Scientists in Australia have found a link between Sperm Whale poo and the absorption of atmospheric CO2. You may be sitting there thinking "What a load of crap!", but seriously, it's true! The reason is: Iron. Specifically the amount of iron in each Whale-plop. Those same scientists estimate that Southern Ocean Sperm Whales deposit around 50 tonnes of iron each year.
You may be asking yourself why this is important? Well, the increased iron stimulates the growth of phytoplankton which, being a plant, absorbs CO2 during the process of photosynthesis. Phytoplankton rely on iron from growth, to the amount of iron available directly relates to the levels in the sea. The estimate is that about 400,000 tonnes of carbon is absorbed each year, which is only half the amount they produce through breathing. Although the amount is very small compaired to the scale of the problem, the global total, including all Sperm Whale populations, could be much higher.
Below are a few pictures of Sperm Whales. But not of their poo!
© James Edward Hughes 16/06/2010
Following my previous post about these beautiful creatures, I wanted to post this video I found on YouTube about irresponsible tourism with respect to the American Manatee. I found this video difficult to watch.
Not all tour operators are like this, and there are many that provide a great opportunity for people to have unforgettable encounters with these majestic creatures. It's down to us to make sure we book tours and visits with those operators that have a proven track record when it comes to respecting the needs of the Manatee.
Again, do check out the Save the Manatee Club website for more infomation.