Antarctic Dance

Humpback whales are feeding in the Antarctic right now. During the austral summer months, the cool nutrient-rich waters of the Southern Ocean support a huge diversity of animals from fish, seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales.

Humpback whales, along with minke whales, sei whales, fin whales and Antarctic blue whales are feasting on huge swarms of tiny krill, a shrimp-like crustacean which is the keystone species in this diverse ecosystem.

Full Pouch! The flat upper jaw can be seen on the right of this rotating Humpback whale, the full pouch with expanded ventral pleats evident on the left. Photo credit M. Jenner

Full Pouch! The flat upper jaw can be seen on the right of this rotating Humpback whale, the full pouch with expanded ventral pleats evident on the left.
Photo credit M. Jenner

 

Humpback whales swim closely in the Antarctic - cooperation seems an advantage. Photo credit M. Jenner

Humpback whales swim closely in the Antarctic – cooperation seems an advantage.
Photo credit M. Jenner

 

Barnacle-studded tail flukes make for easy individual identification of this Humpback whale! Photo credit M. Jenner

Barnacle-studded tail flukes make for easy individual identification of this Humpback whale!
Photo credit M. Jenner

Soon humpback whales will be heading north again. We look forward to them gracing the coasts of the east and west coasts of Australia in the next few months!

 

Centre for Whale Research

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