawrence Estuary. The Estuary extends from Île d’Orléans, where the fresh water of the St. Lawrence River and ...
2017 / 11 / 24
Do whales use tools?
This week, a video was swirling around several social media in which a male dolphin could be seen bringing a sponge to a female. This curious behaviour has raised many questions not only amongst scien...
2017 / 11 / 03
How do we measure the length of a whale?
When we see a whale from shore, or even from a boat, it looks quite small. Even if it does not appear so big, a beluga can nevertheless measure up to 4.5 metres long! How can we go about calculating t...
2017 / 10 / 18
Are the pilot whales of the St. Lawrence the same as those in the Caribbean?
The differences between certain species are sometimes so imperceptible that they may be mistaken for one another. Pilot whales in particular resemble each other with a few key differences. Are the pi...
2017 / 10 / 06
At what age do female belugas stop having offspring?
Female belugas reach sexual maturity between the ages of 8 and 14 and can live between 60 and 80 years. When do they stop having young? Do they go through menopause? According to Robert Michaud, Scien...
2017 / 10 / 02
Do whales go into heat?
Anyone can recognize a cat in heat, but what about a whale? With the human eye, this is highly unlikely. But how does her male counterpart know that the female is ready to breed? How do females drop t...
2017 / 09 / 20
Do whales drink salt water?
Text by Sonia Villalon Despite a few exceptions, pinnipeds and cetaceans do not usually drink. In most cases, water is supplied by the metabolism of prey proteins (metabolic water) and the oxidation...
2017 / 08 / 28
What is this beluga doing with this piece of wood?
In this video taken in the summer of 2016 off the land-based Pointe-Noire Interpretation and Observation Centre, a beluga is seen exhibiting curious behaviour. For several minutes it interacts with a ...
2017 / 08 / 21
Is Montréal’s and Québec City’s wastewater having an impact on whales?
The Montréal region alone produces 2/3 of the wastewater in Quebec. The province’s second most densely populated city, Québec City, also discharges its wastewater into the St. Lawrence. Most w...