Friday, December 9, 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
I was observing a strange interaction between a pair of bottlenose dolphins and a humpback whale, when it became apparent that the two species were collaborating in some way. The dolphin was lying on a humpback whale’s head while it was slowly swimming along. Looking through my camera lens the stunt appeared to be orchestrated by mutual “agreement.” The whale very slowly—and vertically—lifted the dolphin into the air. I expected the dolphin to wriggle atop the humpback’s head to get off, but it just laid still and arched, trying to stay on top of the whale’s snout. In this frame the dolphin was beginning its slippery return to the sea. Once back in the ocean, the dolphin swiftly swam away with the other dolphin, leaping joyfully as if they had just scored a coup!
—Lori Mazzuca, Kailua Kona, HI
Canon EOS 10D; 70-200mm lens with 1.4x extender; digital capture
Thursday, July 7, 2011
This video shows the remarkable footage of a humpback whale being rescued from the severely entangled lines of a fishing net in the Sea of Cortez. Narration is by Michael Fishback who, along with Gershon Cohen, founded the The Great Whale Conservancy to help protect whales.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
See them play in the moonlight
Watch them dance in the sun
They're the children of freedom—every one
As they care for each other
With no question or cause
They deserve to be treasured as a source of love
In their minds there are answers
And in time we will know
What the truth is about all we don't know
They have no room for hatred
Though they've suffered much pain
From the race we call human—who are afraid of love
If I can only help to right a wrong
With my dolphin song
Then I'll have done what I set out to do
If I can only make one man aware
One person care
Then I'll have done what I promised you
Let us hope it's not too late
And that we can amend
All the pain we have suffered on a friend
We were born with our freedom
Oh we were born with the truth
Then why do we abuse it
We could choose—to love, to love
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Sunday, April 3, 2011
This seal apparently seems to "fall in love" with a tourist sitting on a beach in Gold Harbor, South Georgia located off the southern tip of South America. (Click on the title to see video.)
Sunday, January 30, 2011
In my recent visit to FL, I also visited the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, a marine mammal rescue center, that is currently home to a tailless dolphin named Winter. While we were there, we witnessed her being fitted with a new prosthetic tail. Winter was found as a baby by a fisherman in the month of December (hence her name). She had gotten tangled up in the lines of a crab trap cutting off the circulation in her tail. After her rescue the tail gradually fell off.
She has learned to swim without it, swimming more with the side-to-side movement of a shark and using her flippers to get moving. During her fitting she rested quietly on a submerged underwater platform.
Winter has recently acquired deva status when she starred in a movie called Dolphin Tale, along with Morgan Freeman. The movie is due to be released in the fall of 2011.
The West Indian manatee of Florida frequently migrates up rivers and brackish water estuaries to freshwater springs. We found a large number of them congregating in the warmer spring water of Kings Bay near the end of Crystal River in FL, about an hour and a half driving time north of Tampa.
An adult manatee is anywhere between 10 and 12 feet long and weighs up to 4,000 lbs. Using a large flexible upper lip, they feast primarily on mangrove leaves, turtle grass and various types of algae. With their thick, wrinkled skin and soft bodies, it is believed that their closest living relative is the elephant. They have a large, flat paddle-like tail.
Most of their time is spent sleeping, surfacing for air at intervals of about 20 minutes. We saw many of them quietly lying on the bottom. They are generally slow moving and somewhat timid but a several of them seemed to enjoy being scratched underneath their chins. One of the babies actually gave me a big kiss on my scuba mask.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
A private team of researchers are observing the movements of more and more porpoises as they make their under the Golden Gate Bridge and into the bay. It seems they are following their prey but once inside may be intrigued by the large amount of crab and other fish that seem to be present these days. The porpoises, who can live up to 12 years, are a good sign of the overall health of the bay—positive news in a time of pessimism over other environmental calamaties.