The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Sighting of Sperm Whales in Arctic Waters 'Really Shocking'
Sperm whales live in all the world's major oceans, but they tend to stay away from extremely cold waters near the poles. So you can imagine the surprise when scientists spotted a pair of these whales farther from their usual range.
They initially thought they spotted killer whales, but later realized it was actually a species rarely seen in the area.
"It's only the second recorded observation of sperm whales in the region. Back in 2014 local hunters spotted them," Laforest told the CBC. He noted it was "really shocking" to see these southern whales so far north.
A clip of the sighting was posted in October:
Rare sperm whales sighting in the Arctic www.youtube.com
The head and upper body of a sperm whale contains oily fats that turn waxy in cold waters, meaning they are ill-equipped to swim in colder waters, The Guardian reported. Their fleshy dorsal fins are also ineffective at breaking through ice.
Laforest told the CBC that the whales he saw have likely returned south, but their stopover in Pond Inlet suggests the region is becoming "more open for them to exploit in terms of accessing food."
Their primary prey is giant squid. Marine biologists have found that squid and other cephalopods are appearing to thrive in warming oceans.
This is good news for sperm whales, Laforest added to the CBC. However, their presence could be bad for Arctic species such as the bowhead "which traditionally live without much competition because of their intense adaptation to live in a relatively harsh environment."
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Anita Desikan
The Trump administration is routinely undermining your ability — and mine, and everyone else's in this country — to exercise our democratic rights to provide input on the administration's proposed actions through the public comment process. Public comments are just what they sound like: an opportunity for anyone in the public, both individuals and organizations, to submit a comment on a proposed rule that federal agencies are required by law to read and take into account. Public comments can raise the profile of an issue, can help amplify the voices of affected communities, and can show policymakers whether a proposal has broad support or is wildly unpopular.
Picture this: a world where chocolate is as rare as gold. No more five-dollar bags of candy on Halloween. No more boxes of truffles on Valentine's day. No more roasting s'mores by the campfire. No more hot chocolate on a cold winter's day.
Who wants to live in a world like that?
By Tracy L. Barnett
Sources reviewed this article for accuracy.
For Sicangu Lakota water protector Cheryl Angel, Standing Rock helped her define what she stands against: an economy rooted in extraction of resources and exploitation of people and planet. It wasn't until she'd had some distance that the vision of what she stands for came into focus.