Where did you see these whales, MiG? On the flight down to Drake Inlet, Carl descended down to ‘whale watching altitude’ just south of Hartley Bay and immediately found five feeding Humpbacks. In one group we circled, two were submerged and ablowing bubbles while one would swim up through the bubbles to the surface and eat the catch… Plankton? Before this, I hadn’t seen wild whales since a visit to Oregon several years ago. The ones off the Oregon coast were Grey Whales I think. Cool stuff.
Well, I thought I would ask Jeeves to get an answer, but Earl beat him too it… I was also curious. Though, it’s not nearly an indepth enough answer to satisfy me, it’s still informative. I figure it has something to do with how slow and big the whales are vs their predatory skills and course of evolution… One of those bizarre balances in eco-systems, like anteaters… Something has to eat termites and plankton or they would infest the planet! Super impressive to watch them do this from above though… Seaplane > Boat.
Why do huge whales eat such little things as plankton?
Tyler, Age 6
The key idea to remember is that it’s not the size of the plankton, but how much of it you eat. Baleen whales such as blue and humpback whales have special filters in their jaws that let them suck up huge amounts of these small organisms. During feeding season, a blue whale eats up to 8,000 pounds of plankton a day! They swim close to the surface of the water with their mouths wide open, sucking in thousands of gallons of plankton-filled water. The plankton is caught in the baleen fringes, which are like the teeth of a giant comb. This is a very effective way to eat, especially since you don’t have to face potential predators. Plus, you don’t need any knives, forks, or table manners. Baleen whales have it figured out!
The whales were at the entrance to Work Channel. Recent CHSS field trip.
They were doing the “bubble net” thing with herring, most likely. The idea is that the bubbles keep the school really close together, then 5 or 6 of them come up through the bubbles with their mouths open and play Pac-Man.
Wow that is surprising. Was watching the thawed chicken / frozen chicken vs glass window panes yesterday or the day prior and Adam got pwnd on his prediction. I figured that the chickens mass at that velocity would do the same as the frozen one, considering it was only 6 panes of glass. Boy were we wrong.
Work Channel is a Habitant area for the Humpback Whales. Can ALMOST guarentee on going up there and seeing them every time.
This past Saturday, Seashore Charters had 3 Whale Watch tours go out. The first and second tour had wonderful tours I hear!! I along with the rest of my staff at Seashore Charters were all on the third tour of the day! We still saw a Humpback, but by the time we went out (6PM) it was pretty damn rough…thankfully we didn’t have to travel too far to see it. We saw this whale at Finlayson(Spelling?) and the first two tours went to Lucy Island. Luckily for those who get motion sickness, they didn’t have to travel more then 5-10 minutes outside of Venn Passage! …anyways, all 3 trips, the Whales were “BREACHING” …(jumping out of the water) …sure was nice