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May 25, 2009

Wily Whales

Science Daily reports on interesting developments in the field of whale studies. Scientists have wondered how and why sperm whales feed from deep sea fishermen’s “longlines.” Researchers from Scripps and the Southeast Alaska Sperm Whale Avoidance Project deployed acoustic and video recorders near Sitka, Alaska, and recorded some surprising results:

“The resulting video, recorded using ambient light at 100 meters (328 feet) depth, not only successfully gave the fishermen a clear idea of how the thieving whales were stealing the fish—they pluck the line at one end to jar the black cod free at the other end, somewhat like shaking apples from a tree—but it gave scientists a chance to match the animal’s acoustics with video depictions of its physical features.”… Read the rest