An estimated 145 long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas) mysteriously stranded on a remote beach in New Zealand over the weekend, and none of the poor creatures survived. A backcountry hiker discovered the stranded whales at Mason Bay on Stewart Island/Rakiura, a rugged island 19 miles (30 kilometers) south of New Zealand's southern island. The hiker then trekked to a nearby New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC) field office to report the finding, according to a statement released today (Nov. 26) from New Zealand's DOC. But by the time authorities reached the struggling whales, nearly half were already dead. The other half were in such bad shape that experts decided to euthanize them. [See Photos of Whales and Sharks from Above] "The remote location, lack of nearby personnel and the whales' deteriorating condition meant the most humane thing to do was to euthanize," Ren Leppens, the Rakiura operations manager, said in the statement. "However, it's always a … [Read more...] about 145 Pilot Whales Found Dead on Remote New Zealand Beach. Nobody Knows Why.
Octopus new zealand
Talk about a slap in the face. A new video captures the moment that a seal or sea lion flung a dead octopus into the face of a kayaker in New Zealand. The video was posted on Instagram by 22-year-old filmmaker Taiyo Masuda. It shows his friend and fellow GoPro camera content promoter Kyle "te Kiwi" Mulinder experiencing the unexpected octopus assault during an ocean kayak trip. The bewhiskered marine mammal may have been sporting with the human interlopers, but it's also quite likely that the octopus slam was an attempt to tenderize the meat for consumption. Sea lions and fur seals are known to hunt and eat octopuses, which are not easy prey to eat. In 2010, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game shared photos of a Steller sea lion wrestling a large octopus. Marine biologists in that case pointed out that the octopus was far from defenseless, armed with its sharp, parrot-like beak. Sea lions have also been known to use the smash-and-grab approach to killing: A 2017 National … [Read more...] about Why a Seal Smacked Kayaker in the Face with an Octopus
You might think of seals as innocent, friendly little creatures who just want to live their lives and not get clubbed to death. But sometimes, it's the seal doing the clubbing. In a video that went viral on Wednesday, New Zealander Kyle Mulinder is seen kayaking with friends near the town of Kaikoura off the east coast of the South Island."After a fun paddle around the peninsula catching waves, we spotted a giant male seal fighting an octopus," Mulinder explained on his Instagram account. "Before we knew it, the fight came to us." All of a sudden, the seal popped right out of the water, and the floppy octopus it was battling ended up slapping Mulinder right in his face. You might say his fate was sealed. "I'm not sure who got more of a surprise, the seal, the octopus or me," Mulinder wrote. "Either way, the octopus held onto the bottom of (the) kayak for some time before our guide was able to get it off with his paddle, then it swam away to fight another day. True … [Read more...] about Sucker punch: Seal slaps kayaker with an octopus
A man kayaking off the coast of New Zealand’s South Island was clobbered in the face with an octopus that had been clutched in a seal’s mouth, Yahoo7 News reports. But here’s the best part: the entire inter-species aquatic slap fight was caught on camera, so you can watch it as many times as you need to get through the day. The video shows the seal rearing up out of the water with the octopus in its mouth, and whipping it at kayaker Kyle Mulinder. Mulinder’s Instagram bio says he’s a GoPro content creator, and he told Yahoo7 News: “My face happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.” Fellow kayaker Taiyo Masuda, who also describes himself as part of the GoPro family, says in the video’s description that he shot the scuffle on the new GoPro Hero 7 Black. The GoPro Hero 7 line, officially announced last week, includes a new and improved image stabilization feature called Hypersmooth. “Hypersmooth makes handheld footage look … [Read more...] about Kayaker blessed by a seal, slapped in the face with an octopus
By Danna StaafApr. 4, 2018 , 2:00 PM "You're doing your surgery, but you don't know if the animal still feels it and you've just stolen its ability to respond," says biologist Robyn Crook of San Francisco State University (SFSU) in California. Until recently, researchers working with octopuses, squids, and other cephalopods routinely faced this dilemma, an ethical and, in some cases, legal challenge to studying these intelligent creatures in the laboratory. But Crook has now shown that both ordinary alcohol and magnesium chloride are effective anesthetics—crucial information for scientists pursuing cephalopod research. Cephalopods might not seem to be ideal laboratory animals. They're exclusively marine, so a complex seawater system is needed to keep them alive, and they're disinclined to stay put—octopuses can escape through minuscule holes, while squids may jet right out of their tanks. But their unique biology and behavior have made them indispensable to researchers in … [Read more...] about How to put an octopus to sleep—and make cephalopod research more humane