Study reveals Antarctic minke whales feeding ‘frenzy’

A Minke whale swims near a whale-watching boat off Reykjavik on April 23, 2009Antarctic minke whales engage in an underwater feeding frenzy, filling their huge mouths up to 100 times an hour as they gorge on prawn-like krill during the summer, new research showed Friday. The Australian Antarctic Division said it was the first time that the feeding behaviour of the animals under the sea ice had been recorded, and the frenetic pace of the activity was unexpected. "We were really surprised," the division's chief scientist Nick Gales told AFP. "To actually see it and to see the incredible number (of lunges at food) and how cleverly they were able to use their behaviour to exploit the krill under the sea ice was amazing to see." Like other baleen whales, the minkes lunge forward with their mouths wide open to collect food, taking on a large volume of water which they then spill out as they trap the fish inside.

August 15, 2014 7:41 am

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