Discover why whales get stranded

A new study reported in the journal Current Biology on February 24 offers some of the first evidence that grey whales might depend on a magnetic sense to find their way through the ocean. This evidence comes from the discovery that whales are more likely to strand on days when there are more sunspots.

Sunspots are of interest because they are also linked to solar storms — sudden releases of high-energy particles from the sun that have the potential to disrupt magnetic orientation behaviuor when they interact with Earth’s magnetosphere. But what’s unique about the new study, according to the researchers, is that they were able to explore how a solar storm might cause whales to strand themselves.

“Is it that the solar storms are pushing the magnetic field around and giving the whales incorrect information — for example, the whale thinks it is on 4th Street, but it is actually on 8th?” asks Jesse Granger of Duke University. “Or is it that the solar storms are messing up the receptor itself — the whale thinks it is on 4th Street, but has just gone blind?

“We show that the mechanism behind the relationship between solar storms and grey whales, if it is an effect on a magnetic sensor, is likely caused by disruption to the sense itself, not inaccurate information. So, to put this back into the earlier metaphor, the big secondary finding of this paper is that it is possible that the reason the whales are stranding so much more often when there are solar storms is because they have gone blind, rather than that their internal GPS is giving them false information.”

Granger says her interest in long-distance migrations stems in part from her own personal tendency to get lost, even on her way to the grocery store. She wanted to explore how some animals use magnetoreception to navigate by looking at incidents when navigation went terribly wrong.

“I hypothesized that by looking at patterns in the spacing and timing of incidents where an animal was unable to navigate properly, we could better understand the sense as a whole,” Granger says.

She and her colleagues studied 186 live stranding of the grey whale (Eschrichtius robustus). The data showed those stranding occurred significantly more often on days with high sunspot counts than on randomly chosen days. On days with a high sunspot count, the chance of a stranding more than doubled.

Further study showed that stranding happened more often on days with a high solar radio flux index, as measured from Earth, than on randomly chosen days. On days with high RF noise, the likelihood of stranding was more than four times greater than on randomly selected days.

Much to Granger’s surprise, they found no significant increase in stranding on days with large deviations in the magnetic field. Altogether, the findings suggest that the increased incidence of stranding on days with more sunspots is explained by a disruption of whales’ magnetoreceptive sensor, rather than distortion of the geomagnetic field itself.

“I really thought that the cause of the stranding was going to be inaccurate information,” Granger said. “When those results came up negative, I was flummoxed. It wasn’t until one of my co-authors mentioned that solar storms also produce high amounts of radio-frequency noise, and I remembered that radio-frequency noise can disrupt magnetic orientation, that things finally started to click together.”

Granger says it’s important to keep in mind that this isn’t the only cause of stranding. There are still many other things that could cause a whale to strand, such as mid-frequency naval sonar.

Granger now plans to conduct a similar analysis for several other species of whales on several other continents to see if this pattern exists on a more global scale. She also hopes to see what sort of information this broader picture of stranding can offer for our understanding of whales’ magnetic sense.

Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/

Image: https://abcnews.go.com/

Discover How Much Does a Dolphin Trainer Get Paid?

In a 2011 report by Dana Severson on an overview of trainer’s salaries, animal trainers earned an average of $30,510 a year, this was taken from the Bureau of Labour Statistics.

Salaries can be higher or lower than this average but this average is an indication of a trainer’s earnings.

A previous 2007 survey conducted by the Dolphin Research Centre found that salaries for dolphin trainers vary from facility to facility, but the average was between $18,000 and $20,000 a year. After eight to twelve years of experience, salaries increased to a range of $25,000 to $40,000 annually.

As with any job, your choice of employer can affect salaries, and dolphin trainers are no exception. For example, a dolphin trainer at Sea World can make $40,000 to $60,000 a year, says Mary Sears, a dolphin trainer at Sea World’s Dolphin Interaction program, on the California Travel Expert website.

SimplyHired.com listed the average salary for marine trainers as $45,000 in 2011, though this is generally considered on the high end of the marine mammal trainer salary range.

My view

It is important you to bear in mind, that trainer’s salary also reflect the cost of living in each particular country. Those working in a foreign country as a necessity, need a return ticket to their own country and a place to stay as minimum.

Money is not the only consideration, it is very important that you are able to develop in your role, so that you can give the best of your qualities, to the facility. So that YOU can make a positive difference you need to be in a positive and comfortable environment. You can deliver tasks of a higher quality, with a greater level of communication and positivity amongst colleagues. Management support and appreciation will play an important role on your input and results and how motivated you are for the work you do after each strenuous-working day, whatever salary you are paid.

Do not forget…what you put in is what you will get back…

Whatever your responsibilities are, make sure you give the best of you to the animals when you are fully engaged with them, your state of mind will reflect on them, especially because some can sense your emotions and the right thoughts and emotions, ultimately will avoid future difficulties.

Source: http://work.chron.com