Balaenoptera physalus - Fin whale - Who is the fin whale and how does it live

Balaenoptera physalus - Fin whale - Who is the fin whale and how does it live

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Balaenoptera physalus



Balaenoptera physalus physalus



Balaenoptera physalus quoyi

Common name

: fin whale


  • Body length : 23 - 26 m (females are slightly larger than males)
  • Weight: 50 - 70 t
  • Sexual maturity: female: 3-12 years, male: 7-8 years


The fin whale, scientific name Balaenoptera physalus of the Balaenopteridae family, is a cetacean found in all temperate waters (be they seas or oceans) of the world with the exception of tropical and polar waters. They are pelagic species but are sometimes also found in shallow waters at 30 m depth, near the coast.

It has been pointed out that there are two subspecies of fin whale according to geographic distribution: the Balaenoptera physalus physalus which is found in the northern hemisphere and the Balaenoptera physalus quoyi in the southern hemisphere which differ not only in different genetic characteristics, but also in size, slightly higher in the southern whale than in the northern one. In consideration of the fact that the seasons in the two hemispheres are reversed, the two subspecies practically never meet as the epochs of migration have shifted in time.


The fin whale is a large gray-brown cetacean with a white belly, very elegant and very elegant, even in its movements.

They are whales of considerable size that reach 23 m in length with an estimated weight of 70,000 kg (estimated because they have never been weighed) making it the largest cetacean in the world after the blue whale.

Surely the most unusual feature of the fin whale is the asymmetrical coloring of the lower jaw (photo below), which is white or creamy yellow on the right side while on the left side it is dark in color. This asymmetrical coloring extends up to the baleen and the tongue (it seems that this different coloring helps in the capture of prey as a result of particular hunting techniques).

Note 1

They have a V-shaped head, flat at the top, which has a sort of crest that goes from the blowhole to the tip of the rostrum (upper jaw). They have a series of grooves (about 85) running from the throat to the navel that serve the fin whale to expand the throat to hold more food.

Each side of the upper jaw has 350-400 baleen (photo on the side) which are dark-colored horny laminae made of keratin that replace the teeth of which they are devoid. The function of the baleen is to retain the fish and eliminate the water. Each baleen is about 30 cm wide and 76 cm long.

They have a very curved dorsal fin, about 60 cm high and very caudally displaced; the pectoral fins are small and tapered and the caudal fin is robust with powerful muscles that allow it to sustain a speed of 37 km / h.

It can descend to a depth of 250 m and remain submerged for an average of 15 minutes although it has been observed that it can remain submerged for longer periods.


The fin whale is a cetacean that can be found alone or in small groups, at most 6-7 individuals, although very large groups have been observed during migrations (up to 300 individuals).

They are migratory animals that migrate north in early spring, going towards high latitudes while in autumn they tend to return to lower latitudes.

They are cetaceans that stand out of the powerful jumps out of the water.


The fin whale produces a great variety of low and high frequency sounds that can be heard at a considerable distance, in this way it is thought that groups of fin whales, even distant from each other, always remain in contact.


The fin whale eats numerous types of planktonic animals including crustaceans, squid and small fish. Its main diet is based on krill, small marine crustaceans similar to shrimps (in the Mediterranean it is its only food), belonging to the order of the Euphausiacea.

They can consume up to 2 t of food per day and the technique is to open their mouth wide and put a large amount of water and fish into their throat (the throat increases in volume according to the amount of food, thanks to the grooves): the water is eliminated thanks to the baleen (their function is to hold the fish) while the fish is swallowed with the help of the tongue (video on the side).


Fin whale is thought to be a monogamous species as male and female always travel together.

Mating takes place in winter and gestation lasts about 12 months at the end of which only one baby is born, 6.5 m long and weighing about 18 kg. The puppies are weaned when they reach 6-7 months of age which corresponds to a length of around 11-12m.

Sexual maturity is thought to be reached by females between the ages of 3 and 12 while in males between the ages of 7-8.


The fin whale, thanks to its size, has no natural predators except the large orcheosqualids that can prey on the young. Only man is the great predator of this mammal and has heavily hunted it (and continues to hunt it) until it almost reduces it to extinction.


Balaenoptera physalus is classified in the IUNC Red list (2009.1) among animals at very high risk of extinction in the wild, ENDANGERED (EN).

