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Humpback whales - bubble net feeding

 

OK, so they're not sporting and they're not even fish but we thought SF members would be interested in this footage of humpback whales shot by SF member Iain Evans on a recent trip to Alaska. 

North Pacific humpbacks mate and give birth in Hawaii and Baja California in the winter and migrate to Alaska to feed each summer. They practice an unusual group feeding behavior called bubble-net feeding, in which a group of whales works together to capture large schools of herring.

Each whale has its own role in the process: one blows bubbles around the herring school to keep the fish from escaping, others, as you'll hear in this video, vocalize to scare or confuse the fish and help bring them to the surface, and others herd the fish together and upwards. Once the fish are at the surface, all the whales lunge upwards with their huge mouths wide open and try to gulp as many herring as they can.


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