Wednesday, August 25, 2010
As I sit in my living room with the windows open I think about how fast winter will come. Will it be like last year? Winter in Omaha last year was reason enough to get me to move. However, on my daily quest to find interesting under water creatures I find that maybe it isn't so frigid here after all.
On a CBC story on December 1, 2008 called, "Narwhal cull approaches 600 near Pond Inlet," fishermen in the Baffin Islands area are finding that narwhals are being trapped in the ice. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans find that over 500 narwhals were trapped in the ice. Hunters then kill the narwhals that are trapped for themselves. In fact media is often unable to fly into the area because the hunters are refusing media to enter the area (from: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/north/story/2008/12/01/narwhal.html)
Narwhals are called the unicorns of the sea. They have a giant 8ft tooth (or often called tusk) that reaches straight out of their head. They use this tusk to fight for a female mate. The way they feed is from the ice making fish more vulnerable. They are pod animals and have been seen in large numbers (from: http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/narwhal/)
In an article on August 25, 2008 by Fox News called, "Narwhals more at risk to Arctic warming than polar bears," talks about how polar bears were the animals most vulnerable to global warming but now scientists are saying that this creature might be even more vulnerable because of their constant need for ice (from:http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2008Apr25/0,4670,ClimateArcticAnimals,00.html) Regardless of their story, it makes me appreciate the fall for a little longer. These creatures roam the cold their whole lives dodging polar bears, sea lions, Inuit hunters and now large patches of ice as they try to grab a cold trapped fish through the Arctic seas.
picture from: (http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/narwhal/)
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Friday night and I don't feel like being pushed around a crowded bar or staying at my apartment alone so I ask my dad, who is also solo, if he would like to have a movie night after I get off work. He agrees and I meet him after work. When I get to the house I see that he has not arrived home yet so I call to find that he has cleaned out the movie store with many possible intriguing flicks. The first I see that he has gotten especially for me is the National Geographic special, "Great White."
I have always loved animals, especially working at a vet with domestic dogs and cats but one animal intrigues me more than any other--the great white shark. Although, I believe I should have become a vet or a marine biologist I picked something else to concentrate my school on--Public Relations. I am trying to figure out how I could possibly fit this into my dream job. Any sharks need representation?...
Well at least they have a bad reputation. However, with that reputation I found that this story was actually touching. It made me sympathize with a great white and with the name Nicole and the distance she traveled it was pretty easy to find this animal amazing.
The journey begins off the Coast of Holbaai, South Africa in 2003 by a team supported by The Wildlife Conservation Society in association with Marine and Coastal Management, the White Shark Trust, the Universities of Cape Town and Pretoria and the South African Museum. They tagged a shark that the team tracked for 99 days where the 12.5 foot great white Nicole made a journey of 11,000 kms from her original site to the western coast of Australia.
The film illustrates the difficulties a migratory shark has to go through. The depths that the shark faced which were about 300ft were cold and caused the shark's warm-blooded body to suffer. Killer Whales also kill sharks in the cold waters on Nicole's path. Nicole even went through Australian hurricane season but soared so low beneath the surface that she surpassed the elements. Nicole even passed the deadly fishermen who leave deadly nets and hunger for the ancient shark fin soup. The film talked about the way sharks used electromagnetism to find their way on their long 99 day journey.
This story is fascinating to me and I believe is one way for us to really think about sharks. They aren't just killing machines they are animals with purpose. They are survivors and one of the most ancient creatures on planet Earth. Plus... I love them.
To learn more about Nicole and National Geographic's shark endeavors check out: