Northern bottlenose whales off Scotland

This video from the Sea Watch Foundation in Britain is called Northern Bottlenose Whale Species Identification.

From the Nebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust in Scotland:

Northern Bottlenose Whales Inshore off Skye

A pair of northern bottlenose whales has been seen since Friday in Loch Slapin: a sea loch on the southwestern coast of Skye. Highland Council Countryside Ranger Ellie MacLennan spotted and identified the whales while walking last Friday 16 October. Ellie reported the whales to HWDT and British Divers Marine Life Rescue (as there is always the risk that deep-diving whales in shallow waters are at risk of stranding alive).

To date, it seems as though the pair of whales (possibly a mother and calf/juvenile) are doing well despite concern that they are in shallow waters. They were last seen heading towards deeper water on Sunday 18 October. Northern bottlenose whales are a deep-diving species belonging to the poorly known family of beaked whales that usually inhabit offshore waters. This particular species occasionally turns up in inshore waters particularly during the autumn months. Of all the beaked whales, northern bottlenose whales are the most likely to occur inshore and may spend days or even weeks close to the coast before moving on (e.g. Broadford Bay in 1998… BBC video).

Although the migration routes taken by species are still poorly understood, it is believed that they migrate between colder waters (where they spend summer) to the north of here, and warmer waters to the south. The peak in sightings and strandings in the west of Scotland between August and October each year fits with an inshore southbound route, where some enter the Minches and even the Inner Sound / Sound of Raasay around Skye.

A big thanks to Ellie MacLennan for the images and sighting reports.

Orcas in the North Sea, video

This video says about itself:

11 October 2015

Ship in North Sea surrounded by Killer Whales.

Humpback whales and northern lights video

This video says about itself:

7 October 2015

A group of humpback whales basking under the Northern Lights has been captured on camera by Norwegian TV. The video was filmed off the coast of Kvaløya (Whale Island) near the city of Tromsø.

Humpback whales in the Netherlands: here.

Mammal films at Rotterdam festival

This video is called The Arctic Giant. It is the trailer of a film about bowhead whales.

At the Wildlife Film Festival in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, there will not only be films about birds, but also films about mammals. Like The Arctic Giant.

This video is called Dolphins Spy in the Pod 2014 Season 1 Episode 2.

The festival organisers write about this film:

Using revolutionary wildlife film-making techniques, 13 Spy Camera Creatures including ‘Spy Dolphin’, ‘Spy Nautilus’ and ‘Spy Turtle’ infiltrate the secret underwater world of dolphins. Swimming right alongside some of the most captivating animals on the planet, these new spies reveal spectacular moments from inside the pod.

In this extraordinary undersea voyage into the dolphin’s world, much of the behaviour has never been seen before. Seen through the camera eyes of the different Spy Creatures, this is dolphins up close and irresistible.

This video is the trailer of the film Wild Taiga. It shows wolves, brown bears, and other mammals in Finland and Belarus. Also birds, like pygmy owls.

This video is called Hunt for the Russian Tiger trailer.

The festival organisers write about this film:

Over five years of loneliness and danger one man waited to see a glimpse of Siberian tigers. Their intimate private lives had never been filmed before. Now biologist Chris Morgan reveals an amazing story of endurance in Russia’s wilderness as the first cameraman to record the tigers’ family life. This is the story of a man in search of one of the rarest of big cats.

This video is called Broken Tail trailer. The festival organisers write about this film:

Colin Stafford-Johnson spent almost 600 days filming Broken Tail and his family. Broken Tail was the most flamboyant tiger cub he’d ever seen in Ranthambhore, one of India’s premier wild tiger reserves.

Impossibly cute, he gamboled and posed for Colin’s camera through the first years of his life. But then without warning, Broken Tail abandoned his sanctuary and went on the run – surviving in hills, farmland & scrub until eventually he was killed by a train almost 200 kilometres from home. He was barely three years old.

