Friday, 01 March 2019 07:46

Counting whales from space

Written by

A new method for detecting whales using satellite imagery that’s more reliable and efficient than counting whales from ships or shore.

{youtube}http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIy4htZKCBA#action=share{/youtube}

A team of scientists from the British Antarctic Survey have demonstrated how new satellite technology can be used to count whales, and ultimately estimate their population size.

The team used Very High Resolution (VHR) satellite imagery, alongside image processing software, to detect and count whales breeding in part of the Golfo Nuevo, Peninsula Valdes in Argentina. Whales are extremely difficult to count on a large scale. Traditional methods, such as counting from ships or land, can be costly and inefficient.

The researchers analysed a single WorldView2 satellite image of a bay where southern right whales gather to calve and mate. The image had a resolution of 4 pixels per 11 square feet (1 square meter), covered an area of 44 square miles (113 square kilometres) and picked up on a broad spectrum of colors, including light from the far blue end of the spectrum which penetrates deep into the water column.

The team first manually identified whales from the image and found 55 probable whales, 23 possible whales and 13 other underwater objects that were not whales, such as rocks. They then tested a series of automated image-processing systems. The scientists say that the best of the methods automatically located 89 percent of the probable whales that they had counted manually.

 

Whale satellite images compared with aerial photographs at the same scale (top right) Image credit: British Antarctic Surevy Whale satellite images compared with aerial photographs at the same scale (top right) Image credit: British Antarctic Survey

Southern right whales, driven to near extinction, have made a limited recovery following the end of whaling. In recent years, however, many deaths have been seen on their nursery grounds at Peninsula Valdes. Their population size is now unknown but with this sharp increase in calf mortality, estimates are needed. The enclosed bays in this region contain calm, shallow waters which increase the chance of spotting the whales from space.

Spotting Whales from Space -British Antarctic Survey 12 February 2014 Scientists have demonstrated how new satellite technology can be used to count whales, and ultimately estimate their population size. Using Very High Resolution (VHR) satellite imagery, alongside image processing software, they were able to automatically detect and count whales breeding in part of the Golfo Nuevo, Peninsula Valdes in Argentina.

The new method, published this week in the journal PLoS ONE, could revolutionise how whale population size is estimated. Marine mammals are extremely difficult to count on a large scale and traditional methods, such as counting from platforms or land, can be costly and inefficient.

Lead author Peter Fretwell from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), which is funded by the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), explains;

“This is a proof of concept study that proves whales can be identified and counted by satellite. Whale populations have always been difficult to assess; traditional means of counting them are localized, expensive and lack accuracy. The ability to count whales automatically, over large areas in a cost effective way will be of great benefit to conservation efforts for this and potentially other whale species.

” Previously, satellites have provided limited success in counting whales but their accuracy has improved in recent years.

The BAS team used a single WorldView2 satellite image of a bay where southern right whales gather to calve and mate. Driven to near extinction, these whales have made a limited recovery following the end of whaling. In recent years, however, many deaths have been seen on their nursery grounds at Peninsula Valdes. Their population size is now unknown but with this sharp increase in calf mortality, estimates are needed.

The enclosed bays in this region contain calm, shallow waters which increase the chance of spotting the whales from space. Three main criteria were used to identify whales: objects visible in the image should be the right size and shape; they should be in the right place (where whales would be expected to be) and there should be no (or few) other types of objects that could be mistaken as whales.

Whales in the image were manually identified and counted, finding 55 probable whales, 23 possible whales and 13 sub-surface features. Several automated methods where then tested against these numbers. A ‘thresholding’ of the Coastal Band of the WorldView2 image gave the greatest accuracy. This part of the image uses light from the far blue end of the spectrum which penetrates the water column deeper and allows us to see more whales. This technique found 89% of probable whales identified in the manual count. This is a semi automated technique that needs some user input to identify the best threshold.

Future satellite platforms will provide even high quality imagery and Worldview3 is planned to be launched this year. This will allow for greater confidence in identifying whales and differentiating mother and calf pairs. Such technological advancements may also allow scientists to apply this method to other whale species.

Friday, 01 March 2019 07:28

SHORE WHALING: A WORLD INDUSTRY

Written by

The National Geographic Magazine, May 1911 SHORE WHALING: A WORLD INDUSTRY By Roy Chapman Andrews Assistant Curator of Mammals, American Museum of Natural History With Photographs by the Author

IF THE European and American people could be educated to the point of eating the canned flesh of animals which individually yield as much as 80,000 pounds of meat, what a wonderful food supply would be within reach of the poor in our great cities! In Japan this has actually been accomplished and hundreds of tons of whale flesh are sold in the markets of all the large towns and villages to people who would otherwise have little variety to their diet of rice and fish.

This great meat supply has been put into their hands indirectly by a Norwegian, for it was not until 1864, when Swend Foyn invented the harpoon-gun, that whales could be taken in such a manner as to allow any parts except the oil and baleen (the "whalebone" of commerce) to be utilized.

With the further development of the harpoon-gun grew up a new and great industry, for it made possible the capture of a group of whales known as rorquals, or "finners," in sufficient numbers to warrant the erection of stations at certain points on the shore where the animals could be brought in and the huge carcasses converted into commercial products. Previously these whales had been little troubled by the men who hunted in a small boat with a hand harpoon and land, for the great speed of the animals and their tendency to sink as soon as killed, as well as their thin blubber and short, coarse baleen, made them unpopular with the early whalers.

In a few years stations had sprung up on the coasts of Norway in every available plant, and later reached across the Atlantic to the American shores. Newfoundland became the first hunting grounds for the whalers here, and only a few years ago as many as 18 stations were in operation on that island and the immediate vicinity.

The great success of the Norwegian methods attracted so much attention that stations were erected in every part of the world where conditions were favorable-in British Columbia, southeastern Alaska, Bermuda, South America, and the islands of the Antarctic; on the coasts of Japan, Korea, Africa and Russia. Australia is soon to be invaded, and only a few months ago a company announced their plans for carrying on operations on a large scale in the Aleutian Islands. In New Zealand, humpback whales are being taken in wire nets, and so in nearly every part of the globe the world-hunt goes on.

And what is to be the result of this wholesale slaughter? Inevitably the commercial extinction of the large whales, and that within a very few decades. In some localities this has already taken place and all the whales have been killed or driven from their feeding grounds.