The IUNC has estimated that in the last three generations (78 years) the population has dropped by 70% due to heavy commercial hunting carried out mainly in the southern hemisphere. In practice, it was the second most hunted whale species, in the twentieth century, after the blue whale. In the past, this whale has enjoyed some protection due to its speed and the fact that it lives in the open sea. Today, unfortunately, these characteristics do not save it from modern hunting techniques and modern technologies.

The IWC (IWC International Whaling Commission) in 1985/1986 made a moratorium on commercial fin whaling by setting the catch limit to zero (except for subsistence aboriginal fishing off the coast of Australia). coasts of Greenland) but this moratorium has not been recognized by Japan, Iceland and Norway who continue hunting for commercial purposes.

Secondary causes of the death of the fin whale are: collisions with ships, especially in the Mediterranean; accidental catches with fishing nets; underwater noise pollution which is becoming a threat to the migration of these cetaceans, given their dependence on sound for navigation.

The fin whale is listed in Appendix I of CITES, the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species, which is not recognized by Iceland, Norway and Japan.

Fin whales are also listed on Appendix I and II of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS).

As part of the agreement for the conservation of cetaceans in the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and adjacent waters, the ACCOBAMS agreement (in force since January 2001) was signed for which fin whales, together with other cetaceans, are protected from deliberate killing, attempts are made to protect their habitats and improve their knowledge.


(1) Image not subject to copyright: courtesy photo NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) USA

Fin whale

Common name: Balaenoptera physalus | Fin whale | Rorqual comun | Rorcual comun | Fin whale

Category: Cetaceans
Typology: Photography


Fin whale pictures (Balaenoptera physalus) photographed during research expeditions, in collaboration with the University of Genoa, in the International Sanctuary of Marine Mammals Pelagos, in the Ligurian Sea.

Photography is an indispensable tool for documentation and interpretation of nature, for this reason the soc. Artescienza organizes scientific and naturalistic expeditions around the world to photograph and obtain video documents of marine animals in their natural environment. The documentation represents the basis for scientific design, but is also available for other uses such as publishing, printing or simply as an aesthetic and decorative element to convey emotions to the public.

Organism card

The fin whale is the largest mammal in the Mediterranean Sea. This species is present in all oceans.
Its population is divided into numerous stocks, with varying levels of genetic isolation. Mediterranean fin whales appear to be genetically isolated from the Atlantic population. A maximum of 27 m long for females and 25 for males. Adult weight 80 t. Maximum age: 90 years

The fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus).

observed in the Mediterranean), is the largest animal known on the planet: in the Misticeti the female always appears slightly larger than the male and in this case reaches 24 m of maximum length for a weight of about 75 tons (in the seas southern the length reaches 27 m for about 80 tons). Just to give you an idea, it has lungs the size of an Intercity carriage and a heart the size of an SUV.

The extremely hydrodynamic shapes make this species a perfect machine for long ocean voyages with the minimum use of energy.

The head is wedge-shaped and ends in the protuberance of the blowhole, which is double the body is tapered in the central portion and laterally compressed the dorsal fin has a variable shape from individual to individual, high up to 60 cm, often inclined backwards over 45 °, is located approximately at the beginning of the posterior third. The powerful tail is about as wide as 20-25% of the total length, the pectoral fins are rather small while the baleen, triangular in shape, are maximum 90 cm long and 30 cm wide (from 260 to 480 per hemi-maxilla). The color is slate gray on the back and white on the belly. It has asymmetry in the pigmentation of the head: the right mandibular region is white, while the left one is slate gray (the baleen reflect this asymmetry).

The ventral surface of the pectoral and tail fins is white. The gray livery of the back, rarely uniform, often has shades of different shades whose shape is unique to the individual, which is why it can be used for identification. Despite the double blowhole typical of the Misticeti, the breath is unique: a thick plume in the shape of an inverted cone up to 6 meters high.

Fin whales are perhaps the fastest of the mysticetes since, if necessary, they can exceed 20 knots (as much as a cruise ship!). Like all cetaceans, it alternates moments of surface swimming with moments of immersion, which lasts from 5 to 15 minutes. The tail is almost never raised out of the water and it is rare to see them jump almost entirely out of the water.

