A tiny cameras placed on the back of a humpback whale and minke revealed some mysteries about their eating habits and their life in the Antarctic , scientific sources said Tuesday in Australia. For this project, a group of Australian and American scientists placed non-invasive digital devices, containing three-dimensional motion sensors and a camera in a group of whales in the Antarctic Peninsula. These devices placed by suction, which also register through the sensors the movements of the whales as well as the time and depth of each dive, are placed for 24 or 48 hours before being withdrawn to be used again in other specimens.
“The cameras show the feeding method used by humpback whales in this area of Antarctica, including how they swell when feeding on krill swarms,” said Mike Double, an investigator with the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) , In a statement from his institution. According to the studies a large number of whales seem to congregate in several places like Wilhelmina Bay, Cierva Cove, Fournier Bay and the Errera Channel, to feed for weeks.
The information allows us to reconstruct the way whales feed underwater and determine “whether changes in the krill population due to climate change, commercial fishing or ocean acidification may impact whales in the future,” he said. Said the American expert Ari Friedlaender. Another researcher who participated in the study, Elanor Bell, remarked that the information is valuable in so far as little is known about the feeding patterns of minke whales. “Minke are faster and more slippery than humpback whales and often look for food in areas with a lot of frozen water, which makes it harder for us to get closer to deploying tracking equipment,” he said.
The cameras also captured images of the social life of whales and the force with which they exhale to clear frozen waters and breathe, the Australian branch of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said in a statement. Supported the study. “We have been able to appreciate that whales spend a lot of time during the day on socializing and relaxing while they feed heavily at night,” said Friedlaender.
This study was sponsored by the International Whaling Commission and the Antarctic Ocean Research Association (IWC-SORP) to improve the protection of whale feeding areas. WWF-Australia’s Ocean Sciences Section Director Chris Johnson stressed the need to have marine sanctuaries “to protect species and allow habitats to be more resilient and thrive in the future.”