Sulphur Bottom or Blue Whale A Big Blue or Sulphur-Bottom Whale: Japan

"The blue or sulphur-bottom whale found in all our oceans is not only the largest animal that lives today, but is also, so far as is now known, the largest animal that has ever existed on the earth or in its waters. I have heard many stories of the almost incredible way in which these animals can pull, but was at first inclined to doubt them. Later, when I saw a blue whale with a harpoon between the shoulders drag the ship, with engines at full speed astern, through the water almost as though it had been a rowboat, I began to listen with more respect" (see page 427)

This method of capture has, however, made possible a careful study by naturalists of most of the species of large whales and their habits, besides enabling museums to secure skeletons and other specimen for exhibition. Thus, when the American Museum of Natural History in New York city began to gather such material, it led to a series of expeditions which carried the writer to a number of stations in widely separated parts of the world.

THE ENORMOUS BODIES EASILY HANDLED

I will never forget my intense surprise at the extraordinary ease and quickness with which the enormous carcasses are handled when I first saw a whale "cut in." It was at Sechart, in Barclay Sound, on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Here, as at all of the American stations, the operations are carried on in the Norwegian way.

The ship had arrived at 1:30 a.m. with three humpbacks, which were left floating in the water, tied to the end of the wharf, near a long inclined platform called the "slip." Work began at seven o' clock, and, as I had only just been awakened, I ran out without waiting for breakfast, thinking that there would be ample time to eat when the operations were under way. I soon learned, however, that there were no "breathing spells" when whales were being cut in, and every soul was at his work until the whistle blew for dinner at noon.

A heavy wire cable was made fast about the posterior part of one of the whales just in front of the tail, or "flukes," and the winch started. The cable straightened out, tightened, and became as rigid as a bar of steel. Slowly foot after foot of the wire was wound in and the enormous carcass, weighing perhaps 45 tons, was drawn out of the water upon the slip.

One of the Japanese (for men of six nationalities--Chinese, Japanese, Norwegians, Newfoundlanders, Indians, and Americans--are employed at these west-coast stations) scrambled up the whale's side, and balancing himself on the smooth surface by the aid of his long knife, made his way forward to sever at the "elbow" the great side fin, or flipper, 16 feet in length.

Blue Whale A Blue Whale: Vancouver Although the mouth is enormous, large enough in fact to permit 10 or 12 men to stand upright in it, the throat measures only about 9 inches in diameter
Blue Whale A Blue Whale: Vancouver Specimens of this whale have been measured which reached a length of 87 feet, and, in all probability, weighed as much as 75 tons

THE WHALES ARE PEELED LIKE AN ORANGE Before the carcass was half out of the water other cutters, or "flensers," as they are called, had begun to make longitudinal incisions through the blubber along the breast, side, and back, and from the flukes the entire length of the body to the head. The cable was then made fast to the blubber at the chin, the winch started, and the great layer of fat stripped off exactly as one would peel an orange. When the upper side had been denuded of its blubber covering, the whale was turned over by means of the "canting winch" and the other surface flensed in the same manner.

Finback Whale A Finback Whale: Vancouver

The blubber is a layer of fat of varying thickness which covers the entire body of all whales, porpoises, and dolphins and keeps the animal warm. It acts exactly as the feathers of birds or the hair of land mammals--as a non-conductor to prevent the natural heat of the body from being absorbed by the water in the one case, and the air in the other. On the great bowhead, or Greenland right whale, which lives in the intensely cold waters of the Arctic Ocean, the blubber is 12 or 14 inches thick in some places.

When the "blanket pieces," as the blubber strips are called, were torn from the carcass, they were cut into large oblong blocks and fed into a slicing machine, chipped to small bits, carried upward and dumped into enormous vats, to be boiled or "tried out" for oil.

The carcass had meanwhile been split open by chopping through the ribs of the upper side, a heavy hook was attached to the tongue bones at the throat, and the entire mass of heart, lungs, live, and intestines drawn out at once. The body was then hauled to the "carcass platform," at right angles to the "flensing slip," the flesh torn from the bones by the aid of the winch, and the skeleton disarticulated.

Both flesh and bones were piled separately into great open vats which bordered the carcass platform, and boiled to extract the oil. The flesh was then artificially dried and sifted, thus being converted into a very fine guano, and the bones pulverized to form "bone meal," also a fertilizer. Even the blood, of which there are several tons in a large whale, was carefully drained from the slip into troughs, boiled, dried, and made into guano. Finally, the water in which the blubber had been tried out was converted into glue.

Humpback Whales The Carcasses of Five Humpback Whales: Vancouver This whale is considerably smaller than the blue whale, its maximum size being 55 feet. Photo courtesy of World's Work

The baleen, or whalebone, which alone remained to be disposed of, was thrown aside, to be cleaned and dried as opportunity offered. The baleen of all the rorquals is short, coarse, and stiff, and in Europe and America has but little value. In Japan, however, it is made into many useful and beautiful things.

This, with the exception of minor details, is the method of handling whales which the Norwegians developed after years of experimenting, and which is followed in almost all other parts of the globe except Japan.

Humpback Whale A very white Humpback Whale, Vancouver: Note the Crab-like Flipper "It's body is thick and heavy, with enormous side fins, or flippers. These great paddles are one-quarter the length of the entire body, and a single one from a whale 49 feet long weighed on the station scales 956 pounds."
Whaler A Modern Whaler In Port The crew are practicing by shooting at a floating target.

The Japanese Whale Fisheries In the Island Empire shore-whaling as a great industry has developed during the last 15 years, but nowhere else in the world are the by-products so perfectly utilized. The Japanese have not only extracted the best from the European methods of preparing whales and adapted it to their peculiar needs, but have also added much from their own experience which whalemen of other nations would do well to recognize.

The Japanese stations are usually situated in or near one of the little fishing villages which dot the islands in every bay or harbor. In some instances the whales are drawn out of the water upon a slip in the manner learned from the Norwegians, but the more usual way of cutting in is a method of their own adoption.

At the end of a wharf extending into deep water a pair of long, heavy poles are erected, inclined forward, and joined at their extremities by a massive cross-piece. From this the great blocks, through which run the wire cables of the winch, are suspended.

The first whale which I saw cut in by the Japanese was an enormous sulphur-bottom, 80 feet in length. I had been at sea for several days on one of the ships, and as we swung into the bay from the open ocean, the whistle echoing among the hills gave warning of our coming. The little vessel, towing a carcass almost as long as herself, plows slowly up to the wharf, and after a rope from the shore had been made fast to the flukes of the whale, dropped it into the water and backed off to anchor in the bay.

