A exceptional set of photos present humpback whales close to Alaska utilizing an unconventional technique to catch their dinner — blowing bubbles.
Researchers from the College of Hawaii had been capable of seize the spectacular photos utilizing a drone whereas learning the huge mammals close to Alaska.
The approach, often known as bubble-net feeding, happens when a pod of whales close to the floor of the water rounds up their prey (normally fish or krill) contained in the circle of bubbles they’ve created utilizing their blowholes. The bubbles could stun the prey, that are then consumed by the whales.
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The researchers additionally posted a video to their YouTube web page, exhibiting off the exceptional occasion.
“The footage is reasonably groundbreaking,” mentioned Lars Bejder, director of the UH Mānoa Marine Mammal Analysis Program, in a press release. “We’re observing how these animals are manipulating their prey and making ready the prey for seize. It’s permitting us to achieve new insights that we actually haven’t been capable of do earlier than.”
Along with utilizing drones to seize the photographs, the researchers additionally put cameras and accelerometers on the whales through suction cups to get video and knowledge from a first-hand account.
That knowledge gave the researchers recent insights into how bubble-net feeding is completed and the way usually they do it earlier than they finally migrate right down to Hawaii for breeding.
“We now have two angles. The drone’s perspective is exhibiting us these bubble nets and the way the bubbles are beginning to come to the floor and the way the animals come up by the bubble internet as they floor, whereas the cameras on the whales are exhibiting us the animal’s perspective,” Bejder added. “So overlaying these two knowledge units is kind of thrilling.”
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Bejder estimates that roughly three,000 whales come to Alaska for the summer season feeding season. He added that as much as 10,000 whales will make the three,000-mile trek to Hawaii to breed through the winter months, not stopping for meals till they attain their vacation spot.
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