The University of Queensland’s marine biology department has donated a whale’s tooth to the university’s College of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, as part of its conservation campaign.
Key points:A group of university students are donating teeth to the marine science department to be conserved for the futureA whale has been kept in a cage for over a year to keep it fit for researchThe University of Tasmania is donating a whale tooth to studyThe University at Albany, a private university in New York, has donated an ear for studying marine predators.
A University of Auckland graduate student has donated her own tooth to her alma mater to help conserve it for research.
The university has donated the tooth to University of Otago’s marine sciences department.
University of Otaki’s head of marine sciences, Professor Mike Aitken, said it was an “extraordinary gift” for the department.
“This is an incredible opportunity for the University at Otago to partner with the University and the Tasmanian government in making this gift to their marine science research, and it’s also an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of preserving marine ecosystems for future generations,” he said.
“Our conservation programs have been at the forefront of the marine conservation movement, but this is the first time a whale has had a tooth donated to the department to help preserve its condition.”
The University’s marine science program is located in the South Pacific Ocean off the New Zealand coast.
A group from the Otago University Marine Research Institute (OUMI) has been working on a research project to study marine predators, including humpback whales.
The group has been collecting whale tooth samples, taking them to New Zealand for preservation and then storing them for study.
The Otago team collected about 50 tooth samples from humpback whale, walrus, porpoise, seabird, dolphins, whales and turtles.
It then analysed each tooth to identify the animal species and its habitat.
“We’re using whale tooth material to study the behavior and biology of marine predators and their prey,” Professor Aitker said.
Professor Aitkin said it had been an “exciting” process.
“The whale has an incredible mouth, and we really need to be able to preserve that for future research.”
As a result of this research, we have been able to study a wide range of marine predator species, which is a really exciting thing.
“Professor Aitchin said the tooth’s preservation would help researchers better understand the role whales play in their environment.”
It would give us an insight into the physiology and physiology of those animals, which are in fact much more complex than the average person can grasp,” he added.
The University was hoping to donate another whale tooth in the next few months.
Topics:human-interest,animal-science,environment,welfare,animal,animal welfare,environmental-health,tas,aurora-3942First posted January 26, 2019 06:00:58Contact Lisa WrightMore stories from New Zealand