Tag Archives: Humpback whales

Scientists Identify Core Skin Bacterial Community in Humpback Whales

Results Could Aid Future Efforts to Monitor Health

Bacteria are invisible to the naked eye, but they reside on nearly every surface humans encounter—including the skin.  Uncovering the role these microorganisms play in human health is a major focus of research in skin microbiology, but little is known about the identity or function of skin bacteria in other mammals.

In a paper published in the open access journal PLOS ONE, researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and colleagues identified a core skin bacterial community that humpback whales share across populations, which could point to a way to assess the overall health of these endangered marine mammals. (more…)

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Mr. Splashy Pants & his friends

Humpback Whale He is a humpback whale tracked via satellite by Greenpeace in an effort to protect him and his friends from harpooning mainly from the Japanese whale hunters. Humpbacks are migratory who travel thousands of kilometers from their feeding grounds in the Southern Ocean (Polar waters) to the tropical South Pacific for breeding and calving in Winter.


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