Eye of the Whale (EOW) is a small nonprofit research and education group, based in Homer Alaska. Our biologists have been studying humpback whales in Prince William Sound (PWS), Alaska since 1980.  Our intent has been to create a long-term census determining population numbers, distribution, feeding habits, and vital information on individual whales.  We have learned from disasters like the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill that having baseline information on a species is vital.  Luckily we were counting the whales and photographing their unique tails nine years before the oil swept through our study area.  Now, twenty years later, humpback whales are thriving and we have been able to moniter their recovery, population growth, and social habits.

What's Up With Whales?

The “great whales” have spindle neuron cells. The cells we previously thought defined what it is to be “human.” They have a lot more of them than we do….cells humans use for complex emotions like empathy, forgiveness and love.  Drs. Hof and Van der Gucht (Anatomical Record 2007) found that humpback whales in particular had large spindle cells in a similar location in the brain as humans.  

Did You Know:

Humpbacks and many of their brethren are voluntary breathers. If you knock them out-unlike humans-they will drown. When they sleep they only sleep one brain hemisphere at a time. Whales sleeping are said to be “logging.”

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