Why did this young tiger leave Ranthambhore National Park, supposedly one of India’s best-protected tiger reserves? How could he possibly have survived in rural India for perhaps a year? What does his death reveal of the fate of the world’s last tigers? On a spectacular journey across Rajasthan, Colin travels by horseback retracing Broken Tail’s last journey, gathering clues as to his route and his behaviour, asking why he abandoned the park and above all – leading the search for the truth behind the future of the last wild tigers in India.

The story of a charismatic Irish cameraman on the trail of a lost tiger makes Broken Tail a compelling, poignant and important film.

This video is called BLOOD LIONS, OFFICIAL TRAILER 2015.

The festival organisers write about this film:

Breeding lions for slaughter in South Africa is big business. Over 1000 captive-bred, hand-reared lions were killed in the country last year, fueling a multimillion-dollar international industry.

Blood Lions follows acclaimed environmental journalist and safari operator Ian Michler, and Rick Swazey, an American hunter, on their journey to uncover the realities about predator breeding and canned lion hunting.

Michler investigates the breeding farms where lions are hand-reared to be sold to the hunting industry. We witness the results of battery farming that provide stark contrast to lives of wild lions.

Aggressive farmers resent Michler’s questions, but the highly profitable commercialisation of lions is plain to see – cub petting, volunteer recruitment, lion walking, hunting, and the new lion bone trade are all on the increase. It is a story that blows the lid off all the conservation claims made by the breeders and hunters in attempting to justify what they do.

This video is the film, also shown in Rotterdam, Pride. It says about itself:

13 September 2013

Pride looks into the cultural relationship between residents of Gujarat, India and the last remaining population of Asiatic lions in the world. With fewer than 50 lions living in the wild at the turn of the 20th century, rural communities started working with the government to create a haven for this top predator and are successfully securing this animal’s place in the ecosystem. Produced by Roshan Patel.

This video is called BBC Natural World | The Real Jungle Book Bear.

The festival organisers write about this film:

We all know him, we all love him: Baloo – Mowgli’s constant companion from The Jungle Book. Writer Rudyard Kipling and even more the Walt Disney movie made this clumsy fellow world famous.

The role models for Baloo are the Sloth Bears of India – surprisingly little is known about this secretive species. These in our days mostly nocturnal animals have never been portrayed in a natural history program before.

Over a period of three years Oliver Goetzl and Ivo Nörenberg not only were lucky enough to film these elusive creatures at daytime but got also behavior that was even not known to scientists so far – e.g. the mouth feeding of cubs by their mothers. Jungle Book Bear, a BBC film, is narrated by David Attenborough.

This video is called Pandas: The Journey Home Trailer.

The festival organisers write about this film:

This 3D family film will let you fall in love with this iconic, delightful creature and better understand the desperate plight of pandas in the wild. The filmmakers of National Geographic’s Pandas: The Journey Home were granted unprecedented access to the Wolong Panda Center in China to bring to light the extraordinary efforts of the Chinese to secure the panda’s future in the wild.

The film follows the center’s pandas at a significant milestone in their history. After decades of its captive breeding program, the center has hit its target number of 300 giant pandas and must now tackle the challenge of reintroducing breeding populations to the wild. The filmmakers were allowed to film the release of pandas bred in captivity and to follow a group of wild pandas in their mountain habitat.

Meet all of the pandas at the center as they get ready for their new lives, and learn about their fascinating habits as you chuckle at their hijinks. It turns out pandas are as much fun as they are cute, and they love getting the best of their keepers! Experience the dedication of the scientists who work tirelessly on behalf of this amazing animal. And follow one panda in particular, Tao Tao, as he is released into the bamboo forest to begin his adventure living in the wild.

This video is the film A Wild Dogs Tale.

The festival organisers write about this film:

In the heart of Botswana’s Okavango Delta an extraordinary lone African wild dog named Solo is creating a new pack for herself out of an unlikely alliance of hyenas and jackals. She sees this incredible team of predators as not just her hunting partners, but also as her family. She is even taking the lead in raising the offspring of her jackal companions by hunting and bringing back food for them, and by fighting off all threats. A Wild Dog’s Tale follows this true story, featuring amazing animal behaviour never seen before. This National Geographic film is truly amazing.

