Tech & Science Beached sperm whale found with 100kg of rubbish inside its stomach
With suction cups and lots of luck, scientists measure blue whale's heart rate
With suction cups and lots of luck, scientists measure blue whale's heart rateWASHINGTON (Reuters) - Using a bright orange electrocardiogram machine attached with suction cups to the body of a blue whale, scientists for the first time have measured the heart rate of the world's largest creature and came away with insight about the renowned behemoth's physiology.
Researchers have found approximately 100 kilograms of marine debris — including plastic waste — inside a dead sperm whale found beached in Scotland.
The Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme said researchers performed an autopsy on the young whale at the weekend after it stranded itself and died on a beach on the island of Harris in the Western Isles last week.
In a post to their Facebook page, the researchers described the "huge ball" of netting, rope, plastic cups, bags, gloves, packing straps and plastic tubing inside the sperm whale's stomach as "shameful" and "horrific".
Blue Whale Heart Rate Can Drop to Just Two Beats Per Minute While Diving
For the first time, scientists have recorded the heat rate of the biggest species of animal on Earth.Blue whales are the biggest animals on Earth, reaching between 80 and 100 feet in length. They are believed to have appeared about 1.5 million years ago. Earlier this year, researchers found evidence to suggest that baleen whales—which blue whales are a type of—evolved huge body sizes far earlier than once thought, raising questions about their role they have played in the development of ocean ecosystems.
They said although it was plausible the amount of debris inside the whale played a role in its live stranding, they did not find evidence the waste had obstructed the whale's intestines.
"This amount of plastic in the stomach is nonetheless horrific, must have compromised digestion, and serves to demonstrate, yet again, the hazards that marine litter and lost or discarded fishing gear can cause to marine life," the post reads.
"It is also perhaps a good example that this is a global issue caused by a whole host of human activities.
"This whale had debris in its stomach which seemed to have originated from both the land and fishing sectors, and could have been swallowed at any point between Norway and the Azores.
"We are looking in more detail to see if we can work out quite why this animal ended up with so much of it in its stomach."
Local resident Dan Parry told the BBC the sight of fishing nets and debris being taken out of its stomach was "desperately sad".
"We walk on these beaches nearly every day and I always take a bag to pick up litter, most of which is fishing-related," he said.
"This stuff could have easily been netting or the like lost in a storm, we just don't know, but it does show the scale of the problem we have with marine pollution."
Due to the difficulties of transporting the carcass, the whale was buried at the beach.
Baby minke whale dies after beaching itself near Port Lincoln hours after initial rescue .
A baby minke whale dies after beaching itself for the second time within hours on the coastline near Port Lincoln, despite the desperate rescue efforts of volunteers. The 2.5-metre mammal initially became stranded in shallow water near Port Lincoln on South Australia's Eyre Peninsula and was spotted about 7:15pm last night.A passing boat user raised the alarm and stayed with the animal, along with volunteers, for several hours until it swam away when the tide came in — a moment caught on camera.