Immediately a heavy chain, was made fast about the body just forward of the tail, the winch started, and the whale drawn slowly into the air over the end of the wharf. As it came upward the eager cutters attacked it, slicing off enormous blocks of flesh and blubber, which were at once seized by "hookmen" and drawn to the back of the platform. Meanwhile two other cutters were at work in a "sampan" dividing the carcass just forward of the dorsal fin. The entire posterior part of the whale was then drawn upward and lowered on the wharf to be stripped of blubber and flesh. Transverse incisions were made in the portion of the body remaining in the water, a hook fastened to a blanket piece, and as the blubber was torn off by the winch the carcass rolled over and over. The disjointed head was hoisted bodily onto the pier. Section by section the carcass was cut apart and drawn upward to fall into the hands of men on the wharf and be slicked into great blocks two or three feed square.

The scene was one of "orderly confusion"--men, women, and girls laughing and chattering, running here and there, sometimes stopping for a few words of banter, but each with his, or her, own work to do. Above the babel of sounds, the strange, half-wild, meaningless chant, "Ya-rå-cü-ra-sa," rose and died away, swelling again in a fierce chorus as the sweating, half-naked men pulled and strained at a great jawbone or swung the hundred-pound chunks of flesh into the waiting hand-cars which carried them to the washing vats. Sometimes a kimona-clad, bare-footed girl slipped on the oily boards or treacherous, sliding, blubber cakes and sprawled into a great pool of blood, rising amid roars of laughter to shake herself, wipe the red blotches from her little stub nose, and go on as merrily as before.

Harpoon Gun The Harpoon Gun used for killing and capturing whales Photo courtesy of World's Work
Whale Spouting A Sei or Sardine Whale Spouting: Japan A Sei or Sardine Whale Inspiring
It was essentially a good-natured crowd, working hard and ceaselessly, but deriving as much fun from their labor as though it was a holiday. The spirit of the place was infectious, and as I splashed about in the blood and grease doing my own work, I talked and joked with the cutters in bad Japanese, causing screams of laughter when I seriously informed them that "the sun was very hot water" by the quite natural mistake of substituting the word "atsui-yu" for "atsui" (hot).

Almost every night we would be awakened by the long-drawn wail of a ship's sire whistle, bringing the news of more whales. If I did not at once stir, the little amah (servant), always devoted to my interests, would quietly slide back and paper screen to the sleeping-room and say "Andrews-sar Go Hogei wa kujira torri mashita" (Hogei, No. 5 caught whales). When I had rolled out of the comfortable futons and begun to dress, I would hear little Scio-san pattering about in the other room, gathering my pencil, note-book, and tape measure. Looking like a beautiful night-moth in her bright-colored kimono, with the huge bow of her obi (sash) always neatly arranged; she would be there to help me into the greasy oil-skins and rubber boots, and clump along in front to the wharf, lighting the way with a "chôchin" (paper lantern) that I might not bump my head on the eaves and rafters of the low station sheds.

Finback Whale A Finback Whale Diving: Japan This species derives its name from the large fin on its back, and which is clearly shown in this picture.
Sei Whale Sei Whale about to take a "surface dive" This species may be easily recognized in the water by the height of the dorsal fin. "It is most interesting to watch these beautiful animals pursuing a school of sardines, twisting their lithe bodies as they whirl along after the terrified, skipping fish, sometimes throwing themselves half out of the water in their eagerness. But, like the other finners, they will always eat shrimp, if it is obtainable, in preference to anything else."
Humpback Pair Humpbacks often swim in pairs while feeding Photo courtesy of World's Work
Humpback Flukes The flukes of a big humpback just disappearing beneath the surface. The smooth spot, or "slick" on the water is the invariable accompaniment of the dive. Photo courtesy of World's Work
Whale Harpoon The Harpoon as it strikes the whale In addition to the rope, the harpoon carries a bomb, which is exploded three or four feet inside the whale and usually kills the huge animal instantly. The black cloud is the smoke from the discharge.

Every day Scio-san religiously went to her ugly little stone joss in the playhouse temple on the hillside and prayed that the "America-san" might catch many whales and porpoises for the hakubutsu-kwan (museum) in the wonderful, fairy city across the Pacific, of which he had so often told her. And when the season was ended and she had ventured to ask the America-san t himself thank the joss, and to please her he had done so, her joy could hardly be contained, and the tip of her little nose was almost red from constant rubbing on the tatami (floor matting) in her bows of thanks and farewell.

Even though it was the very middle of the night when a ship's whistle sounded, long before the whale had been dropped at the wharf paper lanterns, flashing like fireflies, would begin to shine and disappear among the thatched-roofed cottages and a crowd of villagers gather at the end of the wharf. Half-naked men, child-faced geishas, and little youngsters carrying sleeping babies as large as themselves strapped to their backs, formed a curious, picturesque, ever-changing group.

Humpback Carcass Inflating the carcass of a humpback whale to keep it afloat A hollow steel tube is thrust into the whale's side and the animal is slowly filled with air by a steam pump. Photo courtesy of World's Work.
Towing Whale to Factory Towing the inflated whale to the factory.
Fires of coal-fat in iron racks along the wharf threw a brilliant yellow light far out over the bay filled with whale ships, heavy, square-sterned fishing boats, and sampans. The work of cutting in would go on as merrily as in the daytime, for the meat and blubber must be hurried on board fast transports and sent to the nearest city, to be sold in the markets and peddled from house to house.

WHALE MEAT IS VERY POPULAR IN JAPAN Few people realize the great part which whale meat plays in the life of the ordinary Japanese. Too poor to buy beef, their diet would include little but rice, fish, and vegetables were it not for the great supply of flesh and blubber furnished by these huge water mammals. In winter the meat of the humpback whale, which is most highly esteemed, sometimes brings as much as 30 sen (15 cents) per pound; but this is unusual. Ordinarily it can be bought for 15 sen or less. But the edible portions are not only the flesh and blubber. Certain parts of the viscera are prepared for human consumption, and what remains is first tried out to extract the oil, then chipped by girls using hand-knives, and dried in the sun for fertilizer.

Whale meat is very coarse grained and tastes something like venison, but has flavor peculiarly its own. I have eaten it for many days in succession, and found it not only palatable but healthful. The Japanese prepare it in a variety of ways, but perhaps it is most frequently chopped finely, mixed with vegetables, and eaten raw, dressed with a brown sauce.

