WATCH! Incredible Drone Footage Shows The Ingenious Way Blue Whales Save Energy While Hunting For Food
Blue whales primarily feed on krills --small, shrimp-like creatures-- and they do so in small groups. A new study regarding these creatures' diet has revealed that they could be hunting near the surface of the ocean to preserve their strength. Watch the scene in a video captured by a drone.
Researchers from Oregon State University discovered that blue whales residing in New Zealand utilize surface hunting as a crucial part of their process.
Blue whales are the largest mammal ever to walk the earth, surpassing even the size of dinosaurs from prehistoric eras. And to support their size, they require a massive amount of food every day.
The researchers believe the mammals prefer to hunt their prey where they are more densely packed, such as the surface of the water.
Massive vs. Tiny
The process of hunting in shallow waters give the whales the benefits of avoiding the tiring process of diving and provides a large amount of food to be consumed at once. They are also able to save energy due to not having to stay underwater and thus not needing to hold their breaths as they usually would.
Assistant professor at Oregon State University and author of the study, Dr. Leigh Torres, shared her response to the misconception that whales have to dive deep to find their prey. Dr. Torres corrected this by saying if the animals can hunt on the surface, they would gladly do so to converse their energy.
With the observed group of whales in New Zealand, they were observed to favor hunting in shallower areas of water, where their prey would be more compactly knit together.
The team observed the animals as they hunter and noticed shorter dives and more feeding at the surface.
Scientists placed tags on blue whales to monitor and keep track of their routes and where they go to study their patterns to understand these majestic creatures better.
Before the study, surface feeding wasn't fully understood, primarily due to the difficulty in processing the data from the tags when the whales reside near the surface of the water.
Dr. Torres' team observed the behavior during a field research study as they were watching from their boat, where they used a drone to capture the footage of the whales from overhead.
The theory of the team for the unconventional feeding technique stems from denser populations of krill near the surface, thus enabling the whales to get more food with less energy.
The difference between the hunts
Studies showed that New Zealand whales have much shorter dive times compared to other species, up to a quarter of the usual time, which reduced even further when surface feeding was observed.
The video shows the animals in their natural habitat hunting for food, and noticeably planning their attack on the unsuspecting marine creatures. The whale could be seen looking at the krills with its right eye before going in for the massive gulp. The giant mammal also showed signs of rotating from one to the other, contemplating how to go about the kill.
The observation has filled a unique mystery in the field of marine biology, said Dawn Barlow, co-author of the study. She is also a doctoral student in Dr. Torres' laboratory.
The researchers were also able to estimate the width of the opening made by the whale's mouth just before the moment of impact.
The observations also gave the researchers an in-depth look into the whole process of capturing the krills, and the techniques they utilize to feed successfully better.
The team published their findings in the Peer journal and reiterated the importance of using drones in allowing us to see more of what we couldn't see before.
Thanks To New Model, Artificial Intelligence Can Now Make More Ethical Decisions
A new model will be helping AI make better decisions as it seems they will now consider the ethics of what they do.
Ancient Maya Civilization: Newly Discovered Artificial Plateau Challenges Traditional Archaeological Beliefs
Scientists have recently discovered new information about ancient Maya civilization breaking the traditional archaeological belief.
Blind People Can Now See the Shape of Different Letters with Brain Implant
A group of scientists from the Baylor College of Medicine located in Houston has recently developed a certain brain implant that actually allows both blind and sighted participants to "see" the shape of different letters!
Russian Simulations Find Life Can Exist on Venus as Microbrial Organisms Thrive on its Harsh Environment
Venus could hold life in a new simulated study by Russian scientists; find out the details here
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson Donates Blood for the Development of 'Hank-ccine', a Coronavirus Vaccine
After their initial statement sharing their experience with the deadly virus, the two actors kept fans updated with their condition regularly in their isolation Down Under. They eventually made a full recovery and made their back home to Los Angeles.
MORE IN ITECHPOST
Improve Communication at Home: The 3 Best Wireless Intercoms For Smart Homes in 2020
Having a wireless intercom will enhance your smart home by increasing security and improving communication capabilities inside your home. Here are the best ones you can get on Amazon right now.
This New Artificial Intelligence Can Determine The Orbits of Planets Faster Than Traditional Methods
There is a new AI that uses an algorithm that seems to be better than what researchers are using right now.
How to Play Story of Seasons Friends in Mineral Town
It wasn't always called Story of Seasons. Before it was called such, this franchise went by another name that most people are familiar with- Harvest Moon.
[MUST GET] Lego's NES Replica With Super Mario Bros Combines Everyone's Favorite Childhood Toys
Relive what it was like to have an NES thanks to Lego's 2600-piece replica of the modem. And what's more, it comes with an interactive TV that shows the game Super Mario Bros which you have to turn constantly in order for Mario to actually move.