Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Aquarium in the News: Underwater and Offshore

Two newspaper articles out today highlight the depth and breadth of the Aquarium's work—from wide-open expanses off shore where massive whales sigh at the surface of the Atlantic Ocean to the sparkly confines of the Giant Ocean Tank aflutter with tiny tropical fish.

A surface active group of North Atlantic right whales with prominent whale exhalations
Photo: Right Whale Research Blog | Canadian Whale Inst./New England Aquarium

First to exciting research into whale health lead by Aquarium researcher Dr. Kathleen Hunt. The New York Times Science Times section illuminated the potential for harnessing whale exhalations—or blow—to find important data on hormone levels. This is after Dr. Hunt and colleagues published a paper in Conservation Physiology showing that the blow can provide critical information about an animal's sex, maturity, reproductive status and stress levels.  

A screen capture from a vide of whale blow sampling methods at sea. Watch 

And back home to Central Wharf, where diver Chris Bauernfeind took readers of The Boston Globe underwater inside the newly renovated Giant Ocean Tank. The cover story of G profiled Chris and some of the exciting new additions to the tank, including live video streaming to HD screens in the Yawkey Coral Reef Center, the opportunity for diver communication with landlubbers at the top of the tank, bouquets of intricate corals and hundreds of new fish.

Tuesday's Boston Globe

The article also touches on Chris's role as the point person for the Divers Blog. The latest post (complete with video) talks about all some of the new residents!

Photo: Dan Ryan | The Boston Globe

Read the Boston Globe article and see all the pictures.

After these great reads, come visit the Aquarium and explore the diversity and beauty of the New England Aquarium. Learn about the Right Whale Research Program in the Blue Planet Action Center, explore the Giant Ocean Tank through the divers' eyes and get to know a little bit more about our blue planet.

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