Sperm Whale The Flensers at work on a Sperm Whale's Head: Vancouver "They make longitudinal incisions through the blubber along the breast, side and back, and from the flukes the entire length of the body to the head. The cable was then made fast to the blubber at the chin, the winch started, and the great layer of fat stripped off exactly as one would peel an orange."

In the summer, when it is impossible to ship the meat to any distance because of the heat, much of it is canned. The flesh is cooked in great kettles, and the cans made, packed, and labeled at the stations. On my desk as I write is a tin of whale meat which I bought from Aikawa, where hundreds of pounds were packed and sent southward to be marketed at Tokyo and shipped to all parts of the Empire.

It is most unfortunate that prejudice prevents whale meat from being sold in Europe and America. It could not, of course, be sent fresh to the large cities; but, canned in the Japanese fashion, it is vastly superior to much of the beef and other tinned foods now on sale in our markets. In New Zealand the Messrs. Cook Brothers, who have developed a most extraordinary method of capturing humpback whales in wire nets, can a great deal of meat and ship it to the South Sea Islands, where it is sold to the natives.

The baleen of the rorquals, which is of little value in Europe and America, has been put to many uses by the Japanese. When I visited the exhibition rooms of the Toyo Hogei Kaisha, in Tokyo, I was astonished and delighted at sight of the cigar and cigarette cases, charcoal baskets, sandals, and other beautiful things created by their clever brains and skillful fingers from the material which, in the hands of western nations, seems to be useless.

Whale Blubber Cross-section of blubber on breast of whale, showing the folds
The whales are going fast, and it is probable that long before the slow-moving wheels of government begin to revolve and legislation is enacted for their protection, they will have become commercially extinct. But since this seems to be unavoidable, my hopes are that the Japanese will get even more than their share while they do last. There the whales are as carefully prepared and utilized for as great a purpose as are cattle and sheep in the Occident. In other countries but little of the real value of the animals is secured, and their great bodies are being spread upon the southern cotton fields instead of feeding thousands of hungry poor.

THE BLUE WHALE

I have been writing of the methods of preparing whales, but have told little of the animals themselves. Few readers, perhaps, realize that the blue or sulphur-bottom whale found in all our oceans is not only the largest animal that lives today, but is also, so far as is now known, the largest animal that has ever existed on the earth or in its waters. Specimens have been measured which reached a length of 87 feet and in all probability weighed as much as 75 tons. Although the mouth is enormous, large enough in fact to permit 10 or 12 men to stand upright in it, the throat measures only about 9 inches in diameter.

Animals, like most of the "whale-bone whales," usually feed on minute crustaceans, a shrimp about three-quarters of an inch long. They probably never eat fish of any kind if other food is to be had, and of the many stomachs which I have examined, never once could anything but the little red crustaceans be found. From the stomach of one blue whale at Vancouver Island five barrels (1,215 pounds) of shrimp were taken, and it was by no means full.

The Norwegians gave the animal the name of blue whale from the bluish cast to the beautiful gray body. Sulphur-bottom, as the whale is called at the American station, is a misnomer and unfortunate, for there is not the slightest trace of yellowish color anywhere upon the animal.

Whale Tail Fastened to Ship Making a whale fast to the side of the ship: Japan

Probably no Cetacean has such wonderful strength as have the blue whales. I have heard many stories of the almost incredible way in which these animals can pull, but was at first inclined to doubt them. Later, when I saw a blue whale with a harpoon between the shoulders drag the ship, with engines at full speed astern, through the water almost as though it had been a rowboat, I began to listen with more respect. Since the tail is used almost exclusively for propelling the animal forward, if the iron strikes far back the whale is greatly hampered in its swimming movements; but with the harpoon between its shoulders it can pull with all its strength.

THE FINBACK, OR "GREYHOUND OF THE SEA" The finback, closely related to the blue whale, has been called the "greyhound of the sea," for its long, slender body is built on the lines of a racing yacht and the animal can equal the speed of the fastest steamship. The back is dark gray, shading into beautiful light gray on the sides and pure white below. A noticeable character about this whale is the asymmetry of the throat coloring; the left side is dark slate and the right pure white like the under parts. The baleen, also, on the right side, for a distance of about 2½ feet, is white, in sharp distinction from the remaining dark places.

THE HUMPBACK IS VERY PLAYFUL The humpback is to me the most interesting of all our large whales, partly because of the fact that its habits are more easily studied than are those of the other members of the family. Its maximum size is under 55 feet, but its body is thick and heavy, with enormous side fins, or flippers. These great paddles are one-quarter the length of the entire body and a single one from a whale 49 feet long weighed on the station scales 956 pounds. The throat, breast, flukes, and flippers of the humpback are almost invariably covered with masses of barnacles, for the hard, shell-like Coronula are themselves the hosts of the soft, pendant goose barnacles.

Tail of a Humpback Bringing In A Humpback: Japan This is not a propeller, but the whale's tail.

Barnacles are not the only parasites which infest these animals, for the humpbacks, and in fact almost all the large whales, bear numbers of crab-like crustaceans (Cyamus), about half and inch in length, called "whale lice." On the right whales these "lice" produce an irritation upon the top of the snout that a large, irregular roughened patch, called the "bonnet," is formed: on the side of the lip and over the eyes are other and smaller patches infested with the troublesome crustaceans.

The most playful of all our large whales are the humpbacks, and consequently that are the most interesting to the photographer. Jumping or "breaching" is one of their most spectacular performances, and it is truly a wonderful sight. The first time I ever saw a humpback "breach" was off the Vancouver Island coast while on board the ship Orion. We had sighted a lone bull whale late in the afternoon, and for two hours the little ship had been hanging doggedly to the chase.

Finback Whale Drawing a Finback up on the ways to be cut up: Japan

The whale seemed to know exactly the number of fathoms at which the harpoon gun was effective and gauged the distance accurately, always coming up just out of range. Sometimes the animal thrust its entire head and fore part of the body out of the water, with a loud, whistling spout, sinking back out of sight before the ship could swing about. Again, it inverted itself and, with the entire posterior part out of the water, began to wave the gigantic flukes back and forth. The motion was slow and dignified at first, the flukes not touching the water on either side. Faster and faster they waved, until they were lashing the water into foam and sending clouds of spray high into the air; then slowly the action ceased and the whale sank out of sight. The ship was not far from the animal as it went down and I stood waiting on the gun platform, when suddenly the water parted directly in front of us and with a rush that sent its huge, black body five feet clear of the surface the whale shot into the air, fins extended, and fell back on its side, sinking slowly out of sight amid a perfect cloud of spray.