This video is called The Bat Man of Mexico: Trailer – Natural World – BBC Two

The festival organisers write about this film:

In this BBC film David Attenborough narrates the story of Rodrigo Medellin, Mexico’s very own ‘Bat Man’. Since he first kept vampire bats in his bathroom as a child, Rodrigo has dedicated his life to saving them.

Now Mexico’s most famous export product, tequila, is at stake. Rodrigo’s beloved lesser long-nosed bat is crucial to the liquor – pollinating the plants the drink is made from. To save both, Rodrigo must track the bats’ epic migration across Mexico – braving hurricanes, snakes, Mayan tombs and seas of cockroaches. The threats are very real not only for Rodrigo and the bats, but also for anyone with a taste for tequila.

False killer whales, Hawaii, close up video

This video from Hawaii says about itself:

Extreme close up FALSE KILLER WHALES, Oahu, Hawaii

20 September 2015

Hawaiian false killer whales, as you’ve never seen them before…! Extreme closeups, and even an underwater smile for the GoPro.

False killer whales share a very similar skull and other traits with true Orca (uncommon, long-lived, slow to mature, calve only once every 6-7 years). However, they are quite distinct from them. For instance, though both are top predators, false killers rarely attack mammalian prey. And while Orca are quite popular, most folks have never heard of the pseudorca – false killer whale, or its highly endangered plight.

Go to the source – Learn more about conservation efforts, why they are needed and research focused on Hawaii’s False Killer Whales: here.

Galápagos sperm whales’ language, new research

This video is called Galapagos – Sperm Whales (August 15 2015).

From National Geographic:

Sperm Whales‘ Language Reveals Hints of Culture

These deep-diving whales off the Galápagos have their own dialects, a sign that they have a culture.

By Jane J. Lee

PUBLISHED September 08, 2015

New ways to grab dinner, the trick to using a tool, and learning the local dialect. These are behaviors that animals pick up from each other. Killer whales, chimpanzees, and birds seem to have a cultural component to their lives. Now a new study suggests that sperm whales should be added to that list.

The ocean around the Galápagos Islands hosts thousands of female sperm whales and their calves that have organized into clans with their own dialects. (Mature males congregate in colder waters near the poles.) How these clans form has been something of a mystery until now.

A study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications suggests that culture—behaviors shared by group members—keeps these sperm whale clans together. Specifically, these deep-diving whales have a distinct series of clicks called codas they use to communicate during social interactions.

Sperm whales with similar behaviors spend time together, and they pick up vocalizations from each other. Scientists call this social learning. Whales that “speak the same language” stick together, giving rise to the clans that researchers have observed for more than 30 years. (Read about humpback whale culture.)

Why It Matters

This is one more pillar of support for the idea that animals have culture, says lead study author Mauricio Cantor, a marine biologist at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada.

When Cantor and colleagues ran computer simulations to determine the most likely way the clans formed, factors like genetic relatedness or the transmission of information from mother to offspring couldn’t explain the pattern observed in the wild. The best explanation their analysis could find was a preference in how sperm whales learned vocalizations. “Like-minded” individuals learned from each other. (Read about dolphin moms that teach their daughters to use tools.)

The Big Picture

It’s fascinating to see that animals like whales display something that may seem uniquely human, Cantor says. But really, “we’re not that different from them.”

Killer whale pods have their own dialects, humpback whales pass on new feeding behaviors via their social networks, and chimpanzees share the secrets of tool use with their compatriots.

Cantor hopes that by learning more and more about animals, people will be moved to think about the environment and perhaps act on calls for conserving the planet.

What’s Next

Cantor and colleagues plan to look back at historic data on sperm whale clans from 30 years ago and compare them with clans today. “We want to know how their [vocalizations have] changed over time.”

Alaskan Sperm Whales Have Learned How to Skim Fishers’ Daily Catch: here.