As for reproduction, conception takes place in winter after a summer spent in cold waters to feed and stock up on energy reserves, the future mother returns to the heat, on the place of mating and gives birth after about 11-12 months of gestation. . Weaning takes place around 6 months: the little ones grow at a dizzying rate of 60 kg in weight and 3 cm in length per DAY!

They have a very varied diet, but the main components are Eufasiacei (planktonic crustaceans known as krill), fish and small Cephalopods and it is believed that they can live up to 100 years. In the Italian seas, the Fin whale has been observed in areas where the average depth was greater than 2200 m, at a distance of about 44 km from the coast (although it is not uncommon to see it in coastal waters or even in bays and channels between islands). It is particularly frequent in summer in the western Ligurian Sea, in the Corsican Sea and in the northern portion of the Sardinian Sea. It is present, but less frequent, in the Tyrrhenian and Ionian. With the exception of some cases, in which they have been attacked by killer whales, the large size of fin whales seems to protect them from the annoyance of predation.

Yet, this same amount can play against it in the case of collisions with ships and ferries, a very common cause of mortality in the Italian seas. The acoustic repertoire of Fin whales is made up of vocalizations almost all of such low frequency as to be inaudible to humans. At the present time, thanks to the moratorium issued by the IWC, the Fin whale is not hunted, but was hunted in the 20th century and its consistency is so low that in the Red Data Book of the IUCN the species is however listed in the category Endagered(threatened).

Blue whale

Blue whale: the largest living creature - my animals

Gigantic, intelligent and charming. This is how we can describe the Blue Whale, the largest known animal ever to live on Earth. The Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is the largest living animal in the world. The largest specimen is 33 and a half meters long, and weighs 190 tons

Balaenoptera musculus - Blue whale - Family Balaenopteridae - Who is the blue whale and how does it live The blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is the largest animal currently existing on Earth and, in all probability, also the largest.

Present in all oceanic seas, from tropical heat to polar ice, the blue whale is the largest of all living animals. The. . It can reach 33m in length and weigh up to.

All the numbers of the blue whale, the largest animal of the

Translations in context for blue whale in Italian-English from Reverso Context: Balloons the size of a blue whale The blue whale is a book by Jenni Desmond published by Lapis: buy on IBS for 12.32 € Short research on the blue whale. notes of scientist Conservation Status Endangered ANIMAL Blue Whale NAME Balaenoptera Musculus Class Mammal Family Balaenopteridae Order Carnivore Location Pacific.

Balaenoptera musculus - Blue whale - helichrysum

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  • The fin whale, with its 24 m length and a weight of 70 t, is the largest animal on Earth after the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus). IS.
  • Translation for 'balenottera azzurra' in the free Italian-English dictionary and many other English translations
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  • some species also of cephalopods and fish. The main species are: the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) ,.
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An adult blue whale gives around 250 kg. of baleen and 90 hectoliters of oil the others yield less, in proportion to their size. Order now and pay by credit card, Paypal or cash on delivery. Your order will be delivered to the courier this afternoon. Tracking Service: With us you can track. A stone with a surprising shape transformed into a beautiful blue whale thanks to the skill of the artist Roberto Rizzo

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Download 8,964 Blue Whale pictures and stock photo. Fotosearch - All the World Stock Archives - One Website T ENVIRONMENT - Blue whales, the species Balaenoptera musculus, have been hunted almost to extinction. The situation of these cetaceans is a. Review by Silvia A dip in the blue, in the deep blue, lulled by the waves of the sea and by the sweet drawing of Jenni Desmond. The Blue Whale is one of those books. Blue whale balaenoptera musculus: Class: Mammals Order: Cetaceans Family: Balenotteridi: Habitat: The blue whale lives in the open sea and therefore.

This is the largest blue whale subspecies, as well as the largest animal currently living on Earth. Larger specimens of. Fin whales, on the other hand, they have a dorsal fin: an example is given by the blue whale

Whale: Large cetacean with notable dorsal fin and longitudinal folds on the throat and chest among the most common varieties the b. blue can reach. The pygmy blue whale is the only one of the three subspecies recognized to live regularly in tropical waters. It is widespread from the subantarctic area up to.

Blue Whale Mille Animal

  1. Male blue whales have the largest penis in the world, we are talking about 2.4 meters in length (which can reach 3).
  2. ata and wild, detachment.
  3. The blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus Linnaeus, 1758) is a marine mammal belonging to the suborder of the Mysticetes (the so-called "whales with baleen")
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Balenottera azzurra - Translation into English - examples Italian reverso

  1. The fin whale is, after the blue whale, the largest animal ever to exist. It lives in all the seas of the world and is very frequent in Mar.
  2. The blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is the largest cetacean (and also the largest mammal ever): its size reaches 33.
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The Blue Whale - Jenni Desmond - Book - Lapis - IB

Strolling up and down the corridors of the Children's Publishing Fair in Bologna, I couldn't help but notice how many whale books there were Icelanders killed a blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus), an atrocious act that didn't happen for at least 40 years. This endangered species. More aberrant than hunting endangered animals is the fact that it is absolutely legal to do so. The blue whale and fin whale are. A drawing of the little fish Nemo and the blue whale, both smiling, to print for free and to color. A drawing taken from the animated film.

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  4. Sheet Dimensions: between 23 and 33 meters Weight: between 100 and 180 tons Age: between 65 and 80 years Feeding: krill (small molluscs similar to shrimp
  5. The fin whale is the only mysticete (cetacean with baleen) in the Mediterranean and holds the record for the second largest animal ever to exist on Earth.

What is it that weighs 270 kg, has traveled the world, and recently spent over four months in a vacuum chamber? A whale heart. The blue whale is the largest animal ever to appear on Earth, but the history of its evolution still hides many gray areas

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What kind of animal. Whale - a mammal a mammal, but a unique one, unlike the others. Scientists proved that their ancestors had a lot. Mapped the DNA of the blue whale, the largest animal on Earth: 30 meters and 175 tons Among the existing cetaceans, the Blue Whale is the specimen with [. ] The term Whale refers to a vast series of Cetaceans, such as Humpback whales. It is true that in Greek the term fin whale means whale with wings. Among the numerous types of fin whales ,. 2 August 2016 Canada, the blue whale dives under the boat of tourists A first lucky exit that of the tourists who are the protagonists of this video

The fifth species is the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus = Sibbaldus musculus), the giant of all known animals. The blue whale DNA map reveals a unique history of this giant of the animal kingdom: it indicates that it has undergone a complex evolution. INFORMATION: This site uses profiling cookies (own and from other sites) to send you advertising in line with your preferences. If you want to know more or. Rulers of the Seas: Blue Whale. SKU: DOMINATORS-02. Category: DOMINATORS OF THE SEAS. Tag: animal discover Download Blue Whale. Search millions of images, photographs and vectors at affordable prices

The whale blue belongs to the family of fin whales. Other fin whales are the rostrate whale, the northern whale, the fin whale of Bryde, the humpback whale The Hvalur 8 ship killed a blue whale and a common, endangered specimens, for the trade of their carn The adult animal weighs 180 tons and almost 35 meters in length: it is certainly the blue whale winning the prize as the largest animal. This is indicated by a fossil from Matera, the largest of a fin whale in the world (ANSA The blue whale begins to reproduce at the age of 5-6 years, forming temporary pairs. Once mating has taken place, gestation lasts about 11 months

Balaenoptera physalus - Wikipedi

  1. Balaenoptera physalus - Fin whale - Family Balaenopteridae - Who it is, how it lives and main characteristics of the Common whale
  2. Translations in context for fin whale in Italian-English from Reverso Context: blue whale, of fin whale
  3. [email protected]: [email protected]
  4. Cetaceans belong to the Placentate Mammals family, a subclass of mammals whose species descend from the ordin

The Balaenoptera musculus, commonly called the blue whale or blue whale, is a marine mammal belonging to the order of the Cetaceans and to the family of the gods. Games of dragons, fairies, dinosaurs for children and farms with animals: Città del Sole dedicates a section to stimulate the imagination and creativity. Visit the site Blue whale Southern right whale. Humpback whales, on the other hand, are a genus belonging to the family of. The largest animal to ever populate the planet is called Balaenoptera musculus or Blue Whale. The naturalist and biologist Carlo Linneo derived. The Blue Whale, Book by Jenni Desmond. 15% discount and shipping by courier for only 1 euro. Buy it on! Published by Lapis.

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  • i: Eukaryota: Kingdom: Animalia: Phylum: Chordata: Class: Mammalia: Order: Cetacea.

The fin whale - Focus Junio

After the Blue Whale it is the largest animal on the planet: the size of the adults is around 22 meters long in the oceans. EMOTIONS WITH CETACEANS FOR ALL SEASONS: MONTH OF MARCH On the Route of the Fin whale Azure is a special program of Whale Watching e.

blue whale translation in the Italian - English dictionary in Glosbe, dictionary online, free. Browse millions of words and phrases in all languages ​​Buy the book The Blue Whale by Jenni Desmond on offer you can find it online at discounted prices on La Feltrinelli Best answer: The Blue Whale is probably the largest animal that ever existed on Earth and is certainly the most large Mammal. Can he. Coloring Pages: Coloring Pages: Blue Whale Printable, free, for children and adults. Easy, medium and hard free resources to print.

The fin whale belongs to the Order Cetacea, Suborder Mysticeti, Family Balaenopteridae. The Misticeti are the cetaceans that present as a characteristic. Meet the Blue Whale in the Azores, in the waters around the island of Pico. Close encounters with the largest animal ever to live on Earth. Download pictures and photos of Blue Whale. Over 5,169 Blue Whale images to choose from, no registration required. Download in less than 30. February 16, 2018 Antarctica, the meal of a whale: first-person shooting. Scientists from the University of California for the first time in Antarctica.

Balenottera azzurra - english translation - italian dictionary

Oregon State University has released a video, taken from a drone in New Zealand, showing a blue whale (the largest animal al. [Jwplayer config = Blitz20120621 ″ mediaid = 1347998 ″] SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA) - A specimen of blue whale , 30 meters long and weighing 200. Date of publication: 02.07.2018 Kawamura, A review of food of balaenopterid whales, in Sci.

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  • Considered the largest animal ever to exist, the blue whale can measure about 27 meters and weigh about 170 tons
  • crustacean escarole
  • Translation for 'balenottera' in LANGENSCHEIDT's free Italian-German dictionary with examples, synonyms and pronunciation
  • Balaenoptera musculus Common name: Blue whale | Rorqual bleu | Ballena azul | Blue whale Category: Cetaceans Typology: Black and white plate Description Gli.
  • a blue whale and his own.
  • The Balenottebora is a mammal belonging to the Balaenopteridae family, after the blue whale and the common one is the third largest whale of.

The blue whale is in danger of extinction becomes object of study with the drones blue whale translation in the Italian - French dictionary in Glosbe, online dictionary, free of charge. Browse millions of words and phrases in all languages ​​Best answer: Blue whale (about 3.5 meters) It is also confirmed qu The newspaper site for middle and high school students. Publish articles and interact with journalists. Obtaining educational credits and participating in editorial competitions Spotted dolphins are more frequent in the summer, the blue whale is easily spotted towards the end of winter. Sperm whales, fin whales ,. The blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) (EN) (1) is the largest animal ever lived. It weighs more than 30 elephants, from 3 of the largest dinosaurs.


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La storia della balenottera (al singolare) morta nel porto di Sorrento

Negli ultimi giorni ha fatto molta sensazione il video che riportiamo qui sotto, girato nel porto di Sorrento: ritrae una balenottera in evidente stato confusionale, che sbatte il rostro contro il molo come se non sapesse dove andare. Il ritrovamento, il giorno successivo, del cadavere di un'altra balenottera ha fatto scattare una serie di speculazioni sull'accaduto: le prime ipotesi parlavano di una mamma morta e di un figlio disperato, i cui comportamenti erano un modo per manifestare frustrazione.

Ulteriori verifiche sembrano invece indicare che a Sorrento sia passata una sola balenottera quanto alla causa della morte, in attesa degli esiti dell'autopsia, si fa l'ipotesi che sia stata causata da una malattia molto diffusa nel Mediterraneo.

Due balene o una sola? Il video che ha fatto scattare le prime ricerche risale al 14 gennaio, mentre il ritrovamento del cadavere del cetaceo (che è una balenottera comune, Balaenoptera physalus) è del giorno successivo, come potete vedere qui oltretutto, molti dei testimoni che hanno visto sia l'esemplare vivo sia quello morto hanno giurato che fossero di dimensioni molto diverse, dando credito all'ipotesi che si trattasse di una madre e un figlio in difficoltà. Con il passare dei giorni è però emersa una storia differente.

