Gray Whales in Puget Sound

AlphaEcho

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This is why long-term science studies matter .. and yet another way new technology is expanding our understanding of the natural world (and our impact on it).

Every spring, a small group of about a dozen gray whales pauses along an epic migration from calving lagoons in Baja California to their feeding grounds in the Arctic. They travel more than 170 miles off their coastal migration route, to stop off in northern Puget Sound. There, they linger from about March through May.

Now scientists think they know why the Sounders, as this beloved group of regulars is known, likes to visit — and hang around.

New research confirms these whales have figured out a brilliant [and daring] feeding strategy.
 

nootka

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It's good to see some positive news

compared to this:
 

CPS

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Thanks for sharing this article. What a fascinating way to feed. I never would have imagined a whale going into such shallow water, but I guess they've got it figured out.
 

AlphaEcho

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I guess they've got it figured out.
The more I read about whales, the more I feel they are much further along the path to sentience than we are prepared to accept. The article basically says, there's a group of gray whales who learned at some point that they don't have to starve on the way back up to the Arctic. They teach their own young how to do this, but not strangers of their own species. Maybe they understand the concept of keeping secrets? I don't know, but it gives one pause.
 
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CPS

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They teach their own young how to do this, but not strangers of their own species. Maybe they understand the concept of keeping secrets? I don't know, but it gives one pause.
When I was taking a course about bears there were similar instances of one individual learning a skill and then passing it down to their own children. One in particular stuck out where a bear realized that hanging out a safe distance downstream from a big, successful salmon catching bear meant it could just turn rocks over and syphon up the loose roe that had accumulated beneath it. Similar instance to the whales of high-reward for relatively low-risk, which seems like the hot ticket for surviving in the wild.

I suspect many species have much more nuanced senses of self than we (might want to) realize.
 
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