Humpback whales rescuing animals from orcas


 

 

 

Humpback whales around the globe are mysteriously rescuing animals from orcas

Scientists are baffled at this seemingly altruistic behavior, which seems to be a concerted global effort to foil killer whale hunts.

humpback whale

Humpback whale to the rescue? (Photo: Wiki Commons)

Humans might not be the only creatures that care about the welfare of other animals. Scientists are beginning to recognize a pattern in humpback whale behavior around the world, a seemingly intentional effort to rescue animals that are being hunted by killer whales.

Marine ecologist Robert Pitman observed a particularly dramatic example of this behavior back in 2009, while observing a pod of killer whales hunting a Weddell seal trapped on an ice floe off Antarctica. The orcas were able to successfully knock the seal off the ice, and just as they were closing in for the kill, a magnificent humpback whale suddenly rose up out of the water beneath the seal.

This was no mere accident. In order to better protect the seal, the whale placed it safely on its upturned belly to keep it out of the water. As the seal slipped down the whale’s side, the humpback appeared to use its flippers to carefully help the seal back aboard. Finally, when the coast was clear, the seal was able to safely swim off to another, more secure ice floe.

Another event, involving a pair of humpback whales attempting to save a gray whale calf from a hunting pod of orcas after it had become separated from its mother, was captured by BBC filmmakers. You can watch the dramatic footage here:

Perhaps the most stunning aspect of this behavior is that it’s not just a few isolated incidents. Humpback whale rescue teams have been witnessed foiling killer whale hunts from Antarctica to the North Pacific. It’s as if humpback whales everywhere are saying to killer whales: pick on someone your own size! It seems to be a global effort; an inherent feature of humpback whale behavior.

After witnessing one of these events himself back in 2009, Pitman was compelled to investigate further. He began collecting accounts of humpback whales interacting with orcas, and found nothing short of 115 documented interactions, reported by 54 different observers between 1951 and 2012. The details of this surprising survey can be found in the journal Marine Mammal Science.

In 89 percent of the recorded incidents, the humpbacks seemed to intervene only as the killer whales began their hunt, or when they were already engaged in a hunt. It seems clear from the data that the humpback whales are choosing to interact with the orcas specifically to interrupt their hunts. Among the animals that have been observed being rescued by humpback whales were California sea lions, ocean sunfish, harbor seals, and gray whales.

So the question is: Why are humpback whales doing this? Since the humpbacks seem to be risking their own well being to save animals of completely different species, it’s hard to deny that this behavior seems altruistic.

There is also some reason to believe that the behavior isn’t entirely selfless. Mature humpback whales are too large and too formidable to be hunted by orcas themselves, but their calves are vulnerable. Orcas have been witnessed hunting humpback whale calves in much the same way that they hunt gray whale calves. So, by proactively foiling orca hunts, perhaps the humpbacks are hoping to make them think twice about messing with their own calves.

Then again, maybe it’s just as simple as revenge. Even if it has more to do with revenge than altruism, though, the behavior would represent evidence of an intense and complicated emotional life among humpbacks that is unprecedented in the animal world, outside of primates.

One common feature among many humpback whale rescue efforts is that the humpbacks often work in pairs. Scientists will need to do more research into this behavior, though, to truly understand the significance of it.

Until then, these beautiful animals, which are perhaps best known for their majestic songs, have certainly earned some additional respect. They might just be the ocean’s most ferocious and selfless first-responders.

I found this article to be heart warming and very interesting. Animals have been acting just a little different that usual and this is just one example. There are several possible reasons and I hope scientists keep watching to see what they can learn.We have so much to learn about wild animals and how they inter-relate and communicate. It is fascinating that they have found in completely isolated areas in different spots in the world, completely new species of insects and animals. They are completely new, but how and why? Is Mother Earth trying to heal herself despite all the damage we continue to do? Just what could she so if we worked with her instead of against her?

 

bjwordpressdivider (1)

Muslims go to Catholic Mass in Solidarity


 

 

 

 

 

Muslims Go to Catholic Mass Across France, Italy to Show Solidarity

An Associated Press reporter at the scene said that a few dozen Muslims gathered at the towering Gothic cathedral in Rouen, near Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray where the 85-year-old Rev. Jacques Hamel had his throat slit by two teenage Muslim fanatics on Tuesday.

“We are very moved by the presence of our Muslim friends and I believe it is a courageous act that they did by coming to us,” said Dominique Lebrun, the archbishop of Rouen, after the service.

