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Whales 'led astray by magnetism'
BBC News ^ | Friday, 13 May, 2005 | Dr David Whitehouse

Posted on 05/13/2005 1:49:51 AM PDT by andie74

Increased solar activity causing disturbances in the Earth's magnetic field may cause whales to run aground in the North Sea, say researchers. Analysis of whales stranded between 1712 and 2003 shows that more are stranded when solar activity is high.

Writing in the Journal of Sea Research, scientists propose that whales use the Earth's magnetic field to assist navigation like homing pigeons do.

As the Sun disrupts the magnetic field whales can become confused, they say.

Animal magnetism

The Sun goes through a cycle with an average length of about 11 years, though individual cycle lengths have ranged from 8 to 17 years.

Some evidence exists that shorter cycles produce a higher flux of radiation from the Sun.

Dr Klaus Vaneslow and colleagues from the University of Kiel have analysed the lengths of solar cycles and find that 87 of the 97 reported sperm whale strandings over the past 300 years in the North Sea region occurred when the length of the Sun's activity cycle was below average.

They argue that whales may be like pigeons and dolphins in having a magnetic sense based on small crystals of magnetite found in certain cells.

Pigeons use such cells to sense the Earth's magnetic field to help in their navigation. Pigeon enthusiasts are well aware that the birds can go astray during times of high solar activity, when disturbances in the magnetic field confuse them.

"It may be the same for whales," Dr Vaneslow told the BBC News website. "Sperm whales migrate long distances with very little visual clues as to where they are going. It would be unsurprising if they too had a magnetic sense.

"We believe that our research showing that more whales are beached during times when the Sun disrupts the Earth's magnetic field makes it a strong possibility that they do."

The numbers of cetacean - whale, dolphin and porpoise - strandings around the UK have doubled over the last 10 years.

Marine mammal experts say an increase in fishing activity, which leads to more "by-catch", is a major cause of the problem.

Campaigners also claim increased noise in the oceans, coming form ships' engines and sonar, is a significant factor in whales losing their way.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Miscellaneous; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: babybeluga; callingartbell; climatechange; conservancy; environment; marinebiology; savethewhales; solarflares; thenavysfault
Marine mammal experts say an increase in fishing activity, which leads to more "by-catch", is a major cause of the problem.

Campaigners also claim increased noise in the oceans, coming form ships' engines and sonar, is a significant factor in whales losing their way.

Now HERE we FINALLY get to the how we are causing the problem with our pesky war machines and desire to eat fish!

1 posted on 05/13/2005 1:49:51 AM PDT by andie74
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To: andie74

Maybe these "campaigners" can have a personal interview with the sharkies :)


2 posted on 05/13/2005 1:55:11 AM PDT by 1FASTGLOCK45 (FreeRepublic: More fun than watching Dem'Rats drown like Turkeys in the rain! ! !)
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To: andie74; dennisw; aculeus
The numbers of cetacean - whale, dolphin and porpoise - strandings around the UK have doubled over the last 10 years.

No doubt this phenomenon is linked to crop circles.

3 posted on 05/13/2005 1:55:32 AM PDT by Thinkin' Gal
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To: andie74
Campaigners also claim increased noise in the oceans, coming form ships' sonar,

Bush's Fault!!!!

4 posted on 05/13/2005 1:57:27 AM PDT by konaice
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To: Thinkin' Gal
This was posted underneath the article:

If you find a dead stranded whale or dolphin around the UK coast, contact:

England: 020 794 25 155 (The Natural History Museum)

Scotland: 01463 243 030 (Scottish Agricultural College)

Wales: 01348 875 000 (Marine Environmental Monitoring)

If you find a live stranded whale or dolphin around the UK coast, contact:

Scotland: The Cetacean Research & Rescue Unit on 01261 851696 or the SSPCA on 08707 377722

England and Wales: BDMLR on 01825 765546 or RSPCA on 0870 5555999

5 posted on 05/13/2005 1:58:52 AM PDT by andie74 (Socializing children at home since 2003)
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To: andie74; EdReform; Liz; Victoria Delsoul; bitt; NYTexan

"The numbers of cetacean - whale, dolphin and porpoise - strandings around the UK have doubled over the last 10 years."

So, HUMAN public schools aren't the only schools dumbing down their broods these days. (So much for the "evolution" of Man!)


(smirk)


6 posted on 05/13/2005 2:00:48 AM PDT by The Spirit Of Allegiance (SAVE THE BRAINFOREST! Boycott the RED Dead Tree Media & NUKE the DNC Class Action Temper Tantrum!)
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To: andie74
"They argue that whales may be like pigeons and dolphins in having a magnetic sense based on small crystals of magnetite found in certain cells.

