FEW BIOLOGISTS KNOW as much about sperm whale social behavior as Shane Gero, a doctoral candidate in biology at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia.
Seeking that meaning lies behind both Cole and Gero’s work with whales, as the images show and as Gero reveals in this interview. Both genders are sexually mature in their early teens, which is when many males leave their natal social unit. Sperm whales use echolocation to find their way around the dark depths of the ocean, just as bats do in the darkness of night.
Gero: Whaling, which continued until the 1980s, reduced the worldwide population of sperm whales to about a third or a quarter of what it once was.
When you are ready for bed, you can play the "I Can't Fall Asleep" game to relax your body. Desktop users: right click on the image and choose "save image as" or "set as desktop background".
Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) is a perennial plant and a member of the carrot family. There are a number of plants that look very similar to Giant hogweed such as Cow parsnip, Purplestem angelica, Woodland angelica, Valerian, Lovage, and Queen Anne’s-Lace (also known as Wild carrot). Giant hogweed has a scattered distribution across southern and central Ontario, south of the line from Manitoulin Island to Ottawa.
There is evidence that Giant hogweed can shade out native plants, although scientists have not done extensive research on its impact in Ontario or Canada. The clear watery sap of Giant hogweed contains toxins that can cause severe dermatitis (inflammation of the skin). If you have Giant hogweed on your property, it is recommended that you hire a professional exterminator to remove it. Protective clothing: Wear protective clothing, including waterproof gloves, long sleeve shirts, pants, and eye protection. Plants without flowers: If the infestation is small dig the stems and roots out and dry them thoroughly before disposing of them. Plants with flowers: To prevent seeds from growing and spreading, remove flower heads before they ripen (when they are white). Herbicides can be used to control plants (like Giant hogweed) that are poisonous to the touch. If you get sap in your eye, flush your eye with water immediately and see a doctor immediately. If you think you have Giant hogweed on your property or if you see it in your community please call the Invading Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711 or report your sighting online. The Ontario Ministries of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Health and Long Term Care, Environment, and Natural Resources are working together with our partners (in particular Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, Ontario Invasive Plant Council, Municipalities and Conservation Authorities) to provide information on the identification and control of Giant hogweed. He and Dalhousie research professor Hal Whitehead, who has studied whales for more than 30 years, initiated an ongoing study of sperm whales off the Caribbean island of Dominica in 2005. Following are his responses, accompanied by images of the whales made by Brandon Cole, a Washington-based underwater photographer who spent four weeks in the Caribbean with the massive animals. Males spend the next 15 years wandering, generally moving to colder and colder waters; they range from pole to pole.


These animals range from Grenada to Guadeloupe and likely much farther, so the population covers much of the eastern Caribbean. We have identified more than 20 sperm whale families off Dominica, with an average size of seven individuals—half the size of social units in the Pacific. When communicating with each other, they use codas—short patterns of clicks that sound roughly like Morse code. Their echolocation clicks, which are as loud as a jet engine, are used for navigation and for finding prey. You can help your child get ready for bed using this progressive muscle relaxation technique. It is a garden ornamental from southwest Asia that is naturalizing in North America and becoming more common in southern and central Ontario. However, these plants are not as large as a mature Giant hogweed, which grows up to 5.5 metres tall under ideal conditions.
In the United Kingdom it grows in areas bordering lakes, streams, and wetlands and causes rocks, soil and other material on stream banks to fall into streams. You can get severe burns if you get the sap on your skin and the skin is then exposed to sunlight.
Since then, using photographs of tails, the Dominica Sperm Whale Project has identified more than 400 whales, creating an unprecedented opportunity to study the animals at the individual level.
It seems that most don’t start making fluke-up dives [lifting their tails out of the water, the sign of a long foraging dive] until at least 3, but some calves we have followed still rarely lift their tails when they are 7 years old. They do form loose bachelor groups, but little is known about why these form or what role they serve. Sperm whale social units have different repertoires or dialects, showing different usage patterns of specific codas. 10) Now make your toes point to the bed, like your foot and your leg are making a straight line.
Giant Hogweed has the potential to spread readily and grows along roadsides, ditches and streams. The white flower clusters resemble those of Queen Anne’s-Lace, but tend to be more widely spaced and can form a flower-head almost one metre wide.
When you transport soil, sand or gravel make sure it is free of Giant hogweed – both plant parts and seeds. Remove protective clothing carefully to avoid transferring any sap from your clothing onto your skin.
The plant might re-grow from the root and you may need to dig repeatedly to remove it completely. Foliar herbicide applications are most effective in spring on actively growing plants, followed with a subsequent summer application for missed plants or plants that have regrown. If photo dermatitis (inflammation of the skin caused by exposure to sunlight) occurs, see a doctor.
Much of the blunt head, which can account for a third of body length, is filled with a waxy, oily substance called spermaceti, once used for machine lubrication and for fueling lamps. An adult female sperm whale will spend over 60 percent of her life feeding in the deep ocean.


Sometime around his 30th birthday a male will start making trips to warmer waters, where he’ll rove between units of females to breed.
In the Caribbean, we commonly hear the 1+1+3 coda [click-pause-click-pause-click-click-click], but it has never been recorded outside the Caribbean. We think the first few clicks whales make after diving are used to pick up the bottom.
While harpooning sperm whales has largely stopped, humans still pose major threats to all whales. Wash your rubber gloves with soap and water, and then take off your spray suit or outer clothing. Since glyphosate is non-selective and removes only the green vegetation that it comes into contact with, new seedlings will often germinate and emerge after glyphosate has been applied. The species was hunted for centuries for this oil and was especially beleaguered from the end of World War II until 1986, when an International Whaling Commission treaty virtually stopped commercial sperm whale hunting. On average, she will spend only about 10 to 15 minutes of every hour in the part of the ocean that sunlight touches. Using hydrophones [underwater microphones], we can hear whales from the surface more than 3 miles away. Chemicals and heavy metals are found in whale tissues from around the world, including those as far away as Antarctica, and whales can become entangled in fishing gear, including longlines and gill nets. The stems of the plant are covered with reddish-purple flecks and stiff hairs filled with sap.
Eye contact with the sap has been reported (in the media and by various web sites) to cause temporary or permanent blindness. It is usually less than 30 centimetres tall, easier to dig up, and more susceptible to herbicides at this time of year. If areas treated with glyphosate are covered in mulch 10 to 14 days after application, it will reduce seedling germination and growth. Ocean noise, produced by our use of the oceans, is increasingly being seen as a major threat to cetaceans around the world. However, evidence of permanent blindness linked to exposure to Giant hogweed cannot be substantiated by any existing research.
It is also cooler in the spring than in the summer so wearing protective clothing is more comfortable. Giant hogweed flowers once in its lifetime, unless the flower clusters are damaged before opening.
Put non-disposable clothing in the laundry and wash yourself immediately with soap and water. If a plant is flowering, herbicides are not effective and control methods should focus on carefully removing the flower heads. Call your municipality to find out if bags containing Giant hogweed can be sent to your local municipal landfill site.



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