Giant Finback Whale Stripping the flesh from the skeleton of a Giant Finback Whale: Japan

THE SEI, OR SARDINE WHALE While in Japan during 1910 I had an opportunity to study in considerable detail a species which has never before been reported in numbers from the North Pacific. This is the sei whale of the Norwegians and the "Iwashi kujira" (sardine whale) of the Japanese. It is not a large animal, seldom exceeding 54 feet, and is formed on slender, graceful lines, much like the finback. Its coloration also resembles in a general way the latter species, but it can be readily distinguished by its high, falcate dorsal fin.

The sei whale has a habit of swimming just below the surface, sometimes with the dorsal fin exposed, and when feeding will travel for a considerable distance in this manner. It is a difficult whale to shoot, because the back is arched but slightly when the animal dives and only a comparatively small part of its body is shown above the water at one time. I have seen a sardine whale, rising almost under the bows of a ship, suddenly check its upward rush and dash along just below the surface, the vessel going at full speed beside it in order to spout.

It is most interesting to watch these beautiful animals pursuing a school of sardines, twisting their lithe bodies as they whirl along after the terrified, skipping fish, sometimes throwing themselves half out of the water in their eagerness. But, like the other finners, they will always eat shrimp, if it is obtainable, in preference to anything else.

Giant Finback Whale Lifting a Giant Finback Whale out of the water so that the cutters can get at it
WHALES ARE DEVOTED TO THEIR CALVES

All the large whales show great affection for their young, and the cows and calves will seldom leave each other when pursued by a ship. I remember at one time in Alaska, on board the steamship Tyce, Jr., we had sighted a female finback with a young one about 30 feet long beside her. They were not difficult to approach, and as the old whale rose to spout not five fathoms from the vessel's nose, the gunner fired, killing her almost instantly. The calf, although badly frightened, continued to swim in a circle about the ship, and finally, when its dead mother had been hoisted to the surface, the little fellow came alongside so close that I could have struck him with a stone. During the time that the carcass was being inflated and the gun reloaded, the calf was constantly within a few fathoms of the ship, swimming around and around, sometimes rubbing itself against the body of its dead mother. Finally a harpoon was sent crashing into its side, and it sank without a struggle.

Giant Finback Whale Hoisting on the wharf parts of the whale shown in the preceding picture

PECULIARITIES OF WHALES The feeding operations of the humpback, blue, and finback whales are carried on in essentially the same way and are most interesting to watch. If the "feed" happens to be floating at the surface, as is frequently the case in the morning and evening, the action can be easily seen. The whale opens its mouth, takes in a great quantity of water containing numbers of the floating shrimp, turns on its side, and brings the ponderous lower jaw upward, closing the mouth. The great, flexible tongue, filling the space between the rows of baleen, forces out the water, leaving the little shrimp, which have been strained out by the bristles on the inner side of the whalebone plates. The fin and one lobe of the flukes are thrust into the air as the mouth is closed, and sometimes the animal rolls from side to side. At this time the whales are careless of danger and pay not the slightest attention to the ship which is hunting them.

The distance traversed by whales when beneath the surface depends entirely upon circumstances. When there is little feed and the animals are constantly moving or "traveling," they may rise to spout several miles from the place of last appearance. If, on the contrary, feed is abundant, they may blow again within a short distance of the point at which they disappeared, and continue for several hours within two or three miles of the same spot.

Head of Sperm Whale Head of the 60-foot Sperm whale sent to the American Museum in New York: This head yielded 20 barrels of spermaceti
Sardine Whale Posterior part of a sei or sardine whale drawn upon the wharf: Japan This picture shows very distinctly the layer of blubber, or fat, which covers the entire body of all whales -- the white layer enveloping the dark flesh.
Bull Sperm Whale A big bull sperm whale: Vancouver Island "The sperm whale is the animal which yields ambergris, the valuable substance used so extensively in the manufacture of our best perfumes. Ambergris is only found in 'sick' whales; that is, its presence is not normal, but is caused by a pathological condition of the intestines." Contrast the huge head and bulky frame of this species with the "racing build" of the finback whale in the next picture.
Female Finback Whale The Greyhound of the Sea: A Female Finback Whale: Alaska "The finback, closely related to the blue whale, has been called the 'greyhound of the sea,' for its long, slender body is built on the lines of a racing yacht and the animal can equal the speed of the fastest steamship" Little is known about the breeding habits of whales, except that the young of whales are born alive, and are suckled and vigorously defended by the mother, as in the case of land mammals.
Head of Sperm Whale Cross-Section of the Head of a Sperm Whale This species of whale carries two rows of 20 or 25 heavy teeth in its lower jaw. The teeth may be observed in the left portion of this picture. The teeth assist in holding the giant squid and cuttlefish, on which the enormous animal feeds. This picture also shows very clearly the layer of blubber surrounding the flesh.
Skull of a Blue Whale Skull of a Blue Whale sent to the American Museum of Natural History from Japan

There is a belief current among fishermen that whales can remain under water for a very long time without coming to the surface. This owes its origin to the fact that whales will suddenly appear when for hours before there had been no sign of a spout, even at a distance. I believe this idea may be accounted for by the hypothesis that the animals frequently swim great distances at considerable speed without appearing to blow. The longest period of submergence for finbacks which I actually timed by my watch was 23 minutes, but there is little doubt but that most large whales can remain under water a considerably longer time.

Both humpbacks and finbacks, when two or more individuals are together, will frequently swim side by side so closely as to almost touch each other, leaving the surface and reappearing again at exactly the same instant. Also a school, when separated by perhaps many hundred yards, will disappear as though at a given signal, double under water, and rise again a mile away, all blowing at the same time. How they communicate with each other--for it seems that they must do it--is a mystery for which I cannot even suggest an explanation.

Skull of a Blue Whale Skeleton of Finback Whale, mounted in the American Museum of Natural History
Skull of a Blue Whale Blue or Sulphur-Bottom Whale: life-size model; Length, 76 feet In the American Museum of Natural History; prepared under the direction of Roy C. Andrews and James L. Clark
In Japan hundreds of tons of whale meat are sold in the markets of all the large towns to people too poor to buy beef. The usual price is 7 or 8 cents per pound. One whale yields as much meat as a herd of 100 cattle.

