Humpback whales off the Pacific Northwest coast were documented performing never-before-filmed behavior—herding salmon directly into their gaping mouths with their fins.
This extraordinary feeding strategy, filmed by a drone, works in tandem with another advanced hunting strategy that involves encircling schools of fish in a morass or screen of bubbles – blocking the sight and sense of the fish within the circle.
It’s not clear if this technique is used by humpback whales elsewhere, but demonstrates they are even more adaptable than previously thought.
Master fisheries student Madison Kosma and the others on her research team used video drones to capture their feeding habits and, in doing so, finally filmed what Kosma said existed only as anecdotal evidence before, “corralling fish with their flippers.”
“Thanks to the unique situation at the hatchery, and thanks to new technologies such as drones, we were actually able to document it,” Kosa told Nat Geo, adding that her team had witnessed the so-called “pectoral herding” dozens of times in person.
To read the entire story by Andy Corbley at the Good News Network, click here.