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Weapon Found in Whale Dated From the 1800s

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the whale-just-wanted-the-damn-kids-off-his-lawn dept.

Science 661

LABarr writes "AP and CNN are carrying a story that has forced scientists to re-evaluate the longevity of mammals. A bowhead whale caught off the Alaskan coast last month had a weapon fragment embedded in its neck that showed it survived a similar hunt over a century ago. 'Embedded deep under its blubber was a 3½-inch arrow-shaped projectile that has given researchers insight into the whale's age, estimated between 115 and 130 years old. The bomb lance fragment, lodged in a bone between the whale's neck and shoulder blade, was likely manufactured in New Bedford, on the southeast coast of Massachusetts, a major whaling center at that time. It was probably shot at the whale from a heavy shoulder gun around 1890.' "

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661 comments

I prefer ... (1, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 6 years ago | (#19521979)

... my whales under 50 and without their own hardware, thank you very much.

Longevity of whales (5, Insightful)

mollog (841386) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522119)

My very first thought when I read the headline was, 'If whales live so long, we should not be hunting them. They probably have a very finite rate of reproduction, their numbers are low and getting lower, and we're even killing the old ones.' I wish we would stop killing whales.

Ships injure and kill whales, whalers kill whales, sonar from U.S. Navy submarines kill whales and ruin their hearing. What we're doing is unforgivable.

Is anybody else alarmed about the news that we just killed an old whale?

Re:Longevity of whales (5, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522257)

It was killed by a small group of indigenous people who still use whales as a major food source.

I had part of a pig for breakfast and turkey for lunch, so I'd be a hypocrite if I complained much.

Re:Longevity of whales (5, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522527)

Not really, neither of those species is currently endangered. You can feel bad about the way they're treated and 'factory farmed' if you like though.

Re:Longevity of whales (4, Informative)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522291)

"We" (as in "people subject to U.S. law") have stopped killing them. If you RTFA, you'll find that the people who killed the whale were Eskimos, who have permission to do it because it's their tradition.

If you want to bitch at the Eskimos for doing it, be my guest -- but you'll probably get bitched at in return about how "their traditions are as endangered as the whales" or some such thing.

Re:Longevity of whales (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19522293)

If you had RTFA you won't make a fool out of yourself

Re:Longevity of whales (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19522339)

Biological insight and idiocy.

From a conservation standpoint:

I'd rather they kill an old whale than a young one. It's probably past it's breeding prime, or even time where breeding is possible, it's certainly got less potential breeding time left in it.

Re:Longevity of whales (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19522359)

Ships injure and kill whales, whalers kill whales, sonar from U.S. Navy submarines kill whales and ruin their hearing.

It's important to note that only US submarines' SONAR can kill whales. Everyone else's SONAR is environmentally friendly and spends 30 minutes giving the whales a good rub down to show that they are loved. Filthy American pig-dogs.

Can we have a little more hate for the US (and modern civilization (excepting the technology you like) in general) in your diatribe? You forgot to slam Bush somewhere in there too.

Re:Longevity of whales (0, Troll)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522371)

Why is it wrong to kill a whale and not a cow or pig or chicken?

I eat all three, so why should I care for Willy the Whale?

Re:Longevity of whales (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19522443)

We all know you eat whale too, we've seen your girlfriend

Re:Longevity of whales (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19522471)

No doubt. And when the last whale is gone, nobody will have anymore complaints.

Re:Longevity of whales (2, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522499)

Why is it wrong to kill a whale and not a cow or pig or chicken?

I eat all three, so why should I care for Willy the Whale?


Because the cow, pig and chicken you ate was born and raised with the sole purpose of becoming your meal. When these Eskimos start "ranching" whales, they can eat them.

Re:Longevity of whales (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19522555)

Cows, pigs, and chicken are produced on demand. Whales are not.

Re:Longevity of whales (1)

ageoffri (723674) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522417)

Personally I'm more alarmed about people trying to force their standards on others then the closely monitored and regulated hunting of whales by Native Americans.

Quotas are sent by people who have far more knowledge then I do and I suspect far more knowledge then you have of the whale population.

These Native Americans are hunting whales to survive and maintain their culture and history, they aren't out there on speed boats shooting every whale they see and leaving it to rot. Instead they will have a supply of food, blubber, bones for survival and I'm fairly sure there is a religious aspect surrounding whaling.