Innanzi tutto, le ferite sul corpo della balenottera morta corrispondono con quelle che l'animale si è procurato sbattendo contro il molo nel primo video, e la differenza di dimensioni tra i presunti due esemplari si è rivelata minima, se non inesistente: le prime notizie a riguardo arrivano dai social del Parco Marino Punta Campanella, che sta seguendo da vicino la vicenda e che è stato il primo a confermare che non si trattava di due esemplari, ma di uno solo.

Colpa del morbillo. Nessun lamento per la morte della madre, dunque, e nessun figlio: secondo le primissime analisi (parziali, e quindi suscettibili anche queste di smentita), la balenottera di Sorrento sarebbe morta a causa di un virus, il CeMV, ossia il cosiddetto morbillo dei cetacei, che è endemico nel Mediterraneo dagli anni Ottanta e che ogni tanto riesplode causando morie di massa (nel 2017 più di 200 animali si spiaggiarono morenti sulle coste italiane). Tra i sintomi di questa malattia c'è l'insorgere di uno stato confusionale al quale gli animali reagiscono proprio come la balenottera del video.

L'esemplare è comunque storico: lungo circa 19 metri e pesante una settantina di tonnellate (i numeri precisi arriveranno dopo l'autopsia), è la più grossa balenottera comune mai ritrovata nel Mediterraneo, e dopo essere stata studiata verrà preparata per essere esposta in un museo.

Dove vivono le varie specie di balene

La balena della Groenlandia (Balaena mysticetus), come suggerisce il nome stesso, vive principalmente nelle zone circostanti la Groenlandia e in Norvegia e Giappone. Attualmente è una delle specie più a rischio di estinzione. Le acque del Cile, invece, rappresentano l’habitat ideale della balena franca australe (Eubalaena australis).

La balena franca nordatlantica (Eubalaena glacialis) vive al nord dell’Oceano Atlantico e dell’Oceano Artico. La balena franca nordpacifica vive nell’oceano Pacifico tra il 20° e il 60° parallelo Nord e in estate si trova principalmente nei mari di Okhotsk e di Bering.

La balenottera azzurra (Balenoptera musculus)è un animale migratorio, proprio per questo motivo è considerata una specie cosmopolita poiché in grado di vivere in tutti i mari e in tutti gli oceani ad eccezione del Mar Mediterraneo e del Mare di Bering.

La balenottera comune, nota per il suo nuotare velocemente, vive lontano dalla costa e in mare aperto ed è nota anche nel Mar Mediterraneo.

È possibile avvistare la balenottera boreale (Balenoptera borealis) in tutti i mari e in tutti gli oceani e talvolta, sebbene sia raro, anche nelle acque polari e tropicali. La balenottera minore antartica vive nei mari dell’emisfero australe, soprattutto quelli antartici.

La balenottera di Omura (Balaenoptera omurai) abita prevalentemente in acque tropicali e subtropicali. La megattera (Megaptera novaengliae) trascorre l’estate nelle acque del nord Atlantico e in genere migra verso le acque delle Indie occidentali e del centro-sud Africa.

La megattera invece che vive tendenzialmente nel nord Pacifico, sverna in genere nella acque calde del Messico e dell’America centrale.

La balena caparea (Caparea marginata), una delle più piccole balene esistenti al mondo, vive solo nelle acque più fredde e meridionali dell’Australia, dell’America, dell’Africa e della Nuova Zelanda.

La balena grigia (Eschrichtius robustus) vive nelle acque settentrionali dell’oceano Pacifico.

The capodoglio (Physeter macrocephalus) viaggia per lunghe distanze e vive in tutti gli oceani e nel Mar Mediterraneo, abbondando soprattutto nelle acque artiche e in quelle vicine all’equatore.

Balaenoptera physalus - Balenottera comune - Chi è e come vive la Balenottera comune





SPECIE: Balaenoptera physalus (Linnaeus 1758)

Balenottera comune, fin whale, rorcual comun, rorqual commun, Finnwal

La balenottera comune è il più grande cetaceo del Mediterraneo. La sua lunghezza media è stata stimata intorno ai 24 metri per un peso che varia da 60 a 80 tonnellate. Il suo corpo è affusolato. Emana lunghi soffi verticali a cono rovesciato a volte alti 6-7 metri dovuti alla presenza di uno sfiatatoio provvisto di due orifizi. La colorazione è grigio ardesia sul dorso e bianco sul ventre. Presenta una cospicua asimmetria nella pigmentazione del capo: la regione mandibolare destra è bianca, mentre quella di sinistra è grigio ardesia. Inoltre la livrea grigia del dorso, presenta spesso sfumature di diversa tonalità la cui forma è caratteristica dell’individuo. Le balenottere effettuano lunghe apnee variabili dai 5 a 15 minuti (max 26 minuti) e, quando si immergono, non mostrano la pinna caudale fuori dall’acqua.

