Picture of the week: Longimanus

This picture of an Oceanic white tip (C. longimanus) was taken at Elphinstone reef, Red Sea in November 2014, with Nikon D7100, Tokina 10-17, Dual D161 flash.


Highlighted: Orca strikes back?

Orca's have been ramming into sailing boats off the coasts of Spain and Portugal, leaving crew members worried and marine experts perplex. The latest incident occurred on Friday afternoon just off LA Coruña, on the northern coast of Spain. Halcyon Yachts was taking a 36ft boat to the UK when an orca rammed its stern at least 15 times, according to Pete Green, the company's managing director. Several orca experts agree that ‘while the encounters are unusual, they’re not necessarily aggressive. Instead, it could be a response due to stress.....the presence of fishing and whale-watching boats in the area affects the orcas’ ability to swim freely and hunt bluefin tuna, which migrates along the Gibraltar strait. The fishing nets and long lines have also fatally entangled some orca calves, further negatively impacting orcas, which organize by a matriarchal structure. The resident population of orcas in the Straits has become increasingly endangered; there...'' 



News: Humpback whale finds escape from Australian crocodile river

A  humpback whale that took a wrong turn into a Crodidile infested river in Australia has safely returned to the sea. The whale was first seen in the Northern Territory (NT) river over a week ago, prompting fears it may get stuck in shallow waters or hit a boat. Two others also swam into the East Alligator River for a short time before returning to their sea migration. The remaining whale managed to find its way out over the weekend during high tides, Parks Australia said on Monday. It is the first known instance of humpback whales in the river in the Kakadu National Park, on the country's northern coast. Much further south, in Tasmania, hundreds of  pilot whales stranded on a beach in Macquarie harbor,  for no apparent reason.



News: Old bull elephants show crucial leadership

In a recent study Connie Allen and colleagues from the University of Exeter challenged the view that older male elephants are redundant in the population, which leads to the biased removal of old bulls that currently occurs in both legal trophy hunting and illegal poaching. By analyzing leadership patterns of all-male African savannah elephants (Loxodonta africana) along elephant pathways in Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, Botswana, she found that the oldest males were more likely to lead collective movements, for example by scouting through unknown territories. This  age-related leadership pattern is consistent with findings in other species like resident killer whales, where older  individuals have been shown to occupy leadership positions along migration routes, and during group-based foraging




Higlighted: The Weddell seal

The birth of a  Weddell seal,  on the ice surrounding Antarctica,  is a truly moving event. It is a relatively large and abundant true seal, well-known for being an excellent diver. Weddell seals can stay underwater for as long as 80 minutes. They have no natural predator when staying on ice,  but become a welcome prey for leopard seals and killer whales while at sea or under the ice.


Highlighted: Surfer tells how a juvenile great white lacerated her leg and why we need to protect the species

Chantelle Doyle while surfing Photograph: Surf Photos of You

This moving story of  Australian surfer Chantelle Doyle and her brave partner Mark Rapley reminds me of how the world’s most famous shark victim and miracle survivor Rodney_Fox became a fervent shark protector and conversationist after recovery of his almost fatal injuries. Unlike most current great-white victims who were surfing during the attack,  Rodney became injured while spear-fishing in December 1963 in Australian waters. Rodney along with his son, Andrew, after more than 40 years, still continue to run Rodney Fox Great White Shark Expeditions, a shark cage diving operation to view great white sharks in the wild off Southern Australia



Highlighted: E-book update

This ‘E-book’  contains an updated collection of around 80  blog articles from the last three years.  I here provide two separate content lists, a list in which the articles are ordered according to the five most often recurring themes, and a chronological list. A simple click on the title will hopefully guide you to the article of your choice. For download,  click  next to the  PDF icon below