Re:Longevity of whales (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19522545)

It may be true that there is a religious aspect surrounding whaling. So what if there is?

Re:Longevity of whales (2, Interesting)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522481)

So, because something lives a long time, you would force your values upon people who have hunted whales for thousands of years? What makes your opinion so much better than their lifestyles?

Their numbers are low and getting lower? I don't know where you're getting your info (you probably should have read past the headline and into the FA, and not relied on your feelings of 'probably' etc...) but from what I've heard in the past, this type of whale--bowheads--are making a pretty decent recovery. That's why native Alaskans are allowed to hunt them.

Some sharks kill whales. Squids have even attacked whales. Should we start killing off the sharks and squids because they might attack whales?

Is anyone else alarmed that "we" (are you really an Alaskan native given a special permit to kill a finite number of whales a year? REALLY?) killed an old whale? If anything you should be glad--it was near the end of what we think their life expectancy is. It mated many times over and probably has countless progeny. I can't say I'm thrilled about it, but it's part of life.

Re:I prefer ... (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522513)

... my whales under 50 and without their own hardware, thank you very much.
When I saw this headline I promised myself I would refrain from making any Rush Limbaugh jokes but you tempt me so, damn you!

But back on topic, I'm amazed at the age here. Just how long do whales typically live? Is there a difference between the toothy and baleen varieties?

caught? (1, Flamebait)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#19521991)

do people catch whales a lot? and then they did neck surgery on it before they let it go? or maybe - instead of 'catching' a whale, it should read - killed a whale? I'm just wondering.

Re:caught? (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522033)

sorry to answer my own question but i decided to go against the grain and rtfa. i guess they probably didn't let it go after they cut it up in pieces with a chain saws.
 
although - if the information i garnered from Finding Nemo is correct, I guess it will eventually be finding its way back to the sea.

Re:caught? (2, Informative)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522055)

FTA:

"The 49-foot male whale died when it was shot with a similar projectile last month, and the older device was found buried beneath its blubber as hunters carved it with a chain saw for harvesting."

In other words, the whale fell victim to a modern version of the same weapon it survived in the 1800s.

Re:caught? (1)

perlchild (582235) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522429)

But do we know the weapon was embedded in the 1800s, couldn't it have been manufactured, shot, get embedded in something(piece of wood, coral, etc...) then get embedded into the whale later, therefore explaining why the whale might not have been that old?

Speargun Control (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19521997)

We need immediate laws to license and regular spear guns. Oh won't somebody think of the children?

Last Great American Whale (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19522005)

Here's to you, Lou.

Am I the only one disgusted by this? (0, Flamebait)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522029)

That a bunch of Yayhoo's killed an animal over a century old?

Re:Am I the only one disgusted by this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19522061)

Me and you both.

It wasn't a bunch of Yahoo's (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19522115)

It was one of a 255 whale quota issued to villages of Native North Americans. These people eat the whale and use its parts for good use.

It ain't pretty, but it wasn't going to a bunch of sport hunters for trophies.

Indigenous culture. Time to change? (2, Interesting)

mollog (841386) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522337)

I am sympathetic to the plight of peoples whose culture have been so heavily influenced by outsiders, and their way of life being so changed. I do appreciate the cultures of indigenous peoples, especially peoples with lifestyles that are so closely tied to the environment. But I'm now wondering if we shouldn't be promoting the idea that they might want to catalog their cultural artifacts and rituals, but that they need to move on. The need to stop the whaling.

Go ahead, flame me, but I'm serious. We humans are having a profound effect on the planet and we need to change our behaviors. If you're wondering, yes, I have been modifying my behavior to lessen my impact for a long time; recycling, composting, reducing my energy usage. I'm near the practical limit of what I can do alone. Some new public policy to assist my efforts would help. Investment is solar cell technology, better and more public transportation, etc.

But back to the whales and the Inuit, the Norwegians (or whomever is hunting them), I'd like to see it stop.

Re:Indigenous culture. Time to change? (3, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522431)

Why should they stop their whaling? It's not like the Asians are going to stop any century soon, so why not let them catch a couple percent of the global take each year to continue their heritage.

