Document Detail


Underwater acrobatics by the world's largest predator: 360° rolling manoeuvres by lunge-feeding blue whales.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23193050     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
The extreme body size of blue whales requires a high energy intake and therefore demands efficient foraging strategies. As an obligate lunge feeder on aggregations of small zooplankton, blue whales engulf a large volume of prey-laden water in a single, rapid gulp. The efficiency of this feeding mechanism is strongly dependent on the amount of prey that can be captured during each lunge, yet food resources tend to be patchily distributed in both space and time. Here, we measured the three-dimensional kinematics and foraging behaviour of blue whales feeding on krill, using suction-cup attached multi-sensor tags. Our analyses revealed 360° rolling lunge-feeding manoeuvres that reorient the body and position the lower jaws so that a krill patch can be engulfed with the whale's body inverted. We also recorded these rolling behaviours when whales were in a searching mode in between lunges, suggesting that this behaviour also enables the whale to visually process the prey field and maximize foraging efficiency by surveying for the densest prey aggregations. These results reveal the complex manoeuvrability that is required for large rorqual whales to exploit prey patches and highlight the need to fully understand the three-dimensional interactions between predator and prey in the natural environment.
Authors:
Jeremy A Goldbogen; John Calambokidis; Ari S Friedlaender; John Francis; Stacy L DeRuiter; Alison K Stimpert; Erin Falcone; Brandon L Southall
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Biology letters     Volume:  9     ISSN:  1744-957X     ISO Abbreviation:  Biol. Lett.     Publication Date:  2013 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-11-29     Completed Date:  2013-05-09     Revised Date:  2014-02-25    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101247722     Medline TA:  Biol Lett     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  20120986     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Accelerometry
Animals
Balaenoptera / physiology*
Biomechanical Phenomena
Feeding Behavior*
Magnetometry
Orientation
Pacific Ocean
Telemetry
Comments/Corrections

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine


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