Dick-Watching: Measurement of the Whale’s Skeleton

Posted by Juliet Linderman

Hey there ladies, germs and cetaceans, and welcome to your weekly link list. I apologize for the lateness of this post, please forgive your humble hostess. Let’s go Dick watching, shall we?
1. In some whale-related bummer news, 33 pilot whales washed up on the shores of Rutland Island today (that’s in Ireland, you guys). As you can imagine, it’s kind of a dark scene. Scientists are pretty sure that the little guys are casualties of Navy-utilized sonar equipment. This theory is pretty apt, considering the content of a report that was published recently in PLoS One Journal about the connection between stranding of whales and dolphins and hearing loss. The study involved a sample of 36 dolphins and whales, and scientists discovered that severe to profound hearing loss in 57 percent of the stranded bottlenose dolphins and 36 percent of the stranded rough-toothed dolphins. Apparently, ““Finding that many stranded cetaceans do indeed have hearing problems is an important advancement in our understanding of these phenomena.” Say what?!

2. Congratulations Santa Barbara Natural History Museum on getting your beloved blue whale back! This big fella–nicknamed Chad, which I think is hilarious–is an extremely rare full blue whale skeleton made up of bones from two different blue whales. For the last nine months, Chad has been out of commission because the bones were damaged by weather and UV light…because the guys at the SB museum thought it would be a great idea to keep him outside (d’oh). Anyway, the restoration project is awesome, because it has allowed scientists to reassemble Chad, who is now poised in a much more anatomically correct diving position. Kudos!

3. Gross: Iceland officially exported 631 tons of finback whale meat to Japan last year. Finbacks are lovely and apparently not all that tasty, so let’s not kill them and eat them.

4. Hell yes! A hippie in San Francisco will paint a giant mural of a whale at Ocean Beach. This isn’t exactly news, but as a San Franciscan I endorse this plan.

5. Oh my god this is so dumb: The plans for a giant luxury yacht were unveiled at the Monaco Boat Show. Why do I care? You ask. Well, I’m not sure. But this monstrosity was, apparently, inspired by Moby Dick, and it looks really ridiculous.

6. Speaking of things that are dumb and look really ridiculous, here’s a trailer for Moby Dick 2010. I’m pretty sure these people didn’t actually read Moby Dick, but the CGI evil whales getting crazy on these dudes on boats and in submarines does, admittedly, look pretty cool. Or is this just dumb? Both? Neither? Ponder!