THE GIANT SPERM WHALE No mammal which inhabits the sea is more extraordinary and grotesque in appearance than is the heavy-bodied, square-nosed sperm whale, and I suppose no mammal could furnish a more interesting study to the naturalist. At very few of the shore stations are sperms taken, but in the north of Japan, during August and September, they are killed in numbers.

Instead of having plates of baleen, this whale carries a row of 20 to 25 heavy teeth on each side of the lower jaw. These fit into sockets in the roof of the mouth and assist in holding the giant squid and cuttle-fish on which the enormous animal feeds. Since the squid seldom gets far out of the warm currents, the sperm does not go into the cold water, but cruises about in the tropics and in the Gulf and Japan streams.

In the upper portion of the head the whale has an immense oil-tank in which the valuable "spermaceti" is found in a liquid condition and from which it may be dipped out with a bucket when an incision has been made. From a sperm whale 60 feet in length which was sent to the Museum from Japan, 20 barrels of spermaceti were taken out of the "case" and surrounding fat. This oil congeals as soon as it is cooled by the air, but the natural heat of the body keeps it in a liquid condition until the case is opened.

The sperm whale is the animal which yields ambergris, the valuable substance used so extensively in the manufacture of our best perfumes. Ambergris is only found in "sick" whales; that is, its presence is not normal, but is caused by a pathological condition of the intestines. It has been found floating upon the water, and is also taken from the intestines themselves after the whale has died or has been killed. It is used as a vehicle for perfumes and not as an odor itself.

 

Friday, 01 March 2019 07:16

Deep Sea Crop circle mystery solved

Written by

 

Deep sea crop mystery Deep sea crop mystery

Mysterious geometric patterns on the sandy ocean floor, not created by a human, but an unexpected underwater artist!

Puffer Fish creating circles

The impressive geometric sand patterns are nearly six feet in diameter and at a depth of 80 feet .

The female puffer fish lay their eggs in the centers of the geometric circles The female puffer fish lay their eggs in the centers of the geometric circles

Puffer fish is creating the deep sea circles by flapping a fin and is making a circle, apparently for mating purposes. The female puffer fish lay their eggs in the centers of them.

Friday, 01 March 2019 07:10

Tiny cameras attached to the back of gannets

Written by

Tiny cameras attached to back of gannets Tiny cameras attached to back of gannets

Researchers attached the tiny cameras to the gannets, to learn more about their habits and how they survive flying up to 300 miles out at sea. They found that the seabirds circle at 30 meters high before diving into the water at speeds of up 60mph.

Gannets are seabirds comprising the genus Morus, in the family Sulidae, closely related to boobies. The gannets are large black and white birds with yellow heads; long, pointed wings; and long bills. Northern gannets are the largest seabirds in the North Atlantic, with a wingspan of up to 2 metres. The other two species occur in the temperate seas around southern Africa, southern Australia and New Zealand.

Gannets are large black and white birds with yellow heads and pointed beaks. Gannets are large black and white birds with yellow heads and pointed beaks.

Gannets hunt fish by diving from a height into the sea and pursuing their prey underwater. Gannets have a number of adaptations which enable them to do this:

  • they have no external nostrils, they are located inside the mouth instead;
  • they have air sacs in their face and chest under their skin which act like bubble wrapping, cushioning the impact with the water;
  • their eyes are positioned far enough forward on their face to give them binocular vision, allowing them to judge distances accurately.

 

Friday, 01 March 2019 07:03

There’s no such thing as a jellyfish

Written by

 

Jellyfish with its venemous tentacles. Jellyfish with its venomous tentacles.

By all accounts, jellyfish are creatures that kill people, eat microbes, grow to tens of meters, filter phytoplankton, take over ecosystems, and live forever. Watch the video…

{youtube}]http://youtu.be/3HzFiQFFQYw{/youtube}

Because of the immense diversity of gelatinous plankton, jelly-like creatures can individually have each of these properties.However this way of looking at them both overstates and underestimates their true diversity. Taxonomically, they are far more varied than a handful of exemplars that are used to represent jellyfish or especially the so-called “true” jellyfish. Ecologically, they are even more adaptable than one would expect by looking only at the conspicuous bloom forming families and species that draw most of the attention.

In reality, the most abundant and diverse gelatinous groups in the ocean are not the ones that anyone ever sees.

Friday, 01 March 2019 06:55

Menopausal Moms: A Mammal Mystery

Written by

Killer whales (Orcinus orca) have something in common with humans: early menopause Killer whales (Orcinus orca) have something in common with humans: early menopause

Marine Wildlife blog salutes ocean-going mothers everywhere. Especially a 60 year-old albatross named Wisdom. She holds the seabird records for both oldest bird and oldest new mother. No stranger to motherhood, it is estimated that she has already birthed 30-35 other chicks.

A 60 year-old albatross named Wisdom. She holds the seabird records for both oldest bird and oldest new mother. A 60 year-old albatross named Wisdom. She holds the seabird records for both oldest bird and oldest new mother.

This made us wonder, why can Wisdom give birth well into her twilight years while human females call it quits 20-40 years early? And Wisdom is hardly alone - baleen whales can reproduce well into their 90s!

In fact, human females are the oddballs here and a bit of a puzzle. Evolution favors those who leave the MOST offspring. Yet the average human mother has her last child at the age of 38 -- with menopause and the loss of fertility often occurring at about 50 -- even though she will typically live well into her sixties in hunter-gatherer societies, and much longer in societies with modern medicine.

In fact, human females are the oddballs here and a bit of a puzzle. Evolution favors those who leave the MOST offspring. Yet the average human mother has her last child at the age of 38 -- with menopause and the loss of fertility often occurring at about 50 -- even though she will typically live well into her sixties in hunter-gatherer societies, and much longer in societies with modern medicine.

But we are not entirely unique. Short finned pilot whale females live until they are 54 years old but stop breeding by age 36. Killer whale females stop breeding after roughly 48 years and can then live to the ripe old age of 90. Sound familiar!? We must be on to something. But what? What makes female humans, short-finned pilot whales and killer whales throw in the towel after the 5th inning of the baby-making game?

Short finned pilot whale females live until they are 54 years old but stop breeding by age 36. Short finned pilot whale females live until they are 54 years old but stop breeding by age 36.

The “mother effect” suggests that after a female has a certain number of children, she puts them at a disadvantage by continuing to engage in the risky business of childbirth. Similarly, the “grandmother effect” suggests that older females can leave more surviving relatives by helping their children’s children than by having more of their own. But these hypotheses don’t do much to explain why humans and some whales but no other species should evolve the menopausal strategy.

