Vaquita is Spanish for ‘small cow’ and apparently the word ‘porpoise’ comes from the Latin ‘porcopsicus’ meaning ‘fish pig’. First assessed as critically endangered in a 1996 IUCN report, the vaquita has become a symbol for environmental sustainability. 1. Make sure you guys appreciate us and don't forget to Like, Share and Subscribe. Today on Amazon, upgrade your desktop setup with deep discounts on HD monitors from Samsung. The word vaquita means "small cow" in Spanish. They're most closely related to porpoises in South America, but the species diverged from these relatives at least 2.5 million years ago. These fabulous creatures are only about 4-1/2 feet in length, weighing around 99 to 110 lbs as adults, with the male being a bit larger than the female. In 2017, CIRVA scientists desperate to find a solution recommended a controversial plan: Capture vaquitas, keep them in net pens in the Gulf, and hope they would reproduce. After that, Read and many other scientists say they were heartbroken, but still felt that the risk of extinction outweighed those of capture. The group subsequently built a high-tech "floating sea enclosure," which they anchored in the Gulf not too far from the beach where the first vaquita skulls were discovered. The teeth are flattened and spade-shaped unlike the conical-shaped teeth of dolphins. The population had plummeted by 92 percent since 1997. Learn more about what makes them interesting below. These monitors are perfect for gaming or streaming your favorite movies and TV shows. They feast on fish, prawns and crabs but are known to have particular preference for squid. The small porpoise is extremely rare as well as endangered. Fun Facts for Kids Vaquita is the only porpoise, living in warm waters such as these of the Gulf of California: porpoises inhabit cooler waters, typically lower than 20 degrees Celsius. California and mainland Mexico. Living in relatively shallow, cloudy water, they feed on a variety of fish, squid, and crustaceans. 1. "We should have been perfectly able to save the vaquita,â McCallum says. A few populations of North American reindeer travel up to 3100 miles per year, covering around 23 miles per day. They are the rarest sea mammal in existence. At their top speed, these reindeer can run 50 mph and swim at 6.2 mph. More information Accept. The vaquita measures about 5 feet long (the females are slightly larger than the males) and weighs no more than 100 pounds. The word Vaquita means “little cow” in Spanish and porpoise derives from the Latin meaning pig fish. Genetic and morphological data suggest that vaquitas are most closely related to porpoises in South America. There are two major groups of reindeer, the tundra and the woodland, which are divided according to the type of habitat the animal lives in, not their global location. For decades, fishermen after shrimp and finfish such as corvina and sierra unintentionally entangled and drowned vaquitas in their gillnets; these long, curtain-like nets float in the water, snagging the gills of fish and shrimp that swim into them. Sightings have reported small groups of 2-4, larger groups of up to 10 and even solitary vaquitas. The likelihood of vaquita surviving, breeding, and being released was slim. Conservation groups such as Greenpeace, the World Wildlife Fund, and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society patrol the Gulf for illegal fishing, but the totoaba trade continues. Vaquita is Spanish for “little cow” and “vaquita marina” is Spanish for “little sea cow.” The vaquita is a small cetacean that lives only in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico. Where do vaquitas live? The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. fun facts The Vaquita was first named by scientist in 1958, and since then not much has been able to be uncovered about the species due to their mysterious nature There have only been 65 confirmed sightings of the marine mammal from 1958 to now, which is larger than the actual number of Vaquita's still in existence! Others disagreed. Vaquitas, like their harbour porpoise cousins, make loud noises that sound a bit like pig snorts, and porpoises used to be commonly known as ‘puffing pigs’. They estimated the vaquita population at 245. Even their hooves are special. In the winter, though, the pads tighten, revealing the rim of their hooves, which is used to provide traction in the slippery snow and ice. Dark rings surround their eyes and mouths, which may account for their common name (vaquita means âlittle cowâ in Spanish). Interesting Facts About Porpoises Information About Porpoises. Belly is white in color. Relatively little is known about it, simply because individuals are incredibly hard to find to conduct research. Color fades toward the belly, which is white in color. Some of our website features may not function as a result. Their noses are specially adapted to warm the air they breathe before it enters their lungs and to condense water in the air, which keeps their mucous membranes moist. They are longer than the males, whose length tops out at about 1.4 metres. This narrow body of water is nestled between the second longest peninsula in the world, Baja California (translated from Spanish meaning ‘below’ or ‘south’ California) and the north west coast of mainland Mexico. Vaquita have a dark coloring around the eyes and mouth. What remains of their populations only lives in the northernmost region of the gulf. Eyes of vaquita are encircled with black rings. Hereâs what caught our eye today, December 2. The Saola, pronounced sow-la, meaning ‘spindle horns’ in Vietnamese, is found in only one place in the world: the Annamite Mountains forests on the border between Vietnam and Laos. The vaquita is the most endangered marine mammal in the world. 