Discoveries

Fascinating as they are, whales are the object of numerous research programs. From time to time, reality surpasses the myth! Here is a selection of articles covering some of these discoveries.

  • Valeria Vergara has been able to identify 28 different call types of belugas, with a particularly distinct broadband rapid pulse train type called a contact call. Mothers and calves predominantly use these calls and so do others in need of group cohesion. © GREMM 2018 / 12 / 14

    Putting a Face to a Call: Identifying Belugas Acoustically

    Par Jasspreet Sahib / Discoveries

    A herd of belugas breaks through the surface of the water as their squawks, chirps, whistles and grunts fill the surroundings below – it becomes clear why they are nicknamed “canaries of the s...

  • 2018 / 12 / 05

    Whales Stressed up to their Ears

    Par Aurélie Lagueux-Beloin / Discoveries

    Unlike humans, who can clean out the wax that covers their external ear canal (not with Q-tips of course!), whales remain stuck with their wax. This earwax accumulates and forms huge plugs resembling ...

  • Un parasite qui infeste les chats se trouve aussi chez les bélugas du Saint-Laurent/A parasite that infests cats is also found in the St. Lawrence belugas. © GREMM 2018 / 11 / 19

    Does cat poop pose a problem for belugas?

    Par Aurélie Lagueux-Beloin / Discoveries

    On cat litter bags is a warning for pregnant women concerning a parasite found in cat feces. What is even more surprising is that this same parasite can also attack belugas. Close to half of all St. L...

  • Conger (BCY0728) est l’un des deux premiers rorquals à bosse que la Marine Education and Research Society a observé en train de s’alimenter par technique de piégeage, aussi appelée «trap-feeding» en 2011//Conger (BCY0728) was one of the first two humpback whales that the Marine Education and Research Society observed trap-feeding in 2011. © Marine Education and Research Society 2018 / 11 / 19

    Trap-Feeding: a New Creative Feeding Method

    Par Jasspreet Sahib / Discoveries

    Innovation often derives from need. So has been the case for humpback whales off northeastern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Humpbacks are generalist-feeders with multiple feeding strategies and ...

  • 2018 / 10 / 16

    Whales with Different Methods of Filtering

    Par Béatrice Riché / Discoveries

    Baleen refers to the stiff plates of keratin that hang off the upper jaw of some whales, more precisely mysticetes… but is all baleen alike? Of course not! The size and shape of baleen and how i...

  • 2018 / 10 / 12

    Slowing Down, for the Whales’ Sake

    Par Aurélie Lagueux-Beloin / Discoveries

    A ship that strikes a whale can cause the latter serious injury. In the St. Lawrence, fin whales are particularly prone to these types of collisions, which can even be fatal. In order to reduce the ri...

  • 2018 / 08 / 28

    Menopause in Belugas and Narwhals

    Par Aurélie Lagueux-Beloin / Beluga / Discoveries

    Menopause is a rather rare phenomenon. And yet a study published in Scientific Reports reveals that the females of two species of cetaceans – the beluga and the narwhal – join the ranks of the sel...

  • 2018 / 08 / 21

    Hydrodynamics of Humpbacks as a Health Indicator

    Par Béatrice Riché / Discoveries

    The way whales slip through the water can tell us if they are in good physical shape, reveals a study published in PLOS ONE. Many baleen whales undertake annual cycles of fasting and feeding, which ha...

  • 2018 / 07 / 30

    Analyzing Underwater Sound as if Playing a Video Game

    Par Aurélie Lagueux-Beloin / Beluga / Discoveries

    A simulator of marine mammal movements and shipping traffic will be given a new lease of life thanks to a 5-year, $2.1 million investment by the Government of Quebec. This new version, overseen by Cl...

  • 2018 / 07 / 26

    Protecting Belugas from Increasing Shipping Traffic in the Arctic

    Par Béatrice Riché / Beluga / Discoveries

    The Arctic is undergoing a transformation. Melting pack ice is opening up new shipping routes and setting the stage for an uptick in human activities in the region. How can we minimize the impact on t...