Lastly, there is the “reproductive conflict hypothesis” or as we like to call it “the Father of the Bride 2 hypothesis.” This theory suggests that there are simply not enough food and resources for a mother and a daughter to simultaneously raise a baby. (As is demonstrated in the 1995 comedy classic Father of the Bride 2. When Annie Banks and her mother Nina both become pregnant at the same time, Steve Martin fears what this will mean for his financial situation and ability to get a good night’s sleep. Comedy ensues.) This theory helps to explain why a woman tends to go through menopause just as her children become ready to reproduce.

So what do people, killer whales and short-finned pilot whales have in common when it comes to reproductive conflict? We care for our young for a long time. We live in packs. And we hunt in groups. But so do lots of social mammals. The more typical pattern is for younger females to help older females rather than the reverse – we need to look deeper to find out what causes the switch.

One piece of the puzzle may lie in the fact that human females (unlike most female mammals, who tend to stay put) often leave their own families to join the families of their husbands. This means that when they first arrive, they have no relatives nearby to help and so it makes sense to focus on their own kids. But that changes as they get older and their sons start having children.

Unlike right whales, humans stop reproducing in their thirties Unlike right whales, humans stop reproducing in their thirties

Menopausal female whales find themselves in a similar situation for different reasons. In these species, both males and females stay in their groups most of the time, but they leave them to mate. This means that a female’s daughters’ offspring stay in the group, so that once again as she gets older she has more relatives to help. This may also explain why before menopause females take better care of their sons – daughters are weaned at 4-6 years but sons are cared for into their teens. This makes sense because her sons’ offspring are elsewhere and so don’t compete with her own.

Who would have thought that marine mammals might help us understand human menopause? Of course the question remains – does a life spent cooled by the ocean help menopausal whales deal with hot flashes? These are the mysteries of the ocean we may never know.

Editors Note: This post was co-written with Amanda Feuerstein, program coordinator in the office of the Sant Chair for Marine Science. Dr. Nancy Knowlton is the Sant Chair for Marine Science at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History..”

 

Friday, 01 March 2019 06:36

Firefly squid in Toyama Bay

Written by

  Thousands of fire fly squid at waters'edge

Thousands of fire fly squid at waters'edgeThe firefly squid because of tiny photophores in their bodies, they are causing this beautiful bioluminescent phenomenon in Toyama Bay, Japan.

Tiny photophores can be found by thousands in the squid’s body, creating the ability to emit light.

The firefly squid normally are living at 1200 feet underwater, but waves in the Toyama bay pushes them to the surface, from March to June.

Firefly-squid-in-Toyama-Bay-1-640x420 (1)

One quarter of the world's cartilaginous fish such as sharks and rays are in danger of disappearing within the next few decades.

The survey is the first to stretch their observations into "coastal seas and oceans." They found 249 (one-quarter) out of 1,041 shark, chimaera and ray species are considered threatened under the IUCN red list, a Simon Fraser University news release reported. large_great-white-shark A quarter of ray and shark species are in grave danger. We now know that many species of sharks and rays, not just the charismatic white sharks, face extinction across the ice-free seas of the world," Nick Dulvy, a Simon Fraser University (SFU) Canada Research Chair in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, said in the news release. "There are no real sanctuaries for sharks where they are safe from overfishing." A study involving 300 experts and taking place over 20 years took "distribution, catch, abundance, population trends, habitat use, life histories, threats and conservation measures" into account when looking at the conservation status of the species'. One-hundred-and-seven species of rays and skates and 74 shark species were defined as "threatened." Only 23 percent of all the species studied were considered to be of "Least Concern." The team found the regions where these species were most threatened were the Indo-Pacific, the Red Sea, and the Mediterranean. In the most peril are the largest species of rays and sharks, especially those living in relatively shallow water that is accessible to fisheries. The combined effects of over exploitation -especially for the lucrative shark fin soup. manta ray Manta rays are large eagle rays, , typically with large triangular pectoral fins and forward facing mouths. A whole bunch of wildly charismatic species is at risk. Rays, including the majestic manta and devil rays, are generally worse off than sharks. Unless binding commitments to protect these fish are made now, there is a real risk that our grandchildren won't see sharks and rays in the wild," he said. Losing some of the aquatic food chain's top predators could cause problems throughout the entire ecosystem. The loss of these species would also be like losing "a chapter of our evolutionary history," according to Dulvy. "They are the only living representatives of the first lineage to have jaws, brains, placentas and the modern immune system of vertebrates," he said.    

 

 

glow-fish- A green biofluorescent chain catshark There is a light show in the ocean that you can't see, but many fish can. There's quite a display of neon greens, reds, and oranges going on underneath the surface.

Still, the discovery of what is hidden from human eyes -- biofluorescence in 180 species of fish -- brings up many questions for researchers.

Do fish use it to communicate with others? Do they use it to mate? What is its function? Bio fluorescence occurs when an organism absorbs blue light, transforms it and emits it as another color.

untitled Researchers discover a rich diversity of fluorescent patterns and colours in marine fishes as exemplified here B)ray C) sole, H) false moray eeI, I) chlopsidae, J) pipefish, K) sand gazer

A team of researchers from the American Museum of Natural History and other scientific organizations published a study Wednesday in the online journal PLOS ONE, reporting the findings of the first in-depth look at bio fluorescence in fish.

"We've long known about bio fluorescence underwater in organisms like corals, jellyfish, and even in land animals like butterflies and parrots," said the study's co-author, John Sparks, who is a curator in the Museum's Department of Ichthyology.

scorpionfish A red scorpion fish perched on red fluorescent algae at night in the Solomon Islands

He said the team stumbled on an eel that glowed green while he and a partner were studying a reef in the Cayman Islands. The discovery in a photograph of the eel lighting up underneath the blue lights they used led them to make four more trips in different parts of the world to get a closer look at the glow show.

The expeditions to the Bahamas in the Caribbean and Solomon Islands in the Pacific revealed a variety of fish living around coral reefs -- including sharks, rays, eels and lizerd fishes -- that exhibited bio flourescence. s

"Many shallow reef inhabitants and fish have the capabilities to detect fluorescent light and may be using biofluorescence in similar fashions to how animals use bioluminescence, such as to find mates and to camouflage," Sparks suggested, while adding the reasons will need further study.