Image: TOPSHOT-FRANCE-ATTACK-CHURCH-RELIGION
A catholic monk discusses with a muslim worshipper in front of the Saint-Pierre-de-lAriane church, prior a mass on July 31, 2016, in Nice, southeastern France.JEAN CHRISTOPHE MAGNENET / AFP – Getty Images

Some of the Muslims sat in the front row, across from the altar. Among the parishioners was one of the nuns who was briefly taken hostage at Hamel’s church after the priest was killed. She joined her fellow Catholics in turning to shake hands or embrace the Muslim churchgoers after the service.

Outside the church, a group of Muslims were applauded when they unfurled a banner: “Love for all. Hate for none.”

Churchgoer Jacqueline Prevot said that the attendance of Muslims was “a magnificent gesture.”

 

“Look at this whole Muslim community that attended Mass,” she said. “I find this very heartwarming; I am confident. I say to myself that this assassination won’t be lost, that it will maybe relaunch us better than politics can do; maybe we will react in a better way.”

Many of the Muslims who attended the service in Rouen — including those with the banner — were Ahmadiyya Muslims, a minority sect which differs from mainstream Islam in that it doesn’t regard Muhammad as the final prophet.

Similar interfaith gatherings were repeated elsewhere in France, as well as in neighboring Italy.

At Paris’ iconic Notre Dame cathedral, Dalil Boubakeur, the rector of the Mosque of Paris, said repeatedly that Muslims want to live in peace.

Image: FRANCE-ATTACK-CHURCH-RELIGION
A catholic monk welcomes muslim worshippers in the Saint-Pierre-de-lAriane church, prior to a mass on July 31, 2016, in Nice, southeastern France.JEAN CHRISTOPHE MAGNENET / AFP – Getty Images

“The situation is serious,” Boubakeur told BFMTV. “Time has come to come together so as not to be divided.”

In Italy, the secretary general of the country’s Islamic Confederation, Abdullah Cozzolino, spoke from the altar in the Treasure of St. Gennaro chapel next to Naples’ Duomo cathedral. Three imams also attended Mass at the St. Maria Church in Rome’s Trastevere neighborhood, donning their traditional dress as they entered the sanctuary and sat down in the front row.

 

Mohammed ben Mohammed, a member of the Union of Islamic Communities in Italy, said that he called on faithful in his sermon Friday “to report anyone who may be intent to damage society. I am sure that there are those among the faithful who are ready to speak up.”

Ahmed El Balzai, the imam of the Vobarno mosque in the Lombard province of Brescia, said he did not fear repercussions for speaking out.

“I am not afraid. … These people are tainting our religion and it is terrible to know that many people consider all Muslim terrorists. That is not the case,” El Balazi said. “Religion is one thing. Another is the behavior of Muslims who don’t represent us.”

Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni thanked Italian Muslims for their participation, saying they “are showing their communities the way of courage against fundamentalism.”

Like in France, Italy is increasing its supervision of mosques. Interior Minister Angelino Alfano told the Senate this week that authorities were scrutinizing mosque financing and working with the Islamic community to ensure that imams study in Italy, preach in Italian and are aware of Italy’s legal structure.

Pope Francis: ‘World Is at War’ 1:06

Meanwhile the Paris prosecutor’s office said it has requested that a cousin of one of the two 19-year-olds who slit the priest’s throat should be charged with participating in “a terrorist association with the aim of harming others.”

In a statement it said it appeared 30-year-old Frenchman Farid K. “knew very well, if not of the exact place or time, of his cousin’s impending plans for violence.”

The office added that a Syrian refugee detained in the wake of the attack was released Saturday.

Image: Muslim call to go to Sunday Mass
Members of the congregation in Santa Maria Trastevere church in Rome, Italy, 31 July 2016, during a multi faith service organized by Italy’s Islamic Religious Community.MASSIMO PERCOSSI / EPA

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As you read this article, please remember that the Muslims who participated in interfaith day of worship are moderate Muslims. They are not Jihadists. They are not participating in a holy war. The Pope says the world is at war and I fear he is correct. We need to dust off the anti-war placards and be ready to stand up to the hawks who want to kill, kill, kill. There are three religions that are considered the people of the book. The Muslims, the Jews and the Christians. They honor Moses, Abraham and Elijah.

Remember that each of our actions have reactions and many of those reactions can not be changed. These moderate Muslims in France and Italy are making an effort to show that they are not a threat, I think we need to honor that and honor them. Muslims have the right to live in America and Jews have a right to live here. Americans can not look at everyone who is different and feel fear. Yes, there are some you and I should fear, but the majority of Muslims are just people like you and I.

NamasteBarbara

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