Yayhoos? (3, Insightful)

Bayoudegradeable (1003768) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522123)

Now why would you call native people yayhoos? This is not a story of some hayseeds out for a good time. This whale was harvested by a group of people that are monitored by the IWC and practice whaling as part of their indigenous culture. Did you read tfa? This is a major source of food for these people. Oh, because it's a 100 year old animal you have feelings for it? They can't eat because of your values? How nice of you. Don't bother to think of all the wood and lumber products in your life that are from trees that were FAR older than 100 years old when harvested.

Re:Yayhoos? (-1, Flamebait)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522283)

Acknowledged, and I see that now. But I still don't have to like it. Indigenous culture or not, Bowhead whales are still a species at fairly significant risk. There are no whale species that aren't endangered to some extent.

To be honest, I'd really have less of a problem if they were conducting raids on white towns and carrying off the inhabitants for food. There's plenty more where they came from.

And BTW, Trees aren't the subject of of active research into non-human intelligence.

Re:Yayhoos? (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522535)

First Alaskan natives are "yayhoos" to you. Now you would rather that sentient human beings be killed rather than an animal--all because of some perverse mixed up moral equivalency? I can't even begin to comprehend the mindset that would make such a statement..

Straight out--one has to die, an endangered species whale, or a random human--you pick, which is it?

Re:Yayhoos? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19522583)

human filth

Re:Yayhoos? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19522529)

Cannabalism and female circumcision is "culture". Culture rises where civilisation declines. Killing an endangered animal like this today for "cultural" reasons is just ignorant.

Re:Am I the only one disgusted by this? (1)

weinrich (414267) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522169)

I think laws should be put in place that would require these guys to use 'period weapons' to hunt these ancient animals. I wonder how many whales they'd catch if all they had were gun power and some rusty spearheads. I suspect they'd value their catch a lot more after having to go through all that work.

Re:Am I the only one disgusted by this? (1)

JesseL (107722) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522313)

The number of whales killed is already monitored and regulated, so that's hardly an issue.

How do you figure the right historical period at which to freeze whale hunting technology? What makes late 19th century methods acceptable in comparison with pre-gunpowder methods while 20th century methods are unacceptable?

Re:Am I the only one disgusted by this? (5, Insightful)

plunge (27239) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522563)

I dunno, but if your whole argument for whale killing is that its preserving an ancient tradition, don't you think that arguments starts to look a little silly when you go out and do it with machine guns and sonar.

Re:Am I the only one disgusted by this? (2, Interesting)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522175)

You mean a bunch of Inuits, yeah I guess it is sorta odd that we let old cultures hunt a dwindling population of animals. But hey gotta maintain that good indigenous culture.

Re:Am I the only one disgusted by this? (1)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522445)

Please note... that was intended as sarcasm.... I think I failed rather miserably.. damnit.

Re:Am I the only one disgusted by this? (1)

JesseL (107722) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522207)

First, that "bunch of Yayhoo's" was a group of native Americans with the legal right to hunt whales for food, just like they've done for a very long time.

Second, how the hell were they supposed to know how old the whale was? And why should it matter? Is it a little less unethical to kill younger whales in your eyes?

Re:Am I the only one disgusted by this? (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522325)

And why should it matter?

Because a 130 year old animal probably has the stringiest, gamiest meat imaginable. Not to mention 130 years' accumulation of heavy metals and other toxins. They'd probably have much more satisfying dining if they got a cheap deal on a bulk order a few sides of beef.

Re:Am I the only one disgusted by this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19522211)

Good job on RTFA.

"Whaling has always been a prominent source of food for Alaskans, and is monitored by the International Whaling Commission. A hunting quota for the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission was recently renewed, allowing 255 whales to be harvested by 10 Alaskan villages over five years."

I would hope you could muster the effort to get over yourself and realize that not everyone in the world lives like you. Calling them yayhoos is a little ridiculous in my opinion. American Indians that killed bison were probably yayhoos in your book too, weren't they?

Re:Am I the only one disgusted by this? (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522267)

That a bunch of Yayhoo's killed an animal over a century old?
What, so Alaskan natives are "yayhoos" now? I quite frankly find that incredibly offensive. They've been hunting whales for thousands of years, what right do you have to judge how they live?

Disgusting...

Am I the only one disgusted by old age? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19522279)

"That a bunch of Yayhoo's killed an animal over a century old?"

Why? Jack Kavorkian use to do the same thing.