E’ una specie prettamente pelagica, frequenta acque profonde della scarpata inferiore e di largo anche se, talvolta, alcuni individui sono stati osservati su deboli profondità. Si nutre sia di piccoli crostacei del plancton sia di pesci. In Mediterraneo è stato osservato che gli stessi individui vanno ad alimentarsi ogni anno d’estate nel bacino Liguro-Provenzale e nella parte sud del Mar Tirreno. L’attuale status della popolazione è poco noto nella maggior parte delle aree del Nord Atlantico (incluso il mar Mediterraneo). Studi recenti suggeriscono l’esistenza di una serie di gruppi di questa specie separati geneticamente tra loro a seconda della regione geografica. TO livello mondiale, le popolazioni di balenottera comune sono gravemente compromesse a causa dello sfruttamento da parte della moderna baleneria industriale. Pertanto la specie è stata classificata come endangered. In Mediterraneo le collisioni sono la causa principale della mortalità della specie.

Balenottera con la “coda” tranciata sta morendo tra atroci sofferenze: la storia di Codamozza

Un esemplare adulto di balenottera comune (Balaenoptera physalus), in evidente stato di denutrizione e con la pinna caudale tranciata, è stato avvistato mentre nuotava lungo la costa di Brancaleone, un comune di 3.500 abitanti della città metropolitana di Reggio Calabria, e successivamente nel Golfo di Catania. Le condizioni di salute del cetaceo sono apparse talmente gravi da far pensare addirittura a un possibile, imminente spiaggiamento nell'area i biologi marini sono infatti concordi sul fatto che le speranze di sopravvivenza per il colossale misticete (con fanoni) sono praticamente nulle. Lo dimostrano le immagini riprese dall'alto con un drone, nelle quali i “fianchi” della balenottera risultano talmente scavati da aver trasformato la sua elegantissima silhouette in quella di un gigantesco girino.

in foto: La balenottera "Codamozza" in un’immagine di repertorio. Credit: Lanfredi/Tethys Research Institute

A causare questo drammatico stato di denutrizione, quasi sicuramente, è l'assenza della pinna caudale, che impedisce al cetaceo di immergersi in profondità e alimentarsi con la sua tecnica naturale, fatta di "scatti" e grandi boccate di acqua e prede (che vengono filtrate dai fanoni). È verosimile che non si stia nutrendo da mesi, ma le riserve che le hanno permesso di sopravvivere fino ad oggi sono ormai esaurite, ed è solo questione di tempo prima che le forze l'abbandonino per sempre. Dietro questa orribile tragedia dei mari si nasconde quasi certamente la mano dell'uomo. Gli scienziati, infatti, ipotizzano che la pinna caudale possa essere stata tranciata dalle eliche di una nave, oppure che possa averla perduta dopo essere rimasta intrappolata in qualche rete da pesca “fantasma”, abbandonata in mare. Per le balenottere comuni del Mar Mediterraneo, dove si stima vivano alcune migliaia di esemplari, le collisioni con le navi e l'attrezzatura da pesca rappresentano le principali cause di morte.

A documentare la presenza della balenottera morente è stata una squadra di volontari del Centro Recupero Tartarughe Marine di Brancaleone, che dopo aver ricevuto la segnalazione della presenza del cetaceo è uscita in mare con un'imbarcazione per avvistarla e filmarla. Le immagini più impressionanti sono proprio quelle catturate dal drone, mentre il cetaceo nuotava molto lentamente verso Capo Spartivento, come sottolineato in un post pubblicato su Facebook dall'organizzazione. “Purtroppo le possibilità di sopravvivenza di questo esemplare sono pressoché minime o nulle, e non escludiamo l’eventualità che possa spiaggiarsi in zona nelle prossime ore”, hanno scritto gli esperti del centro di recupero.

