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Physeter macrocephalus Diving
February 29, 2012

This is a sperm whale about to dive. The sperm whale is capable of diving down to depths of 1000 meters, and staying submerged for 90 minutes. The sperm whale has the largest brain of any animal, and is also the largest toothed animal, growing to lengths up to 18 meters. In the photo, you can see the whale about to slap its tail on the surface of the water before its dive, which will create a “fingerprint” of sorts, that is unique to that whale. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Life in Extreme Environments, Kaikoura

location: Canterbury, New Zealand

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Diomedea exulans gibsoni: Gibson’s Albatross
February 29, 2012

Gibson’s Albatross is a wandering albatross that will never touch the land of the north or south islands of New Zealand, yet is seen perched beautifully in the water just off the coast of Kaikoura, due to it’s circumpolar range in the Southern Ocean. The Kaikoura Peninsula is a popular place for both subspecies of wandering albatross to feed. This subspecies breeds on the sub-Antarctic Auckland islands but spends nearly all of its time at sea. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Life in Extreme Environments, Kaikoura

location: Canterbury, New Zealand

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IMGP0336
January 13, 2012

This bird, the Northern Royal Albatross (Species Diomedea sanfordi) is seen here in its breeding pair at Taiaroa Head at the Royal Albatross Centre on the Otago Peninsula (www.albatross.org.nz). (more...)

tags: Field trip Southland/Otago, Biogeography of New Zealand, Conservation Biology

location: Harington Point, Otago, New Zealand

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IMGP0293
January 13, 2012

This is the New Zealand Fur Seal (Arctocephalus forsteri), taken from the Monarch Wildlife Cruise around Taiaroa Head (www.wildlife.co.nz). This picture shows a pup reared at the breeding colony. An interesting fact about the fur seal is that they are the deepest diving known seals, taking plunges up to 238 meters, and staying submerged for up to 11 minutes. (more...)

tags: Field trip Southland/Otago, Biogeography of New Zealand, Conservation Biology

location: Harington Point, Otago, New Zealand

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