Do marine biologists not already know about the feeding and migrational behaviour of humpback whales? After all, these animals are the best-studied whales in the southern hemisphere. So far, small data loggers attached to the animals have sampled depth data, migration routes and water characteristics. Now these little aids can even pick up 3-D motion patterns and record underwater videos. Australian and American scientists were interested in using these methods to find even more details about feeding behavior and food composition of the humpback whales.
Humpback whales, Antarctica.
At the same time, they used their time in the field to fasten conventional data loggers to the dorsal fin of minke whales. These whales live close to the ice in the southern summer and little is known about them. The scientists hope to gain more information about this sparsely studied whale species. Marine animals that benefit from pack ice habitats are particularly affected by increasing sea temperatures, ocean acidification and increasing strong winds.