2 Females grow to be around 1.5 metres long. The main threat to vaquitas is death by drowning in fishing gear. Scientists have a hard time making precise estimates of the number of rare and cryptic (hard to find) species such as the vaquita. Then she began swimming frantically and crashing into the sides of the net before finally going limp. Reindeer now live exclusively in the northern points of the globe, but when Earth was cooler and humans were less of a threat, their territory was larger. For the next four years, they acoustically monitored Gulf watersâand were dismayed to see the vaquita population drop by 34 percent per year. When a colleague compared the skulls to those of another porpoise at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at Berkeley, California, they noticed differences striking enough to consider the finds a new species. A single dried swim bladder of a totoaba can fetch as much as $50,000 in China, where they are given as gifts, eaten, or used in traditional medicine. "The devices look for a particular frequency," Read explains. Dorsal side of most species of porpoises is grey or brown. Some hope remains, though; cell samples taken by the VaquitaCPR team from the two captured vaquitas have been successfully cultured in the lab and frozen for use in future research. (Vaquitas tend to stay at least a half-mile away from boats.) Last year in 2015, the Mexican Government banned the use of the gillnets for two years and many conservation efforts are underway which will hopefully save these timid beauties before they are lost to history. It also has a black line around its lips, which gives the appearance of a smile. It can reach 4.6 to 5 feet in length and up to 120 pounds of weight. You might ask someone how they’re doing, what’s new, or if they’ve done anything interesting … In 1950, University of California scientist Kenneth Norris ... 2. Enter your email. But we only get commission on items you buy and donât return, so weâre only happy if youâre happy. They're the smallest of all porpoises, with chunky bodies and rounded heads. Things like white fur and urine are difficult, even impossible, for humans to see in the snow, but for reindeer, they show up in high contrast. And in Scandinavia, reindeer is still a popular meat, sold in grocery stores in fresh, canned, and dried forms. The vaquita is the rarest marine mammal in the world, and critically endangered, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Life in the tundra is hard, but reindeer have it easy-ish thanks to their amazing evolutionary enhancements. "Nothing else makes sound in the same range, and vaquitas are acoustically very active.". Historically, the Eurasian reindeer and American caribou were considered to be different species, but they are actually one and the same: Rangifer tarandus. Casual conversation is home to a variety of prompts. The Vaquita, also known as ‘cochito’, ‘vaquita marina’ and ‘Gulf of California harbour porpoise’, exists in only one place in the world, the Gulf of California. "From the perspective of the fishermen, what they could make legally fishing versus illegally fishing for totoaba, there is enormous incentive," Read tells Mental Floss. Dolphins, whales and vaquitas are all in the same family known as cetaceans, which are large sea mammals characterised by their appearance, intelligence and carnivorous (meat eating) diets. Upper side of the body is grey in color. Most members of the species are smaller. But new research suggests that the number has been cut down by more than a thirdâwith less than 20 vaquitas left on Earth. Interesting Vaquita Facts: Vaquita is very small animal. "We know where they are and what needed to happen to save them in the wild.". Female vaquitas up to 5ft (1.52m) are larger than males vaquitas that have been measured only up to 4.6ft (1.40m). Their fur traps air, which not only helps provide them with excellent insulation, but also keeps them buoyant in water, which is important for traveling across massive rivers and lakes during migration. Vaquita Facts Vaquitas were scientifically discovered as a new species in 1958. Moore introduced the world to Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder and Blixem (the last two of which were later changed from Dutch to German, becoming Donner and Blitzen). Good luck deal hunting! The initial results looked promising, and those efforts may well have eventually succeeded, but a bigger threat loomed: illegal fishing for totoaba, a large fish that had also been critically endangered for two decades.
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