Proposed in 1992 by Canada’s International Centre for Ocean Development and the Ocean Institute of Canada at the Earth Summit – UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. World Ocean Day
On World Oceans Day, people around our blue planet celebrate and honor the ocean, which connects us all. Get together with your family, friends, community, and the planet to start creating a better future. Working together, we can and will protect our shared ocean. Join this growing global celebration on 8 June!
If you do not have teeth and you need to eat tons of food each day, how do you get your food? If you are a whale, you may use baleen to filter the small plankton, shrimp and fish that flow into your mouth, along with the sea water. The sea water flows out through the gaps in your baleen while the food gets trapped within the baleen. One flick of your enormous tongue gathers up the trapped food and transfers it into your throat.
Although I knew about baleen from volunteering at the
Tidepool Information Table at Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego, I learned even more during a recent dolphin watch adventure at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach. Between April and September, the Atlantic Explorer takes guests out of Owl Creek, through Rudy Inlet into the Atlantic Ocean for a 90 minute trip to see juvenile Humpback Whales, Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins, perhaps some sea turtles and maybe some rays.
I knew that baleen was made from keraton, the same material that makes up your fingernails and hair. (It look sort of like the bristles in a push broom.) What I did not know was how the whale got the left-behind seafood from its baleen into its gullet. I also did not know that the Humpback Whale (49-52 foot female or the 43-46 foot male) had a throat the size of a grapefruit.
Depending on the species, a baleen plate can be 0.5 to 3.5 m (1.6 to 11.5 ft) long, and weigh up to 90 kg (200 lb). Its hairy fringes are called baleen hair or whalebone-hair. They are also called baleen bristles, which in sei whales are highly calcified, with calcification functioning to increase their stiffness. Baleen plates are broader at the gumline (base). The plates have been compared to sieves or Venetian blinds
It’s February and the butterflies are getting restless. The earth is warming. Clumped together and clinging to trees they are getting hungry and impatient. They have spent the whole winter in a state of diapause — a kind of suspended animation where body functions slow to a bare minimum. It is fanciful idea but I think of them in the wintertime as being between realms: not quite alive, not quite dead. Which might be a familiar sensation. Each and every one of these butterflies learned about patience and discomfort when they transitioned from caterpillar to imago. Now as the sun begins to warm their bodies as well as the land they are waking up to remember who they are. Groups spontaneously rise up in practice flights only to settle back down again. But there is strength in their wings. They remember what it is to be alive.