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Underwater picture of humpback whale mother and calf. Picture taken off Brazil in September 2009. L. Candisani / Courtesy Instituto Aqualie

New research finds that the western South Atlantic humpback population is well on its way to recovering from the devastating impacts of commercial whaling.

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Graphical representation of vertical pectoral herding by whale in Southeast Alaska. Prey are denoted in yellow. Whale deploys an upward-spiral bubble-net to corral prey and establish the first barrier; pectorals then protract to form a 'V' shape around the open mouth (depicted by blue arrows), creating a second physical barrier. Kyle Kosma / Royal Society Open Science / CC BY 4.0

When you have a whale-sized appetite, you need to figure out some pretty sophisticated feeding strategies. They mysteries of how a humpback whale traps so much prey have eluded scientists, until now.

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Humpback whale. Christopher Michel / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Male humpback whales are known for their evocative songs, but their classic melodies are being shortened or silenced in reaction to shipping noise, Japanese researchers found.

Baleen whales such as humpbacks use songs to communicate, search for food, find mates and navigate the seas,but in Japan, their voices are being drowned out by the din of cacophonous human activity.

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NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced Thursday it is investigating the unusually high number of humpback whale deaths off the U.S. Atlantic Coast.

A total of 41 humpback whales died in the waters off Maine to North Carolina since January 2016, including 15 that washed up dead this year. That's about three times more than the region's annual average of just 14 humpback deaths.

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