Questions from the public
A selection of answers to your questions.
2017 / 05 / 23
What is a “water column”?
In a number of Whales Online articles, the term “water column” is used. What does this refer to? From the shoreline, water can sometimes appear to be a uniform mass. However, water separat...
2017 / 04 / 10
Where does the Estuary end and the Gulf begin? And what would make a species better adapted to the Gulf than to the Estuary?
When we speak of the St. Lawrence, we often hear the terms “Estuary” and “Gulf”. What do they mean? Where does the Estuary end and the Gulf begin? The St. Lawrence River origin...
2017 / 04 / 04
Can a whale be identified by its behaviour?
Many researchers identify whales using photo-identification, thus by their physical appearance. But can they identify individuals based on their behaviour? Can one recognize an individuality – a per...
2017 / 03 / 10
Why is plastic sometimes found in the stomachs of whales?
How is it that 30 plastic bags find their way into the stomach of a cetacean? The issue was raised after the discovery of a Cuvier’s beaked whale stranded in Norway last January, whose digestive...
2017 / 02 / 13
Are humpback whales saving other species being hunted by killer whales?
In 2012 in Monterey Bay, California, a BBC team filmed the intervention of two humpbacks to protect a young gray whale being pursued by killer whales. The calf ends up dying, but about fifteen other h...
2017 / 02 / 03
Which cetacean is most at risk of extinction?
According to the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), it would be the vaquita. At the present time, there are fewer than 40 individuals, all of which are extremely at...
2017 / 01 / 24
Why leap out of the water when one weighs over 30 tonnes?
Known as breaches in scientific jargon, these leaps out of the water that whales perform serve notably to communicate with distant companions, reveals an Australian study on humpbacks. ...
2017 / 01 / 11
How did baleen appear?
A recently discovered whale fossil has proven to be an important piece of the puzzle with regard to whale evolution. ...
2016 / 12 / 22
If belugas and narwhals cohabit the Arctic, is it possible that these whales once swam side by side in the Champlain Sea?
Being that they frequent the same territory, narwhals do occasionally come into contact with belugas in the Arctic, without necessarily mingling....
2016 / 12 / 08
Are killer whales a threat to the marine mammal populations that they feed on?
Predation alone does not generally pose a threat to the sustainability of a population. It is often associated with other factors and the status of the hunted population....