Il video del cetaceo ha fatto rapidamente il giro della rete, e i cetologi che lo hanno osservato hanno capito che si trattava di una loro vecchia conoscenza, chiamata “Codamozza”. Il soprannome deriva dal fatto che quando fu avvistata la prima volta, nel 2005 nel Santuario dei Cetacei "Pelagos", alla balenottera mancava il lobo sinistro della pinna caudale. Ora l'ha persa completamente, forse a causa di un altro, drammatico incidente causato dall'uomo, ma questa volta, purtroppo, non ci saranno possibilità di recupero. A raccontare a fanpage la storia di “Codamozza” è la biologa marina del Tethys Research Institute Maddalena Jahoda, esperta di cetacei e autrice del libro “Balene, salvateci!”.

“Mi ricordo Codamozza come se fosse ieri: si immergeva tirando fuori la coda, cosa che la sua specie di solito non fa, era un po' come se "zoppicasse". Con la barca di Tethys l'avevamo avvistata per la prima volta nel 2005 e poi rivista spesso nel Santuario Pelagos, tanto che era diventata un po' una mascotte. Le mancava parte del lobo caudale sinistro, e l'ipotesi era che fosse a causa di una collisione o per colpa di una rete da pesca. Per anni Codamozza era sembrata cavarsela piuttosto bene e non ci saremmo aspettati che fosse proprio lei la balenottera delle terribili immagini con la coda staccata del tutto. L'identità sembra invece confermata dal confronto delle foto di un avvistamento di ottobre tra la Spagna e la Francia davanti alla pinna dorsale c'è la stessa "gobbetta", che è probabilmente un'altra cicatrice. La situazione sembra quindi essere precipitata l'anno scorso, con la perdita anche del resto della coda. Forse una seconda collisione o forse le conseguenze a lungo termine della prima mutilazione. Per ora sono solo ipotesi. Da ottobre, Codamozza ha compiuto un viaggio di migliaia di chilometri fino in Siria, in Grecia e da lì, in pochi giorni, in Calabria e oggi nel golfo di Catania. Le riprese della Grecia e della Calabria sono meno nitide, ma la gobbetta si intravede ed è quindi molto probabile che si tratti dello stesso individuo. Evidentemente gli spostamenti orizzontali le sono possibili nonostante la terribile mutilazione, per difficile che sembri. Non così, forse, per le immersioni vere e proprie. Le balenottere si nutrono di plancton, che catturano in profondità Codamozza purtroppo appare paurosamente magra e probabilmente non mangia da mesi. È possibile che non riesca a raggiungere la profondità e fare quello ‘scatto' che serve per prendere il boccone di acqua e cibo. Come tutti i misticeti, le balenottere possono vivere svariati mesi senza nutrirsi, sfruttando lo strato di grasso accumulato in precedenza. Codamozza, purtroppo, sembra proprio giunta allo stremo”.

Alla domanda se abbia qualche speranza sulla sopravvivenza di Codamozza, la dottoressa Jahoda ci ha detto che non ne ha, augurandosi "che il cetaceo non soffra ancora a lungo". L'uomo purtroppo non può far nulla per aiutare un animale selvatico di simili dimensioni, condannato a una morte lenta e atroce. Le balenottere comuni sono infatti il secondo animale più grande della Terra dopo la balenottera azzurra (Balaenoptera musculus), raggiungendo una lunghezza massima di circa 25 metri per un peso massimo di 80 tonnellate. A causa della baleneria sono state decimate così come tanti altri cetacei misticeti, e al momento sono classificate con codice VU (vulnerabili) nella Lista Rossa dell'Unione Internazionale per la Conservazione della Natura (IUCN).

La scomparsa di Codamozza rappresenta dunque anche un danno significativo alla sua sua specie, sebbene lo stato di conservazione della popolazione che vive nel bacino del Mediterraneo – separata dalle altre – non sia ben noto. Solo alcune settimane addietro nelle acque italiane si è consumata un'altra tragedia, con protagonista una piccola balenottera minore (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) che era stata avvistata e filmata nel porto di Anzio, per poi essere ritrovata spiaggiata a Fregene, pochi giorni dopo. La balenottera minore non vive abitualmente nel Mediterraneo, ma è solo occasionale, così come le orche (Orcinus orca) arrivate al porto di Genova alla fine dello scorso anno, anch'esse andate incontro a una sorte infausta.

Video: Top 5 Biggest Whales by Size and their real Whale Sounds Recordings. Beautiful!


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