On the Air: May 24, 2015
Killer whales can learn new dialects. Credit: Robert Pitman, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

If you move to a new part of the country, you’ll eventually start to sound a bit like the natives. Your accent might shift a little, and you’ll pick up the local dialect — the language and speech patterns that define that area.

The same thing appears to be true for killer whales. Some recent research found that orcas that are kept around bottlenose dolphins eventually start to “talk” more like the dolphins.

In Print: May 1, 2015
A sea otter mom and her baby. Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

As utterly exhausting as it is to care for a newborn, most moms would never dream of abandoning their child. But what if it were a question of life and death…for the baby or the mom? That’s the dilemma that sea otter moms sometimes face when they can’t provide enough calories to meet their pups’ incredibly high energy demands. Researchers at a sea otter pup rehabilitation program measured the metabolic rates and daily caloric needs of sea otter pups and found the mothers need to provide more than 222,000 Calories to raise pups from birth to independence.