Read Lab members Kristina Cammen, Meagan Dunphy-Daly, and Amanda Kaltenberg have developed a “Predators of the Sea” traveling trunk for the North Carolina Maritime Museum. The traveling trunk was developed for 4th-6th grade students to learn about marine predators. Lessons focus on the differences between marine predators (e.g., sharks and dolphins), the differences between individuals within a population of marine predators, and why certain predators choose specific habitats. The trunk includes a variety of activities, including measuring a life-sized bull shark image, matching dolphin dorsal fins, and studying prey habitat maps. Kristina, Meagan, and Amanda successfully debuted the trunk with two of Mrs. Eura Lawrence’s 6th grade classes at Beaufort Middle School on April 23rd. The trunk was also displayed at the Scientific Research and Education Networking event at the Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium on April 25th. Teachers can check the trunk out of the North Carolina Maritime Museum to use in their class for a two-week period. The trunk was created with support from the Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence, the Duke University Marine Laboratory, and the North Carolina Maritime Museum. For more information about reserving the traveling trunk, please visit http://www.ncmaritimemuseums.com/beaufort/programs/outreach.html.
Amanda, Meagan, and Kristina debut their traveling trunk activities at Beaufort Middle School.
The trunk on display for teachers at the aquarium.
Our research team spotted a great white shark while conducting a marine mammal survey in Onslow Bay on Wednesday, April 24th. The shark was approximately 12 miles out of Bogue Inlet and was feeding on a floating humpback whale carcass. The story made it to the local news:
A great white shark swimming off the coast of North Carolina
A great white shark feeding on a humpback whale carcass
A tiger shark feeding on a humpback whale carcass
Meagan Dunphy-Daly and Andy Read contributed to a new publication, “The Marine Mammal Protection Act at 40: status, recovery, and future of U.S. marine mammals.”
The web site of the Cetacean Specialist Group of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is a great place to get information on the status of whales, dolphins and porpoises and updates on recent conservation projects directed at cetacean populations at risk. Check it out!
The manuscript “A field test of acoustic deterrent devices used to reduce interactions between bottlenose dolphins and a coastal gillnet fishery” was recently published in Biological Conservation. The paper was led by Danielle Waples and all co-authors are either current or former members of the Read Lab!
Danielle Waples and Andy Read contributed to a new publication out this week, “To ping or not to ping: the use of active acoustic devices in mitigating interactions between small cetaceans and gillnet fisheries.“
We recently encountered a group of approximately 50 Risso’s dolphins (Grampus griseus) while conducting a photo-ID and biopsy survey along the continental shelf break in Onslow Bay, NC. Risso’s dolphins are characteristic animals of the shelf break along the U.S. east coast, but we rarely see them in Onslow Bay. When we do find them they are usually moving so quickly that it’s difficult to obtain photo-ID images, let alone biopsy samples. This sighting was particularly interesting because this group of Risso’s was uncharacteristically approachable and included a number of individuals with distinctive dorsal fins. We collected five biopsy samples and about 600 photo-ID images. A subset of these images will be added to our Onslow Bay photo-ID catalog curated at the Duke Marine Lab. Genetic analyses of the biopsy samples along with the photo-identification images will address questions of social structure and residency patterns of Risso’s dolphins off our coast.