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      Humpback whales interfering when mammal-eating killer whales attack other species: Mobbing behavior and interspecific altruism?

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          Sequential megafaunal collapse in the North Pacific Ocean: an ongoing legacy of industrial whaling?

          Populations of seals, sea lions, and sea otters have sequentially collapsed over large areas of the northern North Pacific Ocean and southern Bering Sea during the last several decades. A bottom-up nutritional limitation mechanism induced by physical oceanographic change or competition with fisheries was long thought to be largely responsible for these declines. The current weight of evidence is more consistent with top-down forcing. Increased predation by killer whales probably drove the sea otter collapse and may have been responsible for the earlier pinniped declines as well. We propose that decimation of the great whales by post-World War II industrial whaling caused the great whales' foremost natural predators, killer whales, to begin feeding more intensively on the smaller marine mammals, thus "fishing-down" this element of the marine food web. The timing of these events, information on the abundance, diet, and foraging behavior of both predators and prey, and feasibility analyses based on demographic and energetic modeling are all consistent with this hypothesis.
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            Southern Hemisphere humpback whales wintering off Central America: insights from water temperature into the longest mammalian migration.

            We report on a wintering area off the Pacific coast of Central America for humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) migrating from feeding areas off Antarctica. We document seven individuals, including a mother/calf pair, that made this migration (approx. 8300km), the longest movement undertaken by any mammal. Whales were observed as far north as 11 degrees N off Costa Rica, in an area also used by a boreal population during the opposite winter season, resulting in unique spatial overlap between Northern and Southern Hemisphere populations. The occurrence of such a northerly wintering area is coincident with the development of an equatorial tongue of cold water in the eastern South Pacific, a pattern that is repeated in the eastern South Atlantic. A survey of location and water temperature at the wintering areas worldwide indicates that they are found in warm waters (21.1-28.3 degrees C), irrespective of latitude. We contend that while availability of suitable reproductive habitat in the wintering areas is important at the fine scale, water temperature influences whale distribution at the basin scale. Calf development in warm water may lead to larger adult size and increased reproductive success, a strategy that supports the energy conservation hypothesis as a reason for migration.
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              A review of Killer Whale interactions with other marine mammals: predation to co-existence

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Marine Mammal Science
                Mar Mam Sci
                Wiley-Blackwell
                08240469
                January 2017
                January 2017
                : 33
                : 1
                : 7-58
                Article
                10.1111/mms.12343
                62a2aa9e-39f5-4e0f-8f9d-1a472756a876
                © 2017

                http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/tdm_license_1

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