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Blue whales are great underwater acrobats

Scientists have found that the largest animal in the world performs underwater acrobatics to successfully catch the huge amounts of their prey which really is amazing considering its size.

  Author: KimmyK | Source: bbc.co.uk | 30th November 2012  

Blue whale is the largest animal to ever roam (swim) our planet, including the dinosaur era. The biggest example of the species that was weighed by scientists was a female that weighed 177 metric tons (354,000 pounds). That is equal to the weight of 35 African Elephants combined! The longest blue whales ever recorded were two females measuring 33.6 metres (110 ft) and 33.3 metres (109 ft).

But their colossal weight doesn't stop them from being acrobatic when it comes to catching their prey. They can intake up to 100 tons of water with krills under the 10 seconds. Krills are small crustaceans and the only food on the blue whale's menu. The scientists recorded that they do a complete 360 degree roll to get oriented for a sneak up attack from bellow.

In order to understand how these giants are able to catch their prey, Dr. Goldbogen and his team used the suction cups (harmless to the animals) to attach the acoustic recording tags which enabled them to track their movements using underwater microphones. Dr. Goldbogen explained the results:

"As the blue whale approaches the krill patch, the whale uses its flippers and flukes to spin 180 degrees so that the body and jaws are just beneath the krill patch. At about 180 degrees, the mouth just begins to open so that the blue whale can engulf the krill patch from below. As the blue whale engulfs the prey-laden water, it continues to roll in the same direction and completes a full 360 roll and becomes horizontal again ready to target and attack the next krill patch."


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