Whale of a Mystery

WORLD In excavated waste heaps, researchers have found evidence that ancient Greenlanders may have been eating large amounts of bowhead whale. But these 4,000-year-old “dumpsters” are from millennia before humans had the technology to hunt down such massive prey. (NPR) How long have people been whaling? Use our article to find out. Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers … Continue reading Whale of a Mystery

How Big is a Blue Whale’s Heart?

SCIENCE You’ve probably heard claims that a blue whale’s heart is the size of a car, and that people could swim through their aortas. Well . . . (BBC) Size yourself up to a blue whale with our activity. Teachers, scroll down for a short list of key resources in our Teachers’ Toolkit. Discussion Ideas The blue whale is the largest animal ever to have … Continue reading How Big is a Blue Whale’s Heart?

The Porpoise of Echolocation

SCIENCE Researchers have revealed how porpoises finely adjust the beams of sound they use to hunt. (BBC) Use our resources to learn more about porpoises and dolphins here. Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers’ Toolkit. Discussion Ideas Researchers profiled in the BBC article studied the way porpoises use echolocation to hunt fish. What is echolocation? Echolocation is the … Continue reading The Porpoise of Echolocation

Beached. Blue. Bloated.

SCIENCE A dead blue whale washed up on the shore of a small fishing town in Newfoundland last week. A bloated, beached, blubbery bomb of a blue whale. As of Thursday morning, the carcass is still intact, but onlookers are worried that it might soon explode. Literally. (The Atlantic) Use our resources to learn more about the life and death of blue whales.   Discussion … Continue reading Beached. Blue. Bloated.

The Power of Poop, the Circle of Life

SCIENCE Marine biologists unravel baleen whales’ remarkable “manuring mechanism”—and secrets of the ocean food web. (NPR) Let our resources fill you in on all you ever wanted to know about marine food webs but were afraid to ask. Discussion Ideas Read the typically terrific article (with illustrations!) by one of my very, very favorite journalists, Bob Krulwich. Then, compare this photo of whale poop with this … Continue reading The Power of Poop, the Circle of Life