Re:Am I the only one disgusted by this? (1)

blank axolotl (917736) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522305)

Judging from the article those yahoos are First Peoples/Native Americans who went on to eat the whale, and who have a limit of 255 whales per 5 years. These whales are slightly endangered though, with 8,000-9,200 individuals worldwide [wikipedia.org]. Personally I think it was OK to kill it in this scenario and for their reasons.

Its ok, 'cause its neanderthals doing it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19522353)

No one cares because it was the wild natives that killed it. See, they don't have to abide by no stinkin' treaties like the civilized world does. They can de-populate endangered species at will and all the lefties will applaud them.

Rather than adopting to modern life, it is more important to the lefties for these folks to maintain their primitive culture - at any cost. Its an interesting battle - rights of endangered majestic beasts vs. rights of hunter/gatherers who refuse to modernize. Its just another example of lefties ensuring that we protect the survival of the un-fittest. In this case, its tribes of uneducated primitives who cannot or will not adapt to changing circumstances.

When nearly all the whales are dead, the lefties will probably concoct a scheme to stock the areas around the primitives' villages with the last remaining whale babies.

Re:Am I the only one disgusted by this? (1)

donutello (88309) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522355)

You watch your mouth, Cadallin. The Native Americans were raped of their land and resources by white people like us!

Re:Am I the only one disgusted by this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19522403)

Not as disgusted that an adult who can use a computer thinks you use an apostrophe to make a plural.

Let me be the first to say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19522041)

Yarrr!

In other news... (2, Funny)

djupedal (584558) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522047)

The 'weapon' was also patented. As a result the RIAA has dispatched a flock of attorneys and intends to bring to court not only the tribe that killed the 100 ~ 200 year old beast, but anyone waiting in line for a hunk of blubber.

Reason? Reports of singing by tribe members have come in and without a doubt, multiple infringements have occured and will continue to occur until the bringers of justice step in and halt all misuse.

You've been warned.

Re:In other news... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19522263)

why can't we get a -1, stupid mod here?

Wow, what it must have felt like... (1)

Gwwfps (912993) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522081)

...to have spent a century with a piece of metal embedded in one's neck, of all places. Poor animal.

Re:Wow, what it must have felt like... (4, Funny)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522167)

It probably felt just fine. I imagine being cut up by chainsaw recently felt much worse.

Not the first time (4, Interesting)

Bombula (670389) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522097)

This isn't the first time this has happened. I believe in one of Bill Bryson's books - probably 'A Short History of Nearly Everything' - he mentions a whale being found with a hand-thrown inuit spearhead embedded in its blubber. Or something along those lines... Anyway, it put the age of the animal well over 100 years.

Re:Not the first time (5, Insightful)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522333)

he mentions a whale being found with a hand-thrown inuit spearhead embedded in its blubber. Or something along those lines... Anyway, it put the age of the animal well over 100 years.

Rather, it puts the age of the spearhead at well over 100 years. Isn't is possible--perhaps not likely, but possible--that the spearhead went unused for decades after being produced?

reevaluate shamulate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19522103)

It hasn't caused scientists to reevaluate the longevity of mammals. Whales have been known to live for up 200 years, long before this evidence supporting a 100+ age for whales.

Yay, Humans (5, Funny)

BlueMikey (1112869) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522113)

Nothing proves that man is who rules the Earth like taking animals that are 130 years old, killing them, and then hacking them up with a chainsaw. Keep showin' them animals who's boss, oh brave hunters.

YOU'RE NEXT, TURTLES

Re:Yay, Humans (1, Flamebait)

ageoffri (723674) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522241)

So instead you would rather have the Native Americans in Alaska starve? Native Americans have a history of sustainable hunting and it wasn't until Europeans came that animals were over-hunted.

Another factor to keep in mind is the religious aspect.

Re:Yay, Humans (4, Insightful)

ultramk (470198) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522573)

Amazingly enough, there are other sources of meat in these modern times. Even in Alaska.

Oh, they're doing it for cultural reasons? Then let them use hand-thrown harpoons to kill it and whale-bone knives to carve it up. You can't have it both ways. I suspect that vast factory ships with explosive harpoon heads and gas-powered chainsaws are not culturally consistent.

I'm sure that killing Mountain Gorillas is culturally consistent for some African tribes, yet no one complains when they are protected.

I agree that maintaining cultural identity is important, but where do we draw the line? To my mind, the law is there to be followed, for everyone. Double standards are racist and backwards. If killing whales is acceptable to our society, then make it legal. If it is unacceptable, make it illegal. The law should not be different because of who your parents were, or what the color of your skin is.

