Whales are some of the biggest creatures ever to have existed on Earth, dwarfing even the largest of the dinosaurs, and their fascinating world was revealed in an entertaining and informative lecture at Qatar National Library on 8 March.
In his lecture “Spying on Whales,” Dr. Nick Pyenson engaged attendees with stories from his research into the lives of whales, revealing how intelligent these creatures from the deep really are and the challenges they currently face due to human pollution of the oceans they call home.
Dr. Pyenson is a research geologist and curator of fossil marine mammals at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in the US and author of the book Spying On Whales: The Past, Present and Future Of Earth’s Most Awesome Creatures.
“Whales face a lot of challenges, including living alongside humans. Any whales that live near urban areas face threats, including noisy oceans, plastic pollution, and dangers from fishing lines and shipping lanes,” said Dr. Pyenson. “It is easy to protect this great species by changing our laws, shipping lanes and fishing lines, and we are perfectly capable of doing this, so whales and humans can live alongside each other in peace.”
Geologist Jacques Leblanc, who attended the event, said: “I found the lecture fascinating, as it gave a lot of information about whales and how they have evolved over the past centuries. We need to exchange knowledge with researchers in other countries to find best practices to protect whales. Most importantly, we should keep them free and study them in their natural environment to understand them, so we can find ways to protect them and their habitats.”