Pigeons use such cells to sense the Earth's magnetic field to help in their navigation..."

Even if this were true, wouldn't they still need a map?

7 posted on 05/13/2005 2:04:42 AM PDT by OldEagle (We might be in the end times, but it looks like we are finally moving in the RIGHT direction.)
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To: andie74
Increased solar activity
And the question is:

What three words to you never see or hear in any story or discussion about melting polar ice sheets?

8 posted on 05/13/2005 3:05:22 AM PDT by samtheman
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To: andie74

How does increased solar activity affect student pilots in the Washington, D.C. area or Greyhound riding brides-to-be in Georgia?


9 posted on 05/13/2005 3:13:40 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (Deadcheck the embeds first.)
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To: andie74
What'll happen to the cetaceans when the Earth's magnetic field inevitably reverses?
10 posted on 05/13/2005 3:15:21 AM PDT by dhuffman@awod.com (The conspiracy of ignorance masquerades as common sense.)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

BWAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA!

And on that note, my daughter is sleeping soundly, and I am going to try to get some shuteye.


11 posted on 05/13/2005 3:23:03 AM PDT by andie74 (Socializing children at home since 2003)
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To: andie74

I don't have all the answers, but I know what the important questions are.


12 posted on 05/13/2005 3:27:01 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (Deadcheck the embeds first.)
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To: Thinkin' Gal; andie74; dennisw; aculeus
No doubt this phenomenon is linked to crop circles.


13 posted on 05/13/2005 3:38:55 AM PDT by aculeus (Ceci n'est pas une tag line.)
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To: andie74

Huh, I guess this explains why Michael Moore tends to lose his bearings during periods of major solar flare activity


14 posted on 05/13/2005 3:52:54 AM PDT by byset
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To: andie74

Honestly, I thought the whole whale thing was caused by the fact that the Bush administration didn't push through the Kyoto treaty.


15 posted on 05/13/2005 4:14:53 AM PDT by putupjob
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To: aculeus

Crop circles are made in cereal crops, barley, wheat,rye. Thanks


16 posted on 05/13/2005 4:22:55 AM PDT by dennisw (2 plain)
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To: andie74
The increased noise in the ocean, undoubtly, comes from all the American ships carrying supplies to the war in Iraq. No matter what caused it, it will still be our fault.
17 posted on 05/13/2005 5:36:00 AM PDT by Citizen Tom Paine (A old sailor sends)
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To: andie74

Thanks for clearing all of these things up. Now I know why my compass points east during periods of sun spot activity.


18 posted on 05/13/2005 5:50:42 AM PDT by norwaypinesavage
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To: farmfriend


19 posted on 05/13/2005 6:41:08 AM PDT by Libertarianize the GOP (Make all taxes truly voluntary)
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To: Thinkin' Gal

How did you know?


20 posted on 05/13/2005 6:41:45 AM PDT by cyborg (Serving fresh, hot Anti-opus since 18 April 2005)
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To: andie74; abbi_normal_2; Ace2U; adam_az; Alamo-Girl; Alas; alfons; alphadog; AMDG&BVMH; amom; ...
Rights, farms, environment ping.
Let me know if you wish to be added or removed from this list.
I don't get offended if you want to be removed.

List of Ping lists

21 posted on 05/13/2005 4:49:32 PM PDT by farmfriend (Send in the Posse)
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To: andie74
They argue that whales may be like pigeons and dolphins in having a magnetic sense based on small crystals of magnetite found in certain cells.

Once I was lost in the mountains for a couple of hours while hunting elk. My compass was spinning in circles, I finally gave up on the compass and found my way out. My ex-miner hunting buddy told me later that the mountain I was on is loaded with magnetite. Go figure.

22 posted on 05/13/2005 5:11:11 PM PDT by Trteamer ( (Eat Meat, Wear Fur, Own Guns, FReep Leftists, Drive an SUV, Drill A.N.W.R., Drill the Gulf, Vote)
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To: farmfriend


23 posted on 05/14/2005 3:14:48 AM PDT by E.G.C.
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To: andie74

I once saw modern scientist as self centered modern day control freak, witch doctor/medicineman/wizard wannabes, but now it is clear that these nit wits are victems of their own witless, chickenlittleesque reactions to entirely natural phenonanmas that have been occuring in cycles, from the dawn of creation, before man appeared and judging from the stupidity of our so called mentally elite, will continue after we are gone.

I am not for a second proclaiming that ignorance is bliss. But I will proclaim from the roof tops that when a smidgen of knowledge breeds arrogance-it is far more of a threat to our survival than utter stupidity!


24 posted on 05/14/2005 12:43:40 PM PDT by F.J. Mitchell (If bullsh*t was fuel-the liberal dems would be a national......nay...... international treasure.)
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