Science: Big Heart

Through the rough seas running off Clark's Point, Alaska, a small skiff put out. It carried a heart specialist and his assistants, but they were not on an errand of mercy. Curiosity—the kind of curiosity that kills cats for science—led them on. They were looking for a whale; they wanted to feel its pulse.

They found what they were looking for in the shallows of Nushagak Bay—a small (one-ton) beluga whale, come in to feed on salmon. It was not the first whale which had shied away from their "stethoscope": in earlier efforts the hunters had been unsuccessful. This time a husky...

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