Humpback whales have started traveling in massive herds

Geronimo Vena
Marzo 17, 2017

This, in fact, is a story about whales who are a little too chummy for comfort: As Popular Sciencerecently reported, there's something of a whale convention in the water near South Africa, where humpbacks are now gathering to feed in groups of up to 200 at a time.

As Gizmodo and ScienceAlert reported this week, such large gatherings of humpbacks are rare.

Typically, these whales are considered solitary mammals, traveling alone, in pairs or temporarily in small groups. "It's possible that the behavior was occurring but just not where it was visible", says Findlay. "Near enough that we could actually look down on them as they passed the wharf", she told CBC Radio's The Broadcast.

Scientists aren't sure of why these whales are behaving in this manner.

Regina Asmutis-Silvia, biologist and executive director of Whale and Dolphin Conservation, said it's hard to say just how unusual the new study's super group is. Recently, and again baffling researchers, the number of southern hemisphere humpbacks has dramatically surged in the past decade. Once the season changes, they head north to tropical and subtropical waters, where the females give birth to new calves. "These novel, predictable, inter-annual, low latitude feeding events provide considerable potential for further investigation of Southern Hemisphere humpback feeding behaviors in these relatively accessible low-latitude waters". Together (loosely so), these whales are engaging in feeding behavior in regions near South Africa where they would typically be engaging in breeding behaviors.

A years-long study on humpback whales in a creek on B.C.'s North Coast has revealed previously unknown pattern of movement among massive marine creatures.

Altre relazioni OverNewsmagazine

Discuti questo articolo