M-

Re:Yay, Humans (1, Insightful)

AutopsyReport (856852) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522307)

A single whale can sustain an entire village for many months; a chainsaw might seem inhumane, but it's pretty hard to suggest the way we kill other sources of food (cows, etc.) is humane. We're both guilty. The problem for most people with a story like this is that they view a whale as cute, entertaining, and not as a source of food, while they view a cow as dinner on the plate. Same thing goes with rabbits, etc.. it's a matter of how animals were portrayed to you. There's nothing wrong with killing a whale for the purposes of survival.

Re:Yay, Humans (2, Insightful)

BlueMikey (1112869) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522497)

To imply this has anything to do with survival is absolutely absurd. There are plenty of ways to survive, even in Alaska, without hunting the Earth's whales (or any animal for that matter).

Also,

We're both guilty.

No, we're not.

Re:Yay, Humans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19522491)

Shut up, kid.

Congratulations! (1, Troll)

techstar25 (556988) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522135)

Congrats, guys. You just killed the oldest living mammal!
Someday that fisherman will be at the gates of Heaven and Saint Peter will say, "We've been waiting for you ... Let's you and I have a little talk about that whale. No, wait. Let me get God on speakerphone."

Re:Congratulations! (2, Interesting)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522251)

Oldest living mammal - hardly. Since there's evidence that whales live up to 200 years (I actually RTFA'd), I doubt it was the oldest one out there.

As for devine retribution, since the Inuit native religion isn't Christianity, I imagine whatever entitiy waits in the afterlife for them would say "Nice score on that whale! Pull up a chair and have some blubber!", or the equivalent Inuit custom. Even if they are Christian, you don't go to Hell for killing an animal and eating it.

Back from the 23rd Century (4, Funny)

totallygeek (263191) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522145)

Whales live indefinitely, and their master race 'swims' the universe in large cylinders. Everyone has known this since the historical documents were released in 1986.

oblig (4, Funny)

Digitus1337 (671442) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522149)

When reached for additional comment the scientists replied "Hey, I call 'em like I see 'em. I'm a whale biologist."

Are you kidding?! (5, Funny)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522173)

"He couldn't have been that bothered if he lived for another 100 years."

Every time it would rain, the poor whale can be heard for miles singing the complaining song of old whales. Roughly translated from whale song as he was talking to younger whales, "Aye! My neck is killing me! Years ago, some son of a bitch human shot me right in me neck! Yarrr. It 'urts every time a storm is ah brew'n. Yarrr. Take note young'ns"

Alternative explanation (1, Interesting)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522193)


Perhaps someone relatively recently was simply hunting with exotic antique weapons and ammo?

Re:Alternative explanation (1)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522405)

I think the dating was not only the weapon, but where it was located in the blubber. I'm guessing blubber builds kinda like tree rings. Deeper the older. But that's just a logical guess.

Slashdot Revealed: +1, Informative (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19522227)


is just an on-line advertising program.

Weapon Found in Whale Dated From the 1800s.

What's next? Newt Gingrich Farts?

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Remember: Fuck Bush [jihadunspun.com]

from TFA (3, Insightful)

Silentknyght (1042778) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522231)

From TFA

The small metal cylinder was filled with explosives fitted with a time-delay fuse so it would explode seconds after it was shot into the whale. The bomb lance was meant to kill the whale immediately and prevent it from escaping.

The device exploded and probably injured the whale, Bockstoce said.

"It probably hurt the whale, or annoyed him, but it hit him in a non-lethal place," he said. "He couldn't have been that bothered if he lived for another 100 years."

The whale harkens back to far different era. If 130 years old, it would have been born in 1877, the year Rutherford B. Hayes was sworn in as president, when federal Reconstruction troops withdrew from the South and when Thomas Edison unveiled his newest invention, the phonograph.

The 49-foot male whale died when it was shot with a similar projectile last month, and the older device was found buried beneath its blubber as hunters carved it with a chain saw for harvesting.

You think there'd be a more humane way of killing any animal than to insert (i.e. shoot) a bomb inside its body.

Heh, coming from a fisherman (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522233)

I would have to say that's one of the best stories I've heard in a long time. Next they're gonna tell ya that that found Jonah. More likely that they'll find Jimmy.

What we can learn from this.... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19522265)

1) We're better at killing whales than we were 100 years ago. 2) Seafood (i.e. krill) is good for you.

Seafood (1)

Nick Driver (238034) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522393)

I certainly would not be interested in eating a sea creature that has had over 100 years time to accumulate all sorts of man-made chemicals and heavy metal pollutants into its flesh.

(As I sit here eating my tuna fish sandwich for lunch. Mercury, Yumm! It's not just for breakfast anymore! Why is my hair falling out?)

Wow, 130 years old... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19522327)

Must be all the seafood. I say, if you're jonesing to hunt creatures that old, at least take some poetic license and beat them to death with a walker, Rascal, or can of Metamucil.

This could be very bad (5, Insightful)

N3WBI3 (595976) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522365)

If whales are livening longer than we thought and yet their numbers are still lower than they should be Who knows what the reproductive life of a whale is and it could mean many of the living adults dont breed anymore

Re:This could be very bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19522435)

So you're saying that Children of Men was just a metaphor for the actual state of whale affairs (or lack thereof)?

-J

What we should really be doing (3, Insightful)

sevenfactorial (996184) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522389)

Is firing chronometers into whales instead of exploding spear points. Preferably ones that can be read without a chainsaw.

Someone just using an old weapon (1)

Not-a-Neg (743469) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522415)

who's to say it wasn't just someone using an old weapon in the last 50 years? That was my first thought.

Re:Someone just using an old weapon (1)

flmngbrd (795007) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522487)

there's obviously an antique whale hunting club that only uses old weapons to keep things sporting.

Nothing quite says civilized (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19522419)

Like killing an intelligent (they sing songs and adapt them as needed)harmless mammal. Yes, I know it was part of the eskimo's culture, but ... why haven't the eskimos learned to adapt to new realities, or can't they adapt? My ancestors did this, why can't I? Well, my ancestors scalped white men, so can I go do that too? Of course, we still have other Nations hunting them to extinction for no better reason than 'that is what they do' Oh well, I guess my grandchildren will have to watch movies and read books to see alot of species that are going to be disappearing soon.

I'd rather the Inuits... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19522433)

...be allowed to kill and eat niggers instead of whales. Whales are far more intelligent and decent than a bunch of low IQ primitives. Look at Africa, Gary (Indiana), Detroit, New Orleans/Katrina, Cleveland, Baltimore, etc. if you think niggers are intelligent.

Too bad if you don't like this post but there's no need to keep your head in the sand about these simple facts of niggerdom.

Whales have necks? And shoulders? (1)

Arthur Dent '99 (226844) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522453)

The bomb lance fragment, lodged in a bone between the whale's neck and shoulder blade...

I never pictured whales as having necks, or shoulder blades for that matter. They've always appeared to me to be one big body, with the head being at the front of the body. I usually associate shoulders with arms or legs as well, and since the whale doesn't have any arms or legs, I wouldn't know where the shoulder on a whale is.

At least a little oversight on hunting (1)

richardoz (529837) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522461)

From TFA: Whaling has always been a prominent source of food for Alaskans, and is monitored by the International Whaling Commission. A hunting quota for the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission was recently renewed, allowing 255 whales to be harvested by 10 Alaskan villages over five years. I find some hope that there is at least a little oversight in these hunts.

Similar whale found... (1)

MCamby (1116021) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522479)

This one lived over an extra hundred years after twice being suddenly and instantly called into existence by some hunters improbability drive, only to be splattered after impacting the ground. The time line of whales life still is under scrutiny....

Baby whale? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19522501)

"the whale's age, estimated between 115 and 130 years old" ...
"It was probably shot at the whale from a heavy shoulder gun around 1890."

So the whale was somewhere between a newborn and 3 years old when they tried to explode it.

By "caught", you mean "killed", right? (4, Insightful)

possible (123857) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522511)

From the summary: A bowhead whale caught off the Alaskan coast...

The whale wasn't "caught", it was killed. It's really disappointing to think that people still killing rare, intelligent mammals that can live to over 150 years old.

And before people start telling me that whale hunting is part of Inuit tradition, I'd like to point out that TFA mentions that this whale was killed with an mechanically-launched explosive projectile. That's about as traditional as a Lakota shooting a buffalo with an AK-47.

Maybe they can live even longer! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19522577)

I mean how do they not know the whale was 100 when it got shot 100 years ago?
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