So how do the fish recognize it? Many of them have yellow filters in their eyes, "possibly allowing them to see the otherwise hidden fluorescent displays taking place in the water," a news release from the museum of natural history said.

blenny A triplefin blenny under white light,above, and blue light, below.

"The cryptically patterned gobies, flatfishes, eels, and scorpion fishes -- these are animals that you'd never normally see during a dive," Sparks said. "To our eyes, they blend right into their environment. But to a fish that has a yellow intraocular filter, they must stick out like a sore thumb."

Some scientists cautioned that the bioflouresence might look neat in photos using special lights but also have no function.

Nico Michiels, a zoologist at the University of Tübingen in Germany, and Steven Haddock of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California, indicated to Science Now that the need for special technology to view what the website called weak fluorescence "casts doubt on the usefulness of the coloration in the fish's dimly lit natural environments."

Sparks said it will be interesting to see what the team finds next."This paper is the first to look at the wide distribution of biofluorescence across fishes, and it opens up a number of new research areas," he said.He added that there may be fluorescent proteins involved, ones that could be used in biomedical research.

 

 

Thursday, 28 February 2019 13:46

Mysterious structure found at bottom of ancient lake

Written by

“We don't know how it was constructed, its exact age is or how it was used, but we do know that it is there and it is huge.”

Dani Nadel, archeologist, University of Haifa

CNN) -- A mysterious, circular structure, with a diameter greater than the length of a Boeing 747 jet, has been discovered submerged about 30 feet (9 meters) underneath the Sea of Galilee in Israel.

sea-of-galilee-stone-structure-

sea-of-galilee-stone-structure-
    The circular stone structure rises to a height of 10meters with a diameter of nearly 70 meters.

Scientists first made the discovery by accident in 2003 using sonar to survey the bottom of the lake but published their findings only recently.

"We just bumped into it," recalls Shmuel Marco, a geophysicist from Tel Aviv University who worked on the project. "Usually the bottom of the lake is quite smooth. We were surprised to find a large mound. Initially we didn't realize the importance of this but we consulted with a couple of archaeologists, and they said it looked like an unusually large Bronze Age statue."

The structure is comprised of basalt rocks, arranged in the shape of a cone. It measures 230 feet (70 meters) at the base of the structure, is 32 feet (10 meters) tall, and weighs an estimated 60,000 tons. It is twice the size of the ancient stone circle at Stonehenge in England.

“We just bumped into it. Usually the bottom of the lake is quite smooth, so we were surprised to find a large mound.”

Shmuel Marco, geophysicist, Tel Aviv University

Its size and location, say Marco, who also took video of the structure during a scuba dive to examine it, indicated it could have been constructed underwater as a type of fish nursery. However archeologists think it more likely it was built on dry land and later submerged by the lake.

"From a geophysical perspective, it is also important to the history of the lake, because it means the water level was lower than it was today," says Marco.

According to Yitzhak Paz, the archeologist who led the study, the fact that the structure is underwater has made it a particularly difficult study.

"If the site was inland, it would be much easier to investigate. By now we would have excavated, but because it's submerged we haven't yet been able to. It is a much harder process, both physically and financially. It is very expensive to raise support for such an enterprise."

cross section of structure

cross section of structure
    Cross -section of the structure

The exact age of the structure has been difficult to pinpoint, but calculations based on the six to ten feet (two to three meters) of sand that have accumulated over the bottom of the base -- sand accumulates an average of one to four millimeters per year -- as well as comparisons to other structures in the region, put the estimate anywhere between 2,000 and 12,000 years old.

 STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Ancient structure twice the size of Stonehenge found submerged
  • Thought to be between 2,000 and 12,000 years old
  • Archeologists believe it was built on land then later submerged
  • Guesses as to site's purpose; could be ceremonial structure or huge ramp

The possible purpose of the structure is even more enigmatic.

Dani Nadel, an archeologist from the University of Haifa, who partnered on the site, and who has led several prehistoric excavations in the region, notes it shares similarities with communal burial sites, though he's quick to discourage anyone from drawing a definitive conclusion.

"This is such a huge structure that it truly is something unusual. It could have been a big ceremonial structure, or a ramp. There could have once been statues on top of people in certain rituals. I mean, I'm really going wild here. The truth is we don't know how it was constructed, what its exact age is, how it was used, or how long ago it was used. We have several speculations, but we don't know much except that it's there and it's huge."

Despite the limitations of examining underwater ruins, Nadel says that once they do raise the funds to excavate, there is a good likelihood that their findings will be more complete than would be possible with a land-based structure.

"Above land, many organic remains are decomposed by worms, and other creatures needing oxygen. Underwater, you don't have oxygen, so the process of decomposition is on a much smaller scale," he says.

Nadel points to Ohalo II, a site he excavated near the Sea of Galilee that had been submerged for 23,000 years before a drop in water level made it easy to excavate. Ohalo II is significant because it was one of the best preserved prehistoric sites in the world.

"In most sites, you're lucky to find five or ten seeds. At Ohalo, we found 150,000. We learned a lot about the diet (of the inhabitants), what fish they were eating, what animals they were hunting. When a site is underwater it gives us the opportunity to see history in much more detail."

What archeologists are certain of is that the monument was likely of great importance to the people who built it. Marco notes that the nearest basalt outcrop was a few hundred meters from the site, and that the stones, which were three to six feet (one to two meters) in width, would have weighed over 200 pounds (90 kilograms) at times.

"We see a society that was capable of organizing the construction of such a large structure. It's unique to transport these stones and unique to arrange them. You need to plan and to mobilize people, because they're too heavy to be carried by a single person."

Nadel points out that given the harsh environment such a structure was a particularly impressive accomplishment.

"You have to imagine," says Nadel, "these people were building something that was more durable than their brush huts."

Page 2 of 3

 

 

 

 

 

--

For nature lovers

  • Big 5 Game Safari
  • Whale watching
  • ECO - Marine Tours
  • Shark Tours
  • Penguin & seabird

For the connoisseur

  • Wine tasting
  • Arts & culture
  • Scenic Drives
  • Cape Aghulas Tour
  • Hermanus Tour

For the adventurous

  • Shark cage diving
  • Mountain biking
  • Quad bike tours
  • Cape Town Zipline
  • Paragliding

Truck

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet.

Storage

Vero eros et accumsan et iusto odio dignissim qui blandit praesent luptatum zzril delenit augue duis dolore te feugait.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper.