Whale of a discovery

Tiny cameras attached to whales have led to big revelations about the giant mammals in Antarctica. These include details on their secret feeding habits, their social lives and even how they must blow hard to clear sea ice to breathe. Scientists attac
PHOTOS: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
PHOTOS: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

Tiny cameras attached to whales have led to big revelations about the giant mammals in Antarctica. These include details on their secret feeding habits, their social lives and even how they must blow hard to clear sea ice to breathe. Scientists attached the cameras and electronic tags to humpback whales to better understand what they do underwater, in a study on how shrinking sea ice caused by warming sea temperatures linked to climate change may impact the animals. The cameras were attached by suction cups to each whale for between 24 and 48 hours before they fell off. "Once we have an idea about where the whales feed, how often, where they go and rest, we can use this to inform policy and management to protect these whales and their ecosystem," leading whale scientist Ari Friedlaender said yesterday. The Australian Antarctic Division-led team said the data helped determine how the abundance of whales' main food - krill - affected their feeding success. It also added to their understanding of how any change in krill population due to climate change may impact them in future.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 12, 2017, with the headline 'Whale of a discovery'. Print Edition | Subscribe