ScienceShot: Hawaiian Paradise for Dolphins and Whales

first_imgEighteen species of odontocetes—the toothed whales and dolphins, which include sperm whales and bottlenose dolphins—call the Hawaiian Islands home. But until now, little was known about where most of these 18 species dwell in these waters, what depths they prefer, and their population numbers. A team of scientists has helped fill in the blanks via a unique, 13-year survey made in small boats, ranging in size from 5.5 to 18 meters. Over the years, they covered 84,758 kilometers of survey lines, spotted 2018 odotocetes, and photographed as many of them as possible to ensure that each species was correctly identified. The slideshow above shows some of the rarer species. The team reports its findings online today in Aquatic Mammals. Knowing which cetaceans live where in the ocean and at what depths is important, the scientists say, in order to mitigate any problems that may occur from human activities, such as aquaculture, energy development, and Naval training exercises. Most troubling, the survey revealed that many of the cetaceans have strong preferences for living at specific depths. For instance, bottlenose dolphins and spinner dolphins were most often found in very shallow water (less than 500 meters), while striped and Risso’s dolphins and sperm whales preferred deeper waters (over 4000 meters). It’s unlikely, the scientists note, that aquaculture ventures will find a place free of fish-stealing dolphins, because they occupy such a range of depths. Similarly, the U.S. Navy will have trouble finding areas in Hawaii that don’t overlap with cetaceans, such as beaked and melon-headed whales, and pygmy killer whales, that are adversely affected by the type of active sonar used in training exercises. They live at the full range of depths that the Navy’s sonar uses, too.See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

After The Music Stops

first_imgBy electing Barack Obama as the country’s first Black president, Americans defied powerful stereotypes and assumptions about race.Little India first endorsed Obama in the primaries in January 2008, when he was still a long shot. In endorsing him again in the general election, we noted that we had originally been attracted by the historical character of his candidacy as the first minority nominee of a major political party and as the biracial child of a Kenyan immigrant father and a White mother from Kansas. However, we also pointed out that “Obama has worn his multicultural identity with such ease, that the promise that Americans might transcend race in this election already stands delivered.”What the world is now celebrating, we had already acknowledged before the Nov. 4 elections. Our expectations of him only begin there, and they start not simply with coping with the financial wreck he inherits from the Bush administration, which will likely command most of his early attention in the next several months.Important as dealing with the economic meltdown is, it is even more imperative that Obama begin to address the egregious violations of America’s historical commitment to civil rights and liberties by the Bush regime right off the bat, indeed the very day he assumes the presidency on Jan. 20.The Bush administration’s so-called “War on Terror” will go down in ignominy with the Red Scare of the McCarthy era, the Alien & Sedition Acts of 1798 and the persecution of dissenters in World War I and World War II. In the name of a war against terrorism, the Bush administration engaged in reprehensible unconstitutional and criminal violations, including kidnapping people, torturing suspects or rendering them to other countries for torture, and holding prisoners without trial in Guantanamo Bay and other secret gulags. In Bush’s secret society, prisoners were held indefinitely without charge, immigrants were detained and deported without a hearing, or even access to a lawyer, and citizens and non citizens alike were monitored and their telephones and email accounts tapped without judicial or political oversight.Even after Democrats wrested control of Congress in 2006, they did little to rein in, or even document the full extent of these abuses.One of Obama’s first acts, on Jan. 20, must be to shut down Guantanamo Bay, which shall forever stand as a shameful episode in American history. He should also launch a “truth commission,” similar to the one established in South Africa to document the abuses of apartheid, with the aim of exposing the full extent of the mendacity and the abuses of political rights and civil liberties by the Bush regime.Even though Pres. George Bush and Vice Pres. Dick Cheney will not be prosecuted for what were unquestionably criminal and constitutional violations of the office they had sworn to uphold, they must be publicly exposed and humiliated.After the music stops on his inauguration on Jan. 20, constitutional scholar Obama’s first task – crucial if only for its symbolism – must be to open up the secret files of the Bush administration, so that no future president ever dare engage in such heinous atrocities again.   Related Itemslast_img read more