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Author Archive | Jared Harding

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Humpback whales of South Africa

The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is one of the most well-studied species of baleen whale and occurs worldwide in all ocean basins. These whales are migratory and typically follow the usual baleen whale paradigm of moving between summer feeding grounds in high latitude regions and winter breeding grounds in low latitude regions. Different populations of […]

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Nursing underwater

Nursing underwater Whales and dolphins, being marine mammals, exhibit the typical characteristics of mammals: they’re warm-blooded, breathe air, have fur (although only a few hairs or for a limited time period), give birth to live young, and produce milk to feed their offspring. Calves of either whales or dolphins are able to swim shortly after […]

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Conservation deconstructed

What does conservation mean? What does it mean to be conservation-minded, to have a conservation ethic, or to do conservation? Conservation, specifically with regards to the environment, is a word that has possibly become overused in the past years, and perhaps the meaning has become diluted. Traditionally conservation had to do with the preservation, protection, […]

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The annual southern right whale aerial survey has started!

On Tuesday 3 October, the Mammal Research Institute’s Whale Unit started their annual southern right whale aerial survey which aims to monitor the population of right whales along the South African coastline. This survey has been carried out annually since the first survey in 1979, making this year the 39th consecutive annual right whale survey […]

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Super sense of fish

Fish use their sense of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch to gain accurate and up-to-date information about the surrounding environment, which is important to make optimal decisions about possible threats, prey, as well as mates. Due to their aquatic nature fish also have an additional sense, the lateral line or lateralis system. The lateral […]

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Sensory system of fish

Accurate, up-to-date information about the surrounding environment is very important in order to make optimal decisions about possible threats, prey, as well as mates. For humans our five senses (sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch) tell us this information. Fish use the same set of senses, but differently as they are, of course, wholly submerged […]

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